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Connections with the Natural World in Action

A workshop empowers teachers to bring nature writing to their classrooms, resulting in students getting published in an established anthology

Not many second graders can say they’re published authors. But thanks to a Nature Writing Workshop at the Straub Environmental Center in 2014, a large group of Salem-area youngsters can boast just that.

For more than a decade, the Straub Environmental Center (SEC) has been a leader in environmental education in the Mid-Willamette Valley. It provides teachers with resources for environmental literacy, holds family nature nights, and leads outdoor retreats and summer day camps, among other programs.

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Linn-Benton Salmon Watch Succeeds at Educating Local Area Students

Sweet Home, OR | September 30, 2015 – A group of students from Timber Ridge School in Albany stands gathered around an outdoor laboratory temporarily setup along the banks of the South Santiam river. They watch and listen to their leaders for the day, volunteers from OSU and the City of Albany, as they lead the wide-eyed group through testing water samples for dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, and turbidity. Minutes later they are discussing how these parameters are linked to conditions in the watershed and how they affect the aquatic habitat including the health of...

Teachers as Watershed Students

With the help of a kick net, teachers Gerhard Behrens and Susan Reeves sampled Wells Creek for aquatic invertebrates as part of a 4 day “Watershed Teacher Workshop,” put on by Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) and Marys River Watershed Council with funding by Gray Family Foundation.

“I felt like a student and an honored teacher during the week.  We were challenged to learn new things, just as we challenge our own students,” said Mr. Behrens. 

16 teaches from the Corvallis School District and nearby rural schools, conducted macro invertebrate and stream health sampling from...

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...