Profiles of Environmental Education Grants Awarded in Nevada
- Indicates a Headquarters grant
Clark County School District $25,000
Maraea Yates, 5100 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Stewardship of Local Ecosystems
The Clark County School District (CCSD), the fifth largest in the United States, has opened the West Career and Technical Academy (W-CTA), a 4-year high school with specialized programs in environmental science and environmental engineering, in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. To ensure equitable services are provided to all student populations, W-CTA requires strict enrollment procedures and a student body representative of the county's population. Environmental science students in grades 9 through 10 participate in field and collaborative studies that complement in-class activities. Students study local ecosystems and the impact of urban encroachment and increased tourism on plant and animal health. Teachers develop instructional units addressing a range of environmental disciplines. By acknowledging the needs of the urban community and understanding ecology, students gain a foundation for stewardship within the context of sustainable urban development. Key partners include the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Science; the Bureau of Land Management; and Red Rock Interpretive Society.
Sierra Nevada Journeys $14,980
Jonathan Mueller, 1301 Cordone Avenue, Suite 110, Reno, NV 89502
Western Nevada's Green Schools Initiative
The goal of Sierra Nevada Journeys is to empower youth through positive risk taking and experiential leadership, science, and outdoor education. Its programs supplement school district classes with opportunities for students to connect with the natural world. Western Nevada's Green Schools Initiative, a new program, provides after-school science clubs and outreach programs, as well as teacher professional development. Elementary, middle, and high school students brainstorm and learn about personal and community values relating to the environment and the definition of a green school. In this hands-on, kinesthetic education program, students conduct health assessments relative to pollution, implement service learning projects, and perform combined health assessments and energy audits of their schools. The final learning experience is brainstorming potential improvement projects and proposing them to teachers and school administrators. The initiative teaches community stewardship, with a secondary emphasis on health, and provides career development on these topics to teachers.
Sierra Nevada Journeys $9,850
Jonathan Mueller, 1901 Silverada Boulevard, Suite 10, Reno, NV 89512
Journeys Outdoor School
Forty-five percent of Nevada fourth graders tested below proficiency in science in 2005. Increasingly disconnected from opportunities to study science, students in Western Nevada have the opportunities to experience the natural world. Sierra Nevada Journeys is offering school outreach and extra-school programs to foster a community of youth who are leaders, scientists, and stewards of the natural world. To meet the need of students to engage with their local ecosystems and natural communities, Journeys Outdoor School conducts a 4-day residential education program at Grizzly Creek Ranch, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This program involves extensive experiential learning, appealing to multiple intelligences, including daylong hikes, wildlife counts, and astronomy sessions. Lessons in natural resource conservation include water use and its impacts. Service projects teach forest management techniques—key to stewardship of the drought-prone slopes of the eastern Sierra Nevada—with the ranch’s herd of goats as ambassadors of fuel suppression. The program serves students in Washoe County and Carson City, generally in grades 5 through 7, and teachers. Anticipated outcomes include students who are enthusiastic self-motivated learners, maturation in interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, and increased science scores.
Winnemucca Recycling Center $10,000
Angela Metcalf, 655 Anderson Street, Winnemucca, NV 89445
Winnemucca Recycling Center
The Winnemucca Recycling Center’s mission is to establish a sustainable recycling program in this Nevada community, a state with a goal of a 25 percent recycling rate but that remains at 10 percent or less. The center’s Recycling Education Team develops and presents environmental education programs and materials to local schools and residents. These programs include tours of landfills and recycling centers, slide presentations, information on composting, and existing cross-curricula lesson plans on recycling. The goals and plans are to use five existing integrated thematic units in preparing and teaching lessons throughout the community and in the schools, arranging community meetings on recycling, and to teach classes based in artistic crafts that can be constructed with recycled materials. The audience encompasses all of Humboldt County, but in particular local businesses, schools, and the surrounding rural community.
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection $10,000
Kathy Sertic, 333 West Nye Lane, Suite 138, Carson City, NV 89706-0851
Nevada Project Water Education for Teachers (WET)
The Nevada Project Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) is intended to create informed, environmentally aware citizens who will promote and incorporate water protection and conservation into their daily lives. These educator workshops and educational events enhance teaching competence in the field of natural resource education and make it possible to reach students with a message about environmental stewardship. Project WET, which includes the WET Curriculum Guide and sponsorship of successful water festivals, is an accredited international water science program. This program increases awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship among teachers and students.
