EDUCATION & OUTREACH
During the 1997-98 school year, National Audubon Society's Seabird Restoration
Program developed a seabird education program for 3th- through 8th-grade
students and their teachers in Maine schools. A total of 1,950 students
from 30 schools and 91 classes participated in the program which involved
an Audubon naturalist visiting schools to conduct hands-on learning activities.
The principal instructors in the program are Pete Salmansohn and Susan
Schubel. Pete is the Education Coordinator of the National Audubon Society
Seabird Restoration Program and Susan is the supervisor of Matinicus Rock
research site. Pete was recently awarded the distinguished Environmental
Educator of the Year Award from the Maine Environmental Education Association.
The in-class program consists of hands-on activities from our teacher's
guide "Giving Back to the Earth" by Pete Salmansohn and Stephen Kress.
The guide contains dozens of activities based on seabird biology and conservation.
Activities emphasize specific subject areas such as language, writing,
art, math, geography and science. For most schools, the program consists
of multiple sessions, each with a distinct topic such as seabird adaptation,
connections in the marine ecosystem, or puffin geography (learning coastal
geography frequented by puffins).
More than 400 students from nine of the 30 schools also participated
in field trips to Egg Rock aboard the Hardy III, a tour boat operating
out of New Harbor, Maine. This two-hour tour was narrated by "Puffin Pete"
Salmansohn. Participants circled Eastern Egg Rock, observing the puffins
in June when they were courting and starting to feed their young. Students
were able to watch puffins, but they also learned about interactions with
terns, gulls, eiders, guillemots, and other seabirds.
In addition to presentations in the classroom, the seabird education
program organized three teacher workshops focusing on seabirds as a way
to introduce children to the ecology and conservation of the Gulf of Maine.
The workshops were sponsored by Friends of Monomoy (Chatham, MA), New England
Aquarium (Boston, MA) and National Audubon Society (Bremen, ME). A total
of 92 teachers participated and some obtained credit for participation
through the University of Maine. These workshops and classroom sessions
were sponsored in part by grants from the U.S. Gulf of Maine Association,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,
Mid-coast Audubon Society, Sea World, and DownEast Energy Corporation.
From mid-June through mid-August Audubon also sponsored 11 trips each
week to Eastern Egg Rock aboard two commercial tour boats, the Hardy III
(New Harbor) and the Pink Lady (Boothbay Harbor). Together these one- and
three-hour trips brought a record total of 4,139 adults and children to
circle Eastern Egg Rock (no landings are permitted). Participants learned
how to identify common seabirds and marine mammals and also learned basic
information about the ecology of the Gulf of Maine and conservation issues
affecting seabirds such as over-fishing, pollution, and human disturbance.
Stephen Kress and Pete Salmansohn share Project Puffin
through writings and school visits.
Photo by Donna Ramil.
CHILDREN'S BOOK WINS AWARDS
Project Puffin (our 32-page
full-color childrens' book) and its accompanying teacher's guide Giving
Back to the Earth by Stephen Kress and Pete Salmansohn won three
important awards in the first year following their publication:
Smithsonian Institution "Notable Children's Book for 1997"
National Science Teachers's Association and Children's Book Council
1998 "Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children"
"1998 Skipping Stones Honor Book"
Both books are available from most bookstores or contact the publisher
at Tilbury House, 132 Water Street, Gardiner, Maine, 04345, or phone 1-800-582-1899.
Our Sincere Appreciatio Goes To The 1998
Maine Research Team
R. Fischer Olson
Ming Lee Prospero
All contents © 1998, Seabird Restoration Program
of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved. More
on the copyright.
For General Information and Questions:
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850