Though all the Western Rivers Teacher Workshops and Public Lands of the United States educator graduate courses had to take on a virtual reality during the summer of 2020, participants still are actively exploring outside and collecting important citizen science data. While out exploring public lands and riparian corridors (riverfront property) the participants are using the iNaturalist and GLOBE Observer smartphone apps to collect, record, and share their observations. These courses are part of the 2020 Western Colorado University's Teacher Institute typically hosted in and around Gunnison, Colorado.
iNaturalist Riparian Explorations
As of July 29, teacher participants have collected 284 observations of plant and animal species across Colorado and in Florida (one participant lives near Orlando). Sharing these observations in iNaturalist not only contributes to the scientific community, but also builds a sense of shared community among the participants during this time of virtual learning. View the class findings. And if you know more about the species observed join our learning community and feel free to make comments or suggest an identification after logging into iNaturalist.
In addition to conducting riparian surveys during the on-your-own field trips, the particiaptns are taking Land Cover and Cloud observations using NASA's GLOBE Observer app. Taking note of disturbed areas, areas with recent change or those with upcoming planned development are the types of areas participants are recording in GLOBE Observer. So far the group has collected 207 observations. View the data points and the observation photos. You too can get outside and collect observation data and contribute it to GLOBE; here's how.
The Youth Water Leadership Program was selected and awarded a 2020 Award for Excellence in Environmental Education: Innovative EE Program from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.
The EE Awards Celebration event was scheduled for October; however, due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding holding public events due to COVID-19, the CAEE Board of Directors and Awards Selection Committee are still working out the details on how the awards will be presented this year. Stay tuned for more info at CAEE.
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