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Showing posts from February, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and TerraCycle

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in 2011, Americans recycled or composted 34.7% of waste.  These numbers have improved from 28.5% in 2000, 16.7 percent in 1985 and 5.6% in 1960. Even with this growth there is still more that can be done.  In 2001, Tom Szaky, then a 20-year-old Princeton University freshmen, began producing organic fertilizer by packaging worm poop in used soda bottles.  Seeking further ways to recycle, Szaky expanded his operation to new realms and created the company, TerraCycle.

Today TerraCycle is considered the leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.  The mission is to eliminate the idea of waste, by creating waste collection programs for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste. The collected waste is then converted into new products, ranging from park benches to backpacks.  The company works with 100 major brands in the United State and in 22 different countries.  In 2011, Terracycle added 30 n…

Great facts about common birds at SOS

Here at SOS we are lucky to see a great variety of wildlife, from Monarch butterflies to Scorpions and Mule Deer to Black Bears, the Stanislaus forest never ceases with activity around our campus. Of all the wildlife living in our forest, birds are the most frequently spotted. Although so called “common” species such as the Dark-eyed Junco and Stellar’s Jay are sometimes overlooked, they actually deserve a double take. Here are some interesting facts about birds which are regularly seen on and around SOS campus.
Dark-Eyed Junco - This species is one of the most abundant in all of North American with an estimated 630 million individuals -The most commonly seen Junco here at SOS belongs to the sub-species Oregon Junco, which proudly displays a dark hood and pink beak along with white outer tail feathers - Although females are responsible for nest building and incubation (the act of warming eggs in order to hatch them), both males and females share nestling (hatched birds still in nest…

Sierra Outdoor School’s Naturalist Internship Program

In addition to providing great learning opportunities for elementary and junior high students at Sierra Outdoor School, the program also plays an important role in training future naturalists. Every year SOS hires seven naturalist interns who teach day time classes, staff all night classes and learn and grow as students and teachers of the natural world.
The naturalist interns come to SOS with a variety of backgrounds in the sciences including biology, environmental studies, forestry, and geology. All interns have their Bachelor’s degree and many arrive with extensive teaching experience including formal student teaching, teaching certificates and experience in classrooms abroad.
While at Sierra Outdoor School, the interns learn to teach the daytime classes through the guidance of the permanent naturalists, many of whom have more than 15 years of teaching experience. Through observing and team-teaching classes before they are checked off to teach them alone, the interns are able to…