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Profiles of Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Organizations in South Dakota

- Indicates a Headquarters grant

2011 Grants

South Dakota Discovery Center & Aquarium   $36,021
Anne Lewis, 805 W Sioux Ave., Pierre, SD 57501
South Dakota Environmental Literacy Plan
South Dakota does not have a comprehensive environmental education (EE) strategy to build environmental literacy of its students and youth. Having an environmentally literate public is critical for the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the state. The long term goal of the project is to develop environmental stewardship in South Dakota by increasing the environmental literacy of its students. The objectives are: 1) build the capacity of state agencies, organizations, and individuals to deliver environmental education in a coordinated and strategic manner by developing a statewide environmental literacy plan. This project qualifies as environmental education because it will provide a means to create awareness, knowledge base and the skills necessary for SD youth to think critically about the natural and built environments. This will allow them to problem solve, make informed decisions, and take action in regards to local, regional and state environmental issues in the context of personal, family and cultural values, leading to environmental stewardship.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology   $49,067
Jennifer Benning, 501 E. St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Education for the Protection of Water Resources on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT), in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Environmental Protection Program (OST EPP) and the Oglala Lakota College (OLC) will undertake a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Education project with a long term goal for the protection of water resources through stewardship on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (PRIR) in South Dakota. This proposal will address a continuing need at PRIR for the implementation of watershed management practices to restore and maintain watersheds. The environmental education program will address the improvement, protection, and sustainability of surface and ground water quality and seeks to enable the people of the PRIR to evaluate needs and take decisive action under their own direction for the betterment of the environment and their society. Specifically, issues such as the impairment of water quality due to coliform bacteria, sediment, and nutrients will be assessed. Ultimately, effective watershed management requires knowledge of how land use practices can impact water quality. This can be accomplished through capacity building within the OST EPP, encouragement of K-12 and Tribal institution students to pursue environmental careers, and implementation of demonstration projects and outreach for the broader PRIR community.

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2009 Grants

South Dakota Discovery Center    $24,971
Anne Lewis, 805 W Sioux Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501
Biomonitoring for Climate Change
Biomonitoring for Climate Change is a project that trains and equips educators to develop the environmental literacy of their students. The goal is to provide educators the skills, knowledge, and resources to teach about climate change using hands-on activities, and then implement ecological monitoring activities that yield data to track conditions sensitive to climate change, among other ecological stressors. This project provides professional development for teachers so they may begin to improve instruction about climate change, biomonitoring (ecology monitoring), and how the two relate. The guidelines for preparation and professional development of environmental educators published by the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education are used in designing the training.

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2008 Grants

Tutuaca Mountain Center   $48,572
Cindy Tolle, 12134 Mountain Goat Center, Custer, SD 57730
The French Creek Watershed Project
This French Creek Watershed Project designs and implements an environmental education program for the Custer School District in Custer County French Creek. The students study French Creek, collect global positioning system (GPS) data, integrate the data into a geographic information system (GIS), and collect water quality data on the drainage. Each grade level contributes to the overall knowledge of the watershed with grade-appropriate activities as dictated by the project. It teaches students about water, using Project WET, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, and other activities. Information is provided to students through workshops, classroom teachings, and laboratory (both field and classroom) sessions. Teachers in grades kindergarten through 12 in the Custer School District are trained to teach the students. When the project is finished, the students understand the water cycle, the importance of clean water, and how to keep the aquifer healthy.

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2006 Grants

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe   $21,035
Shary Lynn Fire Cloud, 187 Oyate Circle, Lower Brule, SD 57548
Summer School/Work Environmental Science Program
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (LBST) Environmental Protection Office (EPO) has been in existence since 1994 with the purpose of developing technical capability and management of the reservation’s natural resources. The focus of this project is preserving the reservation’s ecosystems in partnership with the Brule Sioux High School, LBST’s Wildlife Department, LBST’s Cultural Resource Office, and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks fishery crew. Project outputs include conducting programs in environmental education and field experience to high school students. These students learn to identify the various ecosystems and their locations and identify the land-use practices that could affect these ecosystems and tools to preserve the areas. The students also maintain and irrigate trees planted earlier in the spring, analyze water quality, create simulations of possible Brownfields projects and develop future uses, and develop creative ideas on how to preserve the wildlife while balancing human needs. The students also increase their knowledge of stewardship and the responsibility for managing these ecosystems. Students participate in classroom activities and interactive work experiences and field trips.

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2004 Grants

South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium   $4,600
Kristie Maher, 805 West Sioux Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501
Wonders of Wetlands II - Teacher Education
Wonders of Wetlands II is a collaboration between the South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium and the Pierre Indian Learning Center, a residential boarding school for at-risk Native American children in grades 1 through 8. This program equips Pierre Indian Learning Center and other reservation teachers with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to incorporate wetland curricula into their classes. The training program exposes teachers to critical wetland issues, including health-related issues and groundwater contamination problems. After completing the training, the teachers develop lesson plans using activities from the Wonders of Wetlands II program. Continuing education credits are granted to the teachers when they complete their lesson plans.

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2003 Grants

Children's Science Center   $24,927
Julie Smoragiewicz, 501 East Street, Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
The Air We Breathe: Black Hills Air Quality and Its Impact on Health and the Environment
This project is integrating an interdisciplinary, after-school enrichment program called Nature’s Elements with a hands-on, interdisciplinary, science-based, after-school educational program focusing on air quality issues. The after-school program integrates science and the humanities to study the environment and to focus on air quality as it relates to science and public policy. The curriculum also accommodates a variety of learning styles, including visual, verbal, and kinesthetic learning.

