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College of Education

Tamara Nelson

A new university-high school partnership… and joke

Here’s a joke that always brings the house down:

Who do Zooplankton get their Christmas gifts from?
Santa clausi

(**sound of crickets**)

OK, that doozy aside…

Zooplankton, phytoplankton, and other nutrients, including harmful algae and invasive copepods exist in the Columbia River estuary.

The Columbia River’s 146-mile estuary is one of the largest in the nation. Only the Missouri–Mississippi system carries more water. Rapid population growth has changed land use in the Columbia estuary’s watershed in ways that may affect coastal ecosystems.

That’s where WSU Vancouver professor Tamara Nelson comes in. Believe us when we say it’s not just to save everyone from our corny jokes.

She’s joining two other WSU faculty research to lead student-conducted Columbia estuary research. Why? Because it’s critical to understand how nutrients and organisms from upstream contribute to habitat degradation, and the spread of invasive species.

The official project name is called Columbia River Estuary Science Education and Outreach: a Landscape-scale University–High School Partnership Integrating Scientific and Educational Research.

Yes, it’s a mouthful. So… CRESCENDO, for short.

The high school students gather water, plankton, and hydrographic data in the estuary, to learn about and assess relative effects of cumulative watershed drainage, and local factors such as sewage outflows (there’s gotta be a joke in there somewhere).

Nelson will join Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens and Steve Bollens, both also from the Vancouver campus. The job of the trio is to gauge what students have learned about science and stewardship; students’ ecological knowledge and outlook.

The research plan called for students at five high schools along the estuary to spend two years collecting water samples, plankton tows, and hydrographic data.

Power plays, science ed, and more

jane-kelley
Jane Kelley

Maybe you were one of those flashlight-under-the-blanket kids who understood all the dark goings-on in the twisting plot of Rumpelstiltskin. If not, your inner child may be relieved to have that confusion validated by children’s literature expert Jane Kelley. The assistant professor is author of Critical Multicultural Analysis of Folktales: Power Representation in Reconstructed Rumpelstiltskin Stories.   As she explained for a WSU Today article, the story is full of power plays, and she examined how a dozen modern authors twisted and turned to plot to make their own points about good and evil.   In an interview, Jane mentioned the Fractured Fairy Tales version of the story. And she explained that, in the French version, Rumpelstiltskin wasn’t after the miller’s daughter’s baby.  He was after her soul.  Now THAT would be a good reason to hide under the covers.

Science education showcased in Vancouver

Results of a graduate-K-12 teacher partnership will be showcased on May 29.
The Partners in Discovery GK-12 Project provides for year-long, one-on-one partnerships between WSU Vancouver Environment Science graduate students and local science teachers to bring scientific research and inquiry into the classroom. The partnership focuses on the implications of growth and change in the Columbia River watershed. Assistant Professor Tamara Nelson is among those involved in the cross-discipline project, which is led by the WSU science faculty and funded by the National Science Foundation.

Seek and ye shall find

Don’t forget that our Web pages have a search box that is specific to education.wsu.edu. It’s located below the right side of the top banner. Using that can be much more efficient than using the WSU search box.   And if you’re ever looking for something on our A-Z site index and can’t find it, drop a note to Geoff Jensen and he’ll add the errant topic.  Also, FYI:  After learning of some security concerns about the software, we’ve removed the “share this” function that was briefly installed on the site.  We’ll keep an eye out for alternative ways of sharing our site’s content.

Reading matter
Sotomayor’s record on education scrutinized.
President Obama’s choice for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on a variety of issues with implications for education during her 17 years on the federal bench, including cases relating to racial matters, students with disabilities, and the strip-search of adolescents.

Book news & more

coverpage1All in the family: There was celebrating at the home of Vancouver professors Gisela Ernst-Slavit and David Slavit when copies of their latest books arrived three days apart.

David’s book, co-edited with Associate Professor Tamara Nelson and Anne Kennedy, is Perspectives on Supported Collaborative Teacher Inquiry.  Gisela’s book, regarding the daunting task of teaching English language learners, is Paper to Practice: Using the TESOL ELP Standards in PreK-12. Her co-authors are Anne Katz of San Francisco and Margo Gottlieb of Chicago.

Meanwhile, in Pullman, Clinical Assistant Professor Kimberly Robertello is awaiting a copy of her new book, Evidence-Based Practices in Alcohol Treatment: The Robertello Evaluative Tool for Assessment and Evaluation. It’s based on Kimberly’s dissertation research, which grew out of her concern about revolving-door nature of  many substance abuse programs.

Sharing expertise: Professor Linda Mabry of Vancouver is a keynote speaker at this week’s educational technology learning institute, “TechPraxis 2009,” at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Read about it here.

Reaching OutArt report:  Three examples of light photography by Assistant Professor Pauline Sameshima are on display as part of the “Reinterpreting Reality” exhibition under way at various venues in the Palouse region.  Pauline’s works can be seen at the Market Square Building, 107 S. Grand Ave., in Pullman.  They include Reaching Out, shown here. Says the artist: “These photos are part of Ann-other’s Dreams, a book of poems by the same name. The poems and art look at a woman’s search for the space between being Ann and Ann-other. Her stories of love, no matter how real, always weave themselves into dreams where she is seeing in from the outside; being in, and yet watching the dream.”

Web update: Click here to see the School & Community Collaboration Center’s impressive list of partners and projects.

Reading matter:
Where Education and Assimilation Collide
. A record influx of immigrants has put classrooms on the front lines of America’s battles over whether and how to assimilate the newcomers and their children. 
Reinventing Professional Development in Tough Times
. Many experts don’t see the current financial crunch in schools as necessarily being all bad when it comes to teacher professional development.
Title I Turnaround Programs Due for Big Cash Boost
. In the seven years since enactment of No Child Left Behind Act, the number of academically troubled schools identified for turnarounds has grown steadily. The federal money for the work of turning around them hadn’t—until now.


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