Armed with their new knowledge, the Westchester Trail Tramps will now work on an invasives survey in Montrose Point State Forest.
On May 6, the Westchester Trail Tramps, led by Mary Dodds, became the first crew to receive invasives training from Linda Rohleder, the Trail Conference’s Director of Land Stewardship and Coordinator of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management. Keen on her crew gaining the skills to properly identify and remove invasive species along the trails they maintain throughout the Hudson Hills and Highlands region of Westchester and Putnam counties, Dodds enlisted Rohleder for an intro course at the beginning of trail work season. Held at Teatown Lake Reservation, a handful of crew members and high school interns working under their guidance learned about Japanese barberry, garlic mustard, and other species on the New York State Regulated and Prohibited Invasive Species list. After a presentation with plenty of photos and tips, Rohleder took the crew into the field to identify species firsthand. Armed with their new knowledge, Dodds and her team plan to complete an invasives survey of Montrose Point State Forest, which will help in determining the feasibility and prioritization of removal on trails there.
The maintainers’ invasives course that was piloted with the Westchester Trail Tramps is a condensed version of the workshop Rohleder uses to train Invasives Strike Force surveyors, but also includes information about removal strategies. This new course customized for trail maintainers is currently under development; groups of maintainers and trail crews interested in scheduling a workshop at their park should contact Linda Rohleder (firstname.lastname@example.org) to work out details. At this time, the workshop is only offered to Trail Conference maintainers.]]>
While on the mountain, they participated in the ASC Snow and Ice Project, collecting samples from 17,000 feet. Ian is currently a graduate student studying alpine and arctic feedbacks to climate change, so he was particularly interested in capitalizing on this opportunity to further scientific understanding of glacial responses to climate change. Gathering the data provided them with objectives outside of self-indulgent summit goals, and also gave them a meaningful activity to perform on rest days, adding a unique challenge.
Read more and see some incredible images from their expedition on the Field Notes blog.
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Their contribution, as well as those of other associate partner members, will be very valuable in improving our fishing net recovery activities and prevention projects that we are currently developing in various harbors areas around Europe.]]>
Recently some lost fishing gear was located at the wreck called ‘Klipper’. This wreck is located straight from Hook of Holland in the Dutch North Sea, just off the shipping channel at a depth of 24-30 meters. It previously had three masts, which are half beside the wreck. It is estimated the wreck is 150 years old and houses lots of fish. The second dive in the afternoon was to the nearby HMS Aboukir, which the team already visited once last year. The wreck is covered with fishing gear, although luckily a lot has been removed during the last years.
The shipwreck S.S. Laura , a 91 meters long Dutch steamship built in 1918, lies at a depth of 33 meters near the Westhinder, in the Belgium North Sea. The MHS Achilles, better accessible because it is ‘only’ at a depth of 18 meters, lies nearby and was already visited by the Ecoduikers last year. In order to finish their work, they returned for a final clean-up dive, and they were happy to notice that not a lot of new lost ghostnets were added to the shipwreck in the meantime.
Check out the wrecks and more background info in the North Sea map »
Download our calendar for the upcoming months with the tentative dates for the Belgium and Dutch clean-up diving trips below, and follow our journey closely.
Photo: Peter Verhoog]]>
So what exactly does one do at an outreach table? The Trail Conference arranges to have a booth at outdoor events around the region. The canopy on the one we use in Westchester has a large banner in front that says, “Ask us where to hike!” That draws people in, and you take it from there. To start the conversation, I usually ask them where they live and their level of familiarity with hiking. We are primarily there to convey information–to educate the public about the Trail Conference and to encourage folks to get outdoors and enjoy nature. But the conversation often results in the sale of maps, books, andmemberships… and sometimes I recruit a new volunteer!
To date this summer, I have participated in two very successful outreach efforts in Westchester: the Hastings-on-Hudson Street Fair on Main Street, held the evening of June 12, and the Clearwater Revival Music Festival at Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson, on the weekend of June 20-21. Between the two events, almost 50 maps, books, and memberships were sold. But perhaps more importantly, I had conversations with hundreds of potential and current hikers about the Trail Conference and exploring the outdoors. (A bonus benefit of serving at the Clearwater Festival is that you get to hear some really good music!)
I enjoyed working with and meeting some new fellow volunteers. Thanks to those who staffed the booth at the two events–Carol Ann Benton, Jane and Walt Daniels, Carolyn Hoffman, Jane Levenson, David Margulis, Gloria Neil, and Raina Stoutenburg–and to East Hudson Program Coordinator Hank Osborn for the staff support in organizing the Clearwater effort.
