Reflections on Youth Engagement


Our research shows that using YCCS as a way to engage young people in thinking about complex interactions between human and nature can promote sophisticated reasoning, access to student’s funds of knowledge, and connection to place. In the blog posts below, read more about how educators are encouraging young people to grapple with the world around them.

Blog entry Sarah Angulo

Project Update: Training Presents Drafted Environmental Education to Support Clear Lake Stewardship

Inspiration and next steps

In March, the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science and Center for Regional Change facilitated a two-day training in Lakeport with educators and partners from across the region as part of the Caring for Clear Lake project. The training is a milestone for the two-year project, approved by Blue Ribbon Committee for the Rehabilitation of Clear Lake and funded by the California Natural Resources Agency.  

Blog entry Sarah Angulo Peggy Harte

Project Update: Connecting Classroom Content in Spinning Salmon Field Trips

“Bye, Spaghetti!” waved one high schooler as a tiny Chinkook salmon, so named Spaghetti, swam out of a plastic cup and into the murky Sacramento River. Across the boat ramp at Riverbend Park in Oroville, students said their farewells to the alevin in their own cups. This was the last chance for students to get an up close of the fish they spent raising in their classroom over the last 6 weeks.

Blog entry Heidi Ballard Shulong Yan

Project Update: Elementary Students Connected to Forest Managers through Data

After 4+ years of collaboration and intensive project work, the Our Forests Project is entering a phase of analysis, product development, and sharing with a wide range of audiences. Our Forests is an NSF DRK-12-funded Youth-focused Community and Citizen Science (YCCS) collaborative project between our center and our community partner – Sierra Streams Institute.

Blog entry Peggy Harte

H.E.A.L.(ing) the Watershed

In May, the Center’s Youth Education Program Manager, Peggy Harte, joined teachers from throughout northern California as they came together to celebrate and share their learnings as participants in the year-long professional development program, H.E.A.L. (Health, Environmental Awareness and Literacy). 

Blog entry Sarah Angulo

Project Update: Net-Working with the Clear Lake Hitch

What’s the best way to get to know Clear Lake? A boat ride, of course! 

Not just any boat ride. We recently joined California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as staff conducted the last electrofishing survey of the season. These surveys are one of many community-wide efforts to monitor Clear Lake hitch populations, which is a culturally important species to Tribes and endemic to Clear Lake. 

Blog entry Sarah Angulo Peggy Harte

Project Update: Field Trips Wrap Up Another Successful Year of GEAR UP Partnership

Starting a collaborative community and citizen science project with high schools is no small feat. Try starting it during the pandemic. That’s what we did with the Center’s collaboration with GEAR UP STEM Rural Valley Partnership Spinning Salmon in the Classroom project. After managing a year of distance learning in 2021 and piloting in-person content in 2022, we had so much we were excited to do this year. 

Blog entry Heidi Ballard Peggy Harte

From California to Tanzania and Back Again

Creating an educational and culturally-relevant environmental monitoring program for youth in northeast Tanzania

Could Community and Citizen Science not only support Science AND English teachers to teach in hands-on ways, but also help to feed students in Tanzania schools? Based on our recent collaboration, the answer is Yes!  

Blog entry Sarah Angulo Peggy Harte

Project Update: Field trips connect to classroom learning

Spinning Salmon in the Classroom Project

It’s a cold February morning at River Bend Park in Oroville. We’re standing with UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences’ Carson Jeffres, waiting patiently for the bus to arrive from Red Bluff High School. A truck towing a boat backs down the boat ramp where we’re waiting to meet the high school students that have participated in the Spinning Salmon in the Classroom project this winter.

Blog entry Heidi Ballard Sol Henson

Designing for Science Learning in Schools by Leveraging Participation and the Power of Place through Community and Citizen Science

This post was originally featured as a part of the Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education’s project spotlights. This Spotlight features DRK-12 collaborative projects, provides insight into the affordances and challenges of partnering with multiple organizations, and offers advice for those considering a collaborative proposal. Click here to visit the project Spotlight.

Blog entry Sarah Angulo

Project Update: Inspirations after a visit to Lake County

Since July 2022, the Center for Community and Citizen Science has been steadily working on a project in collaboration with the UC Davis Center for Regional Change to build capacity for environmental education (EE) and community and citizen science (CCS) in the Clear Lake region. 

Blog entry Peggy Harte

New Publication and Webinar Series: Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy

As educators and researchers, the Center for Community and Citizen Science is focused on joining young people in the work of learning, doing, and using science to improve the world we share. This means thinking about young people as community leaders and people who do science. We have been working to support educators and educational leaders at both the district and state levels to better understand ways in which citizen science and environmental literacy more broadly can be used to deepen both student learning and development of environmental science agency.

Blog entry

Project Update: Salmon in the Classroom

As scientists investigate the cause of  thiamine deficiency in California’s Central Valley salmon, high school classrooms in California’s Central Valley were given the unique opportunity to contribute data to this ongoing research.

Blog entry Peggy Harte

Engaging College Opportunity Programs, Researchers and Students through Citizen Science: Reimagining Possibilities of STEM and CTE

In January of 2020, the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science (CCCS) began a new research practice partnership exploring STEM opportunities and developing teacher professional development with the college opportunity program GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), serving students across Glenn, Colusa, and Tehama counties.

Blog entry Chris Jadallah

Chris In The Creek: Community-Based Monitoring with the Watershed Education Network

Originally posted in the Watershed Education Network

The original blog post is available here.

Western Montana’s Rattlesnake Creek and its many relations – human and more-than-human – are at the heart of our ongoing research-practice partnership between Watershed Education Network (WEN) and the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science. As part of this partnership, I was fortunate enough to visit Missoula this past summer to collect data that will help us document how WEN’s Stream Team and Backcountry Stream Corps programs are fostering community impacts in the Rattlesnake Creek watershed and beyond.

Blog entry

An Overview of the City Nature Challenge

Alexandria Tillett Miller

What is the City Nature Challenge?

The City Nature Challenge is a collaborative international bioblitz that started in 2016 as a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The objective for the challenge is to motivate people in their surrounding area to get outside and document wildlife and general biodiversity. In 2017, the City Nature Challenge went national, and one year later, became a world-wide event.

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