Sitka Conservation Society

Environmental EducationEnvironmental Education

The Sitka Conservation Society provides diverse environmental education programs, which reach hundreds of people from preschool age through retirement age every year. Some of these programs are actually done in the classrooms of local schools, while other programs include public lectures, field classes, and even boat trips for the community at large.

Backwoods and Waters Lecture Series

The Backwoods and Waters series is a mix of wintertime lectures and summer boat trips to some of the most ecologically interesting and important places on the Tongass. It is an opportunity for Sitkans to learn about the natural history of their own home and abroad.



Wild Salmon Outreach and Education

The Sitka Conservation Society is engaging in an ambitious project to spread the word about the importance of salmon and wild salmon habitat to the environment and our way of life in Southeast Alaska. With funding from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, we are developing curriculum materials for educators, conducting teacher training workshops in monitoring stream health and water quality, developing a university-level course in watershed ecology, and airing hundreds of public service announcements on local radio stations.


Sitka 4H: Skills for an Alaskan Way of Life

The richness of the Tongass National Forest and the waters of the Outer Coast make Sitka unlike any place.  The dense forests, towering mountains, and waterways make this environment a unique classroom for youth to learn skills and respect for the land. It is our hope that students connect to this incredible environment through hands-on learning and leadership opportunities in the community.


Fish to SchoolsFish to Schools

As the ninth largest seafood port in the country, Sitka is swimming with fish.  Students should have access to this nutritious, local food that drives our economy and represents the interconnectedness of our community. Local fish lunches are served twice a month at local schools. The lunch program is served with a “Stream to Plate” curriculum, taking students through the cycle in which fish mature in our waterways, are harvested by local fishermen, undergo processing by our town’s thriving seafood processors, and finally grace our dinner table.

Stream Team

Each May in Starrigavan Valley, nearly 100 7th Graders from Blatchley Middle School in Sitka spend a couple days doing hands-on stream restoration and monitoring. In the classroom, the students learn about watershed ecology and salmon habitat. Then they hit the field and help professional watershed managers actually install in-stream wood structures to rebuild fish habitat.



Kids’ Energy Awareness

Educating young people about energy issues is the best way to ensure an energy independent future for Sitka.  The Sitka Conservation Society has begun visiting school classes to talk about energy.  Lessons in the classroom visits include Sitka’s energy situation and conservation, fossil fuels in Alaska, home weatherization, and home and building energy audits.



Science Mentor Program

Students in the Science Mentor Program gain valuable knowledge of the local environment by conducting ecological research studies with professional scientists. This program also prepares students for post-secondary studies and gives them a glimpse into careers in the ecological sciences. Individual students will gain valuable real-world experience by working one-on-one with professional mentors to develop, implement, and report on a research study that addresses a pertinent ecological question in the local Sitka area.


Bear Aware

Baranof Island has one of the highest concentrations of brown bears in the world, and the Sitka Conservation Society is interested in seeing that bears and people coexist safely.   The Bear Aware campaign strives to remind the public how to avoid unwanted bear encounters.



Recent Posts:

  • Summer Boat Tour Series: Sitka’s Salmon

    Summer Boat Tour Series: Sitka’s Salmon

    The Summer Boat Tour Series continues on Tuesday August 13th, from 5:30 to 8pm, exploring Sitka’s Salmon.  Come learn about their life cycle, how hatcheries influence salmon populations, and how there are salmon in the trees!  TIckets can be purchased with cash or checks from Old Harbor Books 201 Lincoln Street for $35 or (if [...]

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  • Rivers and trees

    Rivers and trees

    This is a story of a small place – a sandbar -, in a big place – the Red Bluff River -, in an even bigger place – the South Baranof Wilderness -, and, well, we won’t even get into the Tongass and beyond. Over a week of work in Red Bluff Bay this week, [...]

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  • Restoring our Forest

    Restoring our Forest

    Is it possible to restore clear-cut areas of the Tongass National Forest back to their original composition? While this question will remain unanswered for generations, we do know some things about restoration in the Tongass. Trees regrow in logged areas, with the assistance of people or not. However, the natural succession of second-growth forest in [...]

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  • Alaska Way of Life 4H Summer Clubs!

    Alaska Way of Life 4H Summer Clubs!

    After a summer of exploring, examining, and identifying, kids in the Alaska Way of Life 4H clubs are walking away from these 7 week clubs will a whole new skill set. During June and July, clubs in gardening, hiking, and kayaking met every week to build community, interact with their landscape, and learn new skills. [...]

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  • Sitka Sound Science Center: Salmon Connections Exhibit

    Sitka Sound Science Center: Salmon Connections Exhibit

      The juvenile salmon behind the curved glass of the newest aquarium installation at the Sitka Sound Science Center are a pretty dour crowd. Their grey lips curl down in fishy frowns, or pucker around their next microscopic meal. But one doesn’t need to look far to find a smiling face in this fish tank. [...]

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Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

  • Hungry for Huckleberry Pie, Venison Stew, or Fresh Greens? Come to the Wild Foods Potluck Nov. 2!
  • Stand Up to Corporate Influence!
  • Kayaking Kootznoowoo: Report on SCS’s Final Wilderness Trip
  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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