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Winter-Spring 2018 Projects

Applications due Monday, 10/30/17, 9:00 a.m.

Environmental Education Projects

Restoring Connections 201862 Lauren MPA
Get out onto the trails at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum with elementary school children to help them cultivate a lasting, personal connection to nature, based on reciprocity and respect. This team will implement a field-based curricula for kinder, first and second graders. Activities will focus on “Coyote mentoring” methods such as sit spots and journaling, with a focus on native flora, fauna, and natural history. Your mission is develop their sense of awe, respect and responsibility to be good stewards. This team will gain experience in program planning, as well as the development and implementation of hands-on learning experiences that are both scientifically sound and age-appropriate.  You’ll be working in partnership with Mt. Pisgah Arboretum and Adams Elementary School. A background in local natural history is preferred.

Canopy Connections 2018canopy connections
The Pacific Northwest is home to some magnificent old-growth forests. Unfortunately, many local children have never had the opportunity to explore this enchanting ecosystem first-hand.  In response, the Canopy Connections Team will develop and facilitate a unique field trip experience — one that gives middle-schoolers an opportunity to climb into the canopy of an old-growth forest and explore the understory!  In winter you will develop a 50-minute classroom lesson and full-day field trip, and in spring you will implement your materials with 10 different middle school classes.  You’ll be working in partnership with the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute. A background in forest biology or ecology is preferred. Enrollment in ENVS 410: Forest Ecology & Management in winter 2018 strongly encouraged

Cultivating Connections 2018
Do you like to garden? This team will join School Garden Project staff at local schools to provide standards-based science instruction through garden-based learning. In other word62.Garden.2017.Abbey Planting @ Bertha Holts, you’ll get to play in the dirt with third graders while getting them exciting about science and gardening! In today’s world of increasing obesity, and lack of connection to nature, this team helps nurture children to “grow up to become healthy adults who eat their fruits and vegetables, know the basics of growing food, and contribute to a thriving community.” No prerequisites, although a background in gardening or Food Studies is a plus.

Conservation Science In Action Projects

IMG_5808Climate and Phenology 2018
Climate change poses unknown but significant challenges to restoration practioners and conservation biologists. This team is assisting with critical ecological research needed to conserve, manage and restore prairie habitats at a local to regional scale in the face of climate change. Under the umbrella of a comprehensive multi-university research project led by UO’s Bridgham Lab, ELP students are collecting, analyzing and disseminating phenological (timing of flowering and seed set) data in experimental climate change plots. The team will also broaden the impact of the research by sharing it through a website that explains the scientific understanding of large-scale effects of climate change on the phenology and spatial distribution of plants. You will learn about research methods, as well as plant identification and ecology. A knowledge of botany, ecology, and data analysis methods (including statistics) is preferred but not required. This team will wrap up the three-year project and build upon the 2016 and 2017 Climate & Phenology teams’ work.

img_3380Riparian Restoration 2018
Whitewater Ranch is a sustainably-managed Christmas tree farm, diversified with forestry and blueberry  plantings. The mission of the ranch is to provide quality agricultural products grown “with respect to the land and animals around them.” Since 2014, ELP teams have been improving conditions for Goose Creek with the overall goals of providing shade for the stream and habitat for pollinators within the context of a working farm. Past teams have created a management plan, installed and maintained riparian plantings, and monitored plants and animals. In 2018, this team is continuing that work with a focus on increasing benefit to pollinators. You will learn about restoration techniques and challenges, as well as monitoring methods. A knowledge of stream ecology, botany, ecology, pollinators, or restoration is preferred but not required. This project will build upon the 2014-2017 teams’ work.

Community Engagement Project

Picture1Climate Action – NEW!
Through its Community Climate and Energy Action Plan, the City of Eugene has set ambitious goals for reducing community-wide fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting those goals will require shifts in infrastructure and systems across Eugene, and will ask Eugene residents to change the way they think about and use fossil fuels. In this new project, you will assist Eugene in increasing awareness of climate change and its impacts, and in inspiring citizen action through outreach activities. You will develop a social media campaign framework and create original content that can be incorporated into the City’s Climate Communications efforts. To test your content, you will implement a small-scale social media campaign with UO students as your target audience. In addition, you will design – and test – two outreach activities to be used at tabling events. You will design activities to reach a variety of community members, especially people who may not be focused on issues of climate change and/or know very little about it.