TAP-US Initiative

Think, Act, Protect the Upper Susquehanna River Watershed (TAP-US)NOAA logo
Hartwick College's Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies has launched a region-wide initiative to adapt, develop, and implement integrated Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs) for teachers and students in the Upper Susquehanna River portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This initiative is a partnership between the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education & Training Program and the Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Hartwick College.

The goals of TAP-US are three-fold:
1. To increase knowledge and understanding of the Upper Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds as well as enhance the field- and classroom-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching capacity of in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers;
2. To provide Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs) for K-12 school students by offering hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities that increase environmental literacy and the sense of discovery, enhance awareness of the local outdoors, and engage students in activities to protect and maintain the ecology of rivers, streams, and wetlands in the Upper Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds;
3. To enable teachers and students to integrate data collection and technology and to communicate and collaborate between schools along the Upper Susquehanna River, as well as downstream to the Chesapeake Bay, so as to increase knowledge of system-wide watershed-related issues and initiate projects to restore the Upper Susquehanna River ecosystem.

The objectives of TAP-US are to:
1. Organize annual, summer week-long intensive professional development opportunities for in-service teachers in the region's school districts.
2. Implement outdoor and classroom-based learning activities that involve site visits to sampling points at Hartwick's Pine Lake Environmental Campus, Otsego Lake, the Susquehanna River, and watershed tributaries.
3. Create a web-based communications network that will link schools, teachers, and students, the data they collect, and projects they undertake, together through a publicly-accessible website (including access to National Geographic Society's Fieldscope database.)
4. Educate school officials, local leaders, and the general public on watershed issues through the TAP-US website and annual TAP-US Watershed Symposium.

For more information, email pinelake@hartwick.edu.

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