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Connections with the Natural World in Action

Outdoor school is a rite of passage for Crook County sixth graders, who spend five days in fellowship with nature and their new camp ‘family.’

It’s a five mile hike around gorgeous Suttle Lake in central Oregon—quite a trek for the sixth graders from the Crook County School District.

But it’s all fun at outdoor school. With Bingo cards in hand, the students chart different plan species they find. They spot a bald eagle, then another, and a dramatic chase plays out before them. Even a rotten log comes to life with a careful eye.

For 57 years, the Crook County outdoor school has returned to this same location, the Suttle Lake Camp, to...

Students become scientists through StreamWebs

It’s a warm spring morning as sixth-grade students from Eddyville Charter School tromp through the forest to get to their field site. For most of them, this is their fist visit as scientists, but they have been studying data from the site in class and will return three times a week throughout the unit. Sean Bedell—their teacher—is using the Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) StreamWebs program to meaningfully engage his students in citizen science.

“I show them all of these different sample methods like transects and temperature, and the kids come up with...

Ed Jensen Hosts Successful Tree and Shrub Walks in Portland and Corvallis

Every year, the City of Portland hosts Arbor Month to draw attention to the 1.5 million trees in city limits! Ed Jensen conducted trips at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland co-sponsored by Portland Parks, Hoyt Arboretum, and World Forest Center; at Tryon Creek State Park in Lake Oswego (where RRM grad Deb Hill is the park ranger); at Peavy Hall for the Corvallis Natural Areas Coalition; and at Bald Hill for the Corvallis Greenbelt Land Trust. High attendance and favorable responses at these events suggest that they are an important way for the College to connect with local communities.

Teens in the Umpqua Explorers program gain self-confidence, friendships, and knowledge of the natural world.

Growing up in the lush Umpqua River Valley, a teenager might take for granted the rich natural heritage in his or her backyard.

The Douglas County Museum aims to change that.

“The museum is all about inspiring our community to see the big picture, and to feel like they're connected to each other and to the environment,” says Kelly Hibbert, Museum Education Coordinator.

For the past seven summers, Hibbert has led groups of 13- to 17-year-olds to...