8
Education and Outreach Activities

One component of the Oil Spill Recovery Institute’s Research and Development (OSRI R&D) program is public education and outreach, which focuses on improving public and professional understanding and knowledge of both technology and ecology R&D efforts. In 1997, the Advisory Board determined that public education and outreach was an appropriate activity to pursue under the OSRI mandate, and that a target of 20 percent of the annual R&D funding should be spent on these activities. In FY98-01, an average of 18.4 percent of the annual budget was spent on education and outreach. For FY02, a total of up to $315,000 has been allocated for education and outreach projects, which is very close to the 20 percent target. As most of these funds are awarded to “small” projects (i.e., dollar amount awarded is less than $25,000), the funds in the public education and outreach component of OSRI’s program are awarded largely at the discretion of the OSRI director.

A variety of activities have fallen under public education and outreach, and in general, all appear to relate well to the OSRI mission. Projects included under the public education and outreach category, for years 1998-2002, are listed in Table 8-1. Further information on additional projects planned for 2002 is available in the FY02 OSRI Technology Coordinator’s Report. Two of the larger project areas listed in that report, “Environmental Education K-12” (referred to as “Community Education” on the OSRI website) and “Science Planning Workshops,” in fact encompass a variety of subprojects.

One notable ongoing activity within the environmental education K-12 category is “Science of the Sound,” an environmental science enrich-



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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions 8 Education and Outreach Activities One component of the Oil Spill Recovery Institute’s Research and Development (OSRI R&D) program is public education and outreach, which focuses on improving public and professional understanding and knowledge of both technology and ecology R&D efforts. In 1997, the Advisory Board determined that public education and outreach was an appropriate activity to pursue under the OSRI mandate, and that a target of 20 percent of the annual R&D funding should be spent on these activities. In FY98-01, an average of 18.4 percent of the annual budget was spent on education and outreach. For FY02, a total of up to $315,000 has been allocated for education and outreach projects, which is very close to the 20 percent target. As most of these funds are awarded to “small” projects (i.e., dollar amount awarded is less than $25,000), the funds in the public education and outreach component of OSRI’s program are awarded largely at the discretion of the OSRI director. A variety of activities have fallen under public education and outreach, and in general, all appear to relate well to the OSRI mission. Projects included under the public education and outreach category, for years 1998-2002, are listed in Table 8-1. Further information on additional projects planned for 2002 is available in the FY02 OSRI Technology Coordinator’s Report. Two of the larger project areas listed in that report, “Environmental Education K-12” (referred to as “Community Education” on the OSRI website) and “Science Planning Workshops,” in fact encompass a variety of subprojects. One notable ongoing activity within the environmental education K-12 category is “Science of the Sound,” an environmental science enrich-

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions TABLE 8-1 Summary of OSRI-Funded Projects FY98-02 by Program Area: Education and Outreach Contract Term Project Titlea 01/30/98 - 03/15/98 Color Brochure 01/17/98 - 01/16/99 Web Page Maintenance 03/15/98 - 09/30/98 Newspaper Articles 06/01/98 - 07/31/98 Internship: Education Program 05/01/98 - 03/15/99 Video Production: “Sound Science” 07/01/98 - 06/30/99 Update of Museum Exhibit: “Darkened Waters” 10/01/98 - 09/30/99 Science of the Sound Education Program 02/01/99 - 01/31/00 Web Page Maintenance 05/01/99 - 09/30/00 Internship: Zooplankton Toxicity (Duesterloh) 05/10/99 - 08/30/99 Publication: Annual Report 1997-99 06/01/99 - 11/30/99 Internship: Waterfowl Toxicity Study 07/01/99 - 06/30/00 Fellowship Publications: 10-Year Anniversary of EVOS 08/01/99 - 07/31/00 Publications: Newsletters 01/01/00 - 12/31/00 Web Page Maintenance 07/01/00 - 06/30/01 Fellowship 04/15/00 - 12/01/01 Shorebird Educational Video: Celebrating Alaska’s Shorebirds 04/14/00 - 04/13/01 Fellowship 07/01/00 - 06/30/01 Science of the Sound Education Program 07/01/00 - 06/30/01 Fellowship 07/01/00 - 08/30/00 Internship: Slides and Photo Organization 06/16/00 - 09/30/00 Internship: Network Administration 05/01/00 - 09/30/00 Publication: Annual Report 1999 09/15/00 - 04/30/01 Prince William Sound Meteorological Workshop 10/12/00 - 05/30/01 Workshop: Best Practices for Migratory Bird Care During Oil Spill Response 11/01/00 - 04/30/01 Publication: Annual Report 2000

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Total Amount Awardedb Program Area Institution Awarded $7,449 Edu Outer Rim Publications $9,000 Edu PWS Science Center $3,678 Edu Outer Rim Publications $883 Edu PWS Science Center $34,000 Edu KAKM (Alaska Public Television) $17,035 Edu Pratt Museum $25,000 Edu PWS Science Center $15,042 Edu PWS Science Center $3,306 Edu PWS Science Center $6,382 Edu Jumping Mouse Publications $6,000 Edu University of California, Davis $23,879 Edu University of Alaska, SE $3,276 Edu In-house - OSRI staff cooperating with EVOS, PWS RCAC, Pratt Museum, Alaska Sea Life Center, and USFS $5,184 Edu Jumping Mouse Publications $3,847 Edu Phydeaux Multimedia, Monterey, California $24,500 Edu University of Alaska, Fairbanks/IAB $10,000 Edu KTOO TV $25,000 Edu University of North Carolina $25,000 Edu PWS Science Center $25,000 Edu University of Alaska, SE $1,420 Edu PWS Science Center $8,671 Edu PWS Science Center $13,106 Edu Jumping Mouse Publications $38,474 Edu Tim Robertson $29,222 Edu Production Plus $12,000 Edu Jumping Mouse Publications

