Skip to main content

Posts

Reframing, Rethinking, and Re-inspiring Professional Training

How well do your professional development trainings leverage the collective wisdom and experience of the participants, foster a culture of excellence, encourage creativity, and nurture communities of practice?

Reframing how we conduct river and water management trainings can reinspire trainers, engage emerging professionals, and motivate long-time career professionals all while having some fun along the way. Although it may not explicitly be in one’s job description, many times experienced professionals are asked to become trainers. As trainers they are expected to be good facilitators, educators, and interpreters even though that may not be their primary expertise. Trainers who leverage the wisdom of formal educators, professional interpreters, and practiced facilitators can create learning experiences for their staff and colleagues that are highly effective and relevant, while also creating space for innovative leadership within their organizations and agencies.

In order to reconsid…
Recent posts

Feathers, Dead Baby Birds, and Eggshells: A Most Authentic Investigation

It is not often that an outdoor science educator has unlimited unstructured time at a nature preserve with a small group of only six 8-12 year olds who are stoked on exploring, asking tons of questions, and creating their own possible explanations. I was blessed with this experience and it has left a visceral impression with me that will last a long time.
On the second day of our Adventure Scientists day camp we began the day heading out to a new area of the nature preserve we hadn’t yet explored. The students practiced their habits of a scientist recalling the skills we had learned the previous day. Utilizing their hand lenses and new language of “I notice…”, “I wonder…”, “it reminds me of…” they set out exploring the grassy peninsula stretching into the lake and the thick willows. There was not a time limit set, only some geographic boundaries. They began to find delicious smelling orchids, interesting textures of plants, and a few crime scenes (dead animals). That which caught the…

My Dreams for My Country, Its People, and Its Landscape

On this January 15, 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the public storm is becoming stronger than most are comfortable to bear. People are deeply hurt and angry leading them to become more and more frustrated and distant from each other. People are ashamed and embarrassed of their country’s leadership and are feeling more isolated and lonely. People are feeling scared, confused, anxious, and are becoming bewildered, discouraged, and overwhelmed.

This is America, the great wide-open country with opportunities for entrepreneurial possibilities and endless potential for all. This is the place where all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet, 242 years after this American spirit was eloquently articulated, all do not experience this welcoming land of the free equally, with dignity, or a fair chance at pursuing happiness.

It is with strong faith and hope, 55 years after our nation’…

Watersheds are for Learning

I love to teach. I am a connector. Thinking like a watershed is my nature, not my job. Rivers connect us to each other across communities, landscapes, and time. We are part of our watersheds and influence our rivers; not separate. It is our profound responsibility to live and model stewardship of our waters ensuring their healthy existence for time to come. Now more than ever, it is critical that we work collectively to increase understanding of watershed systems, river science, water conservation, climate literacy, and encourage participation in public life. And so, I am a watershed educator.

Fostering relationships with colleagues: veteran educators, emerging professionals, university students, water resource managers, urban leaders, rural experts and others across Colorado and beyond for the past two years has been a tremendous joy. Celebrating the success stories, listening to the learnings, and together sourcing and implementing proven resources and tools to increase effectivene…

Watersheds Hold Connections: My Water Story

Flying across my headwaters state of Colorado on the spring equinox my forehead is glued to the small oval window of the regional jet. We climb steeply up out of the high mountain valley, turn north and follow the Colorado River upstream toward its source on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. I always request a window seat when I fly as I get to pretend to be a cartographer as I study the diverse landscape of colors, textures, shapes, and patterns that create places. Flying over known watersheds I place myself down in those places that have been part of my life forming me to who I am today carving and creating my story. Water continues to shape and mold the landscape and our being.

Getting to know a watershed is like getting to know a friend. Watersheds are places complete with stories, personality, place names, unique patterns and topography, social norms, distinctive plants and animals, political structures, and most of all distinguishing rivers and tributaries. Wat…