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Spring 2021 Projects

The 2021 projects are full. Check back in October 2021 for descriptions of the 2022 projects!

This year’s ELP offerings include a wide range of structures to provide a variety of opportunities to best suit individual student goals and circumstances in our COVID-19 era. We have entirely remote projects and hybrid projects that include field work. For these projects, you will enroll in ENVS 429 spring term.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT – This project will be REMOTE, with the potential for some in-person field work.

NEW! The Holiday Farm Wildfire Collection Project

This team will work in collaboration with the McKenzie Education Foundation to assist in documenting the stories of the historic and devastating Holiday Farm wildfire that swept through the McKenzie watershed Sept 7, 2020 and left more than 173,000 acres and 430 homes burned. You will learn how to collect oral histories using digital video and photography, and you’ll also collect existing photographs and maps to help create a comprehensive archive. From these collections you’ll develop an exhibit to share these stories with the public. There are many threads to this story and each team member will select one thread to research and document. Whether it be the meteorological conditions, the firefighters, evacuation experiences, watershed restoration efforts, or any of the other many options, you will be helping preserve an important history, while learning about the impacts of wildfire right here in our watershed.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROJECTS – These projects will be entirely REMOTE.

NEW! Aves Compartidas 2021. This team will work in partnership with the Willamette-Laja Twinning Project and River Road Elementary School to bring students together from Mexico and the US to learn about the migratory birds we share. Using birds as our focal point, we will explore our ecological and cultural connections.  Your mission will be to: “unite youth, educators, habitat restoration practitioners and the birding community for deep cultural connections and sustained conservation of our shared migratory species and habitats.” Activities will focus on nature journaling, creative games, virtual field trips, scavenger hunts and more, with a focus on the amazing birds that link us together. Spanish is useful, but not required.

Restoring Connections 2021. This team will work in partnership with the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum and Adams Elementary School to develop and facilitate curriculum materials that engage students in learning about the amazing ecosystems found right here in the Willamette Valley. Your mission is to show science in action, while fostering the development of personal connections to our home.  Activities will focus on nature journaling, creative games, virtual field trips, scavenger hunts and more, with a focus on native flora, fauna, and natural history.

CONSERVATION SCIENCE IN ACTION PROJECTS – These projects will be HYBRID with remote Monday lecture/team meeting and in-person Friday field work following social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols.

Promoting Pollinators Team. With the overall goals of providing shade for Goose Creek and habitat for pollinators within the context of an organic farm (Whitewater Ranch), this team will continue maintaining and monitoring a riparian restoration project as well as monitor a new pollinator planting intended to help the farm’s pollinator populations recover from the September 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. This is a continuation of our long-term “Riparian Restoration” project with a greater emphasis on pollinators. You will learn about restoration techniques and challenges, pollinator conservation and a variety of monitoring methods. A background in botany, pollination biology, or ecological restoration is useful but not required.

Hendricks Forest Team 2021. Hendricks Park provides hiking opportunities in shady forests that include large 200-year old trees. The City of Eugene will soon update the park’s 20-year-old management plan and needs current data to inform their efforts. This team will continue recording data such as old-growth tree characteristics, forest health, and invasive species, then make planning recommendations that consider climate change. This year’s protocols will likely include fuels assessment as well. You will learn forest monitoring methods within a planning context. A background in forestry, ecology, botany or GIS is useful but not required.

NEW! Thurston Trails Team. Willamalane Park and Recreation District will soon introduce more widespread public access to a very unique site—the Thurston Hills Natural Area—by building new trails. Their overall goal is to balance providing high-quality wildlife habitat with enjoyable recreational opportunities. Willamalane staff would like a monitoring tool to help them understand and measure potential impacts such as invasive species spread, erosion, and wildlife disturbance so that they can respond appropriately. This team will help develop a monitoring protocol for documenting baseline conditions and tracking impacts (both positive and negative) to the site. You will learn recreation planning and trail assessment concepts and methods. A background in botany, hydrology, ecology or planning is useful but not required.