Presenter: Sue Staniforth
Tuesday, March 24th 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
Invasive species are a serious issue world-wide, representing the second greatest threat to global biodiversity after habitat loss, and costing governments and communities tens of billions of dollars in control efforts. Unlike many large scale environmental issues, students and youth groups can usually do something about invasive species and in a hands-on, experiential way. In this webinar, Sue will review a variety of educational strategies and fieldwork planning tools that support young people tackling invasive species locally. She will also highlight some activities that engage students in identifying, surveying and mapping native and invasive species, investigating the impacts of invasive species on local ecosystems, economy, and cultures, and developing effective action projects.
Sue Staniforth is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, a non-profit society that helps coordinate and unite a wide variety of stakeholders in the struggle against invasive species. With over 25 years of experience as a biologist, educator and curriculum developer, she has developed over a dozen learning resources on topics that range from Garry Oak ecosystems to outdoor classrooms to invasive species resources. She has developed training courses for parks, forestry and utilities workers and Master Gardeners, and delivered hundreds of teacher professional development workshops both provincially and nationally.
Presenter: Shelene Codner
Wednesday, April 1st 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
Participating in upcycling and other environmental craft activities provides students with visual examples of sustainability and allows educators to model resilience and adaptability. We all need resilience in order to bounce back from stressful and sometimes life changing experiences. This presentation introduces Kenneth Ginsburg’s “7 Cs of Resilience” and how eco-craft activities help young people combine the mental, emotional and physical skills they need to manage their lives and respond to the events that occur.
Shelene Codner is an Area Resource Specialist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Financial and Business Assistance group for 12 Iowa Counties along the I-35 Corridor. Previously, she was worked in recycling education and earned several awards for her work. Her reports and articles have appeared in national publications and she is the author of a children’s book written in honor of her father that is entitled If I Were A Little Guy. Shelly is also a Master Gardener and lives on a farm in rural Iowa.
Invasive Species: Towards a Deeper Understanding
Presenters: Lisa Zinn and Jonathon Schramm
Thursday, April 9 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
Invasive species provide an exciting story for environmental educators. We have a villain (the bad invasives) and a victim (the poor helpless native species). Although this portrayal might capture a student’s attention, what is often lacking are the deeper ecological principles that come in to play. We will explore several myths often presented in the teaching about invasive species, and we explore alternative teaching scenarios that can be used as alternatives to these myths that can help students understand these deeper ecological principles.
Lisa Zinn teaches in the Sustainability and Environmental Education Department at Goshen College, in Goshen Indiana. She has worked in various aspects of environmental education for 18 years and currently teaches Natural History to students obtaining their Master’s degree in Environmental Education at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. Jonathon Schramm also teaches in the SEED department at Goshen College and at Merry Lea. Among other courses, Jonathon teaches Principles of Environmental Education for the same graduate program in Environmental Education and Sustainability and Regeneration and Environmental Problem Solving to undergraduate students.
Presenter: Mariana Brussoni
Thursday, April 16th 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
Do we overprotect our children? Might our attempts to keep children safe actually do more harm than good? This webinar will consider these questions and what we might be able to do to restore balance. Mariana will share some tools for talking to parents, educators and others about the importance of risk taking, and will provide an example from her research showing the effects of good play space design on children’s behaviour.
Dr. Mariana Brussoni is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and with the British Columbia Injury Research & Prevention Unit. She is a developmental psychologist investigating parents’ perceptions of children’s risk engagement and safety, the influence of nature-based challenging play on child health and development, and promoting developmentally appropriate opportunities for children’s risky play.
Presenters: Melissa Doubek, Alice Holcomb and Bob Thomson
Thursday, April 23rd 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
Tackling aquatic invasives presents special challenges for educators. Bob Thomson uses inquiry methods with a place-based format to ensure that students are participants in the educational process rather than observers. He’ll describe the grade 5 research programs he developed to conduct population analyses of individual invasive species in his local watershed and to use underwater robots to study the impact of invasive mussels on shipwrecks. Alice Holcomb and Melissa Doubek will describe the activities they use in their River Rats summer program to help younger students learn about invasive species.
Melissa Doubek is a Biology teacher and AP Psychology teacher at Alpena High School, in Alpena Michigan. She and Alice Holcomb co-founded and co-direct the River Rats Summer Science Program for children ages 5-10. Alice is an elementary reading specialist, who worked previously as a nature guide at a recreation area and as a surveyor for the National Forest Service. Both Alice and Melissa have been members of the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary Board for many years. Bob Thomson has been developing environmental research projects with his students for the past ten years from third grade to twelfth grade. His students have researched the impact of invasive mussel on shipwrecks with underwater robots and conducted population analysis on individual invasive species in the Thunder Bay watershed.
Presenter: Sunday Harrison
Tuesday, April 28th 2015 7:30-8:30pm EST
School food gardens have become popular once again, while also becoming more diverse. From a single raised bed in an underused green space, to large-scale mini-farms that are part of Community Shared Agriculture programs, they are as unique as the school communities they inhabit. In this session, Sunday will share some common successes and challenges. While some school boards are very supportive, others wish school gardens would just go away. As a result, it is important for everyone to have a better understanding of what makes a successful school garden project. This webinar will also address crop selection for schools, ties to student nutrition and enviro-education programs, summer strategies, links to academic subjects, the role of community partners, and enabling policies at school boards.
Sunday Harrison is the founder and program director at Green Thumbs Growing Kids, a non-profit organization in Toronto, Ontario. Her non-profit is celebrating its 15th year of operating school gardens and community greenhouses. She has a Masters of Food and Sustainability Education Practice, a certificate in Landscape Architecture, and consults widely on program design for children’s gardens.