Federal Natural Resource Agencies' Resource Guide | Region 10 | US EPA

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Federal Natural Resource Agencies' Resource Guide

Education resources available from Federal natural resource agencies

Bonneville Power Administration

BPA participates in a broad range of educational programs for students and teachers in the Pacific Northwest (WA,OR,ID, and Western MT).

Printed educational materials focus on watersheds and habitat, environmental consequences of resource choices, electricity, energy efficiency and safety. Available curriculum materials include hands on math and science, ”Hydromania” summer science camp series, and ”Kids in the Creek”. Videos are available for loan on subjects related to the federal hydropower system in the Northwest. The "For Kids of All Ages" web site offers interactive activities geared toward kids: http://www.bpa.gov/Power/pl/columbia/page5cov.htm

Depending on availability, BPA employees give tours of facilities, speak to school groups, lead outdoor education activities and host “job shadows” and internships.

BPA also sponsors the NW Regional Science Bowls in Portland, Oregon. BPA partners with customers, Tribes, and other entities for its educational outreach activities. Under Executive Order 12999, BPA donates surplus computers to schools in it’s service area.

CONTACT: Phyllis Evans, Education Coordinator (503) 230-5341

U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Forest Service

The Forest Service in Oregon and Washington provides a variety of environmental education activities and materials including teacher workshops, curricula, posters, and informational brochures. Some of the interdisciplinary curricula available are: “Investigating Your Environment” (grades 7-12), “Fire in the Pacific Northwest Ecosystem” (grades 6-12), and “Celebrating Wildflowers” (grades 4-8).

These materials and activities focus on the interrelationships in natural systems between people and the land. They target youth, visitors, and communities. Please contact the following people for an updated list of offerings:

CONTACTS: Don Virgovic, Aquatic Education ph (503) 808-2675;
Washington: Susan Thomas ph (509) 548-6977; Seattle Area: Lorette Ray
ph (425) 744-357; State of Oregon: Kathy Keable ph (541) 822-3381;

U.S. Department of the Interior:
Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers a variety of resources for both students and educators including videos, slides, posters, curricula, and informational brochures. An informational packet on Oregon’s endangered species, complete with glossary and a series of fact sheets, is available for upper elementary students.

Teachers may obtain self- contained educational kits on such topics as Neotropical Migratory Songbirds and Illegal Trade in Wildlife. Kits contain curricular materials for the educator as well as multi-media activities for students. Instructional videos are also available. “A Home for Pearl” examines wildlife and wildlife habitat and is geared toward urban and sub-urban student audiences while “Wild About Life!” introduces secondary school students to the concept of biodiversity. Instructional guides for teachers accompany these videos.

All of the above resources are available free of charge on a two week loan basis. Reservations are essential.

CONTACT: Oregon State Office: (503) 231-6179
http://www.r1.fws.gov/ (for information specific to OR, ID, and WA)

U.S. Department of the Interior:
Bureau of Land Management

In Oregon and Washington, BLM offers a variety of educational programs and opportunities. Key points of interest for students include whale watching and tidepool programs at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area which, along with Cape Blanco on the the south coast, which also provides summer lighthouse tours.

Heritage and cultural education are mainstays for the BLM. A teacher’s activity guide, “Exploring Oregon’s Past” (4th- 7th grade) helps students understand archeological and other methods of understanding past and present cultures. At the National Historic Oregn Trail Center in Baker City, OR, students and visitors can get involved in interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and special cultural events (summer).

At Cascade Streamwatch, an educational and interpretive facility near Mount Hood (Welches, OR), Wolftree Inc., a non-profit education provider, facilitates student learning about northwest streams, watersheds, and salmon.

Wildlife viewing, wildflower walks and educational opportunities are available at places as diverse as the West Eugene Wetlands, Yakima River in south central Washington state and many more places in the two state area.

CONTACT: BLM office in your area or (503) 952-6001 for general information.

U.S. Department of Commerce:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program provides an opportunity for educators to go to sea aboard an ocean-going research vessel and work side by side with a NOAA scientific research team performing oceanic or atmospheric research.

Additionally, the NOAA Library maintains “The Students’ and Teachers’ Corner” at: http://www.lib.noaa.gov/docs/education.html This site links to over 100 NOAA pages designed specifically for students and educators, including the NOAA Photo Library. NOAA is also partnering with USGS, EPA, and the National Science Teachers Assoc. to provide Spanish language water activities (in book form) to teachers.

CONTACT: Judy Sohl, Teacher at Sea Program (206) 553-2633

U.S. Department of the Interior:
Geological Survey (USGS)

USGS in Washington maintains an Information Office which welcomes general or specific questions from the public regarding all areas of the earth sciences including: hydrology, geology, water quality (and quantity) and biological studies. Posters, fact sheets, and reports are available through this office to teachers, students, and private citizens alike. The office also maintains an extensive bibliography of internet sites containing information related to the environmental sciences in general. Speakers are available to schools, citizens’ groups, and professional societies on a limited basis.

USGS in Idaho co-sponsors an annual “Water Awareness Week” aimed at raising students’ awareness of the importance of water in their lives. The Oregon District offers the Children’s Watershed Workshop program as well as the Student Watershed Research Program.

