Crown Memorial Beach Native Plant Walk

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Interns discussing and studying flora at Crown Memorial Beach.

Alameda High Earth Team interns spent their last meeting walking Crown Memorial Beach and identifying native, non-native, and invasive plants. Interns learned that many plants identified were non-native and invasive plants that do no occur at Crown Memorial Beach naturally, and were introduced to this area. Interns enjoyed researching and closely studying the plants in order to accurately ID them. Interns will begin learning more in depth about habitat restoration, and soon will be helping restore Oyster Bay with the East Bay Regional Parks. They hope to make an impact in helping the SF Bay Watershed thrive.

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Interns, Julie Vu and Joyce Do, identifying Coyote Brush a California native. 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Cleanup Day! Sept 17th!

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Alameda ET interns and community volunteers at the annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

Alameda High Earth Team interns did an amazing job on Saturday, September 17, helping community members of Contra Costa County remove litter from Wildcat Creek. Their efforts were a part of much larger environmental action day, calledIMG_3239.jpg Coastal Cleanup Day. Every year in mid September environmental stewards and community members all over California come together and remove as much litter from our waterways and coastal beaches as possible. This inspiring initiative was created by the California Coastal Commission and continues to not only help our natural world, but also brings communities together for one common goal.

The Alameda ET team spent 3 hours collecting the litter and recording data. Their hard work paid off. In total Alameda interns and community members, removed 357 lbs of trash! Interns were all smiles after the event because they knew they had made an impact and helped keep marine debris from polluting our coastal and marine habitats. It feels good to make a difference. img_3222

Alameda High Recruitment Begins!

 

 

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The EarthTeam 2016-2017 internship has officially began at Alameda High with recruitment, and applications are flooding in. Program Associate, Julia Dorosh, presented to sophomores, juniors, and seniors during their science class last week. Students were eager to apply and full of questions. An info session was held at lunch in Dr. Griffith’s office, and provided students with the opportunity to ask any questions they had and introduce themselves.

Many students had already heard about EarthTeam internships through friends and family, had applied before, and were thrilled to be able to try again. Students in a junior class chatted excitedly about the fact that they might experience their first formal interview, and how nerve wracking that may be. Fortunately, their nerves have not stopped them. Phone interviews have began and will continue until Wednesday. By Thursday the accepted 14 will be informed and their first meeting will take place! Hooray to a new year!

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EarthTeam Alameda internship 2016 flyer.

Art for the Earth!

The following pieces of art were submitted to the Alameda High School EarthTeam in response to the group’s call for art which depicts an environmental problem, or one that shows your personal feeling/experience in nature.

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-Marben Galicia

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Jaclyn Lea

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-Dohyun Kim

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– Liem Nguyen

 

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-Jenny Tan

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Quiet

In the midst of sheer beauty,

In the majestic mountains,

In the vast canyons,

In the infinite waters,

In the moments of awe,

In transcendence,

In the stillness,

I ask –

Why don’t they respect the trees?

-Michael Kim

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-Cody Tabor

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This was inspired by the almost horrific picture of Peanut the turtle. After twenty years of being stuck in a plastic ring off of the top of a soda can, the damage was irreversible. Trash in our oceans is a huge problem with the gyres that have been growing in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and have a profoundly negative impact on marine wildlife. People think that throwing a couple objects on the ground have little or no consequences, but hopefully this jarring visual will convey the danger of littering.

-Philip Sun

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Statement/Explanation:

“Nature is not always tricked in holiday attire, but the same scene which yesterday breathed perfume and glittered as for the frolic of the nymphs, is overspread with melancholy today. Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

This triptych of photos is a visual manifestation of my experience with nature in a suburban environment. Alameda puts in some effort to incorporate a fair share of plants in its environment yet it too often feels artificial and sparse. Regardless, it is important to me to recognize the inherent beauty that lies within all of nature. As Emerson points out, nature has a way of adapting to the human condition, thus remaining one of the most resilient forces in our lives. My triptych depicts the elements of this relationship. It is the small, personal moments of interaction with nature that mean the most to me, not necessarily a grand facade of vegetation. Whether it is a few branches with leaves on them, or a plain field, these subtle elements of my environment have touched me in a way that makes me proud of the relationship that humans have with nature.

