OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Connections with the Natural World in Action

Local Educators Integrate Sustainability into Education

Twenty educators from public and private schools in Central Oregon gathered at The Environmental Center last week to prepare to integrate sustainability into their teaching and prepare their buildings to reduce waste and energy use. The training program was provided with funding from the Gray Family Foundation and was designed to give teachers the tools and support to make changes at their schools with students on a green team. This cohort will meet two more times throughout the 2015-2016 school year to share their successes and challenges with creating sustainable schools and get ideas...

From Kindergarten, Butte Creek Elementary students have their eyes set on sixth grade outdoor school at the Oregon Coast—but they need a little help getting there

A close encounter with a seal thrilled sixth-graders from Silverton, Oregon, during a recent trip to Outdoor School. Some of them had never even been to the beach before!

Butte Creek Elementary is a rural school located outside of Silverton, Oregon. Each year, the school sends their sixth graders to Camp Westwind just north of Lincoln City. With sea caves, incredible vistas, and an estuary of the Salmon River, it’s no wonder the school has returned to this site year after year.

At camp, hands-on is...

Day-long field trips allow fifth and sixth graders experience the diverse terrain of near-shore environments and take home a new perspective of their coastal home

How does the ocean influence you, and how do you influence the ocean?

If you’re a fifth or sixth grader living on the coast in Lincoln County, there are few better places to discover this than the Beaver Creek Natural Area, part of South Beach State Park.

Here Oregon State Parks has established a biologically rich learning laboratory where trained staff lead about 120 students each year in hands-on exploration of the near-shore environments.

A 2014...

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...