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The Gorge Ecology Institute endeavors to promote knowledge, stewardship, and curiosity of the local environment among the people who live, work and play in this region.
Our array of multi-sensory and educational programs promote understanding and appreciation of the ecological underpinnings of the local forest and shrub-steppe communities and how these ecosystems operate in connection to the human world . Place-based education is relevant to people's everyday lives, which encourages them to take pride in the place where they live, to connect with the world in a natural way, and to develop into informed and contributing citizens.
Our volunteer classroom instructors and field naturalists from the community serve alongside full-time AmeriCorps members as mentors and have a big impact on the students they teach.
The school programs emphasize classroom instruction as a way to introduce students to science concepts prior to taking them out in the field. A group of three to four classroom instructors including Institute staff, AmeriCorps members, community volunteers, and high-school interns to ensure a small group setting for hands-on learning that engages all students.
- Sarah Wagner
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