- The Expedition
- Meet the Team
Monitoring mammal populations to determine the impacts of climate change and other environmental challenges.
South Shore region, Nova Scotia, Canada — Nova Scotia is a peninsula of wilderness twice the size of Massachusetts on Canada’s rugged Atlantic Coast. Fewer than one million people live here, mostly along the 7,500 kilometers of meandering shoreline, leaving lots of room for an abundance of wildlife. From white-tailed deer to meadow voles, from lynx to loons, the vast forests, rolling hills, and varied coastlines of the South Shore region provide a rich tapestry of species. Watch beavers busily harvesting wood out on the lakes, see otters fishing on the coast, and enjoy the antics of skunks, raccoons, and porcupines as they forage around the field site in the evening.
Nova Scotia's ecological diversity is a product of delicately balanced environmental conditions, and these are vulnerable to the rapid changes expected with global warming. You can help Drs. Christina Buesching and Chris Newman explore how Nova Scotia's wilderness ecosystem is being affected by climate change, and help understand the implications for forestry, hunting, and tourism so vital to the local economy.
Find out more about this expedition.
Earthwatch expedition briefing
Essential information for the expedition - daily schedule, research area details, project conditions etc.
Photo gallery from the expedition.
Climate Change resources
Education Resources from the EPA
The GLOBE Program - International Environmental/Science Education Program
Computer simiulations of GLobal CO2 Emisions
NOAA education resources
Center for Instruction, Staff Development and Education
North American Associate for Environmental Education
Childhood and Nature by David Sobel
Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities, With Index by David Sobel and James Tylor and The Center for Ecoliteracy
Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education (Nature Literacy Series, Vol. 1) (Nature Literacy) by Sobel David
Mapmaking with Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years by David Sobel
Children's Special Places: Exploring the Role of Forts, Dens, and Bush Houses in Middle Childhood (The Child in the City Series) by David Sobel
Research site specific:
Speciesatrisk.ca - info about all species at risk in Nova Scotia with a map of Nova Scotia where species at risk live
Quick facts about mammals at risk in Nova Scotia
Wildspirits.ca – web resource maintained by Drs. Christina Buesching and Chris Newman
Follow our blogs as we experience our Earthwatch expedition Mammals of Nova Scotia April 12-25 2009.
This Live From the Field program and educator fellowships are made possible by generous funding from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A..
This site is the result of collaborative efforts from the members of this Earthwatch project and the support of Earthwatch Institute.
Meet the Teachers
My name is Erika Metz and I teach 7th grade Geography at Williamsville Junior High School in Williamsville, Illinois. I am currently in my ninth year of teaching and have loved every year I have spent in the classroom! I completed my undergraduate coursework at Western Illinois University where I earned a BA in history with a minor geography. Through continued coursework, I am also qualified to teach English and American Government, which I had done for the past 6 years at the high school level. Currently, I am finishing up my graduate degree and will soon hold a MA in Educational Leadership from Eastern Illinois University. When I am not teaching or going to school, I love to travel, shop, and spend time with my family. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and learning new things are my passions. I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband at home who supports and encourages me in all my educational endeavors!!!
Kurt Long-Voelkner - I teach eighth grade earth science at Bemidji Middle School in Bemidji, Minnesota (about 100 miles south of the Canadian Border). Prior to my 20 years of teaching, I worked for the US Forest Service. I am an avid wilderness canoeist, backpacker and hiker and also enjoy camping, hunting and fishing.
Jennifer Beeman - The most rewarding part of being an educator (for me) is being able to facilitate opportunities both in the classroom and community for students to inquire about things they are interested in and then help them learn enough to take action. I have taught primary aged students for six years and when I am not teaching I spend my time with our Service Club and Youth Development Committee working on projects that give back locally and globally. Outside of school enjoy playing soccer, rollerblading, reading, photography and traveling. While in Nova Scotia my hope is that I will be able to provide our students with a "real life experience" to help them develop a better understanding of our world, the environmental challenges we face, and how their choices and actions can make a difference!
Wendy Quam lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, Jim and dog, Chloe. She teaches second grade at Horizon Elementary in Johnston, Iowa and will graduate in May with her Master's degree in Curriculum & Instructional Technology from Iowa State University. In her free time she enjoys walking her dog, reading, playing volleyball and spending time with her family and friends.
Pete Pembroke - I am a teacher at Chico Country Day School, a California Charter School, in Northern California. I have been here for ten years teaching first through seventh grades. I currently teach sixth grade math, science, and P.E. I have a lovely wife and two daughters age 8 and 10, and both daughters attend our school. I came to teaching a little later in life so I bring many different life experiences to my classroom. My hobbies include motorcycling, guitar playing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, hiking and camping. I've always connected to the natural environment through my hobbies and this unique opportunity with Earthwatch is a special treat!
Lee Wignall has been teaching 7 years and currently works at Lionsgate Academy, a first-year charter school located in Crystal, Minnesota, that serves students on the autism spectrum, grades 7-10. In previous years he has worked at schools in Oregon, Japan, and another Minnesota charter school for recovering addicts and alcoholics. When he isn't teaching, Lee enjoys working out, watching his pet turtles, and currently plays Yugioh with his students during club time. One of the biggest things he hopes to achieve with the Earthwatch Fellowship is to show his students that science can take place outside of the science classroom and that meaningful learning is a lifelong process that can take you to foreign places and introduce you to amazing people.
