WAFERx 

 

What We Value about the Land 

 

an illustration of a powerplant, mountains, plants, a barn, and birds

 

 

What the Program Is

Our Citizen Science Program "What We Value about the Land?" is a series of lessons that help students, teachers, and citizens of all ages to better understand and think critically about what we use our lands for and what we value most about them.

The social, economic, and environmental benefits provided by our lands are innumerable--from food and energy production, to watersheds and wildlife habitats. But there are also trade-offs associated with any land use. "What We Value about the Land?" focuses on four topics that are key to understanding these benefits and trade-offs:

Land-Use

Food Systems

Water

Biodiversity

 a field with bales of hay and power lines going through it, a blue sky with clouds in the background


 

The words "About the Lessons"

The lessons in"What We Value about the Land?" are an opportunity for community members to learn about the research we're doing on the WAFERx project and to be involved as citizen scientists. By making and recording observations, you will be collecting valuable data that will contribute to our research.

WAFERx is a reseach collaborative exploring linkages between food, water, energy, biodiversity, and social systems. Our goal is to understand how these systems would be affected by new agricultural and energy systems that mitigate climate change.

 

Through the lessons we have developed, community members will learn about the linkages between these complex systems and will consider how different land-use choices could impact local people, communities, cultures, and ecosystems.

 

An illustration that icludes an image depicted the water, food, energy nexus; mountains, trees, wildlife, cards, fields, and cities; an da map of the Upper Missouri River Basin 


 

How to Participate

 

These lessons are designed for students ages 9 to 13. We created them to be used in an out-of-school environment and think they would be ideal for after school programs. However, they could also be used by younger students, teens, or citizens of any age.

While some of the material in the lessons is specific to the region of the Upper Missouri River Basin, much of it could be applied anywhere. 

 

We are doing a pilot test of this program in Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota and are currently accepting applications. If your application is accepted, you will receive your kit in April (in time for Citizen Science Month).

 

If you are interested in participating, please apply here.

 

We have a limited number of physical kits for the pilot test of this program. But, all digital resources will be made available online for free download.

   

 A map of the Upper Missouri River Basin and a photo of students looking at a mountain


 

What Participants Receive

We will provide a toolkit to educators that includes lessons, activities, and materials that support students in making observations and collecting data about the lands around them. These toolkits also include instructions and training materials to help educators impletment the kit.

 

If you would like to be part of the pilot test for this program, you will receive:

· Detailed outlines for 3-4 classroom activities, each approximately one hour

· Citizen scientist supplies for up to 30 individual students, including observational journals, pencils, magnifying glasses

· Equipment for your classroom

· Technical support throughout the project

· If your students would like, an in-person visit or videoconference with a faculty member or student from the research team

 

All supplies and resources are yours to keep after you complete the program. Program participation and student led data collection will be reported within the research team, and in WAFERx outreach materials.

 

A photo of a hand holding a piece of grass and a photo of people standing in a green field making observations


  

Who to Contact

If you have questions about the "What We Value about the Land" program or about the WAFERx project, please email:

 

 

photo of Selena Ahmed

Selena Ahmed

Associate Professor of Sustainable Food Systems at MSU, Principal Investigator of the MSU Food and Health Lab, Principal Investigator of the WAFERx project

selena.ahmed@montana.edu

 

 

 

photo of Suzi Taylor 

Suzi Taylor

Assistant Director for Outreach and Communications, WAFERx Outreach Team

taylor@montana.edu

 

 

 

photo of Teresa Warne

Teresa Warne

Lab Manager for the MSU Food and Health Lab, Research Associate on the WAFERx Team

teresa.warne@montana.edu

 

 


 Contact Us

WAFERx
Montana State University
P.O. Box 1234
Bozeman, MT 59717-1234
 
Principal Investigator
Selena Ahmed

selena.ahmed@montana.edu

 
Outreach Coordinator
Selena Gerace
sgerace@uwyo.edu