Environmental Education Supports Tribal Harvests

The Takeaway: Schools throughout this Wisconsin region are using the education model, which integrates scientific research with real-world evidence.

Over the last decade, the unprecedented loss of wild rice to climate change factors has disrupted traditional tribal harvests of the Lake Superior Ojibwe. The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and University of Wisconsin-Extension realized that science-only models of environmental education were not resonating with audiences, so these programs helped fund the Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) model of environmental education. Nicknamed G-WOW, the model integrates scientific research with real-world evidence to help people understand how key plant and animal species are affected by a changing climate.

The coastal program also funded environmental education programs for local schools and helped G-WOW develop a robust web-based curriculum for students. G-WOW has gained recognition over the past several years and is being used throughout the region. (2016)

Partners: Lake Superior Ojibwe, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program