August 2, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 25
Idaho State University College of Education assistant professor Shelly Counsell co-presented a teacher workshop "Toys, Ramps and Games: Science for Junior and Middle Classes" in Ireland recently with a colleague from East Tennessee State University.
Counsell is in the Early Childhood Education and Intervention Program of the Department of Educational Foundations. The workshop was held as a part of a five-day summer school program for early childhood teachers at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.
"Ireland, like the United States, is actively striving to overcome a historical past that has largely relegated science learning and instruction to rote learning and recall of scientific facts with insufficient opportunities to develop practical, investigative skills, and relevant application to students' lives," Counsell said.
Her workshop was delivered in partnership with the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) in Ireland. Early childhood educators from Ireland and Spain along with staff from NCE-MSTL participated in the workshop.
The goal of the early physical science workshop series is to increase primary teachers' physical science knowledge, understanding, and practical applications in classroom settings in Ireland. The presentations explored constructivism as the theoretical framework to advance inquiry-based learning in support of early science learning and instruction.
Participants were provided with opportunities to experiment with early physical science activities using the "Ramps and Pathways and Cylinders and Spheres Modules" developed at the University of Northern Iowa and used locally in the Idaho State University Early Childhood Education Program.
"'The Ramps and Pathways' module far-exceeded my expectations as an early physical science activity for young children," said Eucharia McCarthy, director of the Curriculum Development Unit, MIC, University of Limerick.
While in Ireland, Counsell also provided a "Ramps and Pathways" workshop for faculty and staff at Holy Family Junior School in Ennis, Ireland. This group of early childhood teachers was equally enthusiastic about integrating the "Ramps and Pathways" activities into their science curriculum and plan to work with Counsell and Mary Immaculate College to obtain future National Science Foundation grant funding.
Counsell recently submitted a National Science Foundation CAREER Grant proposal that includes a collaboration with Mary Immaculate College as an international field site.
"Presenting the early physical science teacher workshop in Ireland this summer and meeting with science education faculty at MIC and Ireland's National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) has opened the door, initiating the conversation needed to lay a foundation for lifelong collaborations between MIC and the College of Education at Idaho State University," Counsell said. "It is my sincere hope my NSF CAREER grant proposal is only the first in a series of major research ventures to be coordinated between ISU and MIC."
Nicole Hill, counseling professor, will be attending Higher Education Resource Services or HERS, a prestigious leadership and management program for women in higher education administration.
Hill will attend HERS Institute sessions at the University of Denver in August, September and October.
Since 1976 only 4,000 women have been accepted to the HERS Institutes at Bryn Mawr College, Wellesley College, and the University of Denver. Participants represent 1,200 institutions in the United States, Canada, South Africa and numerous other countries. Alumnae hold positions of leadership in higher education and include presidents, chancellors, vice presidents and deans.
Dubbed "Welcome Back Orange and Black, a Communiversity Event," the Pocatello/Chubbuck communities are planning to welcome back Idaho State University students and faculty in a spectacular way.
Streets in historic Old Town will be closed to traffic from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, to allow a rollicking welcome complete with food, vendor booths, live music and other entertainment. The event, hosted be the Idaho State Journal, Idaho State University, Old Town Pocatello and the Chamber of Commerce, will celebrate the partnership and relationship between the university and the community.
Businesses are being encouraged to paint signs in their store windows welcoming students back and letting them know their presence and business is appreciated. The event will feature 50 booths manned by businesses and restaurants, which will be providing free food samples, coupons and drawings to promote their goods and services.
Bus transportation leaving from designated campus locations will be available to take students to Old Town.
Organizers are striving to make Pocatello a real university town. They hope that the street fair is the beginning of many such events that aims to build a stronger connection between the university and the community. In the spring the University will host a reciprocal event on campus where the community will be invited to campus and see up close and personal what is taking place at ISU.
An emergency response exercise will be held at University Place in Idaho Falls on August 9th. The exercise will include first responders from city, county and state agencies along with Idaho State University and University of Idaho personnel.
Beginning at approximately 9 a.m there will be an unusually large number of emergency personnel and vehicles in the vicinity of and on the University Place campus. The drill may last anywhere from two to three and a half hours.
Firearms will be employed and the sound of blank ammunition may be heard.
The CHE and basement floor of the Tingey will be off limits for normal business during this exercise. The Bennion SUB, CAES and upper floors of the Tingey will practice their lockdown and shelter-in-place procedures and will then be given the "all clear" to resume normal business. The campus will be open during this exercise.
Since the drill is happening during normal daytime campus operations, emergency vehicles participating in the exercise will not be responding to the scene with lights and sirens on. However, once inside the exercise area, emergency vehicle lights will be activated.
Areas where the exercise is taking place will be clearly marked with signs and we will have safety personnel monitoring the event. During any event, including exercises, safety is a high priority.
The exercise is being conducted to evaluate the capability of local response agencies and other essential partners, including ISU and U I personnel, to effectively respond to and manage a simulated incident of significance on the Idaho Falls campus. The University Place Emergency Notification System will also be tested during this exercise.
In order to keep the drill as realistic as possible for the responders and other participants, officials are not releasing a great amount of detail about the scenario, but urge the public not to be alarmed if they witness the event taking place and hear the sound made by the blank ammunition.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact ISU Public Safety at 282-2515.
Please take time to review ISU's Emergency Information page and Response Plan at: www.isu.edu/pubsafe/emergency_menu.shtml.
