The first annual Gunnison River Teacher Institute was a success! Western State Colorado University's Extended Studies Program and the Colorado Water Workshop collaborated to create the teacher institute. Teachers participated from the Gunnison, South Platte, and Arkansas Basins. Through many hands-on interactive activities they learned how to incorporate watershed thinking into their curriculum to create relevant context and connections for their students.
The fast paced week long rigorous 3 graduate credit course included tools for teaching western water management, river ecology, fisheries, and geography of the Colorado River Basin. Field experiences included a hike to Morrow Point Reservoir and up East Elk Creek with Curecanti National Recreation Area, Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery tour, Spring Creek river ecology field day with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado Trout Unlimited, tour of Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, whitewater rafting on the Taylor River, and a visit to Coldharbour Ranch.
The second half of the week teachers participated in the 42nd annual Colorado Water Workshop conference engaging with water resource professionals from across Colorado learning about current water issues and innovative management strategies. Participating in the Gunnison River Festival was also included throughout the week including water trivia night, live music, and a celebration at the Gunnison Whitewater Park.
Learning all about watersheds and how they work
Institute Feedback from Participants
Reflection on the River Institute from Sarah Johnson, Instructor
The 2018 River Teacher Institute planning is underway and details will be announced in January 2018. Sign up here to get information about upcoming workshop details.
A couple final videos from the week
Sarah was invited during the fall of 2016 to collaborate with the Colorado Geographic Alliance to create lessons and curriculum using the new Colorado Giant Map. The lessons designed by Sarah focused on Colorado's rivers, watersheds, and the continental divide. This map will travel around the state to elementary and middle schools in coming years. Read more.