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Amount Awarded: $10,000
Actual Start & End Dates: January to August 2015

Full Description:

In May 2015, LBCS welcomed four teams of local students and their chaperones to our field camp on East Limestone Island (ELI) in Laskeek Bay. The program was offered to students at no cost, ensuring any financial barriers to participation were eliminated. School groups included:

George M. Dawson Secondary School and Tidal Elements Whole School Society: 2 chaperones and 8 students
Living and Learning School: 3 chaperones and 6 students
Tahayghen: 3 chaperones and 17 students, divided into 2 groups

The teams camped on neighbouring Louise Island for multiple days. During their stay, students learned the importance of cooperation, understanding and trust through the experience of living together in a remote wilderness environment. One of the days was spent on ELI, where the students spent time with our Lead and Assistant Biologists learning about local seabirds, local flora and fauna and the importance of conservation. These lessons were taught in a highly participatory way: students observed a successful deer exclosure, they discussed and identified local and invasive species and they participated in the capture, weighing and release of Ancient Murrelet chicks at night. It was a rare opportunity to involve and engage local youth in scientific research in a hands-on manner. Their direct involvement contributed to building an appreciation and respect for the integrity of our local islands environment. We have since received extremely positive feedback from staff and students alike.

The funded project had three guiding goals, which we feel se successfully met with the support of Gwaii Trust funding. These goals were:

1' Give local youth the opportunity to experience the natural environment in a pristine and ecologically rich area that they would not otherwise have access to;

1' Give local youth a chance to participate in a real scientific research project and learn about the scientific method in a hands-on way;

1' Educate local youth about the importance of conservation.