Forward ThinkingCCA’S DEEP PARTNERSHIP WITH UCI IS A MODEL FOR THE ENVISIONED CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS SYSTEM.
This summer, the Parks Forward Commission published a draft of a series of recommendations to improve the California State Parks system of 280 parks. Two key elements of the plan include improved development of deep partnerships in conservation and increased attraction of diverse and younger communities to the parks. CCA is cited as an important example in the report that will change the way California State Parks operates. CCA’s strong and growing relationship with UCI has helped to make Crystal Cove an example in both partnerships and programming.
“I’m very excited about how we work with CCA—the partnership lets us fully attack our mission as a higher education institution, which is to take on scholarship (research and education) that is of value to society,” says Travis Huxman, director of the Center for Environmental Biology at UCI. “I like to say that our partnership is something that
cannot happen anywhere else, because it involves combining the forces of the two great California experiments—the first official park system and a comprehensive higher education system.”
Below are just two of the emerging programs with UCI:
• In an effort to train the next generation of teachers and develop STEM programming that serves a diverse group of K-12 students, CCA is hosting interns from the university’s CalTeach program. The innovative program allows interns to not only get a degree in biology,
but also simultaneously earn a teaching credential. Students use Crystal Cove as a place to learn about inspired science, technology, engineering and math education.
• CCA is also developing new models for bridging the gap between environmental research and resource management. All three of the teaching stations on CCA’s Marine Protected Area Citizen Science Cruise have been aligned with new “citizen science” activities that
allow students to participate in active UCI research in fish populations, plankton distribution and water quality.