Call for Papers Place-Based Learning Symposium: December 1-3

Place-Based Learning connects students to their immediate surroundings and heritage.  This method, sometimes called “pedagogy of place” allows individuals to teach and learn through observation and doing, using personally relevant resources as the context for their academic growth.  Place-Based Learning brings forth several questions. How does Place-Based Learning compare to other models of teaching?   Is it the best method to reach today’s youth?  How do we evaluate its effectiveness?  Can informal learning centers be leaders in the creation and promotion of effective Place-Based Learning programs?

In an effort to explore best practices by leading educational and cultural institutions nationwide, the New Bedford ECHO Project invites proposals for presentations and papers on Place-Based Learning to be delivered at a symposium held in New Bedford, MA on December 1-3, 2010.  The symposium will focus on four main themes:  Leveraging regional success stories on a national scale; Successful Place-Based Learning programs and partnerships;  How standardization of the current educational system creates disparities in the educational attainment of native/underserved/minority students; Value and shortcomings of Place-Based Learning including assessment and evaluation

The New Bedford ECHO Project (NBEP), a combined effort from the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the New Bedford Ocean Explorium, works locally with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, and our ECHO partners in Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Mississippi to address the educational needs of our respective populations. Through its focus on history, culture, arts and environment the NBEP, allows students and educators alike to engage in a variety of content and context based teaching and learning opportunities. Examples include the Whaling Museum’s popular history, language arts and culture based school programs, the Ocean Explorium’s Enviro-Lab, which allows school and youth groups a chance to go out into Buzzard’s Bay for hands-on research and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s “From Hampton to New Bedford: A Network of Freedom” program which is a set of curriculum-based activities and materials that brings the story of the Underground Railroad to life.

Submissions should broadly fit into one or more of the above themes.  Presentations should be submitted as an article for review and publication in symposium proceedings. All submissions should follow the style outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2001, 5th edition). Submit proposals to: Sara Meirowitz c/o New Bedford ECHO Project at 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740. Web:  www.whalingmuseum.org.  Proposals should be submitted in abstract form (less than 100 words) and are due by July 31, 2010. Honoraria and travel stipends may be available.

Follow Research Cruise with Educators and Artists Aboard

We invite everyone to follow along on the next adventure of the JOIDES Resolution – Expedition 327: Juan de Fuca Hydrogeology! Expedition 327 will install several sub-seafloor observatories to monitor fluid circulation and microbial activity in the ocean’s crust – using cutting edge technology to help scientists explore many unanswered questions about activity and life beneath the seafloor. Expedition 327 will also carry a unique international team of educators and artists – who are all excited to communicate with you and answer your questions in multiple ways and multiple languages! Learn more about them here: http://joidesresolution.org/node/1154.  The expedition begins July 5th (next week!) and runs through September 5, 2010. You can become a part of it at www.joidesresolution.org, where you can read blogs, see the ship’s location, send in questions, find out who’s on board, and much more! You can also Adopt a Microbe on this expedition and do weekly activities that scientists will be responding to, win prizes, and learn all about these critters that live in the deep dark depths! Check it out here: http://sites.google.com/site/adoptamicrobe/

Waquoit Bay NERR Walks

Numerous beach and coastal walks are scheduled at the Waquoit Bay NERR. For details check the website http://www.waquoitbayreserve.org or contact Joan Muller, Education Coordinator, 508-457-0495 x107

Field Guide Design Help Needed

The Encyclopedia of Life is looking for your feedback and ideas on this new tool that will enable anyone to build a custom field guide.
Check out our prototype field guides here: http://education.eol.org/ideas/tools/fieldguide
Please contribute to the design process by completing this short survey: http://education.eol.org/form/field-guide-survey

Encyclopedia of Life Podcast of Life Series

Can painted wooden fish on a schoolyard fence change human behavior and help clean up the ocean for the real salmon? Stream of Dreams in British Columbia thinks so, and a lot of wooden fish and some 100,000 school kids later, they have some intriguing results to show for their effort.  Listen to the Chinook Salmon podcast on the Encyclopedia of Life Learning + Education website.

Stellwagen Management Plan Released

On June 17 th , NOAA released the final management plan for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which will guide the sanctuary’s resource protection and conservation efforts over the next five years. Copies of the management plan on CD may be requested by calling 781-545-8026 or via email at stellwagen@noaa.gov. The plan may also be downloaded from the sanctuary’s website, http://stellwagen.noaa.gov. The full NOAA News Release is available online.

NOAA Oil Spill Website

On June 14th NOAA launched a new Federal website meant to answer oil spill response questions with clarity and transparency — a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The website incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill. Developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center, the site is a Web-based GIS platform designed specifically for response activities where it is necessary to coordinate with various federal, state and local agencies. The site will serve as the official Federal source for map-based data.