George Wise will exhibit his artwork at the Idaho State University Eli M. Oboler Library during August and September. His work is located in the current display area of the library's first floor near the reference desk.
A local artist, Wise moved to Pocatello in 1968 from his home state of Washington. He taught school at Hawthorne Junior High for 10 years. In 1978 he retired from teaching to pursue a full-time art career.
"I love what I do and am very fortunate to be able to sell my work. I am retired but still work every day," Wise said.
The display includes 16 images in a variety of media and subject matter.
Wise said the Internet has opened a whole world to him and that he has been selling on eBay for a number of years.
"I have shipped orders to such far-flung places as England, Australia and Japan," Wise said. "Recently, I got an order from Moscow, Russia. It's amazing to me that a woman in Moscow sat down in front of her computer looking for a particular subject.
"One of my images," continued Wise, "came up, she ordered it, paid for it and I was instantly notified. I put the print in an envelope and went to the post office and shipped it that day. What a small world."
The exhibit is free and open to the public and may be viewed during regular library hours.
For more information, including schedule changes due to the holidays and summer hours, contact the library at (208) 282-3248.
Idaho anglers are thrilled this summer by the large run of Chinook salmon returning to Idaho streams that bring a giant surge of life into the Salmon River system and to the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam.
As of early July, about 120,000 adult Chinook had crossed over Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, the last dam on the Columbia/Snake River system that salmon must cross before entering Idaho waters. This year's run is more than two-and-one-half times greater than the average Chinook run of the last five years.
Fishermen are lining the banks for a chance to hook and battle one of these powerful anadromous fish, and wildlife benefit from the return of the fish in other ways. Researchers from Idaho State University and other regional universities are helping with an Idaho Department of Fish and Game project that is showing that salmon, both dead and a live, play a very important role in the health and vitality of Idaho's ecosystems by restoring nutrients.
Wild salmon, which return to their native streams to spawn and then die and decompose, are particularly beneficial to ecosystems. Hatchery fish that return to hatcheries are less beneficial unless their carcasses are put back into streams to provide nutrients.
Researchers are putting treated salmon carcasses, pelletized fish tissue and inorganic fertilizers in sections of Idaho rivers that have been dammed and salmon can no longer return. They're testing how salmon nutrients benefit streams.
"We're doing this as mitigation for the development of the federal hydropower system, receiving money via the Bonneville Power Administration who mitigates for fish and wildlife impacts as directed by the Northwest Power Act," said Gregg Servheen, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Program Coordinator, and the leader for this salmon nutrient study. "One thing Idaho State University researchers have found is that fish are growing faster and growing larger in our treated streams. We're studying the effects of our mitigation as we implement it, but we're just at the beginning of our studies."
For this project, Idaho State University researchers are focused on the aquatic aspects of the study, University of Idaho researchers are focused on streamside plants and Washington State University researchers are focused mammals. The objective is to measure the effect of mitigation of salmon nutrients on fish and wildlife. This is being done by directly measuring changes in fish and wildlife such as growth of populations as well as changes to the quality and quantity of fish and wildlife food like plants, fed on by deer and elk, and insects fed on by bats and birds.
"In the streams that have been dammed we're seeing increased fish growth for resident fish in the sections that have been treated with salmon nutrients," said doctoral student Scott Collins, ISU's lead graduate student on the project from the ISU Stream Ecology Center. "We've also found an increase in the number of aquatic and terrestrial insects in the riparian zone."
So far, researchers have dumped salmon nutrients in nine different tributaries of the North Fork of the Boise River. Three sites were treated with dead salmon, three with processed salmon nutrients and three were used as control sites. Eventually, other forks of the Boise, Weiser and Payette rivers may be studied and treated to see how salmon nutrients affect the streams and their entire adjoining ecosystems or watersheds.
"We're looking to trace marine isotopes from salmon throughout the entire system to see how the salmon nutrients are benefiting plants and animals," Servheen said. "Showing how these nutrients effect aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and plant forage will also help us determine how terrestrial animals are benefited. We're looking at bats and bears, deer and elk, in addition to the aquatic organisms."
The ISU researchers are also beginning to track riparian spiders, an organism with a short life cycle, to see if their numbers or sizes increase as a result of insects. The spiders can be used as a model predator for other insect-eating organisms, such as birds or bats, to help determine how the salmon nutrients greater affect the stream ecosystem and how stream productivity can fuel terrestrial consumers.
"We are continuing to study the fish populations," Collins said. "We want to see if these short term increases in fish growth translate into long-term increases in fish populations. An increased food base, algae and insects, may allow for increased overwinter survival. We are currently collecting data to see if this is occurring or not."
Preliminary results indicate that the leftover nutrients from salmon runs have a healthy effect on Idaho streams.
Registration is now being accepted for Idaho State University's Institute of Rural Health youth suicide prevention training in McCall Aug. 16, in Pocatello on Sept. 21 and in Twin Falls Sept. 14.
These trainings are designed to provide the latest scientific information on the warning signs, risk and protective factors for suicide and mental illness, along with practical guidance on how to identify youth at risk for suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Idahoans aged 15-34. According to the Suicide Prevention Action Network in Idaho, the state had the 10th highest suicide rate in the nation in 2006, 36 percent higher than the national average.
Information will assist professionals, community leaders, parents, advocates and all those who care for children and youth.
Continuing education credit is offered to social workers, nurses and licensed counselors who attend the entire six-hour training. Others who attend will receive certificates of completion.
This training is free and open to the community, but seating is limited. Pre-registration is required.