Jacquelyn Vaughan
December 12, 2003
ENVS 220
Final Report

Salmon in the Classroom Project


I chose to participate in the Salmon in the Classroom Project for my internship. This project is coordinated with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Whitman Mission National Historic Site, and Ted Knauft, a teacher at John Sager Middle School located in College Place. The goals of the Salmon in the Classroom Project are to allow students to raise and care for salmon eggs in a classroom environment while learning about life cycles and ecosystem requirements. However, the students will not discuss the surrounding politics and environmental concerns over declining salmon populations in the Northwest. The students will eventually release the maturing salmon fry into an undisclosed holding pond. Hatchery fish cannot be released into the wild without having their fins clipped. Additionally, the fry must be released before they need to be fed. It is against the law to feed them. The fry live off nutrient sacs that are attached to their bodies after emerging. The Salmon in the Classroom Project is made possible from a grant awarded by the National Park Foundation. “By becoming salmon stewards, these students are more aware of local waterways and more conscious of and knowledgeable about water quality issues” (http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/outreach/education/salclass.htm).

Goals and Objectives

Initially, the objectives and goals for my internship with the Salmon in the Classroom Project included:

• becoming familiar with pre-existing documents that track grant-funding source and material procurement (budget balance spreadsheet and inventory database),

• obtaining required equipment, materials, and information with the Whitman Mission for raising salmon in a classroom environment, and

• coordinating a classroom experience with Ted Knauft and students to maintain a living environment for salmon eggs.

However, after participating in this internship for the semester, the goals and objectives were modified several times.
I was not given the opportunity to complete the third goal in its entirety. The salmon eggs were not received until December 1, 2003, so I am not going to be part of the monitoring process and the raising of the eggs. The eggs will hatch in approximately 60 days so if this internship is continued next semester, the eggs will be emerging near the beginning of the semester so the monitoring and raising process will be the main focus of the internship.

In addition to my pre-existing goals and objectives, I was going to look into obtaining plants native to the Walla Walla Valley from the Native Plant Society of Walla Walla and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. I was particularly interested in contacting the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla because a greenhouse containing plants native to the Walla Walla Valley was recently reestablished. Mike Dedman informed me that the Whitman Mission was interested in planting the native flora in the Walla Walla River riparian zone that is located near the Whitman Mission. However, a decision was made to wait on this objective to see if there was enough money left over from the grant. I do not know whether this was a decision made by Mike Dedman or the National Park Service.

I also updated the Salmon Trunk provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. A trunk is a compilation of educational materials on a specific subject. The Whitman Mission has an existing Salmon Trunk that is currently up-to-date so I compared the two trunks and obtained the necessary materials. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Salmon Trunk is now in the classroom of Ted Knauft.