CURes supports educational initiatives across the Los Angeles area and beyond. This is done through the development of Urban EcoLab curricula, teacher professional development and workshops, strategic partnerships, and more.
Collaborative partnerships include:
Project QUEST: Quality Urban Ecology Science Teaching (CEEL)
CURes' faculty and staff continue to partner with the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) at LMU's School of Education, to deliver content-rich, quality urban ecology science teaching to students in partner schools throughout Los Angeles. In this program, funded by an education grant, students learn about hummingbird ecology (Module 1) and how to evaluate a land use site to make recommendations for environmental improvements (Module 2).
Wallis Annenberg PetSpace (Annenberg Foundation)
CURes is thrilled to be working with the Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista, CA on multiple formal and informal education projects. The formal education component encompasses a series of lessons in Module 9 of the CURes Urban EcoLab curriculum program, involving the study of the human-animal intersect. Lessons in this Module are being created in collaboration with Los Angeles area high school teachers, who then pilot the lessons with their students. The informal education materials encompass learning materials for school tours and young visitors to the Annenberg PetSpace, to help them learn more about the science behind the human-animal bond.
The Gottlieb Native Garden (GNG) Hummingbird Education Initiative
CURes' faculty and staff continue to expand an ongoing hummingbird education research component, through investigations involving feeder resource depletion rates, feeder visitation rates, species identification, and monitoring of hummingbird nests. Funded by a local grant from The Gottlieb Foundation (Beverly Hills, CA), the aim is to create education resources that can be utilized as supplemental science education in K-12 schools. This education component is unique and innovative, including internet protocol (IP) camera technology installed at four unique sites around the globe, from which teachers can utilize hummingbird feeders as a research tool in their classrooms.
Migratory Birds - Special Focus on the Pine Siskin (Watts Lab at the University of Washington)
CURes' staff is partnering with research scientist (and former LMU Professor) Dr. Heather Watts of the University of Washington, on an education component for ongoing research she conducts in migratory behavior of captive Pine siskins Spinus pinus. This research aims to show that birds in captivity do exhibit migratory restlessness, similar to birds in the wild. This education component will allow students access to lab video footage of Pine siskins at various times throughout the year, giving them an opportunity to observe migratory behavior in a lab setting. This education curricula will be piloted with schools in the Los Angeles area and can be utilized as a supplemental resource for high school educators.
Urban EcoLab Curriculum Project (LEAH Project)
CURes recently forged a new partnership with the LEAH (Leaders through Education, Action, and Hope) Project in Boston, MA. This education initiative is funded by an EPA grant, with a goal of providing quality urban ecology education for the LEAH after-school programs in several cities in Boston. Lessons will be created and piloted Summer of 2018, and then finalized and rolled out officially to all program students in the Fall of 2018. The program also entails the implementation of pre-and post-tests, to continually assess the quality of the program.
The Living City (LMU Summer Programs)
Through the Summer Programs at LMU, CURes leads a two-week immersive urban ecology course for high school students. The course features lectures, workshops, career development, and trips to local ecological sites. Students learn about environmental problems for urban settings, as well as how ecological systems engage with one another in urban areas. Some examples of past focus areas are: mockingbird vocalizations, hummingbird physiology and energetics, bird biodiversity, sociobiology, taxonomy, the power of citizen science, and field science technology.