-Colin Yeo

 

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-Athenna Menjivar

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Clare Rickard

Soliciting Art from our Peers

Kyle’s Perspective:

So recently, one of the groups on our team came up with a great idea for a contest involving expressing care for the environment through creating a piece of art that shows genuine empathy for an environmental issue. The idea was great, but getting people to join in was very hard. For awhile, even with the decent incentive of the Patagonia backpack, no one would submit a piece at all. I think it was for the most part because we did not ask people directly. It is one thing to post posters and make an announcement, and this would work if we had more resources at our disposal, but it is much more effective to ask people in person who we specifically know are interested in art but need an extra push.

I went to a few of the multimedia art classes and made the announcement to the class and then wrote it down on the whiteboard the teacher so nicely let me use. It was more effective to get people interested, and then if they wanted to, they only had to look at the board to see where. I also went to the multimedia art club and asked them, and since they were especially good at this kind of art and the message was directed at only around 7 or 8 people, I think more people were pushed to join. In the end, around 10 people submitted and I heard they look great! In general, getting people interested in an event like this is tougher than actually getting it ready, and this is because people would have to genuinely care about the subject. A teacher could assign something like a project to their students, and since the students would either care enough to do it, or not really care enough and put it off till the last minute, it really shows the influence of an emotional appeal. We would have to give an incentive that makes people care, a backpack is special, but it does not exactly provide the same appeal as something like maybe extra credit. That is what impartially made our last event a success, some people I talked to came only because it boosted their grade up, same with many of our other events.

That is why something like a tax reduction incentive is so effective as well for encouraging charity, it is how the person justifies putting the effort into something. Yes this could be seen as a form of bribery, but it gets the job done, and people do charitable work or enter in a contest like the one we put on. In the future, I hope to find more incentives that appeal to a wider range of audiences at a deeper level. This kind of work that spreads awareness about an issue both rewards us and the participant, but each one needs the other, and that is why providing an effective incentive is so important. This can be done by seeing what people care about most in our target audience, in this case it was anyone caring about the environment in our school, or an artist who cared enough to do something. In this case, asking teachers to give extra credit would be hard, so giving a gift card worth $50 is appropriate. This contest overall could have been presented more effectively, but now we know how to move forward in work like this.

Cody’s Perspective:

Last week was an interesting week since there was state testing. This made it so I didn’t have every class every day, so I was able to experiment with my announcements the first day and take what I learned and apply it to the next day’s classes.

The process overall was not that difficult. I first acquainted myself with the project and read over the parameters of the contest from the document online. I then practiced a general speech for what I was going to say. Basically talking about how I am from the EarthTeam group at our school and that we are doing an art contest on man’s impact on nature. The experience was very interesting from class to class. As all my classes except for one are all mainly seniors, they did not have the ability to apply for an internship position next year. However, many of my classmates were interested in the work we did as a group. Still others had already seen our tabling events at lunch and attended our other informational events or participated in the beach clean-ups we organized throughout the year.

I got a lot of positive comments on the contest as people were interested in putting in submissions if they found the time to create an artwork. I think the most lasting effect of my presentation was simply just getting people to think more about their impact on the environment in everyday life especially concerning marine debris. For people that asked me where they could learn more, I referred them to our blog pages along with our zero litter instagram and the EarthTeam website.

I found that in order to engage my classroom I did the announcement at the beginning of class so people had time throughout the class to ask me questions about EarthTeam and the contest. Some people seemed disinterested but others were very interested. Comparing my classes full of seniors to the class I am a TA for that is full of sophmores, I found that the seniors were more open and interested in the contest as seniors have had more experiences. They also for the most part have a more worldly mindset as most seniors next year are heading out into the next stage of life at college.

Overall I think that this experience was a very nice one to wrap up the year and that the contest is a good way to go out and engage the school, preparing them for summer and the following school year. It’s great just to simply raise awareness about the issues of marine debris even if the students choose not to participate in the art contest. As the main goal of our intern group at Alameda High is to educate people about marine debris and its effects, anything to get people at our school and the community thinking about the subject is great. The experience has helped me with my public speaking skills as well as communicating topics more concerning the environment.

Art for the eARTh Contest!