The Cascade Volcano Observatory’s “Living With a Volcano In Your Backyard” program offers workshops for teachers, presentations for students, and displays for school and civic events, upon request CVO also provides tours of Mt. St. Helens for classes at all grade levels.

CONTACTS: AK - Cora Bertrand (907)786-7102 ID - Gary Barton (253) 428-3600 x2663 OR - Bernie Bonn (503) 251-3464 WA - Luis Fuste (253) 428-3600 x2653 Cascade Volcanic Observatory - Carolyn Driedger (360) 993-8709

USGS maps, fact sheets and educational supplies may be obtained at the Earth Science Information Center in Spokane, WA or via the center’s web site http://www.usgs.gov/esic/

U.S. Department of the Interior:
National Park Service

Many of the national parks in the Northwest offer on-site curriculum-based ducation programs for visiting school groups and other organized educational groups. Teacher workshops are also offered to assist teachers in presenting educational programs while in the natural or cultural setting of a national park http://www.nps.gov/interp/parkclass.html.

In addition, some parks offer off-site programs such as traveling trunks that can be mailed to the classroom. Parks have also developed curriculum-based activities in cooperation with local teachers and have integrated state education requirements.

CONTACT: Deanne Adams (206) 220-4251
For links to parks in WA, OR, and ID http://www.nps.gov/parklists/TI/nw.htm
For links to parks in AK http://www.nps.gov/parklists/TI/ak.htm

U.S. Department of the Interior:
Bureau of Reclamation

Many of the Reclamation’s educational efforts focus on water conservation issues. For example, the Bureau supports the International Office of Water Education’s annual school calendar and poster contest. Call (800) 922-4693 for more information.

Grand Coulee Dam tours are offered to school groups of all ages but are most appropriate for high school-aged youth. Making prior arrangements with the visitors’ center is advised.

The CAST (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids program, a cooperative effort between Reclamation and various state and local partners, offers fishing opportunities for children with disabilities in the late summer and early fall. Contact the area offices listed below for more information.

Otto Otter, a popular life-size mascot, is available to visit classrooms or day-care centers to deliver important water safety messages. And Otto coloring books are also available free of charge.

CONTACTS: WA - Craig Sprankle (509) 633-9503 (Grand Coulee Dam)
OR- Kathy Kihara (541) 389-6541 (Bend) ID - Jim Budolfson (208) 334-1466
General Information: Diana Cross (208) 378-5020
Additional web sites:
http://www.pn.usbr.gov/ and

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Seattle, Walla Walla and Portland Districts (OR, WA, ID, and MT) comprise the North Pacific Region of the Corps of Engineers. The Corps offers a wide range of programs for students of all ages in the environmental education realm: "Watchable Wildlife” programs, lock, dam, and powerhouse operations, The Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark, and fish migration programs are just some of the programs you may find at a Corps dam in your area.

One example of Corps school-based programs is the "Creating Butterfly Gardens" (Albeni Falls Dam, Seattle District) program. Corps rangers help area students enhance and beautify their school, using native flowering plants. Others include the "Bass Lake Field Day" (Bonneville Dam, Portland District), which teaches students about forest, pond, and stream habitats and the "We Care About Eagles" program (Libby Dam, Seattle District), which incorporates wildlife viewing ethics into the history and viewing of the bald eagle.

Teachers’ Guides for field trips offer complete, ready-made opportunities for self-guided visits to wildlife areas, fish passage facilities, powerhouses, and visitor centers. McNary Dam (Walla Walla District) is just one of a number of locations offering this resource.

Ranger-led visits and tours of facilities can always be arranged upon request.

CONTACTS: Seattle District - Robert Rawson (206) 764-3442; Walla Walla
District - Phil Benge (509) 527-7133; Portland District - Patti Williams
(503) 808-4327

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In response to the mandate created by the National Environmental Education Act (1990), EPA Region 10 has created and implements a comprehensive program for educators in the Northwest (WA, OR, ID, AK).

Through a competitive grant process, EPA, Region 10, funds environmental education programs. All proposals are carefully reviewed with preference given to those focusing on improving teaching skills, addressing human health problems resulting from pollution, building capability to deliver environmental education, promoting environmental careers or educating the general public. For proposals under $25,000, the application is made to the regional office in Seattle. For those seeking between $25,001 and $250,000, application
is made to the headquarters office in Washington D.C. Grant cycles are usually announced in early fall with awards made in the following spring.

EPA also sponsors a regional environmental education clearing house, (800 424-4372) designed to connect those who have educational materials, information, and resources to classroom teachers and non-formal educators. This resource will soon be made web-accessible. . . stay tuned for a link!

As part of their mission to support and enhance environmental education, EPA sponsors demonstration projects which address existing knowledge gaps or test new approaches to learning. Another significant role EPA plays, is to provide technical information and assistance to educators. Through the Public Environmental Resource Center, educators can receive responses to technical questions, free loan videos, grade specific packets containing classroom activities, relevant posters, brochures and basic environmental information.

CONTACTS: Sally Hanft, Grants and Awards Coordinator (206) 553-1207
Pam Emerson, Education Coordinator (206) 553-1287 or Jeff Philip, Public
Environmental Resource Center: 1-800- 424-4372


Many State education and natural resource agencies also have valuable
environmental education resources availbable.

Local Navigation

URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/extaff.nsf/Environmental+Education/Federal+Agencies

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