LEEC eNews: Happy Earth Week from the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission!

LEEC News

Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program

There are still a few spaces available for the LEEC's Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program. The program, sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, includes a series of four 2-day workshops that will be held this summer. Each workshop will focus on a different aspect of the challenges facing Louisiana's coast. Those include coastal restoration, marine debris, water quality and invasive species.

The program is open to teachers of grades 7-12 in the Greater New Orleans area*.

Selected fellows will attend all four workshops and develop phenomena based on Louisiana Student Standards for Science for use in the classroom and to be shared on a database available to all Louisiana teachers.

Fellows will receive:

  • Stipend totaling $1500 and distributed according to the following schedule:
    • $250 upon completion of workshops
    • $1250 upon completion of all deliverables
  • Water quality testing equipment valued at approximately $300
  • Lodging and meals at workshops
  • 64 hours of professional development/CLUs

Please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/louisiana-coastal-fellowship-program for more information and to register.

*The Greater New Orleans area includes Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington parishes.

Environmental News

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Urges Public to Report Marine Mammal Strandings

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) urges the public to report marine mammal strandings as soon as possible. Anyone observing a stranding, dead or alive, should take a picture of the animal and record the time the animal was observed and location (GPS position) of the animal.
 
The NOAA Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network has a mobile phone app to report strandings. To download the app, go to https://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/outreach_and_education/mm_apps/ . The public can also report strandings to the NOAA Southeast Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-877-433-8299.
 
“It is important for the public to notify us about a marine mammal stranding or an out of habitat animal as soon as possible,’’ said LDWF biologist Mandy Tumlin, the Louisiana Marine Mammal Stranding and Rescue Program Coordinator. “We simply cannot be everywhere at all times and the public greatly assists us with these observations and reporting. Each and every stranding is important for obtaining valuable information about these protected animals. The sooner we know about the stranding, the quicker we can gather vital information and obtain more diagnostic samples.’’
 
To report marine mammal violations, such as people feeding, attempting to feed, or harassing marine mammals in the wild, please contact the national NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964 or LDWF’s Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511. Information may be left anonymously. It is illegal to harass or interact with marine mammals whether they are dead or alive.
 
Dos and Don’ts For Encountering Marine Mammals
  • Do immediately report all dead marine mammals, even if they are decomposed. Call the Southeast Region Stranding Network 24-hour hotline: 1-877-942-5343 to be connected to Louisiana’s marine mammal stranding network. The stranding network will send out trained responders who will get to the scene quickly with appropriate equipment.
  • Don’t push the animal back out to sea. Stranded marine mammals may be sick or injured. Returning animals to sea delays examination and treatment and often results in the animal re-stranding in worse condition.
  • If the animal returns to the water on its own, don’t attempt to interact with it (swim with, ride, etc.).
  • Do put human safety above animal safety. If conditions are dangerous, do not attempt to approach the animal.
  • Do stay with the animal until rescuers arrive but use caution. Marine mammals can be dangerous and/or carry disease. Keep a safe distance from the head and tail. Also, minimize contact with the animal (use gloves if necessary) and avoid inhaling the animal’s expired air.
  • If the animal is alive do keep its skin moist and cool by splashing water over its body. Use wet towels to help keep the skin moist and prevent sunburn.
  • If the animal is alive don’t cover or obstruct the blowhole. Try to keep sand and water away from the blowhole.
  • Do keep crowds away and noise levels down to avoid causing further stress to the animal.
  • Do keep dogs/pets away from the live or dead marine mammal.
  • Don’t feed, attempt to feed, or harass wild dolphins.  It is illegal and harmful and is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • Do observe wild dolphins from a recommended distance of 50 yards.
  • Don’t collect any parts (tissues, teeth, bones, or gear, etc.) from dead animals. It is illegal and a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Step Outside Day

The 15th annual Step Outside Day, an outdoor education program hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, will be held Saturday, April 27 at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area in Lottie on the northern end of the Atchafalaya Basin from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  
Some of the events planned for Step Outside Day include pontoon boat rides, canoeing, target and trap shooting, fishing, archery and other outdoor activities. Children can take part in blue bird box building, turkey and duck calling and other learning events. All equipment will be provided and all activities are free.
 
For more information, call 337-262-2080.
 

Professional Development

WETSHOP

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is pleased to announce WETSHOP 2019, a coastal awareness workshop for science, history and social studies teachers.  The workshop is scheduled for July 7 – 12, 2019 at the LDWF Grand Isle Research Lab.
 
The focus of this 6-day workshop is to provide teachers with an in-depth look at issues related to wetland ecology and coastal land loss in Louisiana.  Participating teachers will accrue 55 hours of instruction covering a wide variety of topics including wetland ecology, fisheries management, and coastal restoration.  Teachers will also spend a portion of each day in the field learning about maritime forests, barrier island beach ecology, coastal restoration projects, bird life, marsh and swamp habitats and marine organisms.  Workshop experiences provide ideas to incorporate Louisiana phenomena based science in classrooms at all grade levels.
 
All participating teachers will receive standards-based correlated wetland lessons and many other educational resources from numerous sponsoring agencies and organizations.  Lodging and meals are provided once participants reach the workshop site.  Upon completion of the workshop, each participant will receive a $250.00 stipend.  An additional stipend is available during the academic year upon completion of a wetland stewardship project.
 
For more information, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wetshop.
 

SuSTEMable Agriculture:  Integrating Concepts from Sustainable Agriculture into Environmental, Life, and Physical Science Classes

SuSTEMable Agriculture:  Integrating Concepts from Sustainable Agriculture into Environmental, Life, and Physical Science Classes, a week-long professional development program for middle- and high-school science teachers, will be offered from June 10-14 at LSU. The goals of the program are to enable and encourage teachers who are not part of established agriscience programs to integrate concepts from sustainable agriculture into their classes.  Dr. Maud Walsh and Jennifer Irving of the LSU School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences are the workshop leaders. 
 
The workshop will be on LSU's campus and will include field trips to LSU AgCenter research stations in or near Baton Rouge. Participants will have to provide their own transportation from LSU to the research stations.  A typical day in the SuSTEMable Agriculture program will involve a morning field trip, lecture or tour by a faculty member from the School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences (SPESS), a break for lunch (on your own), time to practice a short, hands-on lab activity related to the morning topic, and a facilitated curriculum building and lesson planning session. Participants will receive a $1000 stipend for attending the 5 day program. 
 
Click here for more information and to register.
 

Employment

Sankofa Program Coordinator

The Sankofa Community Development Corporation in New Orleans is seeking a full-time Program Coordinator to handle and resolve all education inquiries presented by telephone calls, emails or walk-ins. Additional duties include fulfilling general information requests, coordinating the park programs calendar, and supporting essential functions of all Wetland Park Programs business operations. The Program Coordinator also assists the Director in coordinating and supervising volunteers for the wetland park and conducting education programs.
 
For more information about this opportunity, visit https://naaee.org/eepro/jobs/program-coordinator-28.
 

Lagniappe

National Geographic Educator Network

National Geographic invites you to join a community of educators committed to inspiring the next generation of planetary stewards;
learn from others, build your skills, and be inspired by new ways to bring the world into your classroom.
 

NEEF Greening STEM Hub

Registered users of the National Environmental Education Foundation's Greening STEM Hub gain access to resources and videos on how to use the natural environment and real-world challenges to engage learners and deliver high-quality STEM education. See more information and register  at https://www.neefusa.org/environmental-education-week.


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