Posted by: nept | February 18, 2010

Wetlands Education Training Workshop

On February 26th and 27th NEPT will be hosting a Wetlands Education Training Workshop.  The workshop will  feature a variety of hands-on activities, demonstrations, and wetland teaching and interpretation techniques from the Wondrous West Indian Wetlands: Teachers’ Resource Book. The workshops and book comprise part of the outreach and education components of the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project, a project of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB).

This 276-page workbook, published in July 2001, was written for educators in the West Indies. A fully revised and updated Second Edition of the book was printed in November 2004; the Spanish version (Los Maravillosos Humedales del Caribe Insular: Libro de Trabajo para el Maestro) was published in November 2003, French version in November 2007 (Merveilleux Milieux Humides des Antilles: Manuel de Référence pour les Professeurs et Éducateurs). The workbook provides resources for conducting a complete wetlands education unit in the classroom, including background information on ecological concepts and natural history, field techniques, and detailed instructions for student activities and projects. The diversity of wetland types found in the West Indies is surveyed, along with their inhabitants, their ecology, and the many ecosystem functions they perform. Classroom and field activities emphasize factors contributing to the loss of regional wetlands and the consequences of these losses for biodiversity, ecosystems and, ultimately, for people. The workbook considers conservation issues specifically pertinent to wetlands in the Caribbean, and provides ideas for student action projects in local communities. Global warming, invasive alien species, other causes of species endangerment, as well as local conservation success stories, and the importance of international treaties and conventions (e.g., Ramsar Convention) to the region are also discussed. The comprehensive and detailed nature of the information also makes the book a valuable resource for decision-makers in government and for members of the public participating in grassroots conservation efforts. The main messages in this book are that there are almost always alternatives to wetland destruction, degradation or unsustainable use, and that protecting the environment safeguards human health and makes economic sense.

The project seeks to raise awareness of the importance and value of our threatened wetland ecosystems and their wildlife, including the West Indian Whistling-Duck, a former resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands wetlands. The workshops will be lead by facilitators Dr. Lisa Sorenson, (Ecologist, Boston University, WIWD and Wetlands Conservation Project Coordinator) and Dr. Ann Sutton (state profession) and will be conducted primarily for local area school teachers.  If you have any questions about this event please contact the NEPT office at 9573736.


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