In the spring of 2007, I took a few days off of my research routine to develop and implement an environmental education program for a local school near one of my field sites on Isla Bastimentos. The theme of the program was watersheds and water health. We surveyed a stream near the school for benthic macro inverts as indicators of water quality, and then followed the stream to its mouth, where we talked about the impacts of sedimentation on mangrove and coral ecosystems. Marlon Smith from the Smithsonian Institute helped me with the program, and we implemented the program twice–once with the younger students, and once with the older students, with each group getting 3 sessions–one in the classroom, one at the stream site, and one at the mangrove site.
At the end of the day, we finished with an interconnections activity, designed to teach about the food web as well as interconnections between terrestrial and aquatic systems:
Look at how students commute home in Bocas del Toro: