Region 4 Summit

March 27-28, 2019

East Bay, California

Focus on Fish & Wildlife Resources and Climate Change

 

East Bay Environmental Summit Participants

  

Resources Developed

Grade, Grade Level, Course Performance Expectations Phenomenon Region
Grade 3 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4 Salmon living in floodplains grow larger than salmon living in deep channels 4
Grade 3 3-LS2-1 Human activity impacts mountain lion behavior 4
Grade 7 MS-LS2-4 Human activity affects mountain lion behavior 4
Grade 4 4-LS1-1 Frogs have moist skin 4
High School Biology HS-LS4-4, HS-LS4-5 Frogs and salamanders are dying of a skin fungus 4
High School Biology HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6 Deforestation reduces salmon egg survival rates 4
Grade 6 MS-LS1-4, MS-ESS3-5 Beach Peas are pollinated by Silver Bees 4
Grade 3 3-LS1-1 Beach Peas are pollinated by Silver Bees 4
High School Biology HS-LS2-2 Abiotic factors affect flowering in California 4

 

Summit Lead Educators, Scientists, and Community Experts

Brian Kastl

Brian Kastl

Brian Kastl is a stream ecologist and outdoor educator. He conducts research on endangered coho salmon and inspires students to dive into aquatic conservation. As a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, Brian uses microchips implanted into juvenile salmon to track their migration to the Pacific Ocean. Working with conservation organizations, he develops solutions to increase salmon population resilience, in the face of receding streamflows. Brian has been an outdoor educator since 2007 and teaches field-based conservation for National Geographic Student Expeditions in Belize and Alaska. Brian believes that environmental progress is best achieved through empowerment of local communities to utilize scientific advancements. From 2012 through 2014, he led river and fisheries conservation projects in Cambodia, Fiji, and Barbados. His work in Micronesia contributed to a ridge-to-reef conservation policy that protects native fish species. Kastl is a Fulbright Scholar, United Nations Environmental Program grantee, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and National Geographic Explorer.

Claudio Vargas

Claudio Vargas

Claudio Vargas B. is an educational consultant with the Sci-Lingual Group, which provides science professional learning to districts and schools with a focus on language and literacy development. Until 2018, Mr. Vargas was the Coordinator of K-12 Science Programs at the Oakland Unified School District. In this capacity he directed and supported the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in the district, working with Teacher Leaders, principals, and schools. Before joining OUSD, Mr. Vargas served as the Director of the Bay Area Science Project (BASP) at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS). Mr. Vargas has led numerous professional development programs throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Texas, and Central America. He has designed and implemented K-8 professional development programs that focus on developing teachers’ science content knowledge and expanding their teaching strategies, with particular emphasis on strategies that provide English Language Learners with access to the core curriculum and acceleration of language learning.

Doug Bell

Doug Bell

In addition to his duties as the Wildlife Program Manager with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD), Doug is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at California State University, Sacramento, and a Research Associate in the Department of Mammalogy and Ornithology at the California Academy of Sciences.  Doug holds a B.A. in Zoology from Humboldt State University, a Diplom-Biologie from the University of Muenster, Germany, and Ph.D. in Zoology from U.C. Berkeley.  His research interests range from avian systematics and population genetics to conservation biology.  He has been engaged in a long term studies of golden eagles, prairie falcons and other raptors in California with an emphasis on assessing impacts from anthropogenic activities, especially renewable energy development, and finding ways to lessen those impacts.  Doug is past president of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Western Section of the Wildlife Society.

Jenny Hartigan

Jenny Hartigan

Jenny Hartigan has been teaching in elementary and secondary education for 19 years. She is intensely curious about the world around her, and passionate about teaching science to second language learners. As a NOAA Teacher at Sea, she enjoys bringing scientists and real world data into her classroom. During the past 4 years, Jenny involved her environmental science classes in ocean stewardship with a NOAA Ocean Guardian project, and currently sponsors the Ocean Club. You will find Jenny teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade science at Lincoln Middle School in Alameda, California.

Jeri Johnstone

Jeri Johnstone

Jeri Johnstone completed a BS in Biology at Illinois State University, specializing in Entomology.  As Associate Director of Science at Lakeview Museum in Peoria, Illinois, she developed an outreach education program called The Bug Lady, teaching scientific observation skills using live insects. Jeri taught in Oakland Unified School District for seven years, and served on the Core Leadership Team of the NGSS Early Implementers grant partnering with West Ed and K12 Alliance.  She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction for STEAM Integration through Concordia University of Portland.

Kate Gallagher

Kate Gallagher

Kate Gallagher taught elementary science in the Oakland Unified School District for a total of 20 years. As a Science Core Leadership Team member, Lead Science Teacher, and NGSS Early Implementer, she helped Oakland teachers and schools deliver 3-dimensional science instruction. She continues to support elementary science through her work with FOSS, CSTA and environmental education programs. 

