WISE provides science and environmental education to all age groups, resources for
learning, and support for scientific research
Youth Summer Camps
This program was conducted two times in 2009 at Silver Lake and Chokosna River. The
summer camps focused on aquatic biology and the life cycle of the salmon. WISE plans
on expanding this program in 2010. Contact Bruce James for more information. (Top)
Changing Seasons This program focuses on second and third grade students and takes
place the middle week of September. School District, correspondence and home school
students are all invited. Four learning stations focus on ways the natural world
and humans are affected by the approach of winter. Activities take place outdoors
where small groups of children travel from station to station learning about weather,
animal and plant changes; observations, and how all things are connected. This is
a field trip for students in the school districts. Other home school and correspondence
students contact us to register. (Top)
Earth Discovery Day This program focuses on fourth, fifth and sixth grade students
and is scheduled for the first week in May. School District, correspondence and home
school students are all invited. Each grade level has four learning stations. Subjects
include aging fish, recycling, live bird presentations, map and compass, Leave No
Trace, plant identification, watershed runoff, etc. This is a field trip for students
in the school districts. Other home school and correspondence students contact us
to register. Both "Changing Seasons" and "Earth Discovery Day" are designed to be
a culminating experience for elementary life sciences. Students rotate through various
stations which reinforce their knowledge of ecological principles. By applying their
collection and analysis of scientific data as well as using observation skills, students
may gain a stewardship ethic based on scientific understanding and increased awareness
of the local environment. (Top)
In-School Programs Teachers from the Copper River School District and Mentasta and
Glacier View are welcome to contact WISE to bring programs to their students. These
programs are also open to home school and correspondence students. Subjects include:
The Boreal Forest; plants of the region; geology; animals; physics, and ecology.
Other subjects of interest related to science or the environment can be considered.
Puppet Shows WISE has a wide array of animal, bird, and insect puppets that are available
for check out. WISE develops puppet shows and can give presentations. Contact us
if you would like one presented for your group. (Top)
Boy and Girl Scout Programs Special programs are available for scouting groups. Topics
may include animals, birds, wetlands, geology, plants, or any other similar subjects.
If you have an idea for a program contact us for how WISE can meet your groups. needs.
Native Youth Programs WISE works in partnership with Copper River Native Association
to provide environmental science programs that integrate cultural values and skills.
Activities have included ice fishing, snow shelters, Tread Lightly and four wheeler
safety, Leave No Trace, gathering and outdoor food preparation. WISE has partnered
with elders to give subsistence presentations at our other programs. Any native organization
in the Copper Basin is welcome to contact us to partner on delivering science and
environmental education to their youth groups. (Top)
WISE has worked with local schools to teach interpretation techniques to students
for them to develop interpretive trails near their schools for the benefit of students
Glennallen school students developed the Aspen Interpretive Trail behind their school.
This is a one mile loop trail that takes you through three ecosystems in the boreal
forest. Interpretive signs are stationed along the trail. The trail head is on Coop
Rd. and has a parking area and kiosk.(Top)
Kenny Lake Interpretive Trail
Kenny Lake School students developed an interpretive trail on school grounds as an
outdoor classroom. The trail winds through the boreal forest with a learning station
complete with benches. The trail ends up on the bluff overlooking the Tonsina River
where more benches are situated.(Top)
WISE works with teachers to deliver interpretive walks for their students. Contact
us to set up a program for your class.(Top)
Adult and Youth Programs
Leave No Trace The Leave No Trace program is dedicated to promoting and inspiring
responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. WISE
offers 1-2 hour workshops on the Leave No Trace seven principles using games and
skits. Curriculum is designed for each age group. Train the Trainer classes are also
available. Adult leaders learn the skills for teaching the seven principles in two
days. They receive a Trainer certificate from the Leave No Trace national headquarters
which allows them to teach the principles to their group. Contact us to schedule
a program for your group or sign up for a Train the Trainer class. Groups that benefit
are the girl and boy scouts, church, military, river groups, outdoor clubs, schools,
and anyone that participates in outdoor recreation. (Top)
WRANGELL INSTITUTEFOR SCIENCEAND ENVIRONMENT - COPPER CENTER, ALASKA PHONE: 907-822-3575
Copper River Stewardship Program 2013 This program received rave reviews from students,
parents, teachers, and principals who want to see the program continue. A goal of
the program is to connect youth from the Copper River Basin with youth of the Copper
River Delta. Through this forum, topics such as preservation and conservation of
river resources are addressed; experiences are shared on similarities and differences.
As more and more use of the river occurs, it will be the youth of both regions to
understand and comprehend future impacts. This program gives them a base line of
firsthand experience and knowledge that will carry them through their adult lives.
The famous Copper River Red Salmon depend on the health of the river and its watershed.
Students that go through our programs learn about watershed dynamics, experience
a sense of stewardship, helping them to make wise decisions as they become adult
The program is limited to ten students. Students apply by writing an essay and are
selected using criteria developed by WISE and its partners. The program is a collaborative
effort between WISE, Copper River Watershed, National Park Service, Wrangell St.
Elias National park and Preserve, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest
Service, Chugach National Forest, and Prince William Sound Science Center
If you wish to be a sponsor of this program in 2013 click: donate now.
Silver Lake Aquatic Camps
In 2011 WISE offered two, two day Aquatic Ecology Camps in June and July along the
McCarthy Road. These are overnight camps occurring within the Wrangell St. Elias
National Park and Preserve and allow youth to experience being an aquatic field scientist.
Students take water samples, analyze oxygen levels, set fyke nets, make determinations
and predictions of whether fish could be present in varying ponds and streams, study
culvert placements and stream morphology, examine plankton, set minnow traps, dissect
trout learning about its anatomy and functions, study river dynamics on a stream
table, and even learn to row a boat and cast a fly rod.
The excitement was high as they discovered a new aquatic bug, what the in-side of
a fish looks like, and that it takes team work for two people to row one boat! An
environmental educator from Australia visited the WISE web site and was very impressed
with WISE programs. In planning their trip to the U.S. she contacted WISE and asked
to participate in the Aquatic Camp. She received an enthusiastic “YES” from WISE
staff and brought finger puppets, games, songs and gifts to share and gave participants
a chance to experience a bit of Australia and it’s wildlife. Her program brought
to the evening campfire a circle of sharing and new friendships. Thanks to Evelyn
Wakefield for bringing a taste of Australia to our Aquatic Camp!
Each year youth express interest in the camp being longer. Travel time can take up
to a half day each direction so expanding the camp would give more time for activities.
WISE is applying for a grant to be able to increase the aquatic camp to a four day
camp by 2014. Donations would also help to make this happen. Additional activities
would include fly tying, knots, fly fishing, boating safety, journaling, riparian
study, aquatic art, and waterfowl identification and connections. DONATE now to help
bring an expanded aquatic education fun camp.
If you wish to be a sponsor of this program in 2013 click: donate now.