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

November 2012
In This Issue
America's Great Outdoors
Project Completion
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' diversity outreach programs have increased to include more internship opportunities for Latino youth. We're also concluding our National Science Foundation grant and will be excited to share our successes via an online toolkit. Many thanks for following our work!

Susan Bonfield  
Susan Bonfield
Environment for the Americas
America's Great Outdoors Intern
Michelle Mendieta

EFTA is excited to announce its first America's Great Outdoors intern, Michelle Mendieta. Michelle is assisting with Celebra las Playeras/Celebrate Shorebirds, which offers Latino youth hands-on experiences in the field of bird conservation and environmental education. Michelle will serve as a liaison to 7 project interns and will also help with the social marketing and development of education materials. 
In February 2013, Celebrate Shorebirds interns will attend a training in California to learn how to monitor migratory shorebirds. From there, they will travel to their sites at Blanca Wetlands in Colorado, Cordova Ranger District of the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, Yaquina Head Natural Area in Oregon, and the California Coastal National Monument. Interns will also do community outreach to local Latino communities and offer environmental education programs.  
Michelle Mendieta
AGO intern. 
About Michelle 
Michelle joins EFTA's Colorado team and is new to our beautiful state. Raised in Massachusetts, she has a Bachelor's in Science from the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies, with a focus on Community & International Development. She has worked for the University of Vermont's Office of Sustainability and Alliance for Climate Action, which sparked her interest in enviromental education. Michelle is excited to learn more about conservation, environmental education, and creating diversity in the field of conservation.   
Learn more about America's Great Outdoors


Thanks to our Celebrate Shorebirds Sponsors

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

U.S. Forest Service & Bureau of Land Management 

Back Row (l to r): Carina Ruiz, Peggy Notebaert Museum; Jim Chu, U.S. Forest Service; Genie Moore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Juan Carlos Solis, Wildcare; Sammy Chavez, EFTA Intern; Natasha Kerr, EFTA

Front Row (l to r): Cindy Moreno, EFTA intern, Lesly Caballero, EFTA intern, Susan Bonfield, EFTA  


EFTA's Panel at the NAAEE Conference
Last month, EFTA organized and facilitated a panel discussion regarding diversity engagement in nature programs for the annual North American Association for Environmental Educators (NAAEE) conference. Panelists offered insightful perspectives ranging from their work at Federal agencies, non-profits, and a museum. The group discussed effective strategies for program development and ways to reach out to diverse audiences. A highlight of the panel was hearing personal stories from EFTA interns as they talked about their individual path toward conservation. 
A scholarship awarded to Natasha Kerr by the Environmental Protection Agency EECapacity & NAAEE allowed her to do a workshop presentation during the conference. Natasha presented on the data findings of our NSF funded study- "Engaging Latino Audiences in Informal Science Education". This scholarship is greatly appreciated as it gave EFTA an opportunity to share our work with many other environmental educators. To find out more about EECapacity- visit 


We thank all of our panelists for traveling to Oakland, CA for the conference and for all the energy they put into the panel discussion.
 NAAEE logo
Cind Moreno with Boys & Girls Club
Intern Cindy Moreno (far right) at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay N. W. R.  leading an educational program with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley. 
Completion of National Wildlife Refuge Latino Internship Program
This year the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service awarded EFTA funds to oversee a Latino internship initiative at four sites. Interns were hired to work at the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex; San Diego National Wildlife Complex, California; San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado; Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California. The interns gained experience with environmental education, research, wildlife interpretation, and public affairs. We greatly appreciate all the hard work our interns and Refuge staff put toward this initiative. 
Thank-you to the Fish & Wildlife Service for your support of this project! 


 Mark Your Calendars to Support EFTA! 
Mini-grant materials
Mini-grant materials for recipients in 
Puerto Rico & Honduras

 What is Colorado Gives Day?

Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.


 How will my donation help EFTA?

In 2012 EFTA supported over 20 schools and organizations as part of our mini-grant program. The materials reached youth and adults throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 2013, we want to increase the number of mini-grants we provide. You can help us reach our goal 

of $5,000 for mini-grants

 in 2013 by taking part in Colorado Gives Day!


Donations to Environment for the Americas will be accepted through our profile at GivingfirstEFTA


When will it take place?

For a 24-hour period staring at 12:00 am on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. (You can go to GivingfirstEFTA now and schedule your donation for December 4th).


 You do not have to live in Colorado to donate on 

CO Gives Day, anyone can give.

Thank you for your support!


CO Gives Day

Calendar of Events  

February 2013
America's Great Outdoors interns participate in shorebird monitoring training in Monterey, 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

Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day

2601 31st Street
Boulder, Colorado 80301