KBEEA Past and Present
On March 4 - 6, 2000, representatives from over 15 marine, estuarine, and natural resource organizations involved in environmental education in the Kachemak Bay watershed came together to share their concerns and dreams for science education in this region. One outcome of this 2-day forum, organized by the Research Reserve and held at the Kasitsna Bay Lab, was the formation of an alliance of Kachemak Bay Environmental Educators (KBEEA). Participants of this new alliance envisioned an environmental education system of excellence in Kachemak Bay that would inspire life-long learning and commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability among Kachemak Bay residents and visitors.
Alliance members identified and prioritized activities to focus on in upcoming years. These included 1) identifying field educational sites and facilities within the watershed, as well as teacher resources (for field trips, pre-visit, and post-visit activities), 2) developing a process to effectively coordinate the use and application of these resources, 3) developing a coordination plan for K-12 education-based visitor programs within the watershed, 4) providing follow-up KBEEA strategic planning workshops, and 5) compiling a long-term strategic plan designed to provide a comprehensive watershed-based environmental education program for estuarine and coastal environmental literacy.
All of the above activities have been addressed since that initial meeting, with much progress made on the identification and coordination of existing programs, facilities, and teacher resources. This field trip planning website is a product of earlier KBEEA discussions.
Alliance members collaborate in priority projects designed to 1) protect fragile educational field resources from overuse by identifying all possible educational sites within the Kachemak Bay watershed and developing a process to effectively coordinate and disperse pressure from formal and informal groups visiting the watershed for educational purposes, 2) organize citizen-monitoring programs for efficient data collection and dissemination, 3) develop and maintain a needs assessment process for long-term decision-maker/coastal manager training workshop planning, and 4) evaluate existing coastal and estuarine teacher activities and to design new, exemplary estuarine/marine/environmental education materials based on needs identified by user groups (especially K – 12 teachers), alliance members, and coastal mangers.
A list serve has been established to enhance communication among environmental educators in the Kachemak Bay area of Alaska. Environmental educators who were unable to attend past KBEEA workshops, as well as those who have only just heard of KBEEA's efforts, are encouraged to join the KBEEA or learn more about its efforts by calling KBRR Education Specialist Carmen Field at (907)226-4659 or by visiting http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kbeea/. This website will be updated as Alliance projects get underway or are completed.