The Diack Family Oregon Ecology Education Program

A Division of Oregon Science Teachers Association

Authentic Science

Michael Baker, Lee Cain and Allan Garvin, Science Teachers
1001 West Marine Dr.
Astoria, OR 97103

Three teachers work to bring first-hand authentic scientific investigations to Astoria High School. The administration’s support of applied field sciences plus these teachers’ creativity resulted in inquiry-based ecology being integrated into their class programs. Astoria students graduate with first-hand knowledge of authentic scientific investigations.

For the past two years, Michael Baker’s biology classes have been collecting data on the hydrology, soils, land cover and forest habitat for the GLOBE program. They also performed a comparative study on a county park, a working forest and the forest adjacent to Astoria High. Students monitored the health, diversity of vegetation, macro invertebrates, amphibians and mammals of each.

In the meantime, Allan Garvin’s Integrated Science students survey plant species, salamanders, macro invertebrates and water quality in ground-water monitoring wells at a nearby site.

Data will be interpreted and provided to the City of Astoria. His students also take an annual field trip to monitor a local wetland. Assisted by volunteer scientists from the community, students learn how to survey for water quality, insects, fish, amphibians and birds, as well as mapping and removing invasive plants.

Thanks to the creativity of the high school staff and administration. Astoria’s scientists, landowners, government organizations and students are working together to address the scientific question of their community. We know Astoria will benefit from their efforts for many years to come./>

What Diack Funded

Field supplies, water- and soil-sampling equipment, graphing calculator, gravity convection oven, GPS system, cameras

Partnerships and Other Funding Sources
American Fisheries Society
Lower Columbia River
Estuary Program
Local businesses
City of Astoria
Lewis and Clark
Rediscovery Program

“You either have to be a little insane or have a good work ethic to pull it off. We’re lucky because we’re a little of both.”- Lee Cain and Allan Garvin, Astoria High School responding to how they achieve success in their ecology curriculum.

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