Evans Middle School seventh grade science teacher Mary Bowers can tell all her friends she vacationed in the islands this summer.
Mary Bowers, a seventh-grade science teacher at Evans Middle School, works with Megan Swartz on a class project. Ms. Hall coordinates the Jason Project at the school.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Bowers was one of two teachers from Georgia - 33 in the nation - to be selected to participate in Jason XIV "From Shore to Sea 2002-2003," a 10-day study of California's Channel Islands.
Her students will have the advantage of learning about her experiences there, but she'll also share her knowledge with other teachers about how the Jason Project curriculum can be applied in their classes. This winter, many area students will trek to the National Science Center to see a live, interactive broadcast of the continuing research taking place at one of the eight islands, Anacapa Island.
Bowers, who has worked with the Jason curriculum for the past six years, studied at the Channel Islands Field Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. The trip was sponsored by the Jason Foundation and National Geographic.
"We worked through the curriculum and all of the hands-on activities. It's an interactive program, which includes social studies, language arts - all components of the curriculum are integrated," she said.
The Channel Islands are ripe for study because they include plants and animals not found anywhere else in the world.
"By introducing people to this, it will help theme understand and protect the resources in the Channel Islands," she said.
Many of the lessons learned there will be applied to research of the east coast's Cumberland Islands, "what's happening there because of human intervention and the things that naturally occur."
The Jason team - which included biologists, marine biologists, geological scientists and field researchers - also studied the culture of the Chumasa Indians that once inhabited the Channel Islands, and even met with one of the tribe's descendants.
The highlight of the trip was a trip to the Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. Bowers said she saw sea lions and four blue whales as they crossed the channel.
"There was just so much to take in," she said. "It was incredible."
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