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

February 2012
In This Issue
Outreach Initiative Expands
Washington Partners Continue Latino Outreach
Seeking Conference Presenters
America's Summit on National Parks
Calendar of Events
Migratory Bird Day - 2012
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is the focus of the Connecting Cultures study.  In 2012, the program will share the results of the study in a celebration of diversity, IMBD's 20th Anniversary, and bird conservation.

2012 Art
Art by Rafael Lopez for EFTA
Project Participants
Colorado State University
National Park Service
Point Reyes Bird  
New Jersey Audubon
Rocky Mountain Bird
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

STUDY SITES                Bandelier National
  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


Mariamar Gutiérrez

Natasha Kerr

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 (NSF). Using International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) as the focus of the study, we have conducted community surveys at 6 sites across the U.S., monitoring attendance at IMBD events and developing tools to help educators improve their outreach. Now, 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
Latino Outreach Initiative Expands
EFTA is partnering with the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge to expand Latino outreach in San Jose, CA. Thanks to funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are building on our work at state and national parks across the country.  Our new effort focuses on hiring local Latino residents, providing them with training and experience in education, research, management, and improving outreach to nearby Latino communities. 


Cindy Moreno of San Jose, California is our newest intern. In addition to learning about the wildlife this spectacular refuge supports, she will work in local libraries, churches, schools, and other organizations to improve awareness of the refuge and participation in its education programs.

Cindy is a senior at San Jose State University, pursuing a B.S. in 
Cindy Moreno
Cindy Moreno, EFTA & Don Edwards NWR 2012 intern
Environmental Studies with a concentration in restoration and resource management. What draws her to environmental education and Latino outreach is her ability to relate to students of all backgrounds and abilities. Cindy is bilingual and wants to expand Latino outreach throughout California's South Bay and in her own community of Arvin, CA. 


Many thanks to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for supporting this project!  

Washington Partners Continue Latino Outreach

EFTA's partners in Washington are finding creative ways to continue their Latino outreach initiative after they have completed 3 years in the Connecting Cultures project. A team of biologists and educators from governmental and non-governmental organizations have formed Team Naturaleza! The mission of the Team mirrors EFTA's 3-year study to engage Latino communities in informal science education.

Organizers are working to raise funds to support a Latino liaison, Norma Gallegos (pictured above), of Wenatchee, Washington.  They were recently awarded a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Urban Birds mini-grant. With this support, Norma will coordinate Latino outreach and programs at the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest.  Team Naturaleza! will also sponsor a Dancing With Birds performance, bilingual marketing materials, a family picnic, and transportation to birding activities during the event. 

Team Naturaleza! will also host
Abriendo Caminos, a Spanish-language weeklong retreat in the remote mountains of Lake Chelan, WA.  Our partners will lead birding field trips and other bird-themed educational programs to over 400 Latino campers.  Way to go Team Naturaleza!

Check out the many education materials the group
has created to reach Latino communities. 
EFTA Seeks Conference Presenters
NAAEEIn 2011, EFTA staff gave presentations about the Connecting Cultures project at the National Association for Interpretation, North American Association for Environmental Education, and the Focus on Diversity-Changing the Face of American Birding conferences. The results of our project are unique, and we presented to full audiences, receiving many requests for more information.

The North American Association for Environmental Education will host its 2012 conference in Oakland, California from October 10-13. We have been asked to submit proposals to share more information about the project and are also proposing one or more sessions that would include multiple presenters.  If you are doing diversity research or have programs that improve participation by diverse audiences and would like to participate, please contact Susan Bonfield at
EFTA attends America's
Summit on National Parks 


EFTA participated in America's Summit on National Parks on January 24-26 in Washington, D.C. During this conference, EFTA staff had the opportunity to share project results with National Park Service staff and many other non-profit organizations. 

Calendar of Events  
February 2012 
Intern begins outreach at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA study site. 

March 2012

International intern will begin outreach at the FIre Island National Seashore, NY site.  

Natasha Kerr will attend the National Science Foundation meeting for grant recipients. 

April 21, 2012

Participation surveys will be conducted during Jr. Ranger Day at Fire Island National Seashore.

May 12, 2012

Participation surveys will be conducted during the Muir Woods National Monument International Migratory Bird Day event.

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