New Environmental Steward Program Boosts CoastWatching

Marine debris surveying will be one way of earning a certificate.\Photo by Jesse Jones.

Oregon Shores and CoastWatch announce a new partnership with Clatsop Community College, the Environmental Steward Certificate program.  The goals of the new initiative are to boost the skills of CoastWatchers and provide mile adopters with the opportunity to take classes and learn from environmental scientists at the college level, while enriching the experience of students who may become future conservation leaders and future CoastWatchers.

The program, beginning with Clatsop Community College’s fall term, provides a means for CoastWatchers to enhance their knowledge of coastal and marine science and gain recognition of the value of their work while receiving an Oregon Shores Environmental Steward Certificate through the college.  It also provides a means for other Clatsop Community College (CCC) students to explore citizen science and opportunities for environmental learning and stewardship.

The longer-term goal is to extend this program to colleges throughout the coastal region so as to make it available to all CoastWatchers and prospective CoastWatchers.

Oregon Shores and CCC will award an Environmental Steward Certificate to those completing 12 credit hours of environmentally focused classes, and completing 30 hours of participation in CoastWatch monitoring and citizen science projects, or other volunteer work with Oregon Shores.  The requirements could easily be met within a single academic year, although there is no time limit on completing the steps toward receiving the certificate.

For the technically inclined, classes appropriate for the certificate include some combination of General and Marine Biology, Geology, Oceanography, and Marine Technology.  For those more interested in environmental administration, classes in Technical Writing and State & Local Government are recommended.

Successful completion of the program will better prepare the graduate to analyze and understand coastal ecosystems, prepare for environmental change, and participate in environmental management.  Participants will gain first-hand experience addressing real-world environmental issues and learning citizen science techniques while volunteering with CoastWatch and Oregon Shores.  CoastWatchers will gain skills and background knowledge that will contribute to more effective shoreline monitoring and improved citizen science results, and gain recognition of their efforts by receiving the certificate.  CCC students will better prepare themselves for careers in conservation and resource management—and, it is hoped, become active CoastWatchers.

For additional information contact Ed Joyce, an Oregon Shores board member who is also adjunct faculty (in geology and oceanography) at CCC:  (503) 468-0995, [email protected].

We have one $500 scholarship to assist a participant in the program.  Contact Ed Joyce about this as well.