Participating Schools: Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley Elementary School, McDowell Elementary School

Lead Teachers: Liza Eichert, Eugenia Praetzel, Gena Richman 

Participating Classes: 1st-8th

Collaborators: STRAW

Overview: Through hands-on real world problem solving done in collaboration with McDowell and Mary Collins School teachers, students, families and community partners, students will learn biological principles, mathematical reasoning and critical thinking skills. These skills will be used to help understand and address global issues in the context of our local environment and Sonoma County watershed. 

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Participating Schools: Casa Grande High School

Lead Teachers: Kim Tay

Participating Classes: 10th Grade 

Overview: Our essential question is: how does climate change affect biodiversity? Our students will learn about the Petaluma Watershed, the biodiversity in the region, and the projected impact of climate change on the watershed. Thereafter, our students share their findings with local elementary students.

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Participating Schools: Petaluma High School

Lead Teachers: Lee BoyesKris CamachoSusan Smith

Participating Classes: 9th Grade through 12th Grade Physical Science 

Overview: "How does human activity affect the water we depend on?" Students will learn about the science and economics of water. They will learn how water is stored, harvested and distributed. They will learn how water is used and affected by various industries, agriculture and households, and the costs of restoration.

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Participating Schools: Casa Grande High School

Lead Teachers: Paula Biancalana, Jolene Thinnes

Participating Classes: 11th Grade U.S. History, 11th Grade English in the Health Career Pathway

Overview: Using American literature and history, what evidence can be discerned to show the reasons for the changes which have occurred on the river since the 1850's? The historical "ebb and flow" of the river has transformed Petaluma; students will revisit important landings, persons of interest and lost communities.

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Participating Schools: Petaluma High School

Lead Teachers: Kris Camacho

Participating Classes: 9/10 Honors Biology and 11/12 AP Environmental Science

Overview: Students will write observations, an inquiry question and a testable hypothesis related to the guiding question, “Is the Petaluma River watershed ecosystem healthy?” Based on data and evidence collected in an experiment Students will make a public service announcement in which a well researched suggestion related to environmental stewardship of the Petaluma River watershed ecosystem is presented. 

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Participating School: Grant Elementary

Lead Teacher: Tami Jimenez

Participating Teachers: Julia Megna

Participating Class: First Graders

OverviewThis is an inquiry research project to help children understand their world by starting with learning about their local watershed environment. Students will develop their sense of place, (Geo-Literacy). How can we as good stewards of our local watershed to educate the community about Thompson Creek?

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Flush

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Participating Schools: Petaluma Accelorated Charter School at McKinley

Participating Teachers: Jovanna Ayala & Matt Jackson

Participating Classes: 7th

Collaborators: Sonoma County Library: Teens in Action

Overview: Students will read the novel, FLUSH, learning about contamination in Monroe County, Florida and will then make various trips to the Petaluma Watershed to perform water sampling which will help them draw parallels between the two watersheds.

What are the similarities and differences between the watershed in Key West in Monroe County, Florida and the Petaluma Watershed? How do specific contaminants enter and affect the Petaluma watershed and how can these contaminants be mitigated?

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READ MOREParticipating Schools: Petaluma High School

Lead Teachers: Linda Judah

Participating Classes: Community Health, Biology, Honor's Biology

Overview: Students will analyze, evaluate and report out on anthropogenic impacts on plant and animal populations in the Petaluma River. Students will build on knowledge of river dynamics gained in Physical Science.

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Participating School: Grant Elementary School

Lead Teachers: Keith Blascow

Participating Classes: 5th

Overview: “How have invasive species impacted (or altered) the Petaluma Watershed?” Students will explore this questions by documenting what organisms are native to this ecosystem. Then, they will determine what, if any, organisms (plant or animal) need to be restored along the river and/or creek.

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Photo by Scott Hess

Photo by Scott Hess

Participating Schools: Casa Grande High School

Lead Teachers: Todd Adams, Sten Mander, Katie Tobin

Participating Classes: 9-12th

Subject: Physical Science & AP Environmental Science

Overview: What sensitive resources exist at the Lafferty parcel and what actions could be taken to improve the environmental quality? Students will map vegetation types and characterize them in terms of species abundance and presence of invasive non-native species. Students will also conduct monitoring of mammal, bird, insect, and herptile species. Students will also conduct water quality monitoring to evaluate the health of aquatic habitats.