South Dakota Center and Aquarium   $4,820
Anne Lewis, 805 West Sioux Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501
Wonders of Wetlands on the River Teacher Workshop
This project is called Wonders of Wetlands (WOW) on the River and consists of a workshop using Montana Watercourse’s WOW curriculum. The workshop includes an overnight field trip in which teachers kayak to a riverine wetland and engage in hands-on learning. The participants communicate the value of using the local environment as a classroom to their colleagues.

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2002 Grants

The Source: A Boys and Girls Club   $22,500
Curtis Dunn, 511 Main Avenue, Sisseton, SD 57262
Environmental Education Health Choices for Youth
The project focuses on children's health in a structured yet informal program at the Source's three boys and girls clubs. The project also provides opportunities for staff of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe Office of Environmental Protection to network with the Source's native youth. The project focuses on hands-on learning to benefit the local environmental plan, thereby ensuring that future environmental choices for youth reflect responsible guardianship of their own environment.

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2001 Grants

South Dakota Discovery Center & Aquarium   $4,750
Terry Lewis, 805 West Sioux, Pierre, SD 57501
Wetlands Workshops
The project supports four Wetlands II Workshops held at outdoor education facilities. Participation in the wetlands workshop enhances teachers’ knowledge of ecology and biology related to wetland habitats. Teachers engage in hands-on activities taken from the curriculum guides Water Education for Teachers and Wonders of Wetlands.

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1999 Grants

South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium   $3,700
Terry Lewis, 805 West Sioux Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501
WOW! Adventures in a Wetland!
This project consists of two four-day workshops for teachers. The objectives of the program are to improve teachers' understanding of the science related to wetlands, to provide quality curriculum materials that engage students in wetland studies, and to prepare teachers to involve their classes in field experiences related to local environmental issues. The program conforms to EPA's regional priority of educating teachers about environmental issues to improve their teaching skills in the area of environmental education. The program targets teachers of kindergarten to eighth-grade classes in school districts located in the vicinity of the wetlands. A total of 50 teachers are receiving benefits from the two workshops.

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1998 Grants

Meade School District 46-1   $24,896
Josephine Hartmann, 1230 Douglas Street, Sturgis, SD 57785
It's All Yours, Naturally
The project supports a coordinated environmental education network and provides an outdoor classroom and a posted nature walk in Sturgis City Park. Elementary students in the third and fourth grades, their parents, and school teachers participate in the program. Students study materials in classroom settings, view videotapes, and work with computer programs related to myriad environmental topics that they then share with the members of their families.

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1996 Grants

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology   $18,082
Dr. Jon J. Kellar, 501 East St. Joseph Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
Environmental Summer Camp for Reservation Students
The Environmental Science and Technology Summer Camp is designed for middle school students on the Pine Ridge Reservation and uses a culturally-sensitive environmental management curriculum. It stimulates middle school students to pursue careers in engineering and science.

South Dakota State University   $5,000
Tim Nichols, 156 Ag Hall, Box 2207, Brookings, SD 57007
Environmental Education for Native Americans
The Environmental Education Camp for Native American High School students in Brookings, South Dakota is stimulating interest in environmental careers. Native Americans are being used as role models in the natural resource sciences. Students are taught sound environmental decision-making practices.

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1995 Grants

Girl Scouts of the Black Hills Council   $5,725
140 North St., P. O. Box 1846, Rapid City, SD 57701
Project Our Water
This project seeks to teach girls and parents how to protect their water systems. The goal of the project is to develop a resource training guide for Girl Scout leaders focusing on water quality and conservation activities.

University of South Dakota   $9,683
1 East Main Room 103, Vermillion, SD 57069
Historical Preservation Information Service
For this project, teachers and students will gain a better understanding of how human cultural development has been affected by environmental transformations in the Great Plains region over the past 12,000 years. Project organizers will use hands-on activities in a classroom setting and a traveling exhibit to deliver their message.

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1994 Grants

Sinte Gleska University (SGU)   $5,000
Georgia Hackett, P. O. Box 490, Rosebud, SD 57570
Workshops for the Rosebud Sioux Reservation
Sinte Gleska University proposes to sponsor two environmental workshops designed for the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. The workshops will target community members, tribal and agency officials, and teachers in the local education districts who are responsible for tribal educational matters. The objective of the program is for participants to learn terms and facts regarding solid waste, water and air quality, and radon detection, and to design a work plan for recycling and reuse on the reservation.

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1993 Grants

Capital University Center   $1,500
809 East Dakota, Pierre, SD 57501-3312
Project SAVE Education
These grant funds will be used to help finalize the production of a board game, the CAN MAN. This game was developed to work in conjunction with a hands-on environmental education program on waste reduction, reuse and recycling, and to work as a bridge to other environmental issues and concerns.

Sinte Gleska University   $4,130
Georgia Hackett, Tribal College/University, P. O. Box 490, Rosebud, SD 57570
Workshops for the Rosebud Sioux Reservation
The Sinte Gleska University proposes to sponsor two environmental workshops designed for the Rosebud Sioux Reservation targeting the general public, tribal and agency officials, tribal council representatives, community chairpersons, and all those who have some impact on tribal and local policy decisions. The objective of the project is to encourage participants to network and develop partnerships to implement a reservation-wide environmental management plan and monitoring effort.

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1992 Grants

Aurora County Conservation District   $3,652
Plankington, SD 57368
Cultivation of Shelterbelts
This grant funds a project that will demonstrate techniques for cultivation of shelterbelts in the county.

Pennington County Air Quality Board   $5,000
Rapid City, SD 57701
Air Pollution Campaign
This grant will implement a public education campaign on air pollution.

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