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All about OLCG

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The Observing Locally, Connecting Globally (OLCG) project is funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks entitled "Global Change Education Using Western Science and Native Observations." The overall goal of our three-year program is to provide Alaskan teachers and students opportunities to engage in original global change research and to promote global change education in Alaska. These research studies address the need for locally relevant, inquiry-oriented science education appropriate for the diverse multi-graded and multicultural teaching situations in Alaska.

Summer Institute

A 2-week institute is held during summer, where project staff, guest elders and scientists help teachers learn to integrate local environmental observations into classroom studies and environmental monitoring efforts. Teachers learn to do protocols from the international "Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment" curriculum (GLOBE). They also focus on using best teaching practices in science and math education and on authentic uses of technology in order to develop a well-rounded and developmentally appropriate understanding of global change topics. Teachers are then supported as they integrate these ideas into their classrooms.

Who We Are

Dr. Elena Sparrow is the principal investigator of this project. She is a microbiologist and associate professor at the UAF School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management (SALRM), with more than 25 years research experience. Elena is coordinator of the Alaska GLOBE partnershp and has taught microbiology and global change classes for teachers and been involved in education outreach for many years.

Co-principal investigators are Sidney Stephens and Dr. Leslie Gordon.

Sidney is an instructor in the Department of Resources Management at SALRM with a focus on science and cross cultural education. She has been a teacher for almost the 30 years including K-8 classroom instruction; founding and directing the Alaska Science Consortium; teaching science and math inservice and methods courses; and working closely with the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative science focus. Her expertise in cross-cultural education and science is invaluable to the OLCG project.

Leslie is an education specialist and master teacher of science and math, with numerous teacher awards. She has taught in Fairbanks schools since 1982, as well as at the university level where she taught science and math classes for pre-service teachers at UAF. Recently, she conducted staff development and evaluation for the NSF Partners in Science project. She and Elena are co-principal investigators of another NSF GLOBE grant, Seasons:Global Plant Waves. Leslie will oversee standards based instruction and assessment on the project.

Project administrator, Martha Kopplin has a M.S. degree in Biological Sciences and is an administration specialist with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. She coordinates grant activities as she did for the Partners in Science project including recruiting scientists and elders to mentor teachers and students. Elena, Sidney, Leslie and Martha are all are GLOBE trainers.


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The Website for National Science Foundation Grant No. ES1-9910219

Last Modified on October 8, 2002 by Sidney Stephens

University of Alaska Fairbanks link