Collabinar: Center for Land-Based Learning

September 6, 2023

Challenges and opportunities integrating CCS into two longstanding community programs

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
12:00 – 1:00 PM PST
Watch recording

The discussion included an overview of the Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL)’s Farm and Climate Program and the Student Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) Program. The presenters described citizen science efforts underway in these two programs and discussed how the CLBL can involve more people in their citizen science opportunities. 

As part of the Farm and Climate Program, the ecological monitoring and research at the Maples Farm Headquarters in Woodland monitors soil carbon, wildlife, and pollinators. Additionally, the Healthy Soils Program research project looks at the effects of biochar and compost in olives.

For two decades, the SLEWS program has worked to engage high school students in habitat restoration through a series of hands-on field days at real projects that develop science skills and environmental stewardship in youth. Over the course of three SLEWS Field Days, and associated in-class lessons, students build their knowledge, skills and personal connection to the land. Each high school class of 30 students is matched with a habitat project where they plant native trees and shrubs, build irrigation systems and participate in ecological field studies while learning about careers and college opportunities in natural resource management and environmental science. Students see the effects of their work through multiple visits to their adopted project. These integrated learning experiences combine team building, science learning, habitat restoration and reflection activities with outdoor exploration.

Questions discussed: 

  1. How can the CLBL work to further integrate citizen science into our programming when we have a lack of access to technology? 
  2. In what ways can you make citizen science more appealing to the high school age level?
  3. How can CLBL involve more people in its citizen science opportunities?

With a background in environmental restoration and education, Allie Dumas has worked in over 4 different states across the country gaining important skills to empower the next generation. She received a B.A. in International Studies: Global Environment with a minor in Biology from Kenyon College in Central Ohio and her M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Washington. Leading the SLEWS program at the CLBL, she supports high school students to learn about their local environment, exposing them to college and career opportunities in the field of environmental science. 

Jeanne Wirka is an ecologist who heads up the Farm and Climate program at the Center for Land-Based Learning’s headquarters in Woodland, CA. She has a background in plant community ecology and ecological restoration. The Farm and Climate Program seeks to increase the pace and scale of carbon farming and habitat restoration to sequester CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in natural and working lands while also addressing declining biodiversity. She has an M.S. degree in Ecology from U.C. Davis and a B.A from Harvard University.

About the Collabinar Series
The Center for Community and Citizen Science Collabinar events invite our partners from across the globe to bring us their most exciting challenges and opportunities in community and citizen science. Each event supports mutual learning, and advances projects and partnerships. To stay informed about upcoming Collabinars, please sign up here.

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