BLE LTER Outreach and Community Engagement
We take a multi-pronged approach to engage broader audience in our science and research. Through our K-12 education programs, we connect students with hands-on ecology learning and assist educators in creating curricula surrounding Arctic science. Our knowledge exchange efforts include involving local elders when planning our research. We also partner with artists to expand understanding and appreciation of Beaufort lagoons.
We regularly partner with Harold Kaveolook School in Kaktovik, Alaska, to organize field trips to our study sites and bring BLE scientists into classrooms for science lessons. Each August, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we run the Kaktovik Oceanography Program (KOP) where K-12 students get a full week of awesome Arctic science! BLE graduate students, guest scientists from partner organizations, and experienced teachers from the lower 48 all take part in leading unique learning activities that match grade-appropriate standards.
The Alaskan Arctic coast is the traditional home of the Iñupiaq, who make up the majority of the population on the North Slope. In collaboration with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and North Slope Borough Fish and Wildlife Department, we formed a panel of traditional knowledge holders in Kaktovik, Alaska to advise us on emerging ideas and research plans and to act as a conduit for knowledge exchange between BLE and the community.
We also share knowledge with local communities in-person through the Barrow Science Fair and Kaktovik Community meetings, in print through our newsletter The Lagoon Exchange, and online via our Facebook page.
We collaborate with University of Virginia Music professor Matthew Burtner, who is creating a piece by sonifying environmental data from Kaktovik Lagoon. Dr. Burtner joined us for an afternoon of experiential learning with Kaktovik high school students, where students explored the under-ice environment visually with an ROV, and sonically with microphones and hydrophones.
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Follow us on our #scicomm platforms to get the latest updates, and to connect with the various communities we belong to: Alaskan Arctic communities, Alaska scientists, the LTER network.