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Showing posts from July 10, 2014

Backbone for Conservation: Bird Catching

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By: Jumana Mograbi


Bright and early the campers in the Backbone focus group headed out to the Ecological Preserve for their bird catching activity.

The campers studied the birds and the sounds which attracted them into the net which they later on set up in the Preserve.

The campers then set up an iPod underneath the net which projected bird calls in order to attract them. After a 45 minute wait, a bird flew into the net and went quickly down the slope into the bottom of the net.

The campers observed the features and structure, and all got a chance to hold each bird. After the bird was studied and observed, it was released and set free again.

We interviewed Alyssa, a camper who participated in the activity about her experience this morning:

"What did you think of this activity?"

A: "Very interesting, it took a lot of patience to wait for the bird and it took a lot of concentration as well."

"What happened when you caught the bird?"

A: " You had to ho…

Morning Hike in the Preserve, Maps and Untwisting the Human Knots

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By: Payton Coleman and Alia Dahlan

We started the day off yesterday morning with a beautiful morning hike exploring bio-mimicry in the preserve. Showered in bug spray and sunscreen we explored the 189-acre ecological preserve looking for resourceful clues placed to teach about how we can look to nature for design and engineering solutions.

Later that day we were visited by the Rocky Mountain Institute, and they taught us about the 5 types of activism which are political, educational,organizational,economic and lifestyle activism.

Splitting into groups we talked about  the different types of activism and how we use them in our everyday lives. Followed by a 30 second group discussion with one person from each group sharing their experience with the rest of the group.

We then read a story about the side effects of DDT when used to cure malaria in Borneo for the Dayak people. Then we drew an ecological diagram of events that occurred in the story. As a group we found this to be an intere…

They're Back! A Tribute to Returning Camp Counselors

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By: Cierra Hunter

Here we are in the summer of 2014 and a group of around 50 students are attending an environmental summit at Catawba College, North Carolina.


These students are able to learn and experience nature at its best, along with getting to know nine amazing counselors who have either graduated or are attending Catawba College.


This year we are glad to say that three of these wonderful counselors are back in action! These counselors are Katie Barbee, Morgan King and Kerstin Brown.


I asked each of these counselors four questions and had them answer back to me.


Katie responded like this: What made you come back again this year? She said, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the Summit last year after learning a lot more about the Environment, hearing some great speakers, and meeting a variety of talented, hardworking, and environmentally-conscious campers. The wide variety of activities, focus groups, and people make all the difference."

 Katie Barbee - Giving B…

Heather White - Environmental Working Groups

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Heather White is the Executive Director of Environmental Working Group (EWG) and is a "nationally-recognized expert on federal environmental law & policy"


She provided emphasis on this:

"We believe in a strong, vibrant,well-funded EPA and robust authority for the administrator."

Water, Muck and Leeches!!!

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By Colleen Smiley
The invasive species group ventured into the pond in the Preserve to look for the illusive Carolina paper shell mussel yesterday.
The only way to find this bivalve was to bend way over and dig your hands into what felt like centuries of primordial ooze (since you can't see through the mud and muck) the only way to discover them was by touch.
With a lot of crawling and feeling around, the group was able to discover six Carolina paper shell mussels.
The laughter began when everyone discovered that the small "worms" were really little leeches!! Field work is amazing.

Rocky Mountain Institute Sessions

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By Alia Dahlan
Effective Communication and Collaboration Using clips from television shows, volunteers from the Rocky Mountain Institute taught us about how communication can be used to solve complex "wicked" problems.
We learned a few communication terms:
Downloading- not listening to others
Debating- arguing one side with a strong view
Dialoging- having a bias, but listening to the other side of the argument for new information
Presencing- having no personal bias and focusing on the problem


Grant Funding Activity
We decided where to allocate $100k worth of grants at Catawba College.

Dragon Fly Lake We used a role-playing game to decide how to utilize a fictional lake and the area around it.


Wednesday Fun Night at Redesigning the Future Environmental Summit

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After a long day of seminars, group sessions, and geocaching, the campers get some relaxing fun time. Campers and counselors enjoy snow cones, music, ultimate Jenga, tie dye and watched hit Disney movie Frozen. 
Counselor Theo Shepard is extremely worried about this giant tower falling on him as it's his turn to pull a piece out. The air got tense as campers watched pieces stack on this tower, waiting for someone to mess up.                                                                                                                                                         
          Campers sit in the dark and eat popcorn as they watch Disney movie Frozen. Sofas and lounge chairs made the experience fun and comfy. It was like being in a movie theater with just a couple of people napping away.                                                                                            
              Campers designing their own custom tie-dye shirts with many colors. Table cloths …

Why I Spent Part of my Summer at Environmental Camp

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The lazy days of summer. That may be the case for some, but many students spend time during the summer doing production things. Some work. Some help around the house or farm. Others expand on their education. This summer a great group of students attended the national environmental camp for high school students in Salisbury, NC.

Why did they come?
Each had different reasons, and here are a few campers explaining why they selected an educational camp (which also happens to be loads of fun too).

Fabian Navarro - "I came to the Environmental Summit this summer, because I really enjoyed my experience last summer here at Catawba. This summer I want to learn more about mammals in a habitat, the presence and absence in different ecosystems."

Robert Benish (from Virginia) - "I came to learn more about how to save and conserve the environment around me. I hope to gain friends and information about the environment. I also hope to gain inspiration from other people."

Mosi Ar…