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Programs>National Conservation Lands>Learning Landscapes>In the Spotlight>Great Basin Teacher's Workshop
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Nevada and Arizona Teachers Prepared to Bring the Great Basin to the Classroom

During the 2009 school year, 24 Nevada and Arizona teachers will pass on to their students lessons learned at the Great Basin Teachers’ Workshop, “Project Biology: Life in the Great Basin,” hosted by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Ely (Nevada) District Office in July. Teachers from Ely, Elko, Fallon, and Las Vegas, Nevada, and Glendale, Arizona, attended the workshop, for which they may earn graduate credits from Utah State University.

Workshop participants spent five days at and around Camp Success, a former Scout camp located high in the Schell Creek Mountains, about 30 miles east of Ely. The teachers spent one day at Great Basin National Park, and other field trips were mixed in with hands-on learning in camp.  The workshop themes rotate yearly among the topics of biology, archaeology, and geology of the Great Basin. Teachers develop observational skills, learn how to teach the scientific method and conduct scientific investigations, study sampling techniques, and pursue wildflower walks and native plant studies.
 
The BLM, Great Basin National Park, U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, Timberline Outfitter Guide Service, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation sponsor the workshop and provide instruction. This year’s teacher participants received scholarships from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to help pay for their attendance at the workshop.
 
This partnership of trained professionals and experts in particular biological subjects provides teachers with the basics of biology, land use ethics, contemporary issues, and the importance of preserving biological resources on public lands. The goal is to enable the educators to take their knowledge and understanding of the Great Basin back to their classrooms and students. 
 
The 2010 Great Basin Teachers’ Workshop program, “The Archaeology of the Great Basin,” is scheduled for July 18-23, 2010. For information or to register, please contact Martha Braddock, BLM Ely District teachers’ workshop coordinator, at 775-289-1802 or e-mail Martha_Braddock@blm.gov.  (Note: This workshop is for teachers only.)

Dissection of owl pellets allows teachers to learn about the birds’ diet

Teachers examine the contents of an elk education trunk donated by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Interactive outdoor classes are an enjoyable part of the workshop.