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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

TOTE II Workshop is a Success!

Posted by | July 27, 2012

Last week, the Reserve hosted twelve middle and high school teachers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Louisiana for Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) II, a field-based workshop focused on estuary and watershed education. This is the third TOTE workshop held at the Reserve, but unlike the first two, this year's TOTE was only open to teachers who had already participated in a New England TOTE workshop at either the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), the Waquoit Bay NERR in Massachusetts, or the Narragansett Bay NERR in Rhode Island.

This year's group of teachers delved deeper into TOTE?through:

  • A?workshop on systems thinking and service learning with Joyce Tugel of Maine Math & Science Alliance
  • Time in the marsh to sketch and identify salt marsh plants and monitor water quality
  • A?trip to Laudholm Beach to explore the intertidal zone
  • A?kayak paddle on the Webhannet River to monitor water quality and learn about the Reserve's tide gate
  • Further exploration of the System Wide Monitoring Program data and analysis with Research Associate Jeremy Miller
  • A session with climatologist Cameron Wake from the University of New Hampshire

Following are a sampling of the many comments we received from participating teachers:

  • The TOTE II training was one of the best experiences I have had in my professional career. I wish all science teachers could have access to this training.
  • TOTE II reminded me of why I became a teacher--to inspire students about the natural world, to get them out in special places, to connect them to place, and encourage them to be the change they want in the world.
  • TOTE II took me a giant step forward in my understanding of the world as a system and the hands on experience gives me a better background to teach the students.
  • Experiencing the estuarine environment provides a renewal of why I became a science teacher. Listening to speakers on environmental issues and systems thinking provides me with material to become a better science teacher.
  • "Knowledge without action is sterile." TOTE II advocates the environmental hierarchy of knowledge--understanding--appreciation--stewardship!
  • It is not often that professional development is genuine and realistic as the TOTE classes have been. I felt valued and enjoyed spending time with like minded people. It was a pleasure. Thank you so much.
  • TOTE II was a great community of learners whose common mission is to inspire students to know and care about estuaries and the earth.
  • Excellent opportunity to learn how to incorporate the estuary into all science classes.
  • Nice balance of content and field experience--learning can be fun!
  • TOTE II was a fantastic opportunity to learn from colleagues and experts, ways to impart appreciation for Nature and develop student driven stewardship.
  • It's a wonderful, energetic, yet relaxing opportunity to refresh skills, enhance them, get caught up with what's new in the field, and be.

Sketching in the marsh

Biotic factors game

TidepoolingExploring a salt panne

KayakingThe crew!



AquascopesPlant id sketching


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