• Development and implementation of an elementary place-based science curriculum for the Yakutat School District

      Liben, Sarah; Todd, Susan; Conner, Laura; Ramos, Judith; Taras, Mike; Fabbri, Cindy (2017-05)
      The need for citizens with a fundamental knowledge of science who understand the interconnections between living things as well as the impact of science on society is more important than ever. To achieve this goal, studies show that major changes to the structure of science curriculum must be made in order to incorporate all aspects of: 1) inquiry-based instruction; 2) strategies that elicit students' prior knowledge; 3) building conceptual understandings; and 4) integrating an ongoing assessment process that provides feedback to students and informs instruction. These suggested changes are articulated in the recent Next Generation Science Standards. In order to construct an elementary science curriculum for the Yakutat School District, I utilized the Understanding by Design (UBD) framework to develop individual "investigations" that were formulated around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A place-based framework was constructed for each investigation using the GRASPS Performance Assessment model and Learning A-Z place-based instructional process. Existing lessons and activities that aligned with the NGSS and place-based framework were included in each investigation, and where there were gaps in addressing the standards, I utilized the BSCS (Biological Science Curriculum Studies) 5Es Learning Model to write a series of lessons for each investigation. Ultimately, I developed two curricula for the following grade levels: K-2 and 5-6. Curricula were divided into overarching units that contained between 1-5 investigations, or subunits, each of which were framed around 1-3 NGSS. This project's practical importance was to provide a curriculum for a school district that had no preexisting science curriculum. This curriculum is important to the field of science education, as it serves as a model that integrates western science and traditional knowledge in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards.
    • Protecting a Situk River fish camp way of life through visitor education: a community-based approach

      Bowen, Nevette; Koskey, Michael; Carroll, Jennifer; Jones, Jenny Bell; Ramos, Judith; Davis, Michael E. (2016-05)
      Many sport fishermen who visit Yakutat understand little about the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet set net fisheries. In Yakutat, these fisheries integrate commercial fishing with a subsistence fish camp way of life. This community participatory evaluation seeks to determine the usefulness of an interpretive sign and handout project aimed at alleviating a persistent visitor misconception that set net fishing is harming their ability to catch Situk River fish. It also explores what additional effort people in Yakutat think is needed to educate visitors about the set net fisheries. A combination of methods was used, including resident interviews, a community records search and a review of published research on the efficacy of visitor education tools. Interviews found widespread support for continuing visitor education efforts, including leaving the existing signs in place and reproducing additional copies of the handout. It was generally agreed that future materials should integrate information about the subsistence fishery. The importance of set netting for food, culture and income was emphasized. More interaction is needed to shift visitor outlooks closer to the community's shared connection to the river according to the participants. Interviews began the process of re-engaging people in a community effort to dispel visitor misconceptions. A multimedia approach, based on agreed messages using local strengths and assets, was preferred. It is hoped that this volunteer, community-based process will serve as another reason for reconvening Situk River partner agencies. A revived cooperative management framework is needed to implement a more sustained education effort, minimize user conflicts, ensure stewardship and rebuild trust between community members and government agencies.