Connecting Cultures: Engaging Latinos in Science Education
Connecting Cultures Newsletter 
from Environment for the Americas
October 2010
In This Issue
Project Participants
Latino Participation Increases
Advisory Council Meets
Council Member Highlight
Calendar of Events
Project Participants

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

ADVISORY COUNCIL
Wendy Hanophy
  Consultant
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

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

CONTROL SITES
Great Sand Dunes National
Park & Preserve
  Colorado
Big Thicket National Preserve
  Texas
Big Cypress National Preserve
   Florida

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


INTERN LIAISON

Mariamar Gutiérrez

DIVERSITY OUTREACH 
Natasha Kerr

PROJECT CONSULTANTS
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!

Sincerely,
 
Susan Bonfield
Susan Bonfield
Environment for the Americas
Outreach Successful at Barr Lake Festival

banding
A close-up experience with birds at the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory banding station at Barr Lake.
The Barr Lake Bird Fest in Colorado is our first site to show an increase in Latino participation, rising from 7% in 2009 to 20% in 2010.

The increase in diversity at the event is the result of increased outreach via bilingual marketing in newspapers,  broad distribution of event posters and flyers, and increased outreach at schools, libraries, recreation centers and other organizations. Initial work in surrounding towns required considerable time by project staff, but developing these personal relationships are a critical part of new partnerships in Latino communities.

Congratulations to EFTA staff member Natasha Kerr for her excellent work.
Advisory Council Holds Annual Meeting 

On September 10th, the project's Advisory Council
Advisory Meeting Sept 2010
(l to r, top to bottom) Brett Bruyere, Natasha Kerr, Susan Bonfield, Carol Beidleman, Mike Rizo, Greg Stevens, Kim Ramirez, Marcella Wells, Kacie Ehrenburger, Mariamar Gutierrez, Edwin Juarez
met with project partners and investigators to review the
progress and achievements
of this three-year study.  Council members were the first to see the results of community surveys conducted at the six study sites.  They also provided comments on community outreach efforts, event modification to attract wider audiences, and the project evaluation process. 

Several council members stayed to participate in the Bird Fest at Barr Lake State Park and see the project in action.

We greatly appreciate the Advisory Council's support and many thanks to Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory for hosting the meeting.
Project Spotlight ~ Mariamar Gutierrez 
National Park Service Park Flight Migratory Bird Program liaison


Mariamar Gutierrez with an Eastern Screech-Owl
Mariamar Gutierrez with an Eastern Screech-Owl

Mariamar is a Nicaraguan biologist who has worked in migratory bird conservation since 2002.  Mariamar spent the early half of her childhood in the U.S. and the other half in Nicaragua, Central America. Now based in the U.S., she continues to work in transboundary bird conservation and education projects. She was an international intern through the National Park Service Park Flight Migratory Bird Program in 2004 and has assisted the program since 2007.  As Intern Liaison on the NSF Project, Mariamar assists with the selection and project orientation of Park Flight interns. Her experience as a previous Park Flight intern, as well as her knowledge of U.S. national parks and Latin American bird conservation projects, has been critical to the success of these internships. Mariamar has a B.S. in Biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua in Managua and is fluent in Spanish and English. 

 

My involvement with the "Engaging Latino Audiences in ISE" project has been extremely rewarding. Through this project I've been able to see real connections created, not just among the Park units and the surrounding Latino communities that we are studying, but also among individuals from different countries and cultures that are working together to spread a passion for nature. Being on-the-ground and hearing the interest and excitement about learning of nature and National Parks directly from the local Latinos/Hispanics has been encouraging. Although we have a lot of work ahead of us engaging all underserved audiences at our National Parks, I feel we are moving forward in the right direction.


Calendar of Events

Oct 19, 2010:
Farewell to NPS Park Flight interns, Laila Yunes Jiménez of Mexico and Andrés Felipe Peña Monroy of Colombia.  They arrived in New Mexico in July to promote awareness of Bandelier National Monument as part of their Park Flight internship.  Laila and Andrés did an amazing job with relationship building, community education, and outreach.  We thank them for all of their energy,  hard work, and dedication. 


NPS Park Flight Migratory Bird Program intern announcement released for 2011 international internships.

Oct 22-27, 2010:
Natasha Kerr conducts surveys and outreach in the Bay Area for the Muir Woods National Monument study site in California.
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 www.birdday.org.

Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day

2129 13th Street, Suite I
Boulder, Colorado 80302
866.334.3330