Education Update Dec 2021
Lots of Learning in 2021
Director of Education & Outreach ~ Ryan Kincaid
2021 saw lots of change and growth in terms of Umpqua Watersheds’ educational programs! With COVID still going strong, we created new opportunities for youths and adults to learn about local environmental issues. Here are a few highlights from the year:
- “Living Downstream,” an educational radio show, began airing on Umpqua Watersheds’ station – 99.7 (KQUA). Past episodes feature artists, authors, biologists, hydrologists, and other scientists, and are available via PodBean.
- We hosted our first annual “Learning in the Umpqua Watershed” training for local educators.
- Our website now features an “Educator Resources” page with recordings of workshops as well as standards-aligned lessons/activities.
- We began offering quarterly virtual volunteer training.
- Our annual Camp AmeriCorps celebrated the service of local AmeriCorps members and was a great kickoff to our annual River Appreciation Day.
- We relocated our Youth Wilderness Campout to North Bank Habitat Management Area and had a fun learning experience at the new location.
- Our “Eco Innovations Challenge” provided an opportunity for local youths and adults to present their ideas of how to solve environmental challenges. From this emerged our new summer program “Kids for Nature”, which was brainstormed by a 9-year-old-girl from the area!
- Our new environmentally themed book club “Turning Over a New Leaf” began convening every other month.
- We hired a part-time Director of Education & Outreach.
Attendees at our “Learning in the Umpqua Watershed” training for local educators learned about nature journaling, how to teach about climate change, local environmental challenges, creative problem solving, and more!
We are excited to continue expanding our offerings in the new year. Here are a couple of exciting events to mark on your calendar for the coming months:
- Book Club ~ On Saturday, January 22nd we’ll start the year with a discussion of As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker.
- Teacher Training ~ In April of 2022 we’re expanding our reach to include fifteen educators from Douglas County with five additional spots reserved for homeschooling parents and teachers from surrounding counties. The 2022 training will offer workshops on flora and fauna, post-fire restoration, local indigenous history and culture, STEM, ethical decision-making, citizen science, and field surveys, as well as teaching about climate change. If you’re interested in being a part of this event – whether as a presenter or participant – please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Other Exciting Events! ~ In 2022, we’re hoping to host additional film screenings, panel discussions, campouts, and other engaging learning opportunities! Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. We’ll see you in 2022!