Tahoe Rim Trail Association $4,670
Erin Casey, 948 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV 89451
Lake Tahoe Property Owner Welcome Packet
Lake Tahoe’s water quality is threatened by nonpoint source water pollution and improper land management techniques. Additionally, fire suppression and the existing forest health make a devastating wildfire possible. Many first-time property owners in the Tahoe Basin are unfamiliar with the rules and regulations required to live in this delicate and regulated environment. Under this grant, the collaborative community information Lake Tahoe Property Owner Welcome Packet is developed, and an educational workshop series for residents is conducted. Workshops for property owners explain best management practices, defensible space, and integration of landscape and property management to protect the environment.
Environmental Leadership $20,036
Amy Giffin, P.O. Box 10786, Reno, NV 89510
Leaders of Waste Reduction
Since 1999, the goal of Leaders of Waste Reduction (LOWR) has been to encourage environmentally friendly purchasing, consumption, and waste disposal choices of the tens of thousands of Nevada students in kindergarten through grade 12. Grant funds are being used to provide a new population, the 16,500 Hispanic students in Washoe County schools, with information about the importance of waste reduction. LOWR produces and distributes posters detailing in English and Spanish the items that are recyclable in the county. Training and supervision are provided to student educators to help them implement the curriculum. Other activities include conducting educational workshops to English as a Second Language students and maintaining and expanding LOWR's Web site.
Board of Regents - University of Nevada $12,704
Cindy Kiel, Office of Sponsored Projects, Mail Stop 325, Reno, NV 89557
Lake Tahoe Media Campaign
Scientists agree that the steady decline in Lake Tahoe’s water quality is due to nonpoint source pollution. The Lake Tahoe Basin Executives decided that to save the lake, a strong effort is needed to educate all community members about how to reduce and eliminate activities that lead to soil erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient pollution in the lake basin. The goal of the project is to educate large numbers of local residents through a media campaign that has already been developed. A weekly television campaign is currently being conducted on the local ABC-affiliated news station (KOLO-TV in Reno) and is being supplemented with articles in local newspapers and on the Internet. The topics and content for the 90-second television news segments are being researched by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension with input from the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (LTEEC) Steering Committee and a Science Technical Advisory Committee of community, research, and agency experts. Project partners are also suggesting potential interviewees, appropriate graphics and locations for filming. Among many important educational messages are basic explanations of watershed hydrology, water quality parameters, sources of pollution, ecosystem management, and tips on proper installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Environmental Leadership $18,318
Sonya Hern, P.O. Box 10786, Reno, NV 89510
Leaders of Waste Reduction
Since 1999, the goal of the Leaders of Waste Reduction (LOWR) program has been to influence the consumption, purchasing, and waste disposal habits of the tens of thousands of kindergarten through 12th-grade students in Nevada with classroom visits, field trips, and web-based educational resources. The focus of the LOWR program is being narrowed to grades 3 through 10. The program’s objectives include (1) providing educational workshops and classroom presentations on waste reduction strategies and activities for over 900 students in grades 3 through 10; (2) maintaining and expanding the LOWR web pages to serve as comprehensive waste prevention and recycling resources for schools, educators, and students; (3) training and supervising student educators (juniors and seniors in high school and college undergraduates) to implement the LOWR curriculum; (4) educating younger students about the link between natural resource preservation and waste reduction; and (5) printing and distributing 500 color posters detailing what is recyclable in Washoe.
Nevada Division of Wildlife $10,000
Gene Weller, 1100 Valley Road, Reno, NV 89512
Trout in the Classroom
The mission of the Nevada Division of Wildlife is “to protect, preserve, manage, and restore wildlife and its habitat for their aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States.” The project is a partnership between the Nevada Division of Wildlife and the Northern Nevada Regional Service-Learning Coordinator and has two major phases: (1) an environmental service-learning and Project WILD Take Action environmental education and conservation program called Trout in the Classroom and (2) completion of an interpretive public nature study area to be used in conjunction with the first phase. Trout in the Classroom focuses on interactive, hands-on environmental stewardship training and development of real-life skills through the raising of Tasmanian rainbow trout eggs to the fry state in the classroom. Teachers, high school mentors, parent volunteers, and senior citizen volunteers are trained in service-learning and Project WILD Take Action techniques to teach hands-on science lessons in the participating classrooms.
