Conservation engineering outreach: Curriculum development and evaluation of Smart Fishing in the Bering Sea
The purpose of this project to was to 1) develop, 2) instruct, 3) evaluate, and 4) revise a 5th-12th grade fisheries conservation engineering outreach program entitled Smart Fishing and the Bering Sea (SFBS).
Fishery resources are important to Alaska and Alaskans, but present complex conservation challenges include user conflicts and concerns about unsustainable fishing practices. Increasing Alaska residents’ environmental literacy will enhance natural resource management decisions regarding fisheries. The intent of the SFBS program is to introduce students to ecological and economical factors that drive conservation engineering in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. I instructed the SFBS program to 93 students from four different public and private institutions in Anchorage, Alaska. My observations and participants’ pre- and post-program concept maps were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the SFBS curriculum. Participants gained content knowledge from this fishery outreach program about the Bering Sea and commercial fishing. Program evaluation analysis and results were used to revise the curriculum and make suggestions to SFBS stakeholders.
Funding for this work was provided by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative via the Alaska Education Tax Credit Program.