The Diack Family Oregon Ecology Education Program

A Division of Oregon Science Teachers Association

Biodiversity Monitoring

Mike Weddle, Science Teacher
2805 Lansing Ave. NE
Salem, OR 97303

The Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School (JGEMS) is a public charter school in Salem, Oregon. The mission of the JGEMS Charter School is to provide an engaging and meaningful focus for students to achieve Oregon academic standards. The JGEMS curriculum breaks down the confines of the traditional classroom by using the diverse habitats of Oregon as an extension of their school. The culminating piece of the JGEMS environmentally focused science program is our eighth grade field-based research project. By working with government and non-government agencies to provide engaging and meaningful opportunities for students to apply their skills and knowledge to real problems, JGEMS students have consistently produced sound research results that have been greatly appreciated by partner agencies. Field-based research projects begin with our thirty-three 8th grade students forming research groups. Each group’s specific area of environmental study is based on group interest, local needs and consultations with agency biologists. Working with agency staff, the student groups set up the study and determine the most effective data collecting procedures. The field-based research projects are conducted over the school year with data being compiled following the protocols set out by partner agencies. Student groups, usually accompanied by agency staff, typically go into the field to collect data six to ten times during the school year. At the end of the year the students analyze their data and present their results in both a formal research paper and an oral presentation to teachers, parents, and staff from the partner agencies.

What Diack Funded

Field survey equipment, Field Guides, infrared camera system, spotting scope

Partnerships and Other Funding Sources
Willamette National Forest
Oregon Zoo
Baskett Slough national Wildlife Refuge
Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge
National Zoological Park’s
Conservation and Research Center
Oregon Watersheds

“With careful planning and community support, field-based science inquiry can be a wonderful way to teach science in general and ecology in particular.” – Mike Weddle, Waldo Middle School

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