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Liquid Gold

Participating Schools: San Antonio High School

Lead Teachers: Jessica Morilla

Previous Participants: Jessica Dennen (Sonoma Mt. High School)

Participating Classes: 9-12

Overview: "Why is California water considered liquid gold?" Students will learn about the science and history of water as a natural resource on a local, state, and county level, stretching to the Petaluma watershed. They will investigate water as an ecosystem service and how human activity impacts and modifies its natural cycling, storage and distribution. Special attention will be paid to drought and the harvesting of water in California.

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Participating School: Sonoma Mountain Elementary School

Lead Teachers: Keith Blascow

Grade Level: 6th Grade

Overview: When water goes down the storm drain, where does it go? What happens when something other than water goes down the drain? How can we, as Grant school community members, ensure that pollution is not entering the watershed from our site?These are the essential questions the students will try to answer. In order to do this students will learn about the role of storm drains and how the runoff into them can affect the Petaluma watershed. Students will collaborate in small groups to design a rain garden with the hopes of having it put in at Sonoma Mountain Elementary School. They will present their proposals to teachers, students, and then to whomever is in charge of approving the installation of the rain garden. 

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Participating Schools: Live Oak Charter School

Lead Teachers: Tamara Lemesh

Participating Classes: 5th Grade 

Overview: The essential question: Why do we need native plants to grow in the watershed and how does this effect the surrounding wildlife? Students will explore this question by learning about the watershed, native plants, and the surrounding wildlife. They will help to restore some of the native plants along local creeks and/or rivers.

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Participating Schools: Casa Grande High School

Lead Teacher: Josey Richter

Participating Classes: 10-12th grade

Overview: Students will learn what is it like to be a professional photographer with a client. Students will photograph water testing stations, creeks that are not photographed on the atlas, and photograph some of the activities that students are involved with while studying the water shed. These photos will be used in both artistic settings as well as added to the Friends of the River web site and water shed atlas.

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Participating Schools: Live Oak Charter School

Lead Teachers: Lois Wildgrube

Participating Classes: 4th Grade 

Overview: The study of the Petaluma Watershed will be part of our study of California history and geography. Students will examine how human actions have affected the watershed. Students will examine the question: What is my responsibility to the watershed? What can I do care for the Petaluma River?

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Participating Schools: Carpe Diem & Sonoma Mountain High Schools

Participating Teachers: Jessice Dennen & Shiloh Winders

Participating Classes: 10th-12th

Collaborators: Solar Suitcase

Overview: Over the course of the year, students will work through a variety of steps that contribute to the successful establishment of native plants. These will include observation and research, site identification, soil preparation and amendment, planting, mulching, and a variety of other tending tasks necessary in the habitat restoration process. Each student pair will be responsible for one plant including soil preparation, installation, and tending of that plant. Essential question: How can we get plants to grow and thrive at Steamer Landing Park?

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Participating Schools: Carpe Diem & Sonoma Mountain High Schools

Participating Teachers: Jessice Dennen & Shiloh Winders

Participating Classes: 10th-12th

Collaborators: Solar Suitcase

Overview: Over the course of the year, students will work through a variety of steps that contribute to the successful establishment of native plants. These will include observation and research, site identification, soil preparation and amendment, planting, mulching, and a variety of other tending tasks necessary in the habitat restoration process. Each student pair will be responsible for one plant including soil preparation, installation, and tending of that plant. Essential question: How can we get plants to grow and thrive at Steamer Landing Park?

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Participating School: McNear Elementary School

Lead Teachers: Amy Turko, Eric Norstad

Participating Classes: 4th

Overview: The two fourth grade classes at McNear Elementary School will conduct weekly water quality tests (salinity, oxygen levels, temperature, etc.) on the water from Thompson Creek, a tributary of the Petaluma River, and post the results on line throughout the school year.

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Participating Schools: River Montessori

Lead Teachers: Deanna Peake

Participating Classes: 1-3

Overview: Students will ask, "How can we teach the people of Petaluma that the watershed requires all its living and nonliving aspects to be healthy?" and choose one topic area (watershed geography, human history, birds, fish, benthic macro invertebrates, water treatment and conservation), forming expert groups which will research and present to the rest.

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Project Participants: Todd Siders and Kiri Brackett

School Site: Casa Grande High School

Grade Level(s): Exemplar Courses: 9th grade Geography and 12th Grade PEACE

Overview: Students will engage themselves in the community in order to gain in depth understanding of our interactions with the Petaluma River and the implications of living in a community that consistently interconnects and is impacted by watershed. Students will investigate professions in Petaluma related to Casa Grande's Small Learning Communities and how these professions are interconnected to the Petaluma River. Students will analyze map data, public records, professional documents and engage in academic discourse with peers and community members in order to learn about our daily Interactions with the watershed.

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