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The Future of Four Seasons in Maine

researcher in snowA Scientist-Teacher-Student Partnership to investigate climate change in seasonally snow-covered watersheds

Institutions: University of Maine, Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC)
Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries B-WET

This project will engage 1,275 students and 30 high school teachers with professional scientists in research regarding the changing nature of snowpack across Maine, emphasizing the coastal climate zone where snowmelt provides cues for diadromous fish migration. Future 4SM is part of ‘Acadia Learning’, which applies the MWEE frame to provide students with experience of the interconnectedness of coastal watershed systems. We will provide professional development (PD) in summer institutes and school-year workshops to assist teachers in: (1) mastering content knowledge to support student understanding of Climate Literacy Principles, with special focus on spatio-temporal variation and roles of observation and modeling, and (2) improving pedagogical practice to help students formulate hypotheses, make sense of data, and present findings. Our website and video sharing techniques enable students in geographically dispersed schools to share data and engage in peer review. The project will produce snow data useful to partners and scientists, who will interact directly with teachers throughout the project.

“Our Maine team is thrilled to be able to deliver content about one of Maine’s signature resources: snow. Just as importantly, Acadia Learning – our project partner – delivers professional development for teachers and experiences for students about the process of science. Together, we are offering a hands-on program that engages students in developing their own questions, and following their own leads, to understand more about how the world works.”  Sarah Nelson

NOAA B-WET is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, systemic learning about local watershed environments. Students and teachers (K-12) are engaged in real life experiences using science and math and other skills to study watersheds.

Team Members:

  • Sarah Nelson, Senator George J. Mitchell Center, UMaine
  • Bill Zoellick, SERC
  • Hannah Webber, SERC

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