Tag: education

Saturday, July 13th, 2019
Students use iPads for field monitoring at the Triple Creek restoration site with George Thornton (2016)

Many of us carry smartphones as cameras and for a few of our favorite apps, but are you curious about other apps that might help you explore the natural world?

Learn how to make your phone or tablet into a suite of resources for identifying a wide variety of natural elements, from wildflowers and wildlife to trees and mountain peaks. Participants will be provided with a list of apps to choose from prior to the event, depending on what aspects of the natural world community members most want to explore. If you have a favorite app you think we should include on our list, email julie@okanoganhighlands.org with your suggestion.

The group will visit a site with a panoramic view of the Pasayten Wilderness, and practice identifying peak names. We will then explore the Lost Lake Wetland and Wildlife Preserve, using apps appropriate for the species we encounter. After the event, participants are encouraged to enjoy Lost Lake with swimming, canoeing, or kayaking, and continued observations of the beautiful and diverse plant and animal species that make the lake and forest their home.

The group will explore plants and animals at Lost Lake using a variety of apps

Due to the nature of the outdoor event, participation is limited, and priority registration is currently being offered for OHA members. A waiting list will be generated on a first-come, first-serve basis. To begin or renew OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, community members can donate online, or contact OHA for more information. Further details will be provided to those who register for the field trip. To sign up for this event, please email julie@okanoganhighlands.org or call 509-476-2432.

June 22, 2019 | with Rich Hatfield

OHA’s bumble bee field trip on June 22, 2019 provided community members with an opportunity to learn about the bumble bee species in our area, their importance to our ecosystem, as well as ways we can help conserve them. In an effort to learn more about bumble bees to improve evidence-based bumble bee conservation guidance, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Oregon Bee Project, has launched the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas. On a trip around the Okanogan Highlands, Rich Hatfield, Xerces Society conservation biologist, shared information about the Atlas Project, how to participate, and the value that the project will have to our area, both locally, and more regionally. The group conducted a point survey at Lost Lake to help determine the number of bumble bee species living there, along with a rapid habitat survey. More about the survey: www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org/point-surveys.html

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April 5, 2019 | With Caitlin LaBar

Okanogan County is host to 124 of the 155 butterfly species recorded in Washington. Caitlin spoke about some of the eco-geographical aspects that contribute to this incredible diversity, what species you can expect to commonly find, and some of the more reclusive species to watch for. We also learned how to contribute to ongoing research by photographing and recording data through various methods. Two of Caitlin’s books were available for purchase: Butterflies of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area and Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Washington, both of which were used as part of OHA’s 2018 butterfly field trip.

“The Sinlahekin is one of my favorite places, always changing and yielding new discoveries, yet always familiar. In studying what makes it so unique, I’ve explored many parts of the Okanogan…”

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In the spring of 2016, students from the Tonasket Outreach Program were invited to participate in Triple Creek restoration project. During the field trip, a group of 23 students of all ages, and six adult volunteers came out to the site and helped with planting trees and shrubs, building perches for birds of prey, taking photos to monitor the site, and participating in educational activities that illustrated the connections between producers and consumers in the web of life.

Participation at Triple Creek offers a bounty of ongoing learning experiences for the students of Outreach. Their classroom teacher, Sonja, has been leading students in research on riparian buffer zones. Grades 3-6 have been learning about photo monitoring, and helping to organize documentation of the project. They have also been able to celebrate the return of beaver to the creek! There will be a variety of opportunities for students of all ages to be involved throughout the school year, culminating in a return field trip in the spring. At that time students observe major changes that have occurred in the stream since their previous visit. They will see the instream structures that OHA and our team have constructed, and the ways in which these structures have mimicked beaver dams.

In 2019, the Outreach students are merging music and science with OHA’s Conservation Coordinator, Julie Vanderwal, as they compose a song to tell the story of change at Triple Creek. Later this spring, Outreach took another field trip to the project site to observe its improvement and to help plant more willow saplings in the riparian buffer zone around the streams. OHA appreciates all the work the Outreach teachers have done to coordinate these valuable experiences for the students, and the many volunteers who make the field trips possible.

This exposure offers valuable insight into multiple facets of science and study. They have been introduced to various fields and disciplines that can inspire and expand their opportunities for the future, including wildlife biology, watershed ecology, botany, geology, and field studies. They are learning about data collection and analysis, record keeping, wildlife photography, and the scientific method of observation. By maintaining connectivity throughout this process we are encouraging an ongoing relationship with these local ecosystems that will last beyond the memory of a single field trip, and encourage stewardship in our future generations.

(TEST) Nature’s Engineers: How Beavers Restore Habitat

Beavers possess remarkable engineering skills, which they combine with unparalleled work ethic to the benefit of streams and wetlands. On January 7th, 2011, this event focused on how beavers create the stream conditions and wetlands needed by an array of other plants and animals. In the process, beavers are sub-irrigating by raising the water table and increasing groundwater recharge in the Okanogan Highlands, making more water available for everybody during the low flows of late summer. Guest speakers who work with beavers in the field shared from their experiences and answered questions about these curious creatures. OHA also shared some exciting updates about the work of beavers on two of our restoration sites.

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Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: The Land’s Council

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Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Land’s Council
Part 3: Methow Beaver Project
Part 4: Okanogan Highlands Alliance
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