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Sarah R. Johnson, of Wild Rose Education teaching by the river

Teaching Exploring Rivers and Water
Western Colorado University
Teacher Institute

Every June, educators from across Colorado and the broader Rocky Mountain Region come together at Western Colorado University for the Teacher Institute. Sarah Johnson, of Wild Rose Education has been teaching a river and watershed graduate course each summer since 2017. We’d love for you to join us this year!  


Learn how to integrate rivers and riparian habitat and the complexities of water management in the West into your curriculum through cross-curricular field and classroom learning observing phenomenon, authentic explorations, discussions, and reflection routines. Explore how teaching the process of science can look in the context of local rivers and streams where you teach.


Resources and teaching tools will be utilized from the Library of Congress teaching tools, Project WET: Discover A Watershed, BEETLES Project, CSU’s Writing Water, Denver Water’s Water Education Resource Guide and others.


Field experiences will include visiting local reservoirs, water infrastructure projects, and riverside parks.


Students will choose three final course projects from a menu:

  • going out and exploring rivers near their homes,

  • creating a local field trip map,

  • current news articles responses,

  • creating a teaching plan, and

  • citizen science data collecting with iNaturalist and NASA GLOBE Observer.

Here are the details: 

  • When: Thursday-Saturday June 13-15, 2024; 8am-6pm each day

  • Where: mostly out in the field, Western Colorado University, Gunnison Colorado

  • Who: Educators seeking graduate credit

  • Earn 2 graduate credits at a 40% discount of typical tuition

  • On campus housing available 

  • Register and all the details here

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