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Portneuf watershed ecosystem services, A MILES Adventure Learning project for teachers, set June 8-12 at ISU

June 5, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

A professional development Adventure Learning workshop for teachers interested in ecosystem services in the Portneuf River valley as an integrative topic is being held at Idaho State University June 8-12.

Workshop participants will study the implications of climate change and urban development for managing ecosystem services across geographical, cultural, economical, political and ecological domains.

The goal of the project is to build Idaho’s capacity to study complex social-ecological processes, especially those associated with managing ecosystem services, such as water demand and the valuation of pollination and lands for recreation, said Rosemary Smith, ISU professor of biological sciences and program coordinator.

This workshop is supported by MILES (Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services), a five-year, $20 million grant funded by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The MILES project is statewide and includes researchers in a variety of academic disciplines from ISU, Boise State University and the University of Idaho. Three Adventure Learning teacher workshops will be held this summer in Idaho – the first in Pocatello, and two in July in the Boise and Coeur d’Alene regions.

Teachers will develop resources to provide students with the knowledge needed to respond to local ecological issues. They will also help students understand the interaction between social and ecological systems and how that interaction effects ecosystem services on mid-sized cities in the face of climate change and urban growth.

The Adventure Learning approach of the workshop includes a social-network component, in which teachers participate either in-person or digitally. In-person teachers will engage in field excursions, data collection, and use technology to explore issues associated with human development in the Portneuf River watershed, and then share their experiences each day with other teachers via digital media including blogs, Twitter, and videos posted online.

“This program will include an intensive week of activities,” Smith said. “We will meet daily from 7:30-a.m.-4 p.m. at Idaho State University and set out to regional destinations to explore different ecosystem services in our area.”

More information on the MILES grant is available at www.idahoecosystems.org.


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