Sitka Conservation Society

Environmental EducationEnvironmental Education

The Sitka Conservation Society provides diverse environmental education programs, which reach hundreds of people from preschool age through retirement age every year. Some of these programs are actually done in the classrooms of local schools, while other programs include public lectures, field classes, and even boat trips for the community at large.

Backwoods and Waters Lecture Series

The Backwoods and Waters series is a mix of wintertime lectures and summer boat trips to some of the most ecologically interesting and important places on the Tongass. It is an opportunity for Sitkans to learn about the natural history of their own home and abroad.

 

 

Wild Salmon Outreach and Education

The Sitka Conservation Society is engaging in an ambitious project to spread the word about the importance of salmon and wild salmon habitat to the environment and our way of life in Southeast Alaska. With funding from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, we are developing curriculum materials for educators, conducting teacher training workshops in monitoring stream health and water quality, developing a university-level course in watershed ecology, and airing hundreds of public service announcements on local radio stations.

 

Sitka 4H: Skills for an Alaskan Way of Life

The richness of the Tongass National Forest and the waters of the Outer Coast make Sitka unlike any place.  The dense forests, towering mountains, and waterways make this environment a unique classroom for youth to learn skills and respect for the land. It is our hope that students connect to this incredible environment through hands-on learning and leadership opportunities in the community.

 

Fish to SchoolsFish to Schools

As the ninth largest seafood port in the country, Sitka is swimming with fish.  Students should have access to this nutritious, local food that drives our economy and represents the interconnectedness of our community. Local fish lunches are served twice a month at local schools. The lunch program is served with a “Stream to Plate” curriculum, taking students through the cycle in which fish mature in our waterways, are harvested by local fishermen, undergo processing by our town’s thriving seafood processors, and finally grace our dinner table.

Stream Team

Each May in Starrigavan Valley, nearly 100 7th Graders from Blatchley Middle School in Sitka spend a couple days doing hands-on stream restoration and monitoring. In the classroom, the students learn about watershed ecology and salmon habitat. Then they hit the field and help professional watershed managers actually install in-stream wood structures to rebuild fish habitat.

 

 

Kids’ Energy Awareness

Educating young people about energy issues is the best way to ensure an energy independent future for Sitka.  The Sitka Conservation Society has begun visiting school classes to talk about energy.  Lessons in the classroom visits include Sitka’s energy situation and conservation, fossil fuels in Alaska, home weatherization, and home and building energy audits.

 

 

Science Mentor Program

Students in the Science Mentor Program gain valuable knowledge of the local environment by conducting ecological research studies with professional scientists. This program also prepares students for post-secondary studies and gives them a glimpse into careers in the ecological sciences. Individual students will gain valuable real-world experience by working one-on-one with professional mentors to develop, implement, and report on a research study that addresses a pertinent ecological question in the local Sitka area.

 

Bear Aware

Baranof Island has one of the highest concentrations of brown bears in the world, and the Sitka Conservation Society is interested in seeing that bears and people coexist safely.   The Bear Aware campaign strives to remind the public how to avoid unwanted bear encounters.

 

 

Recent Posts:

  • Restoring Salmon Habitat at Kruzof Island

    Restoring Salmon Habitat at Kruzof Island

    The soft morning sunlight shined upon as I rode my bike to the Crescent Harbor, making my way towards Scott’s Boat. Today was the very first overnight camping trip of my internship, and that fact alone had already made the trip exciting. As I got to the boat, Scott was already there, making sure that [...]

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  • Fish Wednesday!

    Fish Wednesday!

    Fish to Schools started in the fall of 2010 and we’ve steadily grown the program over the last four years. We grew from one school to two to four to eight. We went from serving fish from once a month to twice a month to EVERY week. For the 2014-2015 school year the Sitka School [...]

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  • Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    As published in the Sitka Daily Sentinel on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Scientists are searching for a method to eradicate the invasive tunicate species that has kept Whiting Harbor closed since 2010. This invasive sea squirt has been found all over the world and can have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems if not controlled. But [...]

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  • Salmon Stewardship on the Tongass: Twelvemile Creek

    Salmon Stewardship on the Tongass: Twelvemile Creek

    The Sitka Conservation Society is not only dedicated to protecting the natural environment of the Tongass National Forest, but also to supporting the health and sustainability of the communities that depend on the forest’s resources. As part of this mission, we partnered with local communities, the Tongass National Forest, and the National Forest Foundation to [...]

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  • Fish to Schools Recipe Challenge

    Fish to Schools Recipe Challenge

    Do you think you can make a fish recipe that is kid friendly, baked, low in fat, and low in sodium? Eight people were up to the challenge and participated in Sitka Conservation Society’s community recipe contest for Fish to Schools. The Sitka School District is already serving many delicious local fish entrees like rockfish [...]

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Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

  • The Largest Mammal in the Tongass
  • Restoring Salmon Habitat at Kruzof Island
  • Fish Wednesday!
  • Director Andrew Thoms contributes to Tongass Managment Plan
  • Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor
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