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KODIAK: Carbon is Cycle-delic! Climate Change Outreach
Alaska Region, November 20, 2013
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A program participant, as carbon, runs from from the atmosphere station to the biosphere station.
A program participant, as carbon, runs from from the atmosphere station to the biosphere station. - Photo Credit: Shelly Lawson
Science Campers playing Heat Trapper Tag, a game that illustrates the greenhouse effect.
Science Campers playing Heat Trapper Tag, a game that illustrates the greenhouse effect. - Photo Credit: Anelise Zimmer
Kodiak Refuge Youth Conservation Corp after a successful climate change program with elementary school students.
Kodiak Refuge Youth Conservation Corp after a successful climate change program with elementary school students. - Photo Credit: Shelly Lawson

“Ride your bike instead of driving”, “Use a rake instead of a leaf blower”, “Play outside instead of watching TV or playing video games”. These are just a sampling of ideas about how to reduce carbon footprints from youth who completed our climate change program this summer.

 

Climate change is a complicated concept that is controversial so it can be daunting to tackle in public outreach and education. However, as climate change impacts basically every aspect of our conservation mission, it’s important that we take on the challenge, open up a dialogue and encourage positive actions.

This summer, the Kodiak Refuge launched a series of climate change programming. In preparation, all seasonal staff and Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew went through climate change training: a presentation broken up with short videos, activities and a field trip to learn about local research on impacts of ocean acidification. Pre and post assessments showed an improvement in staff knowledge about the concepts of climate change as well as the climate change strategies of the USFWS.

During training, staff participated in an environmental education program that some then used throughout the summer while working with youth. This summer, our climate outreach efforts included: an evening presentation geared toward an adult audience, an afternoon program for elementary school students lead by our YCC, and one day a week dedicated to the carbon cycle for each week of our summer science camp. Science campers completed a worksheet on Monday and again on Friday to help us assess our programs’ strengths and weaknesses. Also, the program is now offered for school visits.

A lot of behind-the-scenes preparation went into our training and curriculum development. Prep work included: North American Association for Environmental Education conference attendance, online training, research for programming ideas and lastly, the NCTC course, Earth to Sky: Communicating Climate Change which provided the final confidence and inspiration needed to move forward.

We are excited to have launched our climate change outreach and hope to expand and further develop it in the years to come. If you would like to know more about our staff training or environmental education programs, feel free to contact our Education Specialist, Shelly Lawson. Contact information is provided below.


Check out a collection of images of our climate change training and youth programs:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_alaska/sets/72157637861655154/
Contact Info: Michelle Lawson, 907-487-0283, Michelle_Lawson@fws.gov



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