PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

ABOUT

 

Courses are open to all educators and other professionals. These courses are presented as part of the Advanced Inquiry Program Master’s degree (AIP). Students enrolled in AIP or other students taking the courses for credit will be given priority enrollment. If there is space in the course, Washington state-approved clock hours will be available to those participants not taking the course for credit. Unless noted otherwise, all courses take place at Woodland Park Zoo and include presentations by guest speakers, tours of zoo grounds, group discussions and hands-on activities.

Find out more about our courses which are offered throughout the year by clicking on the course listings below.

SUMMER COURSES

 

Foundations of Inquiry

Western Pond Turtle

Next Offered in Summer 2019
This course typically takes place during a weeklong session (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) and may be taken for graduate credit, Washington state-approved STEM clock hours or audit. Those participants taking the course for credit will complete web-based coursework from late May through early August. Pricing and online registration will be available beginning March 1, 2019. 

Foundations of Inquiry engages participants in exploring the foundations of inquiry-based teaching and learning while gaining a new familiarity with Woodland Park Zoo as an informal science education setting. Through making observations on zoo grounds, developing comparative questions, devising investigations to answer those questions and communicating results, participants will experience the full process of open inquiry and learn how to guide this process for their audiences. This type of firsthand, experiential learning encourages independent and critical thinking, thereby increasing awareness and concern for the local environment and its inhabitants. We will engage in activities that demonstrate the applications of inquiry in the classroom, on zoo grounds, in the schoolyard and other outdoor settings. We will discuss case studies that illustrate the use of inquiry to improve science learning and engage students/citizens as leaders in their communities. Through this course, participants will develop the investigation, critical reflection and collaboration skills needed to lead inquiry-driven learning for diverse communities. They will learn to develop a comparative question, design an inquiry-driven scientific study and develop their skills in scientific writing and research. Participants will come away with information and techniques for applying inquiry in classroom and informal education settings, developing inquiry skills in their audiences and assessing inquiry-based modeling.

 

Engaging Communities in Conservation Solutions

Next Offered in Summer 2019
This course typically takes place during a weeklong session (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) and may be taken for graduate credit, Washington-state approved STEM clock hours or audit. Those participants taking the course for credit will complete web-based coursework from late May through early August. Pricing and online registration will be available beginning on March 1, 2019.

Students will investigate conservation opportunities and solutions in their local communities, environmental stewardship and research science, as well as practice inquiry-based learning, develop a conservation project to be used in their classroom or community and reflect on ecological and carbon footprints. Participants in the course will consider local and global conservation issues affecting wildlife, and then focus in on three major opportunities for educators and students to take action: 1) reducing our carbon footprints to slow the impacts of global climate change, 2) making sustainable consumer choices to conserve resources and support wildlife conservation, and 3) engaging in place-based education to understand and care for the natural world in our own backyards. At the end of the course, students will have a solid understanding of community-based conservation with a particular emphasis on current issues facing local habitats in the communities where they live. Students will also explore and begin to design stewardship strategies for empowering their own students or community members to generate solutions and take action. 

 

Northwest Wildlife Conservation

Western Pond Turtle

Next Offered in Summer 2019
This course typically takes place during a weeklong session (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) and may be taken for graduate credit, Washington state-approved STEM clock hours or audit. Those participants taking the course for credit will complete web-based coursework from late May through early August. Pricing and online registration will be available beginning March 1, 2019.

Through both zoo-based and field-based experiences, this course will explore pressing wildlife conservation issues in the Pacific Northwest as well as field and community-based investigation techniques that scientists and citizens alike can use to study and conserve our local wildlife and ecoregions. Participants will practice three types of field investigations that provide rigorous, engaging inquiry experiences and contribute to scientific knowledge by describing natural systems, noting differences in habitats and identifying environmental trends and issues. These methods align the broader range of contemporary field science practices found in national science standards. Participants will also gain experience with community-based investigation techniques that contribute to understanding the human dimension of conservation issues.

Each year the course focuses in-depth on a different ecoregion (temperate forest, sagebrush steppe, mountains, wetlands, coastal regions and urban areas), using threatened species as case studies of how recovery projects work to address issues including habitat degradation, climate change and pollution, invasive species and human-wildlife conflict. Course themes also include sustainable population maintenance, wildlife health, restoration ecology, reintroduction biology and the roles of zoo, reserves and aquaria in conservation.

The first day of the session takes place at Woodland Park Zoo, where participants explore the characteristics and wildlife of the focal ecoregion as well as issues affecting local species through presentations, activities and observations of animals. Subsequent days are spent exploring species recovery efforts through visits and field experiences at local natural areas and meetings with scientists involved in conserving Pacific Northwest species and habitats.

contact

If you cannot find the answers to your questions or need additional assistance please contact the registration office by phone at 206.548.2424 x4 or by email.