Education

Our Estuarine Educational Program provides meaningful experiences with the goal of cultivating appreciation for the natural and social ecosystems found in the hydrographic basin of the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan.

El Programa de Educación Estuarina ofrece actividades presenciales y virtuales para grupos de diversas comunidades de aprendizaje, como grupos de escuelas públicas y privadas, homeschoolers, scouts, campamentos de verano, entre otros grupos educativos en la cuenca del Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan.

Para coordinar actividades se pueden comunicar con el equipo de Educación por correo electrónico a [email protected]. Las actividades son libres de costo y se coordinarán según disponibilidad en calendario.

ESTUARINE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

Educational Talks and Workshops

Biodiversity of the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan
Level: Elementary, Middle, and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will discuss the hydrographic basin of the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, the term “biodiversity,” and provide examples of the flora and fauna found within this zone. We will also offer recommendations for how participants can protect and conserve the estuary.
Most Common Birds at the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan
Level: Elementary, Middle, and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will emphasize the importance of conducting bird censuses for the conservation of the estuarine ecosystems and introduce the attendees to birds found in these natural systems, from urban forests to the coast and coastal wetlands.
Native Birds of Puerto Rico at the Estuary Basin
Level: Elementary, Middle, and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will discuss the importance of the birds for our ecosystem, emphasizing the endemic birds of Puerto Rico that can be found in the ecosystems of the estuary.
Migratory Birds: A Journey for Survival
Level: Elementary
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
Participants will learn about the migration that several species of birds make to Puerto Rico every year. We will share photographs of these birds and create awareness of their role in the conservation of the ecosystems in the estuary.
Our Friends the Bats—Protectors of the Estuary
Level: Elementary
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will discuss information about bats and the benefits they provide to the ecosystems of the estuary.
Understanding Our Friend the Manatee
Level: Elementary, Middle, and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will teach participants the basic biological aspects of the Antillian manatee, their challenges to survive, and what we are doing to protect them.
Conserving the Estuary to Protect Marine Life and Other Animals
Level: Elementary
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will discuss marine organisms of the estuary and the importance of protecting the ecosystem for the benefit of the species that live in the ocean.
Introduction to Sustainability
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will explore the concept of sustainability and how it relates to the conservation of our natural resources.
Green Infrastructure: Opportunities to Improve the Quality of Urban Areas
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We will introduce the concept of green infrastructure and its elements and natural processes. Attendees will explore green infrastructure strategies that help improve the quality of the water, decrease temperatures in urbanized environments, and protect lives and property against climatic events.
The Importance of Water to the Life of the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 30-60 minutes
 
We discuss the hydrologic cycle in the basin of the estuary and the importance of water in the lives of the community and its biodiversity.
Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan Water Quality Monitoring Workshop
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
We will consider key concepts about monitoring the quality of the water and the importance of preserving water, followed by practicing these concepts through analyzing the water quality at the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan.
Celebrating Urban Birds of the Estuary Workshop
Level: Elementary
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
After an illustrated talk about the most common urban birds, attendees will participate in a citizen scientist activity where they will count urban birds.
Story Time “El cangrejo violinista” (The Crab Violinist)
Level: Elementary
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
Through a book reading and creative arts activity, participants will gain awareness of the biological diversity of the wetlands of the estuary and the benefits they contribute to the estuarine ecosystems.
Story Time “Canito: el murciélago pescador” (Canito: The Bat Who Likes to Go Fishing)
Level: Elementary
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
Through a book reading and creative arts activity, attendees will gain awareness about bats and the benefits they contribute to the estuarine ecosystems.

Interpretative Tour

Birdwatching Tour at the Estuary Urban Forests
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
On a tour of the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, participants will learn about estuary birds, conduct a bird census by observing and counting the species of birds, and discuss their importance within the ecosystem.
Laguna del Condado Estuarine Natural Reserve Tour
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
Through a tour to learn about the Laguna del Condado Estuarine Natural Reserve, we will discuss the importance of this urban body of water, the threats it faces, the green infrastructure that protects it, and what the Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan Program is doing to manage and conserve it.
Researching our Urban Forests
Level: Middle and High School
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
We will take attendees on a tour to practice forest researching skills like measuring the height and diameter of trees and other elements that will help us review the scientific method in practice.
Night Tour at the Forest
Level: Elementary, Middle and High School
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
Participants will attend a night tour to rediscover the forest and the nocturnal organisms that live there. We will learn about how these organisms adapt and how light contamination affects them.

