Salmon Farming Provides Students with Connection to Environment and Yakama Tribal Culture | News watch
Eisenhower High School plans to give its science teachers a valuable new recruiting tool for the upcoming school year.
Several of Ike’s staff joined a class of 11 for a 21-and-a-half-day workshop earlier this week at La Salle, preparing them to add âSalmon in the Classroomâ to their schedule. They also gained expert knowledge on climate change and how to make more use of the cultural and scientific expertise of the nearby Yakama Nation fisheries.
âWe are excited about this partnership,â said Robin Driver, professor of technical education and career science at Eisenhower. Students benefit “because they see a direct link to what they are learning, so it’s not just about learning a lot of information.”
She said that the simple act of bringing one of the six tanks that will be used piqued the interest of students at the end of last school year, especially those who remembered raising salmon in the part of the same program in primary school. Coordinator Tiffany Bishop is state licensed to supply Fall Chinook from the Priest Rapids Hatchery to approximately 50 area schools, in partnership with the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group and the Pacific Education Institute.
The first year is always the toughest, Bishop said, giving participants detailed instructions on how to maintain their tanks and care for their salmon after the eggs are delivered in January. Mistakes such as letting the water get too hot, using cleaning solutions, and not removing infected eggs can lead to significant mortality before the fish are sent to the ocean around spring break.
La Salle has been in the program for the past two years, so Bishop did part of his tank demonstration supervised by science teacher Elise Tulloss. The former UC Davis PhD ecology researcher emphasizes hands-on learning, often taking her classes to Ahtanum Creek south of the school, where they end up releasing their salmon.
âProbably the main thing I want the kids to remember is an idea of ââthe value of what we have,â said Tulloss, noting that the stream marked the border between Union Gap and the Yakama reserve. “What we do here matters to the tribe and it is an important lesson.”
Yakama Nation Fisheries provides another valuable educational tool on the La Salle campus, the Ahtanum Creek Educational Hatchery. Research scientist Todd Newsome raises coho from eggs at the facility built in the 2004-05 school year and ultimately releases them to the Yakima Basin, where the coho died out in the mid-1980s .
He made a brief visit to the small group of teachers on Monday and said he was always ready to introduce the Big Three to visiting students. La Salle also welcomes visiting primary school students during field days in environmental sciences.
Tulloss is entering his seventh year at La Salle and has already seen at least a few students pursuing studies in natural resources or agricultural sciences. Eisenhower’s conductor and educational facilitator, Lily Price, said developing an ongoing interest in science will be a priority for the program, which will build on its partnership with Yakama Nation Fisheries.
âThis is one of the things that we are also hopefully focusing on internship opportunities and career paths,â said Driver. “Especially with vocational and technical education, the main objective is to expose children to these careers and to acquire them real professional skills so that they can integrate them into a work environment.”
The Yakama Tribal School will also be involved, creating opportunities for students through Yakama Nation fishing. Students across the region can also see the tribe’s work in action at their hatchery in Prosser, the trout hatchery near Naches and soon, the new Melvin R. Sampson Coho facility near Ellensburg.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Bay Watershed Improvement and Training Program provided a grant of $ 59,900 for the workshop in La Salle. Mid-Columbia Fisheries Project Leader Emily Smith said the grant money would also help provide “meaningful educational experiences and hands-on learning opportunities” to more than 1,300 students in eight school districts across the country. east of Washington.