International Planning Workshops

NSF Office of International Science and Engineering and Formal and Informal Science Education Programs, Award # 1016120:

US-Russia: Informal Science Learning in Ecological Contexts: Personal, place-based & cultural views of learning in contrasting mountain systems

This project brings together the faculty and students at Montana State University (MSU) USA and Gorno Altaisk State University (GASU) Russian Federation to plan informal science education research and education activities in two distinct but similar mountain systems (Yellowstone, USA and Altai republic,
Russian Federation). A team of five MSU faculty and students travelled to GASU to conduct a two-day planning workshop with GASU research faculty and students addressing similar interests in science learning in informal settings. The team will also met with community members of two Altai villages (Ongudai & Kosh-Agach) in critical ecological and ethno-cultural areas of the Altai. The MSU principal investigators are Michael Brody (Education), Cliff Montagne (Ecology) and John Fisher (Archaeology). The GASU coordinator of the workshop is Natalia Yurkova (Education & International Programs). In  addition, Eleanor Abrams (Education) from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) USA, representing a NSF sponsored research group focusing on school-based science learning with indige
nous Altai people participated in two of the workshops.

The worksh
ops addressed informal science learning in an ecological context and focus on issues of culture and diversity as they relate to indigenous populations in contrasting ecological and social systems. Workshop participants will report on their current research and education activities, interact with leading Altai regional experts in ecology, archaeology and education and plan a collaborative research and education agenda focusing on science learning in informal and formal settings.