Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
AESO Partners with Local High School for Endangered Species Education
Southwest Region, September 1, 2006
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In an effort to both promote wildlife education and awareness as well as gain public interest in the Endangered Species Act and the work of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the AESO and Thunderbird High School of the Glendale Unified High School District in Arizona are teaming up to educate freshman and sophomore accelerated biology students on the Endangered Species Act and native listed species in Arizona. Teacher Ms. Lisa Osinga of Thunderbird High School, with the assistance of the AESO, has developed a year-long pilot curriculum on the Endangered Species Act which allows students to learn about the history of the Act and how it provides protection to listed species.

Individual students or small groups of students will select a federally listed or special-status species that is native to Arizona and conduct research on various factors and threats that have contributed to its current status.  Over the course of the academic year, students will assemble a research paper that will resemble the section 7 analysis process with a biological opinion on a hypothetical project that is likely to adversely affect the particular species each student has chosen to research. In completing this exercise, each student will be required to integrate six of the nine general topics that are covered in Accelerated Biology class over the school year into their biological opinion(s).  Each student, or group of students, will also be urged to interview species experts from the FWS, AGFD, academia, and/or the private sector to gain experience in interviewing and the research process. Volunteer field experience with their chosen species is also encouraged and awarded as extra credit.

This will be the first use of this curriculum At year end, if this curriculum is 1) considered effective at meeting education goals; 2) positively embraced by the student body; and deemed logistically acceptable, additional teachers may choose to use it at their schools both within the Glendale Unified High School District and within other public high school districts in Arizona.  It is also anticipated that if used in the future, this curriculum will allow students the opportunity to research any species, listed under the Act, in order to broaden public awareness for the special resources the US Fish and Wildlife Service is tasked with managing and conserving

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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