Connecting Cultures: Engaging Latinos in Science Education
Connecting Cultures Newsletter 
from Environment for the Americas
August 2010
In This Issue
Project Participants
Surveys Completed at Six Sites
Outreach Begins in Cape May
Calendar of Events
Project Participants

Colorado State University
National Park Service
Point Reyes Bird Observatory
New Jersey Audubon Society
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Barr Lake State Park

Wendy Hanophy
Edwin Juarez
  Arizona Game & Fish Department
Kim Ramirez
  Audubon Fellow
Michael Rizo
  USDA Forest Service
Greg Stevens
  American Association of Museums
Fernando Villaba
  National Park Service

Bandelier National Monument
  New Mexico
Golden Gate Nat'l Recreation Area/Point Reyes Nat'l Seashore
Fire Island National Seashore
  New York
North Cascades National Park
New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route
  New Jersey
Barr Lake State Park

Great Sand Dunes National
Park & Preserve
Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve

CO-Principal Investigator
Carol Beidleman
  National Park Service, Park Flight 
  Migratory Bird Program


Mariamar Gutiérrez

Natasha Kerr

Brett Bruyere
Marcella Wells
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Environment for the Americas (EFTA) is examining the barriers to participation in informal science education by Latino/Hispanic audiences in a 3-year project funded by the National Science Foundation. In 2009, using International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) as the focus of the study, we conducted community surveys at 6 sites across the U.S., monitoring attendance at IMBD events and developing tools to help educators improve their outreach. In 2010, we are working with event organizers to implement the recommendations of survey respondents to improve outreach to Latino/Hispanic communities. Thank you for your interest!
Susan Bonfield
Susan Bonfield
Environment for the Americas
An ad promoting the bird festival in Cape May.

Outreach Adapted to Remove Barriers

EFTA has gathered almost 1,000 community surveys at six study sites across the nation to examine the barriers to Latino/Hispanic participation in informal science programs.  Now, we are taking the results from these surveys and adapting events to improve outreach to Latinos. 

The Leavenworth Bird Fest in Washington included bird walks led by Latino Park Flight Migratory Bird Program intern Daniel Mendez.  In New Jersey, EFTA staff worked with New Jersey Audubon to distribute flyers in Latino/Hispanic communities about birding activities offered during Harbor Fest, an event which attracted as many as 10,000 people.  Despite our outreach efforts, very few Latinos participated in the event. We recognize that our success may depend on longer-term outreach to these communities.

The next event at which we will be working to improve Latino participation is the Barr Lake Bird Festival in Colorado.  Working with state park staff and educators at Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, we are promoting the event in Latino communities before the festival by offering bird-focused programs at the local library and distributing festival flyers during community events.  The festival itself will also include involvement by Latino communities.  For example, a Latino youth group will have a booth at the event, walks will be offered in Spanish, and the layout of the event will include signage in English and Spanish.

At each event, we are gathering participation data that includes information about ethnicity.  We will use this information to determine changes in participation by Latinos over time.
The Demographics of Cape May, NJ
How our data provides details about Latino communities
Cape May Graph 1

Project surveys have provided us with pictures of the Latino communities at our study sites.  This information will help us understand if level of education, languages spoken, country of origin and other characteristics influence
decisions about Demographicsparticipating in informal science education. 

In Cape May, for example, we have learned the following:

*  Most respondents are 1st or 2nd generation to the U.S;

*  Just over one-half
completed secondary school;

*  More than half of adults and children speak English;

*  Almost 100% of adults speak Spanish. 

As we learn more about each of our study sites, we will be creating "vignettes" of these communities to help us understand how local demographic differences affect participation in informal science programs.
Calendar of Events

August 2010:
EFTA, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and Barr Lake State Park work to promote the Barr Lake Bird Festival

EFTA staff meet with Park Flight Migratory Bird Program interns at Bandelier National Monument

September 10 ~ Second annual Advisory Council meeting in Colorado

September 11 ~ Barr Lake Bird Festival in Brighton, Colorado

September 25 ~ Nature Festival at Bandelier National Monument
About Environment for the Americas

Environment for the Americas, home of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), is a non-profit organization working to increase awareness of birds and their conservation throughout the Western Hemisphere. We provide the framework and education materials for bird festivals and events, host a directory of bird education resources, offer bird workshops for educators, and motivate people of all ages to get outdoors to learn about birds. Find out more at

Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day

2129 13th Street, Suite I
Boulder, Colorado 80302