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Service Partners with Youth to Explore New Mexico's Watershed
Southwest Region, September 3, 2010
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In July, US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employees collaborated with an Albuquerque based community program called Instituto Sostener (Sustainability Institute) and a high school, Native American Community Academy (NACA), to put on a 10-day workshop for high school students to learn about watershed management. Service employees from the Division of Water Resources, Fisheries Resources, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, helped coordinate several days of this workshop.

 

This collaboration was intended to both supplement NACA's curriculum for their summer youth corps program and help the Instituto Sostener (hereafter referred to as Institute) develop and implement their hands-on curriculum. The Institute is an educational program designed to expose local youth to ecology, traditional cultural practices, and green jobs through summer and year-round programming. The objectives of the Institute are to: improve the scientific literacy in youth from low-income communities, create a more sustainable economy and lifestyle, and prepare youth for a changing economy and career landscape. NACA is a public charter school in southeast Albuquerque whose innovative educational content is geared toward the Native American community in Albuquerque. About 15-18 sophomore and junior high school students from NACA's summer youth corps program participated in the workshop.

 

Service employees helped students create a watershed map of their school campus in order to identify how they can harvest rainwater to supplement their schoolyard habitat outdoor classroom. To teach students about water conservation and ecological restoration, Service employees organized a tour of several watershed restoration projects at a 5,000-acre conservation ranch, and organized a hands-on workshop to install a 1,600 gallon cistern to catch rainwater for a outdoor classroom at the ranch. The students spent half a day rafting the Rio Grande within the Albuquerque reach, where they collected fish and learned about the general ecology and history of the Rio Grande from Service biologists and a historian from the University of New Mexico.

 

This workshop was just a pilot-project, and is the beginning of a educational journey. For more information on this partnership please contact Maceo Martinet at Maceo_Martinet@fws.gov. 

 

 

Contact Info: Nicole Haskett, 505-248-6457gov, nicole_haskett@fws.gov



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