Monday, February 22, 2016

Take a field trip to Peru!

The Nature Conservancy and its 550 scientists have created a site called Nature Works Everywhere "to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us - and how we can keep it running strong. This project gives teachers, students and families everything they need to start exploring and understanding nature around the globe alongside Nature Conservancy scientists."

On March 16, 2016, the Nature Conservancy, as part of its Nature Works Everywhere project, will offer a free, real-time, virtual field trip aimed at students in grades 3-8. The field trip is entitled "How Nature Works in Coastal Peru: The Amazing Biodiversity of a Coastal Ecosystem".  The field trip will be hosted by Matias Caillaux, a Nature Conservancy fisheries scientist.  Students will learn about the Humboldt Current—a cold water current that pushes nutrients from the deepest ocean toward the surface, forming the basis of a unique and abundant ecosystem in which visitors find a variety of sea birds, flamingos, and even penguins!

During the field trip, students will will learn that the productivity of this ecosystem is not only important to its animal inhabitants, but to the success of the region’s fishing industry as well.  They will also discover what’s being done to protect this vulnerable ecosystem so that both people and animals can continue to thrive.

To support the virtual field trip to Peru, the Nature Conservancy and the Nature Works Everywhere project provides interactive online materials to use to introduce the topic before attending the online field trip or viewing the archive, or after the event to follow-up on some of the important aspects of this ecosystem. 

Fishing for a Future: The Artisanal Fishers of Ancón
Image credit: The Nature Conservancy

Image courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Lesson plans, informational handouts, and links to supporting videos

While working on the lessons and viewing the videos, students will explore sustainable fishing through a specific case study in Peru, which is home to one of the world’s largest fisheries. The fishing activities that occur in the waters off of the coast of Peru represent a microcosm of the rest of the world.

The lessons include interactive story maps that allow students to explore the Humboldt Current, El Niño, and artisanal fishing; engage in a fisheries management activity using data; and participate in a Socratic Seminar that explores the challenges of open access fishing areas. Students will understand how the need to protect this ecosystem and effectively manage its resources is important both for its health and for the communities that depend on it. The content of the field trip and the lessons is also aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Lesson plan and handouts downloads

  • Student handout: Fisheries Management (PDF) (Word)
  • Student handout: Humboldt Current (PDF) (Word)
  • Student handout: Anchoveta Socratic Seminar (PDF) (Word)
  • Lesson plan: Fishing for a Future (PDF) (Word)


The field trip will begin at noon Eastern Time (US) on March 16, 2016, and last 45 minutes. The link to sign up is here.

If the real-time March 16, 2016 time slot does not work for your class, you can still register to receive the YouTube viewing link after the event. In addition, a bit later, the Nature Conservancy will provide a link to the field trip video on Vimeo.


How Nature Works in Coastal Peru: 
The Amazing Biodiversity of a Coastal Ecosystem

I hope you are able to take your class on this interesting and educational field trip!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of We Are Teachers and The Nature Conservancy.
I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.