Teachers Diving Into Diversity
We launched our first conservation summer workshop for life science teachers just five years ago and since that time, the program has grown by leaps and bounds! This year we’ll be hosting 120 teachers from more then 25 states in the state-of-the-art Conservation Education Lab at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation Research.
We’ll be exploring a variety of topics including bioacoustic analysis, the bushmeat trade, spatial ecology, species recovery, translocation, molecular diagnostics, reproductive endocrinology, and the value of biodiversity.
During their stay at the research headquarters of the San Diego Zoo, our teacher partners will discover ways to integrate wildlife conservation curricula into their classrooms and how to set state and national life science standards in the context of saving biodiversity. They will also have the opportunity to work alongside world leaders in endangered species conservation and get up close and personal with the many local and exotic species that benefit from these dedicated efforts.
Teachers, of course, act as an incredible conduit of information to the students that they influence, which means that this important conservation information will be disseminated to tens of thousands of students over the next school year alone!
We are also partnering with educators from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to introduce teachers on the East Coast to an exploration of biodiversity and conservation at the Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) near Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Teachers from Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia are exploring more than 500 acres of preservation lands along the Potomac River, experimenting with tools such as camera traps, bioacoustic recording devices, water testing kits, pitfall traps, aerial and aquatic nets, and high definition digital cameras to learn more about eastern deciduous forest ecosystems and the unique flora and fauna that call them home.
With daily discoveries of intriguing species like pileated woodpeckers, groundhogs, eastern box turtles, and zebra swallowtails, our teacher partners are guaranteed to leave NCTC with a renewed sense of wonder and appreciation for biodiversity and how the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is using science to save it!