The Trail Conference has booths at events all across the region to increase public awareness of what we do for the hiking public. So share your love of hiking and help at an event near you. The Trail Conference provides training and pairs you with an experienced outreach volunteer. If you have a suggestion for a possible outreach appearance or would like to volunteer, please email Volunteer Coordinator John Leigh: email@example.com.]]>
Our recent Professional Development Workshop was a powerful experience for me, in that I was able to share with other educators why I fell in love with teaching. While there was little doubt that I would grow up to be a teacher considering both my parents and my brother are also teachers, it took me a while to find its calling. After enthusiastically obtaining a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies, I started working in outdoor education trying to spread my love of science. With a lot of help, I built lessons that gave students hands-on experience collecting field data as part of current research done by a local university. To my gross frustration, while the students collected valuable data, these lessons did little to engage students beyond them getting a day out of the classroom. Simply letting students participate in someone else’s research, as real and current as it may be, did little to make them want to be scientists when they grow up any more than before the lesson. Finding a solution to this problem, of how to engage students in real science, is at the heart of why I became involved with Headwaters. I first began to fall in love with teaching when we were piloting Headwaters’ teaching protocol. At its simplest these methods were: 1. Introduce students to a topic, 2. Let students come up with their own research questions, and 3. Push their projects towards academic rigor. In these first programs, I saw how much further students were willing to push the boundaries of their knowledge when researching their own questions than when they were collecting data for someone else. Moreover, students, who according to their teachers weren’t strong in the sciences, were engaged trying to find ways to test their hypotheses. Finally finding a way to share my enthusiasm for science with students was what sold me on being an educator and set Headwaters on its’ way.
Fast forward to our Professional Development Workshop this summer. With a year of curriculum development and several hundred student-days under our belts, we were finally ready to help teachers use student driven research in the classroom. Over the first two days of the workshop, I ran our teaching methods in the field with students while educators looked on watching them in action. It was really special for me to be able to show teachers firsthand how well these methods work. During the rest of the workshop, we helped teachers develop strategies for implementing these projects in their own classrooms and built custom curriculum around their interests. All told, the workshop was a great way for me to reflect on and share why I love being an educator and I can’t wait for the next one.]]>
Gangri Neichog (Tib. sacred land of snow), is a grassroots organization which focuses on wilderness and ecosystem research and conservation in Western China.
Gangri Neichog adheres to the principles of respecting every life and promoting each life sustainably by sharing the welfare brought by nature. Our mission is based on the research of natural sites. We work to equip locals with environmental conservation awareness and build more harmonious relationships between nature and locals, thus leading to sustainable development.
We now have three full-time staff, and five part-time volunteers who have spent a generous amount of time and energy on leadership, team building, project consulting, fundraising and so on. Now we are mainly running three projects, STEP ON, INDIGENOUS DATABASE and FERAL DOGS.
STEP ON Talks aim to share the true stories of work being done in Tibetan areas, to exemplify philanthropic activities, social enterprise, academic research, local farmer’s environmental protection stories and so on in Tibetan language. Meanwhile, this program is also translating and expressing these true stories of practitioners’ experiences on video to build a platform for outsiders to understand people and their stories in Tibetan areas.
INDIGENOUS DATABASE: Nomads have been living along waterwaus and on grasslands across the Tibetan Plateau for thousands of years. Thus, they have profound knowledge and wisdom that has opened up the code of coexistence with nature. Now these eco-cultural concepts are facing the threat of extinction in the local areas. This program will collect local knowledge about indigenous species and attempt to draw these into pictures for local schools and communities.
FERAL DOGS is a program that seeks an alternative solution to environmental problems and conflicts occurring between locals and predators in the Tibetan areas. It also draws on locals’ perspectives of leading self-education approaches to explore the feral dogs’ issues.
Huntsville claimed the title due to plentiful STEM jobs and a low cost of living ahead of other high profile STEM hubs including California’s Silicon Valley and North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Coming as no surprise to anyone who has lived in Huntsville for longer than two weeks, the ranking is a testament to the vitality and potential of our community.
Traditionally, Huntsville’s economic fortunes leaned heavily on NASA, the Department of Defense and their related support structures. Recently, STEM innovators like the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have exploded onto the scene and expanded STEM opportunities into diverse fields beyond those of the aerospace and defense industries.
If this success is to continue, Huntsville’s must include a broader spectrum of STEM-related careers. Differentiation in the STEM field enables our city to build on a positive track record of innovation and cements our status as technology leader in the 21stcentury.
One of the most promising STEM career fields is energy, particularly sustainable energy. Sustainable energy careers are booming across many areas the country as seen in Georgia, one of the hottest solar markets in the country.
Early adopter and neighbor Georgia has created more than 2,900 jobs in this sector and saw over $80 million invested in 2014 alone. With appropriate, cost-effective energy policy, some sweat equity, and a little grit, Huntsville can take advantage of this emerging sector and advance STEM and energy leadership well into the future.
With all of this in mind, one overarching question must be answered: How do we maintain our No. 1 ranking while diversifying our economy? Quite simply, education.
The citizens of Huntsville and Madison County have proudly supported our local school systems and rightfully so. All three systems have demonstrated a commitment to maintaining strong Pre-K-12 schools that are dedicated to producing college and career ready graduates.
As our community continues to evolve, the importance of STEM education and subsequent careers is critical for future economic success. Effective educational opportunities take many forms beyond the traditional classroom setting.
As a community we must engage our students in project-based energy education that is fun, engaging, demanding, and develops a practical understanding of energy and scientific principles.
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “I didn’t even know I was learning!” This is precisely why recent project-based energy education like Greenpower USA and the SwitchBlade Competition have proven so popular and effective.
Be a mentor, engage in local energy-related STEM projects or perhaps lead your own. Learning never stops! You might find that you receive more than you give while also sustaining Huntsville’s lead as a top STEM community.
This article was written by Daniel Tait, Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy and appeared first on AL.com]]>