October 15, 2010

The National Park Service (NPS) and HPWREN hosted several booths at the 2010 Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) conference in San Diego.

By Susan Teel, Director, Southern California Research Learning Center, National Park Service

LIVE programs and sensor station exhibit at booth function flawlessly thanks to diligent work of Hans-Werner Braun, Kimberly Mann-Bruch, and James Hale (behind the scene at Cabrillo NM). Living history LIVE interpreters Bob Munson, Nancy Munson, and Louise Lucas, Cabrillo National Monument (Volunteer) broadcasting LIVE from Cabrillo National Monument to the HACU conference.

HPWREN weather station and real-time data displayed on a laptop.

Monika Braun, HPWREN staffs the bobcat telemetry tracking station and demonstrated the Remotely Operated Vehicle.

Rangers from Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Griselda Herrera and Razsa Cruz, hosted an interactive exhibit where HACU students track a bobcat using telemetry equipment.

At the invitation of NPS Southeast Regional Director, David Vela, Cabrillo National Monument, the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN), the Southern California Research Learning Center (SCRLC), Biscayne National Park, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area designed and staffed interactive demonstrations and booth exhibits which allowed HACU students to; 1) try their hands at tracking bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains; 2) expand their understating of cultural history through participation in Live Interactive Virtual Explorations (LIVE) distance education programs and experiential learning sessions where students donned 16th century period dress; 3) examine a HPWREN weather station which streams real-time data to a cell phone; 4) assemble SCUBA equipment and identify sea creatures using dive masks; 5) Interface with the Climate Change Ambassador students who traveled to Glacier National park to participate in climate change research; and 6) gain understanding of the ecology of wolves and conservation jobs. The ultimate goal of the interactive exhibits and activities was to demonstrate cool jobs in the Great Outdoors towards recruiting promising Hispanic students.

16th Century Living History LIVE featuring Kimberly Mann-Bruch, HPWREN and Emily Floyd, Cabrillo National Monument, in 16th century garb at the HACU conference in downtown San Diego and NPS volunteer Mike Love demonstrates the use and firing of 16th century firearms via LIVE from Cabrillo National Monument. Behind the scenes support of this LIVE program was provided Rick Jenkins, Amanda Gossard, Nick de Roulhac, Joe Zev, and National Park Service.

Tavio Del Rio hosts a LIVE program from the tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument to the HACU conference.

Wolf howls recorded by HPWREN sensors located at the California Wolf Center were played loudly from speakers at the NPS booth to attract the attention of HACU conference attendees. Brandon Everett and students from the Elementary Institute of Science shared their experiences as Climate Change Ambassador with HACU attendees.

Division Chief, Elsa Alvear, led LIVE programs from Biscayne National Park and demonstrated SCUBA diving as a cool National Park Service job in the Great Outdoors.

The second goal at the HACU conference was to demonstrate and discuss the use of LIVE as an experiential distance education tool affecting higher education for Hispanics and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). In addition the activities going on at the NPS booths staff from Cabrillo National Monument, HPWREN, SCRLC, and Biscayne National Park hosted LIVE presentations at a student session and at the HACU/ Department of the Interior (DOI) Leadership workshop. Following the LIVE presentation, at the Leadership workshop, each representative from DOI, NPS, USGS, FWS, Reclamation, and HACU voiced a vision for the use of LIVE to suit the needs of their agency or University.

HPWREN, SDSU, and NPS led LIVE demonstrations from Biscayne National Park and Cabrillo National Monument to HACU and Department of the Interior leaders. Tommie Burton and Maria Beotegui show the behind the scenes view at Biscayne National Park.

Research Technology Manger, Pablo Bryant, San Diego State University coordinated with the hotel staff, DOI and HACU leaders to assure the LIVE demonstration was flawless. Karl Pierce, Chief of Interpretation, Cabrillo National Monument, Elsa Alvear, Chief of Natural Resources, Biscayne National Park, and Susan Teel, Director of the Southern California Research Learning Center jointly demonstrated the use of LIVE as an experiential learning tool.

Main HPWREN web site (includes information for acknowledgments/disclaimers and feedback/contact)