2018 Science Education Grants
The Murie Science and Learning Center (MSLC) funds numerous outreach projects through the Science Education Grant program. These grants help MSLC partner parks pay for science education outreach projects. Funding for the Science Education grant program is provided by Alaska Geographic.
Science Camp at Serpentine Hot SpringsCamp Iyat at Serpentine Hot Springs will bring 14 middle school students from the Bering Strait region to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve to perform citizen science in a remote Alaskan ecosystem. The primary focus of this four-day program is to help students understand and appreciate exciting, real-world science. Students will learn how to conduct field research from National Park Service scientists and educators. Through this program the National Park Service will foster stewardship and innovation among emerging 21st Century citizens.
University Science Workshop in Glacier BayGlacier Bay National Park is partnering with the Arete Project and Inian Islands Institute to bring twelve college students from diverse backgrounds to Taylor Bay, a remote region of the Park. The students will apprentice themselves to park scientists and educators, gathering baseline data on this unsurveyed, recently-deglaciated landscape. Students will inventory flora and fauna, learn the fundamentals of biological data collection, and hone their deep observation skills – all while contributing new data to the National Park Service. Putting their newfound knowledge into context, students will also learn how the results of scientific studies have been instrumental in the founding of the park, in contemporary resource management decisions, and in connecting and inspiring stewardship for countless visitors to the park through interpretive and educational programs.
Science Camp for Inupiaq Students at Kobuk Sand DunesInupiaq students from villages along the Kobuk River will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in science projects at the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes wilderness in Kobuk Valley National Park. The park is in the students’ “backyard”, but virtually none of them have set foot on this dune ecosystem because it is not on the road system. This science camp will introduce high school students to their backyard park by showing them how to camp in a remote wilderness area and “try out” the job of a field biologist by participating in different science activities. The adventure will include monitoring caribou migration with remote cameras, vole trapping, fish & stream ecology, fly fishing, and backcountry safety.
Lake Clark’s Village Day Camp ProgramSince 2015 Lake Clark has delivered youth day camps in subsistence qualified partner communities. During two day-long programs, National Park Service educators lead games, crafts and activities for elementary age participants, and partner with a cultural demonstrator to provide culturally-relevant tradition skills activities for middle and high-school-aged participants. This project will fund the development of new and innovative activities to improve the scope and quality of the day camp program.
Science Field School in Sitka National Historical ParkThis summer nine local high school students will explore Sitka National Historical Park through the lens of research! Students will accompany researchers from a variety of backgrounds and delve into the hands-on world of field science. Students will gain practical skills relevant to post-high school educational opportunities and careers. Have you ever wondered how scientists take core samples from trees? How about monitoring for brown bears in a highly trafficked park? Have you ever thought to yourself, how would someone look out for an invasive crab species? These and other questions will be investigated thoroughly through scientific discovery in Sitka National Historical Park’s Science Field School!
Kotzebue Summer Science Camp and Interpretive ProgramsWestern Arctic National Parklands offers a highly anticipated science camp - Camp Willow – every summer in Kotzebue, Alaska. Now in its 10th year, Camp Willow specifically focuses on underserved Native Alaskan youth. During the camp, students work alongside park rangers to see exactly what it’s like to be a field biologist. The program fosters the next generation of biologists while creating memories that the students take home and share for the rest of their lives. Along with providing vital funding for Camp Willow, this grant also assists National Park Service staff in offering about 150 interpretive programs per summer that are geared towards underserved Alaskan Native youth and local community members.
Environmental Education Internship in Alaska’s Copper River ValleyA college student will inspire the next generation of stewards by serving as an Environmental Education Intern with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment in the Copper River Valley. The intern will help plan and lead weekly hikes, science camps, and other educational programs in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve and other public lands. Tasks will include learning to plan and present informative and engaging programs, including the behind the scenes jobs of curriculum development and logistics, and working on a citizen science hydrology project. The intern will be a mentor and role model for local youth, helping them learn and explore safely, and inspiring them to become stewards of our public lands.
Science Camps in Wrangell-St. Elias National ParkEach summer, Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment (WISE) hosts two camps where youth immerse themselves in field science in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This project will provide curriculum and logistical development for Aquatic Ecology Camp and Geology Camp. Through cooperation with park scientists and resource managers, the camps allow youth to learn about careers in the outdoors. The students will experience the thrill of waking up beside a glacier, hearing it melt and grind, and use microscopes to investigate the macroinvertebrates that are so essential to aquatic ecology. Through these experiences, youth learn a stewardship ethic and gain understanding of the natural processes all around us.
Writing-in-the-Woods Camp in FairbanksWriting in the Woods is a week-long, nature journaling day camp for urban, elementary-aged students from the Fairbanks metropolitan area. The program fosters connections between youth and the natural world, cultivates science literacy, and reinforces academic skills and knowledge through nature journaling. During field trips to nearby natural areas, participants explore a variety of interior Alaska ecosystems and plant community types with National Park Service and partner educators. Activities include hikes, scientific inquiry activities, group and individual journaling sessions, instruction in Leave No Trace ethics and outdoor safety, nature-based games, and unstructured exploration. After the program, campers share their experiences with their families, community members, and out-of-state visitors by displaying their work at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center.
Falcons and Friendship Continued – Outreach in Circle and CentralIn 2018, National Park Service (NPS) staff will return to Circle and Central, Alaska to provide another two-day outreach event at the Circle School and Tribal Hall. Since 1975, Circle has been the launch site for Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve’s annual long-term American Peregrine Falcon surveys and many other NPS studies, including shallow lakes monitoring, archaeology, moose, wolf and botanical surveys. Despite their close proximity to the preserve, many residents are unfamiliar with the research projects occurring in the preserve. By reaching out, we hope to share the results of our research, promote a better understanding of the NPS mission, and provide information about possible career or volunteer opportunities for youth within NPS and partner organizations.
Engaging Students in Laboratory Research and Science CommunicationThis summer, interns will take to the lab to tackle big questions about small mammal contaminants. Mentored by experts from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Contaminants Program and National Park Service, students will discover their inner scientists by investigating ecosystem contaminants in voles. Voles have been studied in Denali National Park and Preserve since 1992 and were recently collected along the Kobuk River corridor in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. There is a proposal to build an industrial road along this corridor to access the Ambler Mining District. Comparisons of Denali and Gates samples will provide baseline contaminants levels prior to road construction.
Last updated: April 7, 2018