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Contract Term Project Titlea 11/01/00 - 08/01/00 Publication: Newsletters Fellowship 03/06/01 - 06/30/01 Workshop: Environmental Educators of Southcentral 03/06/01 - 10/31/01 Peer Listener Training Video 03/15/01 - 09/30/01 Public Policy: Phase 1 10/01/00 - 09/30/01 Technology Coordinatorc 02/01/01 - 01/31/02 Science of the Sound 04/14/01 - 04/13/02 Fellowship 07/01/01 - 06/30/02 Fellowship 07/01/01 - 06/30/02 Orca Whale Rearticulation Project 08/01/01 - 12/31/01 Oil & Ice Think Tank TOTAL   NOTE: All totals are approximate and are based on information provided by OSRI in February 2002. aDescriptions of most projects can be found at the OSRI website <http://www.pwssc-osri.org>. ment program with a classroom component targeted at kindergarten to grade 6, and a summer camp component targeted at middle- and high-school students. Classroom activities are conducted with the elementary school in Cordova on a regular basis, and the program is taken to other PWS communities as feasible. Other activities that have been supported include contributions to the Pratt Museum in Homer for update of their “Darkened Waters” Exxon Valdez oil spill exhibit, to the native village of Eyak for the Orca whale rearticulation project, and production of several videos (including “Sound Science”, and “Celebrating Alaska’s Shorebirds”). Proposals for environmental education K-12/community education projects are submitted under an ongoing open BAA, which is posted on the OSRI website. The Science Planning Workshop project is another of the larger components of public education and outreach, with up to $75,000 available for

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions Total Amount Awardedb Program Area Institution Awarded $9,600 Edu Jumping Mouse Publications $24,500 Edu University of Cambridge/Scott Polar Research Institute $19,345 Edu Alaska Natural Resource & Outdoor Education $10,000 Edu PWS Science Center RCAC $0 Edu Straight Arrow Consulting $40,391 Tech/Eco/Edu Walter Cox $28,000 Edu PWS Science Center $25,000 Edu University of North Carolina $25,906 Edu University of Alaska SE $10,196 Edu Native Village of Eyak $12,400 Edu D.F. Dickins, Ltd. $581,692   bThis is the total spent on the project through early 2002; some projects continue. cAs of this entry, the technology coordinator is listed in all three programs (ecology, technology, and education), rather than just in technology, so Tables 5-1, 6-1, and 8-1 each include one-third of $121,175 in their totals. FY02. Through this effort, OSRI has provided partial or full support for a number of science planning workshops related to oil spill technology, ecology, and education. Contributions to workshops or workshop proceedings have been funded under the Applied Technology program area, and in many cases these activities can be appropriately included in either area. Workshops funded under the public education and outreach component include the December 2000 Meteorological Workshop and the August 2001 Environmental Educator’s Workshop on science and environmental programs in south-central Alaska. As with the Environmental Education K-12 project, there is an ongoing open BAA for solicitation of proposals for workshops. In addition to the workshop format, OSRI staff may want to consider offering occasional specialized short courses as an alternative to workshops, as this approach can be quite effective in conveying technical information to user groups.

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions A further public education and outreach activity is provision of support in the form of fellowships to graduate or postgraduate students, and in the form of internships to undergraduate and high-school students. Generally up to four awards have been given annually. The graduate fellowships may go to students on research projects that are also receiving OSRI funding, but they may also be awarded to students who are otherwise working independently of OSRI. The student internships have gone to support students undertaking a specific activity at OSRI/PWSSC. Overall, spending of OSRI funds on students appears to be well justified, providing that the research or internship projects relate to the OSRI mandate. Financial support for teachers from various backgrounds and educational levels, for attending workshops or doing projects related to oil spills, might also be a worthwhile use of funds. Three additional projects that are included in the public education and outreach component of the OSRI program are (1) maintenance and updating of the OSRI website; (2) community and extension services, including publication and distribution of the OSRI newsletter and other OSRI literature, and public relations work as needed, and (3) production of the OSRI Annual Report. These projects have been contracted out in past years, and in FY02 a total of up to $40,000 has been allocated for continuing work. Although these activities are included under the area of public education and outreach for purposes of fund allocation, and certainly are necessary to the OSRI program, they could also be considered administrative functions. The staff of OSRI should exercise care when categorizing activities so placement of projects outside the administrative category does not constitute a mechanism to circumvent the 20 percent cap on administrative spending. The contract to develop and maintain the OSRI website has generated some concern. Although there clearly was considerable effort initially put into the design of the OSRI website, more recent contract performance has not been satisfactory, as reflected in problems with the website, including a lack of up-to-date information. Staff of OSRI has identified this as a issue requiring attention, and they are attempting to address this in FY02. FUTURE DIRECTIONS The OSRI program for public education and outreach has included a relatively broad range of activities, and generally these activities are justified under the OSRI mandate and provide significant benefit at the scientific, educational or general community level. Primary and secondary school environmental education programs provide an excellent opportunity to enhance community understanding of the local ecosystem, effects

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The Oil Spill Recovery Institute: Past, Present, and Future Directions of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and in the longer term, threats from and responses to potential future spills. Fellowships and internships also are a well-justified use of funds. Support of workshops related to the OSRI mission is justified and OSRI might also consider sponsoring short courses on relevant topics and programs specifically for teachers as alternatives to the workshop format. The OSRI website reflects a great deal of initial effort, but is in need of attention to correct a number of deficits and bring it up to date; this is particularly important given the reliance of OSRI on its website to communicate solicitations.