Connecting Cultures: Engaging Latinos in Science Education
Connecting Cultures Newsletter 
from Environment for the Americas

February 2011
In This Issue
Project Participants
Diversity Initiative Successful at Bandelier
2011 Intern Selection
Meet A Council Member
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 2011, 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
Diversity Outreach Successful at Bandelier National Monument's Nature Festival   

kids at Bandelier
Laila working with children at Nature Fest.

Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico is a study site in EFTA's work examining the barriers to Latino participation in informal science education. In 2010, our efforts significantly improved diversity at Bandelier's annual Nature Festival. The increase in the festival's participation by Hispanic/Latino community members rose from 4.8% in 2009 to 31% in 2010. Festival participants had opportunities to learn about bird banding, participate in a nature-focused scavenger hunt, and see live raptors.

Bandelier staffers
Laila (l), Intern Liaison Mariamar Gutierrez (ctr), and Andres with a bilingual display about Bandelier NM.

Interns at this site worked tirelessly to network with communities near Bandelier National Monument.  Laila Yunes Jiménez of Mexico and Andrés Felipe Peña Monroy of Colombia were extremely busy promoting and giving informal science eduction programs. They worked in the town of Española at the library, the YMCA, and with adult ESL class members and staff at a nearby college. The interns also participated in community festivals in Santa Fe to spread the word about Bandelier's Nature Festival. Congratulations to Laila and Andrés for bringing diverse communities to Bandelier.

Our congratulations and appreciation to Laila and Andrés for their hard work in bringing diverse communities to Bandelier National Monument!
 2011 NPS Park Flight Migratory Bird Program Intern Selections


The National Park Service Park Flight Migratory Bird Program received 89 applications from candidates in 16 Latin American countries for international internship positions. The call for applicants was distributed throughout the Western Hemisphere to bird group list-servs, Partners in Flight-Mesoamerica, and direct emails to environmental and natural resources ministries, universities, non-governmental organizations, and former Park Flight interns. The selection process is rigorous and includes completing an English questionnaire about the applicant's background and goals and a 2-hour phone interview in English for top candidates.   


The selection criteria for candidates include having experience with environmental education programs and/or event organization, intermediate to advanced English speaking skills, and a desire to apply new skills towards bird conservation and/or education in their home country. The earliest positions have been filled and top candidates for the final available positions in Bandelier National Monument will be interviewed in early March.  

Congratulations to the following 2011 Park Flight interns for the NSF Latino outreach project:

  • Veronica Pacheco Albornoz, Venezuela                             Fire Island National Seashore
  • Daniela Salvatierra da Silva, Bolivia                              Point Reyes National Seashore/Golden Gate National Recreation Area; with PRBO Conservation Science
  • Carlos Gonzalez Sanchez, Mexico                                 North Cascades National Park
  • Sara Ocasio Ortiz, Puerto Rico                                       New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route/Pinelands; with New Jersey Audubon Society

Learn more about the interns and their projects in upcoming  newsletters.

Advisory Council Member Highlight

Edwin Juarez

Edwin bio pic
Edwin Juarez

Edwin Juarez developed a passion for wildlife and nature as a kid growing up in rural El Salvador.  He graduated from Texas A&M University with a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, where he studied Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos. Currently, he coordinates the Arizona Bird Conservation Initiative (formerly Partners in Flight), for the AZ Game and Fish Department. As the coordinator, he facilitates the planning and implementation of various bird conservation projects, including Important Bird Areas, long-term bird monitoring of priority species, and International Migratory Bird Day activities. He also promotes the conservation of birds on their Mexican wintering grounds through several binational projects.  


Growing up in Houston as immigrant from El Salvador, and now having worked as a bird biologist for over 8 years in two major urban centers (Houston and Phoenix), he has a strong interest in identifying and implementing approaches that better connect Latino communities to nature.    


Edwin comments that he jumped at the chance to serve on the Advisory Council for this project "because the knowledge learned from this project will help identify and eliminate barriers that hinder us from more effectively serving the Latino community in the areas of environmental education and outdoor recreational opportunities."

Calendar of Events  
March 2011 Arrival and training of Park Flight intern Veronica Pacheco Albornoz at Fire Island National Seashore.

April 2011
Arrival and training of Park Flight interns Carlos Gonzalez Sanchez at North Cascades National Park, Daniela Salvatierra da Silva at Point Reyes National Seashore/Golden Gate National Recreational Area, and Sara Ocasio Ortiz at New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail. 

April 23, 2011 
Jr. Ranger Day at Fire Island National Seashore

May 14, 2011
Leavenworth Bird Festival at North Cascades National Park

International Migratory Bird Day celebration at Point Reyes National Seashore/Golden Gate National Recreational Area

June 18, 2011
Bird Day Celebration at Harbor Fest, New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail
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