Flathead CORE

November 19, 2014

Rich Thompson, Tyler McCrae, Justin Barth, Mary Jo Gardner, Sheena Pate , Joyce Baltz, Amy Grout, Laura Law, Teresa Wenum, Patti Mason


1.     Trunk Workshop – Thank you Megan Chaisson for helping to coordinate the trunk workshop. There were about eight teachers who participated plus the eight representatives who brought trunks. The updated list of education trunks available in the Flathead Region is now posted on the CORE website. Check it out as there are a few additions.- there is mosquito trunk, a high school invasive aquatics trunk, Audubon is finishing its owl trunk and working with Lone Pine State Park on a raptor trunk. In the spring, we will coordinate to figure out when the 2015 trunk workshop will be.

2.     Winter Trails Day, January 10, 2015 – Glacier NP, USFS Swan Lake Ranger District, Bigfork (who used to partner with Audubon), Lone Pine SP, Whitefish Trail/Whitefish Legacy Partnersa have all agreed to participate again.  Whitefish Legacy partnered with Sportsman’s to offer some demo days. Izaak Walton usually does something that day as well as the Nordic Ski Club.  The idea for this national day is that it’s “free.”  Get information to Teresa by the middle of December and she will send out a press release about it.

3.     MEEA Conference, March 19-20 – in Polson this year.  Place is Kwataqnuk and they are still working on keynote speaker.  The first day is all day workshops – 1) MT Watercourse is doing water quality monitoring at Flathead Lake Biological Station; 2) Rebecca Johns will do a leadership and coaching session; 3) A GIS workshop with Hans Bodenhammer. The second day will be twelve concurrent sessions and many of these have been filled – four will be education sessions from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; four will be administrative related (grant writing, common core, master thesis on ed. for sustainability and adaptive learning); four others will be local education projects (MT watercourse, MEEA grant winners present their projects, and two others)

-Laura and Teresa will see about filling in one of the Admin. slots with a Flathead CORE collaboration workshop.

- Laura will also send in to Heidi our other ideas to fill some of the concurrent sessions: Citizen Science/service learning – native plant garden, Americorps; student symposium; CORE session on collaboration; climate change resource guide, watershed sourcebook curriculum.

- Updated information on the exhibitor booths – yes, the booths are up for both days. The $100 cost is basically the cost of a MEEA business membership, so the booth is “free” if you pay the business membership. If your business can contribute a gift for the live auction that is equal or more than the $100 value, then you do not have to pay the exhibitor fee.- 

4.     Watershed Sourcebook Curriculum Update – Glacier National Park Conservancy gave another $1500 toward the project. It is moving along through phase II. Laura will get the Information about all four phases posted on the CORE website in December.


5.     Diann Ericson (MEEA Board Member at large, mdm@blackfoot.net)  sent an update that she has emailed the teachers who participated in the MEEA orientation session in Kalispell last year at this time. She has about 34 educators she is in touch with. Her email lets folks know about the upcoming MEEA conference and also asks if Flathead teachers are interested in meeting again to collaborate. Diann will be out of state for December but will be back in touch in the New Year.


6.     Flathead Lake Biological Station – Tom Bansak has been sending newsletter updates. Most recently, they have posted on-line a new aquatic invasive species video.  Check it out! Laura will get it linked from the Flateadh CORE “resources” page.


7.     Welcome back Patti Mason in a new role as Flathead Audubon’s Conservation Educator (Auduboneducator@gmail; 270-0831 will be the contact phone number). It’s good to have you back, Patti! Unfortunately, that also means that we have to say farewell to AshleyL . Thanks Ashley for all you have done to help with Flathead CORE and Audubon. We wish you well and hope to still see you through COCEEC and other events around the valley.


8.     All, please bring photos you have from Flathead CORE events to the January meeting.  Patti Mason, Mary Jo Gardner, Melissa Sladek, and Laura Law will be working on more updates to the CORE website in December and would love to add new photos.


9.     Next Meeting Dates:


Š      Next January 21, 2015- same time, same place

Š      March 4, 2015

Š      May 13, 2015


10. Round Robin-


Š      Glacier Institute – Received funding to do another summer 2015 teen invasive species symposium – they will send info. to Laura for application process and Tyler can put it on the Flathead CORE website; Lecture series will start and run each month -January, February , March- see their website for more information; on-line auction going on until Dec. 1; they also received funding for new cabins at Field Camp that will be handicap accessible- hurrah!; all their resources/courses will be online by 1st of year; and tri-fold brochure available in January. They do have a couple of winter courses, soonest will Winter Ecology Course on Dec. 6, 2014 with Brian Baxter– so contact them asap if you are interested.

Š      High School Debate Judges – Michael Jameson sent info. On Whitefish H.S. debate and speech competition needing lots of judges yet.  Email Sheena and she can get the info. To Michael,  sheen.pate@hotmail .com . (Debate scheduled for weekend before Thanksgiving.)

Š      Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council- Sheena Pate would love to post events for you on their website as it showcases tourism in the region. Email her your event info. at sheena@crownofthecontinent.net. Also, the new geotourism map is out and available and can be ordered for free from their website.

Š      Road Scholar - Steph Paidas reported that Road Scholar started intergenerational program with grandparents bringing grandchildren. They have partnership with Audubon. They want to expand as people are interested in the greater CoC, not just Glacier. So they are looking for ideas for 2016 and beyond. National Road Scholar has idea for “my home town.”  She is hiring for summer staff for experience educators. Steph is now the Glacier Program Coordinator and in her “spare” time is working on a Phd in environmental psychology.

Š      Lone Pine State Park is working on their calendar of events and will start winter programs in January. They hired one member from Americorps to do education who will start in mid-January.

Š      Glacier NP – CCRLC – Citizen Science groups did a new dragon fly larvae collection project this fall to help try out protocols for this national inventory and monitoring program.  The students really enjoyed doing the project.  CCRLC is doing more outreach to Grant Kohrs and Little Bighorn National Park units. Melissa Sladek has been doing lots of work on the website.

Š      Glacier NP Education – received a grant for an Americorps VISTA position to work with Blackfeet Schools on a plan for working together to conduct east side education programs.  Winter ecology snowshoe programs with schools will start the second week in January and be conducted out of the OLD Apgar Visitor Center. The NEW Apgar Visitor Center will be open on weekends throughout the winter. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes for the public will start in January. The “Teacher Cultural Resource Guide CD” is scheduled to be completed by the New Year. Laura will put a link to it from the CORE website.