In an effort to instill a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship among our future generations – our fellow peers – Alameda EarthTeam is hosting the Art for the Earth Contest! The contest gives students around the East Bay the opportunity to express their concerns regarding the environment, while also presenting an opportunity for participants to portray personal emotions experienced within the beautiful grandeur of nature. Submissions can vary from any form of creative art, from photography to poetry. Submissions can be posted on social media sites followed by the hashtag #EastBayStewardship, or sent to earthteamcontest2016@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, May 24th (3 PM). A winner, who will be selected by EarthTeam interns and staff, will be awarded the grand prize of a brand-new Patagonia backpack!

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/artfortheearth !

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EarthWeek Success!

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We had the great opportunity to table at both Alameda High School and at the City of Alameda’s Earth Day event.  Our focus was marine debris especially concerning cigarettes, microbeads, and biomagnification. In preparation we created multiple posters with interesting facts about bottle caps and other marine debris. As for tangible items we created a model of a Midway Albatross as a visual aid for our topic. At the weekend event we included our homemade microbead free face scrub, which people loved. Prior to the event we also collected cigarette buts from around the school campus to put in a mason jar for our Jamba Juice gift card guessing game.

 

Everybody loves a good Jamba Juice! This was the perfect incentive to getting people to come learn about the cigarette butts that we collected at Alameda High School. Once people came and learnt about the cigarettes they were disgusted by its contribution to marine debris. This was especially useful during our tabling at Alameda High School, because most of the teenagers passing by were uninterested in marine debris until they learnt about the Jamba Juice gift card they could win. During the earth day event we made face scrubs which attracted people curious of what was inside the containers. Many people were astonished that their face scrubs and toothpastes were contributing to marine debris and were excited to use this new environmentally friendly face scrub. We also made a albatross bird to demonstrate how trash affects the marine animal population. People far away saw this bird and were confused on why it had trash inside it. However sometimes people walking by our table were just not interested; we found that the best way to pull people in was to ask them a question, both people who knew the answer and didn’t know the answer came to talk to us. Alternatively we challenged them to guess the number of cigarettes, as not many people can refuse a challenge.     

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This tabling showed a lot of ways in which we can attract people to our booth, and then how we can get them to care about marine debris and other environmental issues we face today. It was effective to ask people if they wanted to guess how many cigarettes were in the jar, but then making them learn about the subject was difficult. I feel that if we had a short 15 or 20 second clip replaying over and over so people can see it passing by the booth, it is a lot more captivating than a simple question, and it gets people engaged even if they don’t want to approach the booth. Another thing that I noticed was that our posters (with a lot of the info we were trying to get across) were not the main focus for the audience. If they had been front and center concentrated on a poster board on the desk, it not only would be appealing and get more attention, it is perceived as the main focus and people will be more likely to remember it. Another slight flaw was our brochures. They were, I believe too filled with info, and we weren’t able to pass them out on the days we had tables in school. If we could distill that info in a short effective card, almost like a business card, people are less likely to throw it away and it is more convenient to carry around. Also, what I have seen in previous tabling is a sort of advertising people use, whether it be face paint or stickers, people ask where they got it and are more likely to go to the table or event. That and if they use a sticker, it is a constant of the beholder, and they are reminded of the event. That is why we either go big or sell quickly. By that I mean we put on a huge event with a lot of activities and tables that people will remember in the future, or we still have the table but it is packed will a lot of attention grabbing materials and we give out stickers or brochures or hold a contest that people will have that will remind them of the information. To accomplish all of this, the table crew has to be well prepared with the proper info and necessary amount of materials to give out (we ran out of the face scrubs we were giving out very quickly and people were still interested in learning about it).

Despite all the challenges we faced, the events went very well. Overall, many people came and learned many new things, walking away with a better understanding of marine debris. Not only did the public learn about marine debris, but we also improved in our public speaking and learned how we could improve our events for the future. We learned that incentives and questions are a good way to draw people in and that in future events we expect bigger crowds so that we don’t run out of things to give out.

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Bead-lieve it or Not…Microbeads are Everywhere!

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The following posts were written by three EarthTeam interns about their most recent event.


Recently, we had a very successful event at our school called Bead-Lieve it or Not. Since our main theme this year is reducing the impact of microplastics in our waterways, we decided to use this event to educate our peers on just that.

As teenagers, we often struggle with acne and varying amounts of skin problems. this leads us to be one of the biggest demographic groups consuming face and body scrubs. Often times, these exfoliating miracle products are harming the earth and its ecosystems in drastic ways. Even though these products give us silky smooth skin, many contain microbeads.

