Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan

Welcome

We want our children to be physically and mentally healthy, and to spend more quality time outdoors.

We need to enhance students’ academic achievements and prepare them for life and work through innovative, real-world, hands-on learning.

We rely on Alaska’s natural resources for our livelihoods and quality of life.

We want our children to graduate prepared to manage and develop Alaska’s natural resources wisely for today and future generations.

The Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan is a pathway to reach these goals.

Our Vision: Alaska’s students will graduate from high school as environmentally-literate citizens. They will have personal connections with the natural environment; understand the complex relationships between community, culture, economy, and the environment; and be prepared to manage and develop Alaska’s rich natural resources wisely for today and future generations.

The Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan IS:

The Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan is NOT:

Help us prepare Alaska’s youth for their future!

Alaska is ready to take a more prescriptive approach toward achieving an environmentally literate citizenry. The next step is approval by the State Board of Education and Early Development and implementation of the Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan.

Send questions, draft plan comments, resolutions and letters to:

Bjørn Wolter
State Science Specialist
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
P.O. Box 110500
Juneau, AK 99811-0500
907.465.6542

Executive Summary, Authors, and Supporters

Executive Summary

Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan

The Vision

Alaska’s students will graduate from high school with a strong foundation in natural resource and environmental literacy. Students will have personal connections to nature; understand the complex relationships between community, culture, economy, and the environment; and be prepared to make informed decisions about the sustainable management and development of our state’s rich natural resources for today and for future generations.

About the Plan

The Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan provides a road map for supporting our schools in integrating natural resource and environmental education, including active outdoor learning, as part of the school curricula. It also provides opportunities to use local expertise, incorporate indigenous knowledge and culture, support thematic teaching by integrating subjects, and align with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) national and state initiatives.

This plan has was initially developed by a diverse Working Group of educators and natural resource professionals facilitated by representatives from two state agencies, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. During a six-month comment period individuals, organizations, and agencies provided input, resulting in this revised draft plan.

Implementation of the plan will result in no new educational mandates, nor will it dictate what should be taught in the classroom or during outdoor activities. It will allow schools and community partners to receive support to implement successful place-based learning opportunities, develop outdoor classrooms, and provide important professional development for teachers, administrators, and community members.

Alaska’s students will benefit from the implementation of this plan. Educational research makes clear that students will do better in school, have fewer behavioral and health problems, be more engaged in learning, and will be more prepared for future jobs.

Goals

  1. Provide all PreK-12 children in Alaska with opportunities to engage in safe outdoor learning experiences as part of regular instruction.

  1. Support Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Standards by further incorporating natural resource and environmental literacy across subject areas.

  1. Foster partnerships with nonprofit organizations, businesses, industry groups, tribal organizations, and government agencies to enhance meaningful service-learning experiences for students that also benefit communities and their local environment.

  1. Enhance professional development for educators, administrators, and community members in natural resource and environmental literacy.

  1. Support the development of Alaska school facilities, grounds, and local natural areas that provide accessible learning opportunities and serve as community models for healthy living and sustainability.

Implementation

Objectives and strategies that support the plan’s goals are to be implemented over the next five years, with preliminary work beginning in 2014 as approval, funding, and staff resources are able to support it. While the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game will continue to provide leadership for the plan, its successful implementation will require the participation and contribution of diverse individuals and entities throughout Alaska. Financial and in-kind support for the implementation of the plan will come from grants, collaboration, and partnerships among Alaska’s school districts, organizations, agencies, and businesses.

The Working Group identified three structural components needed to achieve the plan’s goals:

  1. An active statewide Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Leadership Council, comprising professionals from school districts, natural resource agencies and industries, tribal organizations and Native corporations, educational nonprofit organizations, and outdoor recreation organizations.

  1. School or school district liaisons to facilitate the integration of the plan at the local level.

  1. A paid coordinator who has the resources and flexibility necessary to provide assistance in plan implementation to the diverse stakeholders involved.

Visit http://www.akelp.org for updates or “Like” the Alaska Natural Resource & Environmental Literacy Plan Facebook page to get updates on plan activities.

Send questions, plan comments, resolutions and letters to:

Bjørn Wolter
State Science Specialist
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
P.O. Box 110500
Juneau, AK 99811-0500
907.465.6542

Organizations, Agencies, and Businesses in support of ANRELP

Individuals who support ANRELP: