Below are a list of partners and what they offer in conjunction with our program. We are working with these groups to increase access to our programs, to maintain our programs timeliness and credibility, and to increasing our financial support and geographic scope.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Service: Aids in funding our program through a government contract as well as providing contact information for interested schools. NOAA staff members are also working on a “Springer Returns Home” curriculum packet for interested teachers and will be allowing us to use these teaching materials to supplement our after visit activity programs. This relationship with NOAA is formalized with a contract renewed on an annual basis.
The Seattle Aquarium:
Continues to promote/advertise KWT’s curriculum and provide a visit to the Seattle Aquarium as a package in the Seattle Aquarium Educator Guide (which is distributed to schools throughout the region and on the Aquarium website). They also assist us by registering and scheduling KWT visits to schools and Aquarium visits for those same KWT participants up to 2000 students; and provide booking service for KWT alone for an additional 3000 students. In addition they provide bus transportation and Aquarium admission funding for eligible students and their teachers and chaperones. They also provide all participating students with Puget Sound orca whale identification trading cards.
The Whale Museum of Friday Harbor:
Provides information, hand outs and orca related research materials for the Killer Whale Tales program.
The Soundwatch Boater Education Program:
Works with us to engage students in an activity to help them understand the difficulty whales have communicating in a noisy environment. Kari Koski, the head of the program, will also assist in modifying our current Orca Communication activity to fully integrate the “Be Whale Wise” guidelines.
The Center for Whale Research:
Offers our students an opportunity to help identify the individual members of the Southern Resident Killer Whale community and to help the children to determine and define the orcas’ critical habitat.
Port Townsend Marine Science Center:
This developing partnership will team KWT with Kitsap Peninsula’s premiere aquatic education program. We will be working closely with them to create a transient whale presentation, to be presented at their facility. We will also be utilizing their contacts to further our reach into the area’s elementary schools, combining our messages as a voice for conservation for not only the Southern Resident’s, but the other species that make their home their as well.
The City of Bellingham’s Environmental Resources Division:
Partners us with their Salmon Watershed Restoration program for elementary schools in the Bellingham school district. We provide a post-watershed restoration program to participating schools to demonstrate the powerful affect the students can have on the habitat around them. The Environmental Resources division promotes and schedules our visits to eligible schools. Last year this increased our enrollment by over 600 students. In 2008 they are expecting to reach 30 classrooms and up to 1000 students.
Assists by distributing our curriculum packets and activities for classroom teachers as well as copies of their “Orcas in Our Midst” booklet.