Teacher Trainings

The Nature of Fire: Project Learning Tree and Fire in Alaska

Course designed for teachers

Denali National Park and Preserve
May 31 – June 3
$175

While gaining a sense of place, we’ll explore Denali’s boreal forest and tundra and the role wildfire plays on these ecosystems. Using hands-on activities from Project Learning Tree’s new “Nature of Fire” activity collection, we’ll dive into understanding fire ecology including the effects of climate change on interior Alaska’s fire regime, fire management in Alaska, and how to protect our homes and communities. Throughout the workshop, we’ll be immersed in outdoor teaching and learning techniques and you’ll go home with PLT’s multi-disciplinary Explore Your Environment K-8 Activity Guide as well as access to PLT’s Alaska-specific online professional development which includes fire education modules. We’ll also become familiar with the many resources available to teach fire education for K-12 in Alaska – including fire kits available for check out around the state, as well as an introduction to the online, Fire in Alaska curricula.

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Hiking will be off trail over uneven tundra, forest, and river bar terrains, covering distances of approximately 3-5 miles round trip with as much as 1,500 feet of elevation gain. We will likely encounter wet tundra / forest conditions and stream crossings with water levels that are above hiking boots. Participants must be in good physical condition.

Like any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks associated with our field courses yet we actively manage our exposures and depend on you to play a role in our risk managementRead more here.

One professional development credit is available for this course through the University of Alaska. You may choose this option when registering for the course.

The following documents will be available in early May.

Syllabus
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Exploring Prince William Sound: Sea Kayaking

Course designed for teachers

Chugach National Forest
June 6 – 12
$750 
Alaska Geographic Member Price ($825 Non-member Price)

Explore the scenic heart of Prince William Sound by kayak and by foot to encounter glaciers and whales, sea lions and shorebirds. Share new ways to bring the natural world into your classroom while developing curriculum with other Alaska educators. Spend six days camping, kayaking, and discovering with Chugach National Forest Wilderness Manager Tim Lydon. The main purpose of the course is to inspire teachers to connect their students to nature. The human relationship to nature will be a central theme, with an emphasis on America’s public lands and our idea of wilderness. Topics will include the area’s Alaska Native history, early Euro-American activities, evolution of the Chugach National Forest, 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the local effects of global climate change. The group will also learn about the area’s flora, fauna and glaciers while base camping at one beach camp for the duration of the program. Educators from communities effected by the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) are highly encouraged to apply and have priority during registration. First review of applications will take place March 7. 

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Participants must be in good fitness and health and equipped for sudden changes in weather.  No previous kayak experience is necessary, but participants must be capable of getting in and out of a kayak, and of paddling a kayak for several hours at a time. Participants must be able to walk short distances over uneven coastal terrain carrying up to 45 pounds of personal and group gear. Please see course overview for more information.

Like any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks associated with our field courses yet we actively manage our exposures and depend on you to play a role in our risk managementRead more here.

Three professional development credits through the University of Alaska are included in the cost of this course.

The following documents will be available in the spring.

Syllabus
Join the Waitlist

Kenai Fjords Floating Teacher Workshop

Course designed for teachers

Kenai Fjords National Park
June 13 – 20
$875
Alaska Geographic Member Price ($950 Non-member Price)

Are you looking for authentic STEM learning experiences to engage students in science while teaching critical skills like scientific reasoning? During this professional development course, teachers will spend three of their six days in the field working directly with researchers as ‘bio-techs’ helping to make observations and collect data while learning about monitoring protocols and data gathering methods. Teachers will learn about the ecological relationships of the nearshore environment and how the oil spill and its ongoing legacy impacted those relationships and processes. While in the field, research teachers will have time to kayak, hike, and explore the wonders of Kenai Fjords National Park.

This course is presented with NPS Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center and led by Education Coordinator Jim Pfieffenberger. After our initial two days of training and marine education workshops in Seward, the remainder of the course will take place on the charter boat Dream Catcher, deep in the Kenai Fjords. The group will live aboard the 97 foot vessel Dream Catcher, a remarkable way to experience the beauty of the Kenai Fjords National Park!

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Participants must be in good fitness and health and equipped for sudden changes in weather. Participants must be able to walk short distances over uneven coastal terrain carrying up to 25 pounds of personal and group gear, and longer distances with day pack.  Optional kayaking activity – no previous kayak experience is necessary, but participants must be capable of getting in and out of a kayak, and of paddling a kayak for a few hours. Please see course overview for more information.

Like any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks associated with our field courses yet we actively manage our exposures and depend on you to play a role in our risk managementRead more here.

Three professional development credits through the University of Alaska are included in the cost of this course.

The following documents will be available in the spring.

Syllabus
Join the Waitlist

Project Learning Tree and the Global Climate

Course designed for teachers

Denali National Park and Preserve
July 25 – 28
$175

Explore your environment with Project Learning Tree! The first step to feeling confident in addressing and teaching climate change issues to students is to understand our modern global system and its history of change. In this place-based workshop, you will gain insight into the context from which to view modern human impact on our climate by exploring the evidence of its historical variation within the landscapes of Denali National Park and Preserve. With a deeper understanding of our global climate, we will experience hands-on activities from Project Learning Tree that address our global climate, and the significance of forests and trees in modern day issues. Throughout the workshop, we’ll be immersed in outdoor teaching and learning techniques and you’ll go home with PLT’s multi-disciplinary Explore Your Environment K-8 Activity Guide.

moderately strenuous icon

Hiking will be off trail over uneven tundra, forest, and river bar terrains, covering distances of approximately 3-5 miles round trip with as much as 1,500 feet of elevation gain. We will likely encounter wet tundra / forest conditions and stream crossings with water levels that are above hiking boots. Participants must be in good physical condition.

Like any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks associated with our field courses yet we actively manage our exposures and depend on you to play a role in our risk managementRead more here.

One professional development credit is available for this course through the University of Alaska. You may choose this option when registering for the course.

The following documents will be available in early May.

Syllabus

This course is sold out.  To be added to the waitlist, please email courses@alaskageographic.org.

All Field Courses are Accredited for Teachers

All of the field courses are accredited through the University of Alaska-Anchorage for Professional Development Credit.  These field courses are very popular with teachers willing to self-direct their study and application of the subject matter. Each field course has an option for one professional development credit. See a sampling of field courses on our field course page.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations and/or substitutions that occur 60 days in advance of the course start date will be refunded the course fee, less a processing fee of $35 per space. For cancellations and/or substitutions within 60 days of the course start date, the entire fee will be retained unless we can fill your space. Registration fees are not transferable to future years. If we have to cancel a course, your entire fee will be refunded. Refunds will be credited to the credit card used during the original transaction if less than 60 days since the original transaction. All other refunds will be made through a mailed check. All membership purchases are non-refundable and non-transferable.