March 2015 Teacher Workshop
Nineteen elementary teachers and nearly as many presenters gathered in Juneau the first weekend in March for a workshop focused on ocean acidification and ocean literacy. The workshop was sponsored by the Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center (OASLC) who coordinated in partnership with the Alaska SeaLife Center. A number of other partners were also involved: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Auke Bay Laboratories, the National Weather Service, Kodiak College, University of Alaska, Anchorage, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
The workshop was held at the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute, a NOAA facility located just outside of Juneau over the course of three days. Teachers were exposed to a variety of background information delivered by scientists and content experts, and were also presented with lesson plan ideas for incorporating the content into their classrooms. Goals of this workshop included introducing the ocean literacy principles, addressing the issue of ocean acidification, and providing local relevancy to these principles and issues. Another common goal for all OASLC teacher workshops is to get scientists and teachers in the same room for direct interaction and idea exchange.
Among the many excellent presentations and activities, Lewis Sharman from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was on hand to share knowledge gained from two decades of oceanographic monitoring in Glacier Bay. Jason Verhaeghe from Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park presented information on an ongoing outreach program in which students from Skagway have been monitoring plots in Dyea for the last five years. Dr. Mike Sigler, a scientist with the NOAA Fisheries Service, presented work on ocean acidification and north pacific fisheries, focusing on food web impacts on the Alaska king crab. Many communities across southeast Alaska participated in this workshop, including those from Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, Haines, Petersburg, Klukwan, Kake, Pelican, Ketchikan, and Angoon.