Millie Wong Tang has been teaching for over 15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches a 4th grade class at Los Perales Elementary with the Moraga School District, located in Moraga, CA, a suburb of the SF Bay area. Millie has been very passionate about teaching her students to protect, preserve and keep our environment safe for our future generations. She wants to instill in her students the love of learning both inside and outside the classroom by taking charge of their own future with the power of a great education. Joining this outdoor, hands on field research is a lifelong dream come true for this teacher.
I'm Mr. Gasteazoro...shorten it to Mr. G and the kids in my class have permission to give you a "tsk tsk tsk" with a finger wag! I am the proud leader of 24 4th graders at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts & Science. My class feels some of the most important characteristics of my teaching style is the freedom to be themselves, create inquiries, and investigate them through unique projects like rotting apples, a painted baseball dangling from the ceiling of the classroom and a 7-layer density tubes. I believe in providing opportunities for them to discover meaningfulness from my instruction in the lives they live - in and out of the classroom.
A sense of community underlies all that we do in class and this closeness is reflected in our kindness boomerang - what goes around comes around, like a boomerang - when someone sees a classmate being kind they get a small wooden boomerang, initial it and start looking for someone to pass it along to. I will treat my fellowship with Earthwatch on the Mammals of Nova Scotia expedition like a boomerang. I see it as a tremendous opportunity to pass something along to the students in my class, at my school and throughout my district that they may not have otherwise had the privilege of experiencing. They, in turn, will have the power to pass it along to someone else...
Ben Wolfe - I have been teaching for 4 years, one in Michigan during my teaching internship (Chemistry and Earth Science), 2 years teaching 8th grade earth science in Hawaii and I'm recently teaching freshman level earth science and AP environmental science. I am an avid travler and love to be outdoors. Camping is one of my favorite things to do. I have enjoyed traveling in Europe, Canada and Alaska. All have been great experiences! I love sports and working out as well. I coach varsity tennis and have taught at nearby tennis clubs/resorts where ever I have lived. I love new challenges and always look for ways to keep myself active in learning new things. I am looking forward to a new adventure with Earthwatch!
Kristina VanWilgen-Hammitt - I have been teaching science at Bemidji High School for 12 years. I love teaching science because it attempts to answer that natural curiosity in all of us- "Why does that work that way?". Being the mother of two active boys, my husband & I live in a constant state of "experiments" at the house, which has allowed me to evolve into a much better teacher than I was 10 years ago! As a family we enjoy fishing, ice skating/hockey, camping, and vacationing in the mountains as often as we can - pretty much anything outside. I am an avid skier, speedskater, biker and runner. I'm really excited for the Mammals of Nova Scotia Expedition and am looking forward to communicating with my kids at school about all our activities. Thank you to Wells Fargo for this opportunity.
Meet the Scientists
Dr. Christina Buesching is a Research Associate with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University; she’s been coming to Nova Scotia for more than 20 years. Christina has a M.Sc. from the German Primate Center, Göttingen, on the reproductive physiology and behavior of the female lesser mouse lemur and a D.Phil. from Oxford University investigating mammalian sociality and communication in badgers. In the past, Christina has worked on a wide variety of mammals ranging from Australian marsupials to Madagascan prosimians and European carnivores and rodents. She is particularly interested in investigating the socio-political and biological implications of the involvement of volunteers in ecological monitoring. She is a founder and committee member of the Tracking Mammals Partnership and serves on the group focusing on volunteer involvement. Christina has two years of experience teaching general zoology to final year students in Germany and has worked as a Science Officer with Earthwatch Europe. Christina is a member of the committee of the Tobeatic Research Institute of Nova Scotia.
Dr. Chris Newman is a Research Associate with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University as well as an experienced Earthwatch Principal Investigator. He undertook his D.Phil. on Population Ecology, Demography and Parasitology at Oxford University and now co-manages the Mammal Monitoring and Badger Projects for the WCRU. Chris is the Mammals Officer and senior Animal Care and Welfare Officer for the university’s Animal Ethics Committee. He is extensively licensed and experienced in working with a wide variety of wildlife. He also serves on the executive committee of the UK’s Tracking Mammals Partnership. Chris has studied physical geography, geomorphology and geology, allowing him to set ecosystems in their physical context. In the past, he has also taught wilderness survival skills to students. Chris is a member of the committee of the Tobeatic Research Institute of Nova Scotia.
|Nassau, The Bahamas|
Earthwatch Expedition Briefing
Earthwatch Classroom Earth Case Study
Photographs from the expedition
Year on Earth. Video clip overview of environmental issues facing the coral reefs and various tools used to survey the reefs as told by three students volunteering on the Bahamian Reef Survey expedition.
Blogs from previous teams:
Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School
Jamaica Plain, MA
Saint Helena Elementary School
Napa Valley, CA
San Mateo Park School
San Mateo, CA
Community Academy of Science and Health
Hyde Park, MA
Hanover Park High School
Florham Park, NJ
Johnson Middle School
Salt Lake City, UT
Ridgedale Middle School
Florham Park, NJ
Charles R. Drew Charter School
Lydia Hawk Elementary School in