Science 4 Teachers

  • Environmental Science for Teachers

Environmental Science for Teachers
Marine Ecosystems

  • Intended for teachers of science who are not science teachers by training
  • Based in Cordova
  • Grow teacher knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy about Indigenous Knowledge
  • Explore ways to incorporate place-based learning, problem-based learning, and Alaskan standards into lesson planning


Place-based activities will vary depending on weather but may include several of the following:

  • Climate Science
  • Flora & Fauna Identification
  • Citizen Science
  • Kayak on a glacial lake
  • Hike in a temperate rain forest
  • Explore the Copper River Delta
For Teachers Logo

Dates and Location 


Dates: May 24 - May 31, 2021

Non-refundable registration fee: $100

Credits: 3

Course number: ED580

Location: Cordova

Contact: Katie Bobowski907-822-3673 or

Instructor: Bjørn Walters

  • What to expect

    Environmental Science for Teachers is primarily a field based course and we will be spending most days outside exploring different learning possibilities.  Students should be able to walk at least 5 miles.  Portions of the course may be carried out over uneven terrain, often without a trail, and may include river crossings or other hazards depending on route and travel logistics. The course may require good physical condition and ability to perform in cold and/or inclement weather. Students must be prepared to spend long days in potentially harsh terrain, with a number of environmental concerns to mitigate, including: bears, mosquitos, wolves, rivers, weather, temperature, etc.

  • What you will get

    All students will develop a place-based lesson plan or unit to use in their own classroom.  All of the lesson plans developed will also be put into a bank and made available to all students for adaptation and use in their classrooms. 

  •  Why you should come
    Piloted in 2019, every student said this was the best professional development they had ever had. Not only will you develop your teaching skills, you will forge friendships and share experiences that are unparalleled-even in Alaska.
  • Course Sample Schedule
    Adventure/Field Trip
    Teaching Pedagogy
    May 24th Arrive/welcome      
    May 25th Glaciology: changing landscape (geologically and hydrologically) Sheridan Glacier hike and kayak Glaciers, plant succession, watershed tie-in Intro to place-based education, Review of AK standards and where to find them
    May 26th Forest Ecology Hike on delta, transplant native plants for stewardship activity Forest ecology, history of human influence on landscape, stewardship Inquiry and Phenomema
    May 27th Wetland/Delta   Alaganik minnow trap, invert sampling water quality, potential habitat stewardship (re-veg, build stream channel…) Problem based learning
    May 28th Ocean Boat trip on PWS  Oceanography, EVOS history and effects on PWS, plankton tows, intertidal 3 Dimensional Instruction
    May 29th Lab/town day Plankton in PWSSC, ROV challenge Wrap-up of plankton work, Introduction to the ROV challenge,wrap-up of lesson plan Cross-content LP's/Incorporating careers
    May 30th Wrap-up Group's Choice (local hike?) Wrap-up/share projects  
    May 31st Evaluation/good-byes      

Meet the Professor


Dr. Bjørn Wolter

Dr. Bjørn Wolter is a program manager with the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.  He has been a professor, researcher, and administrator in Alaska K-20+ education for more than two decades.  Bjørn earned a Ph.D in Science Education from Michigan State University, and an M.S. in Plant Ecology and B.S. in Biology from Western Washington University.




Environmental Science for Teachers would not be possible without many amazing partners who provide technical support, logistical support, content experts, and many hours of organizational energy. 2020 partners include: