In September of 2020, Green Drone AZ launched their first year-round program with local area high school teachers and students. With the challenges our school systems face this year, this online program provides students and teachers with a chance to explore novel distance learning opportunities. The curriculum taught is based on Arizona State Education Standards and covers topics ranging from conservation and riparian ecosystems to how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and drone technology can be implemented into natural resource management.
Seven individual Modules have been crafted to guide students through the program. Modules consist of two lessons each and include presentations from professionals, discussion forums, quizzes and hands on activities and assignments. This curriculum is supplemented by educational resources from National Geographic and ESRI, the world leader in GIS technology. All Modules are self-paced and can be completed by students individually, or together as a teacher-led class. Lastly, the Office of the Maricopa County Superintendent hosted Green Drone AZ in their first STEM Pro Live video of the 2020/2021 school year. This event was a pivotal step in making Arizona youth aware of our program and what we have to offer them.
Ecoculture and the Tonto National Forest have partnered with Audubon Southwest to provide engagement opportunities for their River Pathways program. The program takes urban teens out of their classroom, gets them into the field, and transforms them into the next generation of conservation leaders. Students collect data alongside USDA Forest Service biologists and LSRRP project managers focused on riparian ecology and avian conservation. Students partake in tree survival and riparian photo point monitoring in addition to completing bird surveys within the LSRRP site.
One of the major underlying goals of the LSRRP is to engage the local community and inspire people to return to nature and take pride in caring for their public lands. There is nothing better than getting your hands dirty and planting some trees to instill a sense of ownership. We thank all those who have joined us in this effort and look forward to hosting many more!