Naturalist in Residence - Oikos Program

Oikos means "house" in Greek.  It is also the name of our Naturalist in Residence program.  Oikos is an ongoing environmental education program whose objective is to foster knowledge and an appreciation for the local natural environment. Children in the Banff Elementary School area are immersed in a science-based curriculum program that opens their eyes to the natural environment beyond their doorstep.

This program provides each class with a day-long field trip in the spring and fall seasons each year. It engages every student in the Banff Elementary School in activities that teach them about the natural environment and about Banff National Park. Each season nearly 50 parent volunteers and numerous local community businesses’ (including the Earth Tech Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Parks Canada researchers) play an important and appreciated role by participating with the children on the various related days.

Oikos Junior High Science Program

The Friends of Banff in partnership with Banff Community High School and Parks Canada, just announced the launch of Oikos Junior High Science Program for Spring 2010!

For this pilot year with the Junior High Science Program, students will be participating in classes that will be an hour long or an entire day.

Some program samples are:
Wildlife Investigations - A day in the life of a wildlife researcher

Co-existing With Bears... and Beyond - Students will find out what means to live in a Bear Country.

Aquatic Ecosystems:
Thermal Springs Investigations - Students will learn about this unique ecosystem that led to the beginning of the Banff National Park.

Adopt a Stream: Whiskey Creek - Students will visit Banff's backyard waterway to reveal a magical place with ducks, amphibians, songbirds and fish, and taking on different perspectives to explore the health of the wetlands.

Forest Health Programs:
A Prescription for Forest Health - Students will review the forest stand history of an area and compare a control plot and recently burned area to determine what makes this forest healthy.

Mountain Pine Beetle Mania - Students will tour different sites to learn more about beetle biology and what Parks Canada is doing about Mountain Pine Beetle.

ShrubWatch - The abundance and composition of trees and shrubs are influenced by a number of ecological processes including fire history, disturbance and predator-prey relationships. Students will monitor the condition of trees and shrub species, and learn how to identify common shrubs, among many other learn opportunities.


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