University of Nevada, Reno $21,721
Richard Bjur, University of Nevada, Reno, CESE 199, Reno, NV 89557
Energy Education and Conservation Program for Hispanic Families
The College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno seeks to create an Energy Conservation and Energy Education Program for Hispanic Families. Sixty upper-elementary level students in two designated classes are slated to participate in activities to explore energy and power and the application of those physical science concepts in real life, particularly as they relate to environmental issues and natural resources. By evaluating energy use in their homes, energy sources and their environmental impacts, and opportunities for saving energy, students can develop and present an educational program on saving energy to parent groups. Student mentors from University of Nevada, Reno assist at the school as outside experts to provide technical assistance and to foster interest among participants in engineering and physical science careers. Additional professional expertise comes from Sierra Pacific Power Company and the Desert Research Institute's Million Solar Roofs Program.
Champions of the Truckee River $5,000
Elisa Meer, 316 California Avenue, #737, Reno, NV 89509
Water, Water, Everywhere
The integrated watershed management education project has two components, one targeted at decision makers and the other targeted at the community at large. The program focuses on giving the two targeted audiences a basic understanding of integrated watershed management. The audiences learn what a watershed is, how the local watershed works, and who does what in the watershed. Specific topics include the quantity and quality of the water, flooding, and habitats. A series of four workshops and tours is conducted, in addition to a series of bimonthly newspaper advertisements and updates of the project’s web site to reach the community at large.
Carson City School District $5,000
Julie Koop, P. O. Box 603, Carson City, NV 89702
Biology at the River
The project enables three 10th-grade biology classes at Carson High School to learn in a natural environment in their community by conducting water tests, observing the habitats of various species, completing trash inventories, and reporting the data they collect to appropriate government agencies and community entities. Supported by their city government and state parks division, students plan to develop an interpretive, self-guided trail along the river that can be used by other students and the community. Under a third component of the project, the high school students teach a class of second- and third-grade students at Seeliger Elementary School; they base the lessons on their experiences in the river project. During an open house program in the spring, a multimedia presentation is made for parents, faculty, school board members, elected officials, and members of the community.
Clark County Conservation District $5,000
Susan Selby, 2357A Renaissance Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Wasden Elementary School Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Project
This project establishes an outdoor science laboratory to be used in studying wildlife habitats. Fifth- and sixth-grade students research, design, install, and use six habitat sites. Parents and staff take part in the planning and construction phases of the project. Other schools in the district and in the desert southwest are reached through the production of a videotape during and after the construction of the habitats.
University of Nevada, Reno $5,000
Keith Dennett, Office of Sponsored Projects/325, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0035
Water Environmental Education Program for the Mobile Engineering Laboratory
This project provides the infrastructure needed to equip a mobile engineering laboratory for use as an interactive educational tool for kindergarten through 12th grade students in northern Nevada to be used in studying the water environment. The laboratory, consisting of electronic and technical water monitoring kits, enables students to experience science and engineering in an informal setting by asking questions, performing experiments, and analyzing results to solve real-world problems related to water resources. Students focus on the parameters used to monitor water quality. Using a flow-through model, they study the various treatment processes that ensure that water is safe to drink.
Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources $4,500
Jean Murray, 1550 East College Parkway, Suite 142, Carson City, NV 89710
Wet, Wild, and Woody
Wet, Wild, and Woody is a three-part project that provides a two-day teacher workshop in water resources and conservation; a course on water issues for teacher candidates at the University of Nevada Reno; and the expansion of a World Wide Web site to include the project's activities. Under the format of traditional training in environmental education developed for the earlier Project WET, Project WILD, and Project Learning Tree, participants in the Wet, Wild, and Woody in-service workshop develop critical-thinking skills, particularly in the area of assessing the role human activities play in causing environmental pollution. The College of Education at the University of Nevada Reno is offering to 30 teacher candidates a new 15-hour course, taught by the project's facilitators and professionals from state agencies. The Web site maintained by the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources links with the water education site of Utah State University to allow professionals in the Water Planning Division to respond to questions posed by students throughout the state.
University of Nevada Las Vegas $23,679
William Schultze, Office of Sponsored Programs 1037, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1037
Freshman Interest Groups: Mentoring, Environmental Education, and Sustainable Practices
This project organizes freshman interest groups as clusters of 15 to 25 students enrolled in the same sections of three core courses. The interest groups provide opportunities for freshman students to join upper-division students in environmental studies to develop thesis projects, as well as to work in community development with students at Crestwood Elementary School and environmental professionals. The community involvement effort centers on creating wetlands from treated wastewater discharge. The water quality and endangered species project is designed to determine, through water quality monitoring, the feasibility of raising endangered species of fish in ponds located in the wetland. Partners in the project include the government and school district of Bolder City, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Washoe County School District $5,000
Joanne Everts, 425 East Ninth Street, Reno, NV 89520?0106
Project Great Basin
This project provides teacher training for 700 elementary school staff to help them integrate into all curriculum areas concepts related to the environmental and cultural diversity found in the Great Basin. The training provides a cadre of teacher trainers at each grade level in the district's 55 elementary schools. The trainers encourage teachers to include consideration of the diversity of the local region in all aspects of student learning. The purpose of such an approach is to develop in students an appreciation for environmental and cultural diversity, as well as an understanding of the need for conservation of the area's fish and other wildlife and native plants. Key partners with the school district in the program include the Biological Resources Research Center of the University of Nevada Reno; the Departments of Education and Geography at the University of Nevada Reno, University of Nevada Reno Cooperative Extension; the Washoe Storey Conservation District; Wilbur May Museum; Nevada State Parks; the Nevada Divisions of Wildlife and Agriculture; the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI.
