San Juan Nature Institute Programs
Life-Long Learning opportunities for adults include adult workshops conducted by experts in their field so residents and visitors to the islands can increase their knowledge local marine and terrestrial ecosystems, fauna and flora. The Arthur Whiteley Winter Lecture brings cutting-edge science to local audiences through a series of lectures by academics in fields as diverse as Forest Canopy Ecology, Comet Dust, Climate Change on Saturn, and Ocean Acidification.
Young Naturalist Program offers children from 5 to 12 years opportunities to explore their environment during the summer under the guidance of Environmental Educators with special skills in teaching young learners. Poplar classes include: Tracks and Traces which uses our collection of Repli-tracks and Repli-scat to introduce children to local animals and their habits; Animal pelts, and Pond life. Classes include games and journaling exercises. The program is also offered in schools.
Partners in Science enhances school science curricula by providing opportunities for students to work together with environmental scientists on projects of local importance and relevance. Topics include Salmon in the Classroom, Marine Invertebrate Studies and Wetlands and Watersheds. Marine Invertebrate classes often include a Diver for a Day experience at Friday Harbor Labs. With our partners at Kwiaht, students studied the hydrology of wetlands on Orcas and Lopez. Other projects include germination of germinating eel grass, Zostera marina, with advice from Dr Sandy Wyllie Echeverria, classes on tree identification, flower structure and function, and introductory genetics.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
During the 2011-2012 school year, San Juan Nature Institute
- Provided 128 students on three ferry served islands with a total of 1222 hours of Partners in Science programs.
- Offered 62 Young Naturalists a total of about 20 hours of programming in school, at Camp Eagle Rock and Camp Nor’Wester.
Some of our other recent accomplishments are:
- Informed approximately 2100 members of the public about their environmental programs at Friday Harbor Labs Open House, Orcas Library Fair and as part of the Green Village at San Juan County Fair.
- Secured funding for a 2-hour natural history experience each week at Camp Eagle Rock which serves about 60 children over 6 weeks.
- Awarded two grants from Orcas Island Community Foundation to fund Partners in Science in Orcas Schools in the 2012/13 school year.
- Conducted an adult workshop on Enhancing the Teaching of Botany which offered clock hours to 5 participants.
- 276 people attended the Arthur Whiteley lecture series in Friday Harbor.
- SJNI, as member of Stewardship Network, evaluated workshops and lecture series, part of a Targeted Awareness grant to Friends of San Juan from Puget Sound Partnership.
We are currently seeking operating funds to support our core education programs.