Sitka Conservation Society
Feb 25 2013

A better, safer bridge for young scientists!

Last weekend, SCS organized a work party to replace a broken bridge behind Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. The bridge is used by students who monitor the stream and its surrounding habitat, but it recently sustained serious damage due to rot and falling trees, and became too unsafe for classroom use.

Requests were made to several organizations and agencies but every one of them lacked either the time, the money or the workers needed to perform the work. SCS turned out to be the perfect catalyst for drawing resources from around the community and turning them into an effective bridge-building team.

  • Spenard Builders’ Supply paid for about half of the material, and delivered them almost immediately.
  • Sitka Trails Work covered the rest of the expenses, and provided tools, a truck, and invaluable expertise.

  • Science teacher Rebecca Himschoot and her crew of Keet Gooshi Heen parent volunteers contributed their labor and tools. They also set up an impromptu class on the physics of levers.

  • Carpenter Mike Venetti directed the project and designed the bridge.

  • Sitka Community Schools and the Sitka Conservation Society contributed volunteer labor.

The Cutthroat Creek “steam team” students can now go back to hanging over the railings to measure stream flow with tennis balls and yardsticks. This is just one of many environmental education programs that the Sitka Conservation Society supports in and out of local schools from the elementary to the high school level.

 

Aug 30 2012

SCS Recommends: COASST Training in Sitka on September 15th

Help make a difference for the environment by collecting data for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST).  COASST is a citizen science project dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high quality data on the status of coastal beaches, and trends of seabirds. Our goal is to assist government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions, and promote proactive citizen involvement and action. COASST volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska.  Volunteers need NO experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about 3/4 mile) each month.

If you are interested in participating, join COASST staff for a full, 6-hour training session. Hear about how COASST started, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out your new skills with some actual specimens.  There is no charge to attend a training, but plan to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a COASST Beached Birds field guide.  Training activities take place indoors, and include a break for lunch – please pack your own or plan to buy lunch nearby.

Upcoming COASST training session:

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2012
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sitka Sound Science Center – 834 Lincoln Street Suite 200

If you can’t attend these events, please check our website at www.coasst.org or call (206) 221-6893 for additional information on upcoming events and trainings.

To reserve your spot at a training session, please contact coasst@uw.edu or 206-221-6893.

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