Clark County School District $15,165
Carol Tipton, 2832 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121
Improving Teaching in K-5 Environmental Sciences: Field-based Experience with Environmental Scientists for Elementary Teachers and Follow-up Development of Model Instructional Guides
With assistance from this grant, a model is being developed for enhancing training for teaching elementary school-level environmental science using the district's Whitney Mesa Preserve and the Bureau of Land Management's Red Rock Canyon. Scientists from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Desert Science Institute, and Southern Nevada Water Authority are collaborating with 24 teachers to produce a field-based instructional guide which will be used to spread the program in subsequent years throughout the school district.
Shoshone-Paiute Tribe $5,000
Walden Townsend, P. O. Box 219, Owyhee, NV 89832
One-Week Workshop for Junior Hight Students from Owyhee Combined Schools to Survey Solid Waste Practices and to Identify and Make Recommendations of Alternatives to the Tribal Council
The Shoshone-Paiute Tribe is conducting a one-week workshop for junior high school students at Duck Valley Reservation, which is led by tribal members enrolled at Boise State University. During the workshop, students survey solid waste generation and disposal on the reservation, identify reduction strategies, and deliver a formal report to the Tribal Council.
Washoe County School District $5,000
Stacey Endres, 425 East 9th Street, Reno, NV 89520
Teacher Training in Interdisciplinary Great Basin Curriculum and Outdoor Classroom Activities
The Washoe County School District is providing a three-day outdoor environmental education experience at Great Basin for 180 sixth-grade students. The project trains 10 to15 teachers to use the Great Basin Interdisciplinary Curriculum. After receiving training, they can lead 25 high school students in a two-day outdoor education training field trip. Ultimately, the high school students will serve as mentors to the elementary students for their three-day program.
Northern Nevada Natural Resources Educational Council $5,000
Lorre Moyer, 10510 Chestnut, Reno, NV 89506
Great Basin Eco-region
This project will sponsor ten, one-day field trips for at-risk Washoe County 6th grade students for an outdoor, interdisciplinary education experience at Great Basin eco-region. Students will explore the unique Great Basin environment through learning experiences and activities consistent with state curriculum guidelines.
University of Nevada-Las Vegas $11,000
Roberta Williams, 4505 Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004
Science and Society Course
This grant will fund the development of the Science and Society course. The course will target teachers from rural Nevada and residents of Clark County and will provide insights into national and local environmental issues. Participating teachers will be encouraged to conduct workshops at their home schools to extend to their peers the hands-on experiments, instructional materials, and critical thinking about environmental issues they have learned through the course.
Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada $5,000
Sherry Smokey, 919 Hwy 395 South, Gardnerville, NV 89410
Willow Project Expansion
The "Willow Project Expansion" will provide teacher training and curriculum activity kits for 4th grade teachers in Alpine County, California and Carson City, Nevada. The model, currently in use in the schools of Douglas County, Nevada, offers a cross-cultural environmental curriculum and presents Native American traditions in a scientific context.
Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada $5,000
Beth Shervey, 919 Highway 395 South, Gardnerville, NV 89410
Willow, Environmental Project
The "Willow, Environmental Project" develops a partnership between the tribe and the school district of Douglas County, Nevada, to present a cross-cultural environmental education curriculum for 4th grade students. The curriculum will not only expose students to a variety of environmental issues, but will also introduce Native American traditions in a scientific context rather than through social science or arts and crafts.
Sierra Nevada College $5,000
Incline Village, NV 89451
Environmental Education in Elementary Classroom
The Environmental Education in Elementary Classroom project is a series of workshops for elementary educators. The workshops will provide participants with the techniques to integrate environmental science subjects into their curricula. Participants also will study pertinent local issues such as desert management, smog, drought, recycling, etc.