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

June 2012
In This Issue
Update from California
America's Great Outdoors
New Site for Latino Engagement
Study Update
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 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


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 are 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
Juan-Carlos Solis of WildCare leads an IMBD bilingual program. 
IMBD at Golden Gate NRA

This spring two local interns from California's North Bay Area, Lesly Caballero and Semiiar Chavez, delivered bilingual education programs to increase bird conservation awareness. The interns also marketed the IMBD event hosted by Muir Woods National Monument, CA.  The interns' hard work paid off, and many people who attended the weekend festival heard about it because of Lesly and Semiiar's outreach. 
Bilingual programs are an important part of meeting the needs of diverse audiences.  Programs in Spanish and English were offered by National Park Service staff and by a local non-profit, WildCare. Other activities included education stations hosted by PRBO Conservation Science and many local organizations. The event hit an all time record with 41 people participating in the bilingual nature walk. 

Another success of EFTA's project is introducing local Latino youth to natural resource careers.  Because of her involvement in the project, Lesly Caballero has received an interpretive internship with the National Park Service at the Marin Headlands, CA. Semiiar Chavez began a summer internship at the Bandon Marsh National WIldlife Refuge, OR, where he will do community outreach and environmental education. Congrats to Lesly and Semiiar and best of luck in your new internships! 

Thank you to our local partners at Muir Woods National Monument, National Park Service, WildCare, and PRBO Conservation Science!
EFTA Receives New Grant                            
EFTA is happy to announce the approval of its America's Great Outdoors grant! The project, Celebra las Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds), will train eight Latino interns in environmental education and field research at U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management sites in California, Colorado, and Alaska. The interns will learn about career opportunities in the sciences, techniques for teaching about birds and their conservation, and shorebird conservation efforts throughout the Western Hemisphere. Recruitment begins this fall and the internship placements start in early 2013. For more information on the America's Great Outdoors initiative, please visit  
New Site for Latino Engagement Initiative        

This summer, EFTA is partne
ring with the San Lu
Patrick Ortizis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Southern Colorado to expand its Latino outreach initiative and shorebird conservation education program, thanks to a grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  We welcome our newest intern, Patrick Ortiz. Patrick is a native of Alamosa, Colorado and is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Physical Geography with minors in Environmental Science and AgriBusiness.  


Patrick commented on his interests in becoming an EFTA intern:
"Growing up with the natural wonders of the San Luis Valley at my doorstep, it was easy for me to go into a field that works to protect, educates others about, and monitors changes in these natural processes.  I will have the opportunity to assist in a study examining the nesting patterns of migratory birds on two refuges. This internship is also providing me with an opportunity to reach out and bring awareness to the Hispanic community of the San Luis Valley about the importance of protecting the wildlife and habitats in the region for future generations to enjoy.  I especially look forward to teaching people about the Sandhill Cranes which will migrate through the San Luis Valley this fall as they head south for the winter."
We wish Patrick all the best this summer.    
NSF Study Update                            

EFTA is in the final stages of its study of the barriers to participation in informal science education by Latino audiences.  Our last tasks are the development of  a "Toolkit" which will offer case studies and tips on strategies for improving diversity. The toolkit will be available on EFTA's website.

Data collection for the study will be complete in late September, after Bandelier National Monument hosts its fall IMBD event. In the meantime, EFTA has begun analyzing data and preparing articles for publication. 
Calendar of Events  
June 2012 Interns begin research, environmental education, and community outreach at the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, CO. and at the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, OR.  
July 2012 Interns arrive from Argentina and Honduras to promote bird conservation at Bandelier National Monument, N.M.   
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

2601 31st Street
Boulder, Colorado 80301