Getting WILD on JBER

Program educates about wildlife on base


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Hannah Brewster examines the fur on a red fox pelt at a Project WILD class recently on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Classes are available to those who want to educate themselves or others about the ecology of Alaska, and can earn students a college credit. Alaska’s rich variety of wildlife provides plenty of course material.

Courtesy photo/Sarah Jones

Children may be amazed or terrified of wild animals that live in the wilderness of the Alaskan outdoors, but a little education can leave their parents a little more at ease.

“My fondest memories as a young child in the backwoods of Pennsylvania were not watching cartoons and playing video games, but exploring all plants and animals I could find in the woods,” said Sarah Jones, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson wildlife education center coordinator.

A Project WILD - or Wildlife in Learning Design - course now offered through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, is available on JBER for anyone who wishes to attend. Educators, teachers and homeschoolers can earn a college credit through University of Alaska-Anchorage for the course. The course can also be used for professional development purposes or salary advancement.

Workshops can be customized to cover different topics like “Growing up WILD” to “Winter Adaptations.” The classes consist of lectures and hands-on activities.

The Project WILD curriculum gives educators of military children the opportunity to take the classroom outdoors and use wildlife to teach a wide variety of basic skills such as observation and analyzing and vocabulary. It also integrates the outdoors with science, math, English, mathematics, geography, government, citizenship, art, and Alaska culture. The course also thoroughly explains the Alaska state standards and the Alaska Wildlife Curriculum Series.

Courses vary from two to 15 hours depending on the curriculum. They can be beneficial to installation educators and military families wanting an understanding of Alaska’s wildlife and ecosystem.

The course cost is $20, plus additional charges for college credit.

For more information and future Project WILD workshops, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website, www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=curricula.workshops. Future workshops will also be announced through the JBER Wildlife Education Center Facebook page.

To contact the Project WILD state coordinator, Brenda Duty, at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, call 267-2216 or email brenda.duty@alaska.gov.

 

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