Published on December 11, 2019

New Staff Initiatives to Expand & Strengthen Education Programs

Wellfleet Bay educator showing students a map

With the arrival of a new year, Wellfleet Bay is growing its conservation science programs in local schools and offering hands-on career preparation to future environmental educators.

Thanks to two generous grants—a matching challenge from the Cape Cod Foundation's annual Seaside Le Mans event and support from the Eric and Jane Nord Family Fund—the sanctuary will be able to build capacity for delivering the programs it offers local schools without charge and offer real-world experience to the next generation of environmental educators.

Wellfleet Bay educators are in classrooms regularly in every public school from Provincetown to Harwich, bringing to students a range of science-based programs focused on coastal ecology and the protection of threatened species. This fall a new full-time Teacher Naturalist’s position was created, raising to five the number of regular Sanctuary staff available to deliver classroom and field programs from pre-school age through high school.

"Investing in staff to further our investment in the education of local children is a win-win," says Sanctuary director Melissa Lowe. "Having a strong corps of regular staff allows us to expand the reach, depth, and goals of Wellfleet Bay's school programming."

The sanctuary is also launching an environmental education internship program for two college graduates seeking real world teaching experience in the classroom and in the field, as well as advanced naturalist training and curriculum development. The 6-month internships will begin in mid-winter and run through late spring with the option of applying for day camp instructors' jobs to extend their stays through the summer.

Melissa says she's especially pleased to offer the internships for aspiring educators. "A post-graduate internship at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station is how I began my career in environmental education," she says. "You never know where these kinds of opportunities will lead!"