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:

  • SCS & JVC Northwest: Rooted in the Same Values

    SCS & JVC Northwest: Rooted in the Same Values

    The Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) Northwest has placed volunteers in various organizations all over Sitka for nearly two decades, focusing on issues of social and ecological justice. This year, I joined the Sitka Conservation Society team as their first Jesuit Volunteer (JV). Many of the core values of the JVC Northwest program align closely with [...]

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  • Sitka: A Tongass Salmon Town

    Sitka: A Tongass Salmon Town

    In 2011, SCS began the Sitka Salmon Tours program.  The goal of the tours was to give visitors a salmon’s eye view from the forests where the salmon are born, to the ocean, the fisher and processor, and finally to our plates.  We’ve discontinued the Salmon Tours for 2013.  Instead, we have distilled all of [...]

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  • SCS Summer Boat Tours Start June 1st

    SCS Summer Boat Tours Start June 1st

    The first of six boat tours to take place throughout the summer.  Mark your calendars! June 1st, Saturday 10am June 11th, Tuesday 5:30pm – Cancelled June 27th, Thursday 5:30pm July 23rd, Tuesday 5:30pm August 13th, Tuesday 5:30pm Check back soon for more information on tour topics and speakers.  See you on the boat!   A [...]

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  • Spring Wild Edibles Course  – FULL (sign up for wait list)

    Spring Wild Edibles Course – FULL (sign up for wait list)

    THIS CLASS IS FULL.  To sign up for the waiting list, send your name, email and phone number to SCS is organizing a spring edibles course with the Kayaani Commission and instructors Scott Brylinsky and Kitty LaBounty. Students will learn how to identify, harvest, and prepare wild edibles from three distinct habitats in the [...]

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  • Running the Country!  Sitkans Plan to Take GMO Message Across the United States

    Running the Country! Sitkans Plan to Take GMO Message Across the United States

    SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY PARTNERS WITH RUNNING FAMILY!   Brett, Kris, David, and Olivia Wilcox are pleased to announce that the Sitka Conservation Society is now partnering with them as they run across America in their efforts to raise awareness about genetically modified organisms that can pose a danger to health and the environment. The Sitka [...]

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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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