Earth to Sky alumni Fiona North has recently finished a successful distance learning season at Kenai Fjords National park, with a new climate related program entitled “Listening to the Ice.” It was added to their offerings following her attendance at the regional course held in Alaska, last October.
If you're wondering what global warming and climate change are, and what causes them, here's an easy way to see and hear first-hand how they are impacting our planet. Through this interactive live program, a park ranger engages students with questioning, video content and other techniques designed to broaden their local and global understanding of climate change and leave them with a hopeful attitude about the future of our natural environment.
Re-defining What a Visit from the Ranger Looks like, or a Visit to the Park...
Over 475 students were reached in the second winter season of distance learning at Kenai Fjords National Park. Park Rangers at the park engaged with audiences from across the country ranging from 4th graders in their classrooms, to potential visitors and virtual travelers in their retirement communities, even from as far away as Puerto Rico! They didn't travel to Puerto Rico - rather, they took the park to them - Virtually.
KEFJ brought the park into classrooms with three different interactive videoconference programs. "Listening to the Ice" was the newest addition focusing upon middle schoolers, and delivering a wealth of information and media about climate change and its implications for Alaska. Other programs included What is Our Role in Ocean Stewardship? which focuses on the impacts of marine debris and possible solutions to this global problem, and Conservation Careers for Youth, which highlights internship and job opportunities with the NPS and partners for high school students and young adults.
Not only did students learn from rangers during these programs, but the rangers learned from students! By engaging in open dialogue, students were able to share impacts of climate change in their area - bringing to light a better understanding of the global implications of these environmental issues.
This program was offered Monday-Friday in January, February and March of 2016, with start times between 7 am and 4 pm Alaska Standard Time (11 am- 8 pm Eastern Standard Time). There is no charge for the program.
The park also plans to introduce a new distance program for elementary students next year that will focus on the glacial tracks of Exit Glacier.
Here’s the complete climate program description:
Listening to the Ice
What are global warming and climate change? How are they caused, and how they are impacting our planet? A Ranger will use Kenai Fjords National Park as a looking glass through which to observe our planet’s health. The ranger will engage students with questions, video content and other techniques in order to broaden their local and global understanding of climate change and leave them with a hopeful attitude about the future of our natural environment. Course is also listed at www.CILC.org (the Center for Interactive Learning).
Kenai Fjords Distance Learning Flyer - PDF version: distance_learning_flyer_2016.pdf
Contact for more details:
Distance Learning Specialist and
Exit Glacier Lead Ranger
Kenai Fjords National Park
PO Box 1727
Seward, Alaska 99664