Andrews LTER partners ONRE

Network News Spring 2009, Vol. 22 No. 1
Site News

The Andrews Forest LTER Program has teamed up with the Oregon Natural Resources Education (ONRE) Program to connect Oregon K-12 educators with Andrews Forest LTER research. The main activity of the partnership is the "Teachers as Researchers" project.

In 2008, 13 high school teachers from around Oregon participated in the project, which began with a 2-day workshop at the Andrews Forest. This workshop was the first in a series of three workshops connecting teachers to researchers, and the foundation for subsequent workshops. The overall goal of the project was to increase teachers' understanding of environmental science research and to expand their capacity to design relevant field-based science inquiry projects for their students.

Data from final project evaluations, teacher reflection papers, and follow-up surveys indicate that the inaugural project was a success. Consequently, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board will provide funding for the ONRE Program to continue the "Teachers as Researchers" project, with a watershed focus for 2009-10. Teachers will interact with scientists, teacher mentors from the Andrews LTER Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, and watershed council coordinators in three watersheds along a gradient from the forest to the sea--the Andrews Forest's McKenzie River Watershed; the Mary's River Watershed, which spans the Newton Creek Wetland and the Oregon State University Campus; and the Oregon Hatchery Research Center in the Alsea River Watershed.

By Kari O'Connel, AND