HBI Climate Change Working Group Notes 7/24/14

Humboldt Bay Initiative Climate Change & Drought Work Group

July 24, 10 am – 12 pm

Humboldt Area Foundation

Meeting Notes

The HBI Climate Work Group was joined by several science educators and outreach specialists.

Introduction to educators and outreach specialists and their programs

Denise Seeger – Oversees education, outreach and volunteer services at US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Also chair of education committee at Redwood Region Audubon Society.

  • At FWS there is a 5-month program for 4th graders all about shorebirds – (Shorebird Sister Schools Program – http://www.fws.gov/sssp/). Four 4 classrooms a year (at least 100 students/ year) participate. South Fortuna and Freshwater schools. Covers a lot of topics, including human and natural disturbance, habitats, migration, etc.
  • FWS provides many other wetlands and habitats field trips
  • RRAS – helping Eureka High with their bird room; also getting National Audubon materials (Audubon Adventures; http://education.audubon.org/audubon-adventures) integrated into local classrooms. These material are aligned with common core programs. $40 kit for classroom.

Suzie Fortner – Education Coordinator at Friends of the Dunes

  • School education program – Bay to Dunes field trip programs (2,000/year) completely free for schools, recruit college volunteers to teach. One-hour classroom visit ahead, then a full day outside.
  • Ocean Day (800 kids– usually first week of June) South Spit program with BLM, start plugging in history component
  • NCRLT – Freshwater Farms –Cows and Cattails Program on-site.
  • High School Programs – Eureka High School – Received Connecting People with Nature Grant
  • Redwood Coast Montessori – received Whale Tail grant to form the Coastal Stewards Program, 4-6th grades. Climate change is included here. Nine of the kids made PSA’s focused on climate change, can be found on YouTube.
  • Public walks, led by volunteer coastal naturalist volunteers. The volunteers undergoing a training program with individual experts teaching each portion of the coastal natural training. Climate change and Marine Protected Areas incorporated in training.

o   Looking to reprint the training booklet, new partners to add in content, printing.

Leisyka Parrott – Interpretive Specialist Bureau of Land Management.  Leisyka is responsible for outreach and interpretation on all BLM lands within the CA Coastal National Monument except for the Lost Coast/Kings Range and the Headwaters

  • Partners with educators and other organization to achieve mission. Partnerships is a key component… State Parks, Marine Lab, Friends of the Dunes, and other coastal partners. One example of a climate-focused program is the phenology monitoring at Trinidad Museum (and other sites; following National Phenology Network protocols https://www.usanpn.org/).
  • Works directly with Trinidad Schools, Trinidad is a gateway community.
  • Leisyka’s colleague at BLM has helped develop Lost Coast Environmental Education Curriculum, which is used in all schools in Southern Humboldt. Also engages school in phytoplankton monitoring.
  • Hands on the Land – one of ten sights chosen nationally. Program works with local schools adjacent to BLM properties to support a teacher (Stephanie Strasser, here today) for the summer to develop site specific programs. This is a great resource!

Stephanie Strasser – Educator in Trinidad Schools, part of the Hands on the Land Program and working with University of Colorado, Denver).

  • Engaging students in science projects with BLM, also looking to develop intertidal monitoring over time and other initiatives.

Other programs mentioned…

The CREEC Network (California Regional Environmental Education Community) was mentioned several times (http://www.creec.org/). Allison Poklemba is the North Coast coordinator for CREEC. Many local environmental educations attend quarterly meetings.

Friends of Arcata Marsh – WOW program for 5th graders

CoCoRaHS – http://www.cocorahs.org/ – Citizen Science, volunteers measure precipitation across the nation. No local school involved, but opportunity there.

City of Arcata – New tidal elevations signs around Arcata will be installed to show tidal height with sea level rise.

Joe Tyburczy with California Sea Grant is interested in collaborating with educators; this is part of Sea Grant’s mission.

How to incorporate local science – brainstorm

  • There is a need for development of local climate change curriculum.
  • Teaching adaptation, resilience can occur at young age; best to focus on ways to empower
  • Conservation, taking care of the earth is widely taught, especially for young ages.
  • Phenology is a great teach method for teaching, learning scientific method – Natures Notebook & National Phenology Network as resources
  • It is difficult to get curriculum into schools. Teachers may feel unprepared to teach it, they may not have time to learn it or fit it into their class schedule.
  • Free professional development is always needed by teachers. If someone will come into their classroom to teach the curriculum, and the curriculum meets common core, then it is likely to get used in schools.

Other Resources

  • Climate.gov teaching resources.
  • Professional Development at HSU.
  • CA Coastal Commission – Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds (http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/waves/waves1.html). Program with curriculum and resources, aligns with common core. There may be some climate change info there. Free workshops offered for educators.
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife – all their efforts are focused on Marine Protected Areas (MPA). It is mostly interpretation, mostly signage, interest in community groups. The CDFW may expand their program to focus on Marine resources if they are able to hire a new employee.
  • DROPs program will be rolled out soon (Applications this fall, funding winter 2015; http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/drops/), and possibly other funding opportunities with CA’s Drought.

Lecture series

  • Friends of the Dunes with winter lecture series
  • Headwaters has a summer series
  • Kings Range
  • Friends of the Arcata Marsh
  • Watershed Stewards Program

Is there an opportunity through Civic Spark Program?

There is a need for development of local climate change curriculum. Could Civic Spark AmeriCorp hires provide some help here?

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is hosting 4-6 AmeriCorp volunteers through Civic Spark (http://www.civicsparkca.org/). They are accepting simple, one-paragraph applications through August 1. Minimum of 200 hours and pay students $18/hr.

Rough Scope of Work

1)      Survey of curriculum & resource needs

2)      Develop resources – gather local data and resources so that it can be a source that can be drawn on and potentially integrated into current programs – this may be through the website – communicating through technology

3)      Create curriculum – you need a teacher here… maybe not AmeriCorps

4)      Make connections with local programs, provide professional development workshops, get directly into classrooms.

Need to think of end message/goals first…


Follow up

  • Jill Demers will discuss with City of Arcata, RCEA, and Aldaron Laird of Adaptation Planning Working Group about current Civic Spark applications/areas of hiring.
  • Jill will follow up with group with paragraph based on the above.
  • Will have to secure a local government partner and funding.

o   USGS may have some funds, SeaGrant may have some, BLM will ask, Jill will follow up with SCC.

  • Other partners – Jennifer Savage – NEC, Scrap Humboldt