Ajo Teacher Joins Organ Pipe Cactus Staff for the Summer

Teacher-Ranger-Teacher holding a small snake in the field
Rufina Alcanzo in the field with researchers

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: July 20, 2015

Contact: Sue Walter, 520-387-6849 x7301

Ajo, Az –Thisyear, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, was one of twenty seven nationalparks in the Intermountain Region selected to receive funding for aTeacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) professional development opportunity.

Rufina Alcanzo ofAjo, AZ has been selected as the 2015 Teacher Ranger Teacher. Rufina has 24years of teaching experience and has taught language arts, social studies andspecial education at the Ajo Unified School District for the past 4 years. Overthe next six weeks most of her time will be spent engaging with park educationprojects, learning about park resources, and developing lesson plans to use inher classrooms and at Organ Pipe Cactus NM. Her experiences will also includeexposure to a variety of field work performed in the park such as publicinterpretive programs, research studies, community outreach, and volunteerprojects.

Rufina says, "I amexcited about being a part of this development opportunity helping Organ PipeCactus NM create a special program that is not only an interesting learningexperience for students but more importantly, a thought-provoking experiencethat will inspire them to contribute to the care and preservation of this andother national parks."

The National ParkService Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program is an extended professionaldevelopment opportunity for educators from K-12 schools to learn about theresources and educational materials available through the National ParkService.

Teachersparticipating in the TRT program will have the opportunity to engage in parksand park resources, participate in a webinar about lesson planning, develop atleast one lesson to be used in their classroom or school, assist the park withan education project, and increase their understanding of place-based learning.

This program willoffer teachers a unique opportunity to infuse their teaching skills withNPS-based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educationresources and the use of primary sources and place based learning.

Administration ofthe program, professional development hours and graduate credit hours will bemade available to participants through the University of Colorado, Denver (CUDenver) through a cooperative agreement. While participating in the TRTprogram, teachers are considered "student interns" at CU Denver.

The emphasis ofthis program is to link National Park units and teachers from schools withunderserved student populations in urban and rural school districts. Teachersperform various tasks depending on their interests and the needs of the parkthat focus on education programs of the NPS.

The TRT programbenefits kids, teachers, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It offersschoolchildren an invaluable opportunity to connect with their nationalheritage and gain an understanding of special natural and cultural places andthe need to protect them.

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Last updated: August 20, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321

Phone:

(520) 387-6849 x7302

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