August 3, 2023
Today’s guest blog comes from Sandra Turner, who works to promote the equitable advancement of climate literacy and ocean conservation. The Geography of Awe is the name of her latest National Geographic Society grant project, where she integrates her fieldwork and expertise in cartography and multimedia storytelling to share her love for the Caribbean’s rich culture and biodiversity. Here’s what she had to say about working with us on our J.A.M.I.N. program:
Every so often, we get the rare chance to experience genuine awe and inspiration. This was the case when Amy Heemsoth extended the invitation to join her this past April at William Knibb High School as she concluded her Jamaica Awareness of Mangroves in Nature (J.A.M.I.N.) program. I was in Jamaica conducting conservation research and fieldwork on another part of the island. Still, after months of phone calls, I could not resist the opportunity to meet Amy in person and learn more about the incredible work she does in the region, teaching students about marine ecosystems.
As a National Geographic Certified Educator and Explorer currently working to increase the equitable advancement of climate and ocean literacy to students in vulnerable global communities, Amy and I converged on the idea of deepening student citizen science and storytelling engagement. As I reflect on the impactful day spent with Amy, the students, and the staff, there are a few unforgettable moments worth sharing…
August 1, 2023
Often, we share comments about our B.A.M. and J.A.M.I.N. programs from the students’ perspectives. This year I would like to highlight our remarkable teachers. Teachers are the backbone of our mangrove education and restoration programs, and their crucial role cannot be overstated. Over the years, we have come to realize that the success of these programs hinges on the teachers’ willingness to embrace and seamlessly integrate them into their classrooms. Their dedication and passion for teaching have enabled us to achieve our goals of educating students about the significance of mangroves and instilling a sense of conservation in them.
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the teachers who have been part of our programs, both the veterans who have been with us since the beginning and the new members who have recently joined our educational family. It is their incredible commitment that empowers us to make a lasting impact on the lives of students and cultivate a future generation that will protect and preserve our precious mangroves. It’s time to meet and celebrate our dedicated B.A.M. and J.A.M.I.N. teachers who make a significant difference every day!
July 25, 2023
Throughout the B.A.M. and J.A.M.I.N. programs, we evaluate each program by surveying students in each of the three phases of the mangrove education and restoration process. We use this information to gauge how much information the students initially know regarding mangroves and their attitudes toward them before we begin the programs. After we start the programs, we continue to survey the students. This data helps us to determine whether our education programs are effective and whether we know our audience. It also allows us to measure how much knowledge is retained and whether their attitudes and actions about mangroves change as they continue through the program.
During the final survey, we ask the students for their input about the program. We want to know things such as: How we can improve the program; What was their favorite part of the program; and What did they learn from participating in the program?
One of my favorite things to do after the programs have ended is to read the students’ written responses. Below you will find select responses to the final survey. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!