Fifteen educators from across Colorado convened for a River Ecology and Water in the West courses during the 3nd annual Western Rivers Teacher Workshops during the 2019 Western Colorado University's Summer Teacher Institute. In addition to five days of instruction in the field and classroom, participants learned to use ESRI story maps and Google My Maps to share special watershed topics and create walking field trip maps from their school. let us know, and we'll keep you up to date on upcoming registration deadlines.
River as Text: Ecology course
Water in the West course
Feedback from participants:
Monday, August 5, 2019 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Third Street Center, Carbondale, Colorado
Join Wild Rose Education's Youth Water Leadership Program and Earth Force for a one-day educator professional development event! Participants will be introduced to Earth Force’s award-winning Community Action and Problem Solving Process. The Earth Force Process is a six-step approach that combines the best of action civics, environmental education, and STEM to provide a framework of action for teachers seeking to engage students in hands-on community environmental action projects. This professional development gives West Slope educators the opportunity to understand how incorporating youth voice, student-driven inquiry, democratic decision-making and place-based authentic problem-solving into their classrooms prepares students for life-long environmental stewardship, civic engagement, and collaborative action. Participants will gain a better understanding of how to engage students in learning that makes a difference, for students and communities.
Participating educators will receive an Earth Force Educator Guide to the Community Action and Problem-Solving Process, a TIPS Cards reference set, web-based classroom resources, and a digital archive. Earth Force in partnership with Wild Rose Education, provides trained educators ongoing teacher support from class visits to stakeholder outreach, at no cost.
This workshop is made possible by these generous 2019 Youth Water Leadership Program sponsors.
Monday - Friday, June 10-14, 2019
Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, Colorado
Utilize western rivers to meet interdisciplinary academic standards creating relevant place based context for your students.
Register through the Extended Studies program.
See last year's participant reflections, photos, and more here.
River as Text: Ecology (3 days)
Monday-Wednesday June 10-12, 2019, 2 credit course
Learn how to utilize rivers and riparian habitat as the context to meet your curriculum through observations, explorations, discussions, and journaling to create student-centered learning experiences. During this field-based course, participants will explore the three major components of a river ecosystem: aquatic life, water quality, and riparian habitat. Inter-disciplinary field experiences include field trips to local riverside parks, Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery, and Curecanti National Recreation Area. Participants will also create an online Google My Maps river field trip asset map for their school. Physical ability to walk across uneven terrain, stand for long durations, and carry equipment is highly suggested.
Water in the West (2 days)
Thursday-Friday June 13-14, 2019, 1 credit course
Learn how to incorporate the complexities of water management in the West into your curriculum through cross-curricular field and classroom activities and routines. Using questioning, observing, and reflecting routines participants will explore western water management, water law, and watershed geography. Participants will also create an ESRI Story Map using online GIS tools to explore and explain water management concepts and corresponding geography more closely. Field experiences include a Blue Mesa Dam visit, a visit to Taylor Reservoir, and time at Gunnison Mountain Park. Physical ability to walk across uneven terrain and stand for long durations is highly suggested.
1. If you sign up with a group by May 17 everyone gets a discounted rate, up to four people from your school district.
2. Western State makes the dormitories available during the workshops at a very affordable rate for lodging.
3. Childcare is available at the Tenderfoot Child and Family Development Center during the courses.
Eighteen educators from across Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada convened for a River Ecology and Water Management courses during the 2nd annual Western Rivers Teacher Workshop during Western State Colorado University's Summer Teacher Institute in June 2018.
Reflections from Participants
Participants' Story Maps
It was an honor to facilitate and participate in a panel discussion of four influential watershed education leaders from across Colorado on March 2, 2018 during the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education's annual Advancing EE conference in Denver.
Inspiring Educators in Place: Watershed Workshops
The forum highlighted four successful place-based water education programs across the state including Forest to Faucets, Western Rivers Teacher Workshops, and River Watch. Many effective strategies and practices for developing, or strengthening, place-based EE workshops were shared by Sarah Johnson - Wild Rose Education; Kay Phelps - Fort Lewis College; Natalie Brower- Kirton - City of Aurora; Barb Horn - Colorado Parks and Wildlife - River Watch
a project of Extended Studies Summer Teacher Institute
Western Rivers Teacher Workshops
Institute Feedback from Participants
- This course has motivated me to go from wanting to learn more about my own back yard to the actually doing.
- Another thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise. The class was wonderful.
- Great info, speakers and field trips!
- Well thought out and planned. visiting Coldharbour was the perfect mix of "think" and "brain break" activities. So enjoyable! Wow, I soaked in and thoroughly enjoyed the entire workshop. I wish we had more time to delve deeper. I look forward to building on to the new knowledge through possible future workshops.
- I will use activities learning during the workshop in lesson plans for MS. Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.
- I will make my lessons more relative to CO water
- I want more ‘at the river’ experiences
- I am in Alaska now and much more observant of my surroundings because of the class.
- I feel that everything was well planned out and packed to overflowing in order to get as much out of the course as possible; and I was still left wanting more. Maybe a two week course with more hands on projects to help solidify learning?
- The workshop was attended primarily for personal gain to broaden my general watershed knowledge. The information will be very useful as I become more involved in school and community projects regarding water. This course has encouraged and motivated me to want to be a more inquisitive person regarding my surroundings. I am so EXCITED to use the new skills learned to "play" in my own backyard. Thank you for that!
Reflection on the River Institute from Sarah Johnson, Instructor
A couple final videos from the week
Celebrating the great water education happening around the state and finding ways to support educators to increase effectiveness across the state has been the goal of the WEN. Read the entire report here.
- I will get more in depth on Watershed and vocabulary.
- I will provide more hands-on science based activities.
- I will be creating more hands on learning opportunities.
- I now have many more "tools in my toolbox". I'm excited to try new things!
- I will make my lessons more interactive.
- I have been looking to incorporating more project-based learning.
- I found the activities adaptable to meet grade level expectations and standards.
Overall feedback from the Project WET workshop:
- It was great!!!
- Really like the new 2.0 version of the Book. Love the pics and layout.
- Great workshop! Looking forward to diving deeper into the Project WET book!
- I loved it!
We are already working on creating the 2018 Grand Lake Headwaters Watershed Education Workshop. Sign up here to get information about upcoming workshop details.
Educator Professional Development
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