“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
In 2005, the Friends of Kananaskis Country collaborated with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and the Elbow River Watershed Partnership to develop and deliver an educational field study for grade 8 & 9 and Biology 20 students.
In 2012 the program is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Friends of Kananaskis Country, Tourism, Parks & Recreation – Kananaskis Country, the Elbow River Watershed Partnership via Shell's FuellingChange program, Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Alberta Stewardship Network, and the City of Calgary.
Students will stop at key locations along the Elbow or Bow River within Kananaskis Country to test the water for dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, PH, turbidity, temperature and aquatic invertebrates. This experiential field study is designed to challenge students to predict and then discover human impacts on river ecology.
“Our rivers are an expression of our landscape.” The program is based on this premise with participants being challenged to predict and then discover just what it is that the river is expressing. The objective of the curriculum-based field study internship is to provide two students, interested in pursuing the field of environmental education, with mentoring and the opportunity to gain skills directly related to designing, presenting and evaluating environmental education programming.
Providing educational programs such as this is a vital step to ensuring the preservation and ecological integrity of Kananaskis Country.
This program has been developed to compliment the Grade Eight Fresh Water Systems and the Grade Nine Environmental Chemistry curriculum. The Field Study is an opportunity for students and their teachers to spend a full day on the Elbow or Bow River in Kananaskis Country. Using the water kits, the intern takes the group to five stops along the river beginning at the headwaters and ending in Calgary. Along the way, the students test the water, observe the land use and are engaged in discussions and conversations about water, watersheds and their personal impact.
We have been overwhelmed with the popularity of this program. We are able to do a maximum of 60 programs between May and October. This provided high quality, affordable experiential learning to over 1200 students in 2011 alone. As well, the teachers are provided with additional materials and resources for continued learning in the classroom.
This is an extremely valuable learning opportunity for the intern. They are able to learn and present a successful school based program in a supportive, safe environment. Much of the mentoring and training is done on these field study outings. They get the real experience of what it is to be an environmental educator working with students and teachers and developing their own style of teaching.
After a few weeks of mentoring, the intern can run these programs on their own.
If you wish to book a program, please contact Kananaskis.Education@gov.ab.ca.