CCS Our Forests

Overview

Our Forests

In partnership with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools and the Sierra Streams Institute, CCS has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study youth learning through environmental science research related to forest health. The Youth Community Action and Science in Our Forests (“Our Forests”) project will train and support participating 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers as they work with their students, local environmental scientists and community organizations to study local forests and fire risk in Nevada County, California. The project is particularly relevant today as decades of fire suppression policy collide with climate change to redefine Northern California’s fire season, increasing wildfires’ size and impact.

Over the next four years, CCS and its partners will collaborate with teachers and ecologists to design targeted materials and connect youth learning to the community-identified issue of forest health. Our project will examine the impacts of three key features of citizen science—collecting, analyzing and sharing data—on student environmental science learning and agency over several design cycles. We aim to create a replicable model of science standards-aligned, school-based community and citizen science that can be used in classrooms beyond Nevada County after the project ends. This project builds on years of research studying youth-based community and citizen science; read more about our previous work and findings here.

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS) office takes pride in providing educational, financial, and student support programs for almost 12,000 students in Nevada County.  They work closely with the county’s nine school districts and over 30 schools, to support all students and educators. 

Sierra Streams Institute 

Sierra Streams Institute (SSI) is a watershed monitoring, research, and restoration group based in Nevada City, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Their mission is to link water, science and people for the benefit of human and environmental health. Founded in 1995 as Friends of Deer Creek, SSI has grown to become an important voice in the regional scientific community.

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Listen to a radio interview about “Our Forests”

In early November 2019, KVMR’s Educationally Speaking program invited ​Sol Henson, the Educational Co-Director at Sierra Streams Institute, and our own Erin Bird to discuss the Youth Community Action and Science in Our Forests (“Our Forests”) project, now getting underway in Nevada County. The Our Forests project will train and support participating 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers as they work with their students, local environmental scientists and community organizations to study local forests and fire risk.

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