Luz Salazar

Luz Salazar

Luz has been an elementary science educator in a Spanish immersion program at Melrose Leadership Academy since 2011. She Strongly believes that science offers a unique context for  language learning, and language acquisition. She currently supports the implementation of NGSS at Melrose Leadership Academy, and over the years she has mentored new teachers in science education. She is an adjunct professor in the Bilingual Authorization Program at the University of San Francisco.

Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer is a 5th grade teacher at International Community School in Oakland. Prior to taking up his dream job, Mark was an Environmental Scientist focused on addressing human impacts on climate change. His dissertation focused on the spatial components of community level competition in redwood/tanoak ecosystems.

Obed Hernandez

Obed Hernandez

Obed obtained his bachelors degree from Texas Tech University and his PhD from Purdue University. Currently, he is a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Obed’s research focuses on studying the microbial ecology of host-associated microbial communities of amphibians. Infectious diseases have been attributed to the decline of amphibians worldwide, and amphibian microbial symbionts may play a key role in pathogen defense mechanisms. Obed applies a diverse set of genetic and microbiological techniques to holistically evaluate interactions between amphibian hosts, their microbial symbionts, and pathogens. He seeks to understand what host factors contribute to the assembly of microbiomes, identify microbial symbionts associated with immunity, and determine how environmental change affects key associations between hosts and beneficial microbes. This line of research has the potential to benefit the fields of conservation, agriculture, and biomedicine.

Rachael Oliff Yang

Rachael Oliff Yang

Rachael L. Olliff Yang is a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley, with research focusing on how climate change will affect plant communities and plant-animal interactions in California grasslands. She studies the shifts in timing of plant life cycles with climate change, how these shifts alter interactions between species, and how we can effectively conserve and manage our landscapes as climate change continues.

Sara Rusche

Sara Rusche

Sara Rusché received her B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College, PA. She spent the next 10 years of her life working as a sailor on both ocean going sailing tall-ships and research ships.  She then moved ashore permanently and began her teaching career as a 5th grade teacher for Oakland Unified School District. During her time working for Oakland Unified, she also worked as a science prep teacher, an engineering prep teacher, and as a coach for the science department. In addition, she worked as a coach for the CAL:BLAST grant, a program through the Lawrence Hall of Science and the University of California, Berkeley to help OUSD elementary teachers increase their science literacy and incorporate ELD strategies into science learning. She is currently teaching Foundational Science at Biology at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland where she has been for the past three years.

Sarah Pipping

Sarah Pipping

Sarah Pipping is the Project Director of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative at the Oakland Unified School District and works as part of team to lead the implementation of NGSS across the 87 schools in the district. Previously, Sarah worked as the High School Science Specialist for Oakland Unified and as a High School Biology teacher and 8th grade science teacher in the district. Sarah holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a Single Subject Teaching Credential and Masters in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University. Sarah's love for science and math started with her playing with her cousins at her grandparents farm and making change selling goods at the farmers market with her grandparents in Wisconsin. She is passionate about merging outdoor education, field experiences, and citizen science with high quality classroom learning for students in Oakland. She loves to travel, chat with her book club, hike in the East Bay Parks and attend nerdy events around the Bay Area.

Suzanne Arena

Suzanne Arena

Suzy Arena is a 5th grade teacher at Amelia Earhart Elementary School in Alameda, California. The school is situated directly on the shore of the San Francisco Bay estuary. She devotes one half of a day of every school week to teaching outdoor science in the areas of life science, physical science and earth science. Her students leave 5th grade as accomplished ecologists.

Veronica Yovovich

Veronica Yovovich

A carnivore biologist and quantitative ecologist by training, Veronica’s work broadly focuses on human-wildlife interactions, mountain lion-livestock conflict mitigation in particular. She conducted her graduate work in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, which addressed anthropogenic impacts on various components of mountain lion behavior and ecology. Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, her work focuses on helping livestock producers manage their operations in ways that keep livestock and carnivores safe. Veronica also spends part of each summer teaching an undergraduate field course on large mammal ecology, policy, conservation, and management in and around Yellowstone National Park.

Nancy Wright

Nancy Wright
Nancy Wright is an elementary science specialist in Hayward Unified School District, teaching first through sixth grade students for the past seven years. She currently teaches third through sixth grade science at Lorin Eden Elementary School and serves as the Science Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), leading the implementation of the Next Generation Science

 Standards (NGSS) for her district. Nancy earned a B.A. in human development from California State University, East Bay. She is certified to teach multiple subjects to elementary students, teach integrated science to students in kindergarten through ninth grade, and teach biological sciences up to 12th grade.  She was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2016. In the classroom, Nancy increases students’ wonder for science using hands-on activities and utilizing student academic discourse. As the district’s TOSA, Nancy supports science teachers through one-on-one coaching and writing sample curriculum. Nancy plans and delivers science professional development for K-12 science teachers in her district.