I noted this. I also noted the rise in popularity of DIY face and body scrubs. This made for the perfect plan. Why not encourage my friends and peers to use organic scrubs?

When asked if we had any ideas for an event, I presented my idea and was pleasantly surprised to get so much positive feedback. We started prepping for the event immediately.

Although it took a little while, we got everything planned out. We first started with the time and location. When doing this, we took into consideration how we could impact the most people. We couldn’t do it after school because many kids leave right away and we couldn’t do it in the hallway because it could get in the way of foot traffic. The library pit was our best shot. By picking this location, we were able to have a place with tables, a projector, good flow of passersby, and places for people to sit. Lunch time also seemed like our best bet. This was because people like to sit during this time, perfect so that we could talk to them.

Next, we came up with other activities. While I spearheaded the skin scrub activity, a few other of my group members decided to make arts and crafts out of recycled materials which was way cool. Another group ran a game of jeopardy and a raffle. Just like I learned in my economics class, we used incentives to our benefit. We raffled off new water bottles and gave out the scrubs for free!

I have two favorite things about this project. First, was making the face and body scrubs. My group members and I had so much fun doing this. It was a really good bonding experience as well because I had conversations with some members I hadn’t talked to as much as others. By the end of it, we were all joking and laughing. Since the scrub is all natural, it was edible! A few of us were able to try some and it actually tasted really good, like a brownie almost. I loved naming the scrubs too, it made me feel like we were actually in a sincere company.

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My second favorite thing about this project was the actual implementation of it. I consider myself a pretty social person and I just loved talking to all my fellow students about a topic I am very passionate about. This experience helped me with my people skills and made me feel like I could make a big impact on others. I loved seeing their changed opinions on store bought skin scrubs.

At first this was just a simple idea, but I’m so glad it became so much more. – Quincy T.


Perspective #2

The event we planned on February 25th I think was very well thought out in general, and the team did a spectacular job in getting everything ready for the event. Although in my opinion, if we contacted each other outside the internship, and planned to get things done off our internship time, we could have gotten things done quicker and the event could have gone more smoothly. We had a good agenda set, with the face scrubs, the pledge cards, and the jeopardy game, but the participants of the event did not really know what to do, even though it was clear with us saying where everything was and with the signs directing people, we could have made them larger and directed people before the event actually started to do their pledge cards and get their face scrubs BEFORE we started the main activity (in this case it was jeopardy).

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I think the main flaw that we did foresee but did not actually fix was estimating how long the jeopardy game would take. I think if we had a person try out the game before hand and see what could go wrong first and how long the game would take, it would allow us to plan our time better. In our event this time, we did net have enough time at the end for people to make last minute pledges and look at the face scrubs. I also think we should have designated a speaker and organizer of the actual event, and then people to speak about each individual part of the event when prompted telling the participants what the goal of each is, as I think it could have been more effective. It seemed that participants were generally interested in what the face scrubs were for, but they didn’t really see the reason for them, which was to address the problem of micro beads. But I also think we will definitely learn from this as a team, and make better judgments in the future.

The positives did outweigh the negatives however, I think we did a great job in creating this event from scratch. The pledge cards were a great incentive in getting people to reconsider trash, even if they might not go out of their way to pick it up, I think they will look at their own habits considering littering. The jeopardy game, although it did not exactly pertain to trash, it did a great job at making people realize how little we actually know about how we influence the environment; I was surprised myself, even though I had seen some of the facts before hand. The face scrubs were also a very interesting and unique part of the event that is so different from other events people go to at school, it definitely caught them off guard when they got this weird yet aesthetically pleasing free sample, hopefully showing how easy yet effective micro bead free products are. I think the participants had a fun time themselves, even if the jeopardy game was a little rushed, everyone got at least a little something at the end, and learned a little something about how we effect our local environment. – Kyle A.


Perspective #3

As Alameda High Earth Team Interns’ first self-directed on-campus event, it was a great success!

