Tennessee Aquarium Gives Teachers A Crash Course In Freshwater Science Education During Weeklong "Summer Camp"

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - by Thom Benson

When it comes to understanding the importance of preserving a river or stream ecosystem, nothing beats getting your hands dirty and your boots wet. Except perhaps having a biologist studying alongside you and making a compelling case for its protection.

During the inaugural River Teachers workshop, more than a dozen educators are discovering ways to incorporate freshwater science and conservation education into their curriculums. Their packed schedule of activities includes lesson plan development, professional certification and plenty of hands-on field work alongside scientists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.

River Teachers began Monday and runs through Friday, July 14. Fifteen educators from schools across Bradley, Hamilton and Whitfield counties signed up for the program. During the five-day workshop, they’ll snorkel in the Conasauga River, learn about water quality monitoring in Chickamauga Creek, evaluate fish populations in the Hiwassee River and discover ways to bridge art and nature in the classroom during an activity with a local artist.

“We want to show them where they can take field trips but also things they can do in their own school yards and neighborhoods so they have a variety of options to take back to their students,” says Hayley Wise, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute’s watershed educator.

Through river teachers, participating educators will receive certification, lesson plans and course materials from Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, a regional citizen science water quality monitoring program, and Project WET, a national organization focused on promoting “action-oriented water education.”

“When the Conservation Institute’s new freshwater science center opened last fall on the banks of the Tennessee River, one of our primary goals was to showcase how incredible the rivers and streams of the southeastern United States are,” said Dr. Anna George, the Aquarium’s vice president of Conservation Science and Education. “During River Teachers, we will use these beautiful habitats right here in our backyard to help teachers make complex science topics and conservation challenges more relatable for their students.

“Our regional students will not only gain experience in thinking like scientists, they’ll also have the tools they need to help us protect the water that provides a high quality of life for all of us.”



Waterfowl, Migratory Bird Hunting Proposals Made During TFWC 1st Meeting In 2018

A preview of the 2018-19 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting seasons was presented at the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s first meeting of the year. The two-day meeting concluded Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Jamie Feddersen, TWRA’s Migratory Game Bird Program leader, gave the preview. Seasons and bag limits for ... (click for more)

Brook Trout Fishing Opportunities Available

Properly named, Brook Trout are primarily a mountain stream fish requiring anglers to seek them in the higher elevations, but there are other waterways in Tennessee where Brook Trout can be found. Tennessee’s Brook Trout angling opportunities are more varied and plentiful than many anglers think.  For some, it can be highly rewarding to head for high mountain streams ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Says Brewer Was Driving 80 And Was High On Meth At Time Of Horrific Wreck At Ooltewah Exit; Defense Says There Is No Evidence Of Intoxication

A prosecutor on Monday told a Criminal Court jury from Nashville that Benjamin Scott Brewer Brewer was driving 80 mph, was high on meth and never hit his brakes when he caused an horrific wreck on June 25, 2015, at the Ooltewah exit of I-75. Crystle Carrior asked the jury to find Brewer guilty of six counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, four counts of reckless aggravated ... (click for more)

Haslam Announces "Agressive, Comprehensive Plan" To End Tennessee's Opioid Epidemic

Joined by leadership from the House and Senate and Chief Justice Jeff Bivins, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on three major components: prevention, treatment and law enforcement. TN Together is a multi-faceted initiative that addresses the issue of opioid addiction through ... (click for more)

General Bell: This Government Shutdown Is Outrageous - And Response

The day before yesterday two Army Apache Attack Helicopter pilots were killed in a crash during training at Fort Irwin, Ca.  The pilots and their unit were preparing for a future deployment to combat operations.    As a result of the government shutdown, none of the spouses or families of these pilots will receive a dime from the United States Government in immediate ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rebranding & ‘Culture’

My grandfather, who ran several very successful businesses, was a very astute fellow. I can’t tell you how many times he said, “The worst thing any salesman who calls on a business can say is, ‘I am here to save you some money.’ That’s not true -- In every instance they are in front of you hoping to make some money for themselves, else they would have never come by.” Another ... (click for more)