Professional Training for Teachers and Environmental Interpreters

Workshops for Teachers

The Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan Program offers professional training workshops for teachers and educators. These workshops include access to printed or electronic educational materials to aid educators. They are usually offered during the summer in-person and free of charge.

Biodiversity and Estuarine Ecosystems: Integrating Research and Science in the Classroom
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
 
This is a workshop to discover estuarine ecosystems and biodiversity and to learn about the work the estuary scientists do and the integration of civic science activities.
Chiriría and Wetland Conservation Workshop
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
 
In collaboration with the conservation organization BirdsCaribbean, we offer this workshop for educators of all levels interested in learning more about the ecosystems of the wetlands, its biodiversity, threats, and conservation opportunities. The workshop includes a theoretical part and a field trip. Participants are given an informative guide and activities to use in and out of the classroom.
Project Learning Tree (PLT) Workshop

Duration: 3 to 6 hours

This workshop is for educators using activities to create awareness about the conservation of our forests and their biodiversity. Trees are used as a window to environmental participative education. Topics include forests and other ecosystems, wildlife, water, air, energy, waste, climate change, invasive species, conservation, community planning, and more.

  • Workshop: Pre-K – 8 (for elementary and middle level educators)
  • Workshop: Forests of the World (for high school educators)
Population Connection Workshop
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
 
This workshop for educators is offered in collaboration with the organization Population Connection. Topics include population, human geography, and conservation. We also discuss educational activities around the challenges that population growth has in efforts related to poverty relief, women’s empowerment, availability of natural resources, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and biodiversity preservation. Participants are provided access to digital educational materials.
From the Forest to the Estuary: A Natural Connection Workshop
Duration: 3 to 6 hours
 
This activity is made in collaboration with environmental community groups of the estuary. We discuss the ecological relationships that occur in the estuarine ecosystems including the forests in the region and the coastal wetlands. We discuss the biological diversity of these ecosystems and do several research activities in the forest or wetlands.

Workshops for Environmental Interpreters

These workshops are part of the professional training program of the estuary for environmental interpreters and informal educators in collaboration with the Region 3 The Sunny Southeast from the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). These workshops count as contact hours for the recertification of tour guides of the NAI. They are usually offered in-person during the summer and free of charge.

Environmental Interpretation I: Theory and Principles to Promote Communication with Purpose and Inspire a Connection with Nature

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

This first workshop includes the basics and principles of interpretation from Freeman Tilden to the TORA model of Sam Ham. We also discuss how to strengthen programs and activities by creating effective communication that provokes a connection between the participants and the resource.

Environmental Interpretation II: Techniques and Activities to Strengthen the Programs in Protected Natural Areas and Create Memorable Experiences

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

In this second workshop we discuss various techniques and effective activities that interpretative guides use in Puerto Rico and Latin America to make their tours more enjoyable. We will share a free link to the National Park Service publication called “Handles: Helping Visitors to Grasp Resource Meaning”.

Interpreting Biodiversity: Connecting People, Nature, and Conservation

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

This workshop discusses the topic of interpretation of biodiversity by applying the principles of interpretation and the NAI best practices. We will provide participants the Interpretación de la Biodiversidad: Manual para educadores ambientales en los trópicos guide in Spanish, from the Natural History Museum of New York.

Activities for Scouts

The Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan Program partners with the Scout Council of Puerto Rico BSA to promote the ideals of citizenship through activities, volunteering, and citizen scientist programs.

  • Merit Badge Program
    • Oceanography
    • Bird Studies
    • Sustainability
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Conservation of Water and Soil
  • Interpretative Tours
  • Service Projects
  • Christmas Bird Census Gamaliel Pagán Hernández
 
Green Contact

The estuary’s interpretative tours count as hours for the Green Contact (Contacto Verde).

http://drna.pr.gov/cat/contacto-verde/