Classroom Programs

Working closely with internal and external partners, the OASLC helps bring research and natural resource issues into classrooms throughout Alaska. Programs have included hands-on investigations of archeological artifacts, policy-making exercises relating to management of declining wildlife species, and a general introduction to marine mammal adaptations for younger students. To inquire about program availability for your classroom, please email the OASLC education coordinator.
Teammates "high-five" each other during Ocean Sciences Bowl competition.

Photo by Pennington Photography

National Ocean Sciences Bowl

The OASLC is an annual sponsor of the Alaska Tsunami Bowl regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. In addition to helping coordinate National Park Service volunteers at the competition, the OASLC sponsors two awards at the competition, one for the first place team and a "Red Lantern" award for the team that finishes in last place. The awards consist of books, lab equipment, and other educational materials aimed at improving ocean science education in the classroom.

jim with kids


Elementary School Programs

The OASLC also presents musical programs to Seward Elementary School in Seward, Alaska. Programs comprise of introducing students to Alaska's marine resources through songs. Jim Pfieffenberger, Education Coordinator at the OASLC, sings about subjects like national parks, why it is important to protect natural and cultural resources, and about Alaska's coastal national parks. Jim sings mostly original material he has written about marine animals and encourages student participation during the songs.

Katmai National Park and Preserve staff in classroom


Village Outreach

For the last decade, the OASLC has worked in partnership with coastal national parks and the Alaska SeaLife Center to bring marine science education to remote classrooms around Alaska. The focus has been on villages that are near or somehow associated with Alaska's coastal national parks, but villages throughout the state have been included over the years. The Alaska SeaLife Center brings hands-on programs that in many cases simulate what scientists do in order to investigate subjects such as declining sea lion populations or stream water quality. The NPS brings programs that emphasize the importance of understanding and conserving natural resources. Program offerings also include information on marine and conservation-related careers.

students holding invertebrates in class
High school students from Nondalton identify several species of intertidal invertebrates.

Kachemak Bay Research Reserve

Estuary Discovery Labs

Over two hundred K-12 students in the villages of Port Graham, Nanwalek, Nondalton, and Newhalen learned about estuary ecology and research in April 2015. Staff from Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBRR) co-developed the discovery lab, funded by the OASLC. Labs included interactive activities about bird, mammal, and intertidal invertebrate biology as well as ongoing research in south central Alaska's estuaries. Students were able to examine live intertidal species including sea urchins, sea stars, and crabs. Animal collections were provided thanks to a KBRR permit.

Last updated: May 31, 2017