All interns had worked hard throughout the planning and implementation of the Bead-lieve it or not event. The interns were distributed into three different teams to work on separate projects to educate the public about the environment. The Jeopardy team made a Jeopardy game, consisting of different levels of environmental science questions to educate the students about energy conservation, the environment of Alameda, water conservation, etc. Since most students in the event participated in the jeopardy game, it attracted a lot of students’ attention and became the highlight of the event. The planning part of the Jeopardy game was mainly to research on the questions and to make the jeopardy game. Using the convenient online Jeopardy generator, the Jeopardy team successfully created a fun game for students to learn. The implementation of the game was mainly to facilitate throughout the event, which included separating the students into different teams, adding up points for each team, guiding teams throughout the game, announcing the winner, and giving out the prizes for the final winning team. Because of the unexpected technological issue and lack of good preparation, the jeopardy game did not turn out exactly as expected, but the goals were definitely accomplished. A good solution for that problem would be to run through the event at least once prior to event day so that all teams can be more prepared.

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The face scrub team was mainly in charge of preparing and making organic face scrub without microbeads. By providing free scrubs in small containers, this team successfully attracted a lot of students to come and take a few home to try. Afterwards, we also heard great feedbacks from the users. The planning of the face scrubs team involves researching reliable and safe recipes, buying materials, making samples, and preparing to explain why this is useful and important to our environmental, and why should we all care about. The face scrub team had a great success because their “products” benefited a lot of students and attracted a lot of students, who came for the free face scrubs. To name one improvement, the team could have explained more to the students what microbeads are and other related contents and statistics so that the students can have a better understanding of environmental science. Other than that, the face scrub team did a great job planning and implementing the event.

The Raffle team did their most work planning the event because there was not enough time on Thursday to let them draw the raffles during lunch. The lack of time management was the main factor. However, it was great to have Dr. Griffith to draw the raffles on Tuesday and send out the gifts to the two lucky environmental science students. The planning of the Raffle team mainly involves researching on the environmental-friendly prizes, preparing the raffle tickets and making a clear box for the tickets. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to draw the tickets on the day of the event, which would have been even more surprising and satisfying for the students.

Our first event was not perfect, but it was really good as our first self-directed event. The high attendance turnout was also a success. We will do better and better in our future events. – Haiwen C.

 

East Bay Regional Park Youth Job Fair

IMG_1386.JPGBy Angela L.

This past Saturday, I attended the youth job fair held by East Bay Regional Park. Although I had the intention to go there to explore future opportunities in jobs (post-grad) I quickly realized that I was wrong. The fair was directed towards teen internships and entry-level jobs. Nevertheless, I still learned new things, met interesting people, and overall became exposed to the huge variety of positions that the park offers.

Each station at the fair offered explanations, salaries, calendars, and descriptions of each of their jobs. Some station examples included park ranger jobs, recreation leaders, lifeguards, police, human resource interns, student aids, etc. Each representative delivered wonderful testimonies on their experience and advocated for us all to apply for certain positions. I was amazed when the park ranger told me that in the past forty years of the history of East Bay Regional Park, there hadn’t been a single lay off. At the volunteer station, I was able to talk to the representative about future events I may be able to coordinate with them about community service opportunities with Sierra Club. They gave me helpful brochures and contact information. I was able to learn a lot about the huge variety of internships and gateways that students are able to take to learn and experience more.

After the job fair, there were workshops in each individual station.
I chose to go to the human resource station, and from there they partnered us all up and taught us how to implement the best interview for a job. Each partner mimicked the role play of either being the interviewer and the interviewee. Overall, I gained experience in practicing my interview skills and my partner was fun and engaging to talk to. I was amused by meeting other people from Richmond who have cousins in Alameda High, whom I know. It’s a small world.

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Through viewing how successful/unsuccessful the event was run, I can see how to improve future events. I believe the park staff were very smart in proving a punch-card, which meant if you visited all the stations you can get a raffle. The raffle allowed possibilities of winning desired prizes such as a north face backpack, camelbak water bottles, and more. This incentive was a great way to get people to stay the entire time until noon. Also, upon walking and signing in, they gave free bags to everyone with a free t shirt and water bottle included. I believe this was a very nice touch and a true representation of the high amount of benefits they offer to their workers, which the park ranger also preached about. Lastly, throughout the entire session, they provided granola bars, oranges, water, and coffee on tables by the walls. Whenever someone desired to have a snack, they were always available. Additionally, I see how it may have been unsuccessful because there was a small awkward slot of between the job fair & the workshop when everybody had already visited all the stations. However, I believe overall it was a very great experience to view all the different jobs, high-spirited and passionate people, and learn a variety of things.