Autumn 2015 California Project WET Gazette
Volume XX, Issue IV

My Water Address, Take Action!

“California is burning – What the hell are you going to do about it?”    – Governor Jerry Brown

Our recent news headlines of the past few weeks have been a surreal juxtaposition of 1960s monster movies ( i.e., “El Nino vs. ‘The Blob”), our Governor channeling the ‘mad as hell’ sentiment of the 1976 film ‘Network’ in his open challenge to the small army of Presidential hopefuls on climate change and war documentaries as CAL FIRE marshals a small army from one fire to the next, but what else would one expect in the state that calls Hollywood home? Unfortunately, it is no laughing matter. As we enter the Fall of 2015, California is a garish scene of depleted reservoirs and vast acreages of our forested watersheds are withered by four years of drought, rapidly dying from epidemic beetle attack or burned to a crisp by wildfires that explode in size and an intensity not even Godzilla could muster. Add to this a July that saw a foot of snow falling in Yosemite, an I-10 freeway overpass washed out by flash flooding and a steady stream of reports that one of the strongest El Nino events in recorded history is likely to steer ‘atmospheric rivers’ of water over large portions, if not all, of California this Winter – IF it is not deflected by ‘The Blob’ and its ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.’ It all sounds like the script for a very bad z –grade movie if we in California weren’t living it. So what is one to do in the face of so much doom and gloom?

We can start by taking better stock of where we live and plan for the likely natural hazards that exist in our area of the state. A good start is the Project WET activity, ‘My Water Address, Take Action!’ (p: 433). The activity begins with a series of questions to better understand where one lives, helping steer students and adults alike in learning about the unique characteristics of where one lives and works in relation to natural hazards. The investigation leads one to find out in more detail where their home or school is in relation to local water bodies, the topography of the watershed, dry stream and flood control channels, the history and current state of those channels and the role of weather and climate in determining local risk. The California Emergency Management ‘My Hazards Map’ website is a great, easy to use tool to help start this investigation.  However, unlike news stories that leave one hanging in doom and despair, the Project WET activity has students using this knowledge to create an action plan and preparing a ready to go emergency pack. The activity focuses on flood risk, but the same information being gathered can be used to assess risk from other hazards – only the choice of potential safety measures and exit routes may change

The questions posed in ‘My Water Address, Take Action!’ provide an excellent opportunity to engage students in more in-depth learning. Understanding how a watershed is defined and learning simple techniques to delineate watersheds on different types of maps in the activity ‘Seeing Watersheds’ (p: 187) provides students with the basic knowledge and skills to delineate their own watershed, understand the relationships between topography and stream channels and be able to analyze the map for evidence of potential risk factors near their home or school – and create a map of likely safe routes to avoid the risks in an emergency that can be included in their action plan and emergency packs. Some of this knowledge can be brought down to a more tangible level for younger and older students alike in the activity ‘Rainy Day Hike’ (p: 169), where students are generating maps of the school yard and using evidence to predict flow patterns and potential water quality hazards, followed up by an investigation of actual flow patterns following a storm event and water quality hazards carried by storm flows. The focus on a concrete investigation of potential school-yard water quality hazards (i.e., litter, sediment, parking lot fluids, etc.) in ‘Rainy Day Hike’ opens the door for student action to reduce or eliminate some of these non-point source pollution hazards through a campus clean-up event in support of the annual Coastal Clean-up Day and Coast Weeks events!

‘My Water Address, Take Action!’ questions regarding the history of past weather and climate of a location can be studied through an extension of the original Project WET guide activity ‘Wet Vacation’ (Portal), having students apply the activity to the study of weather and climate of California regions. Raw precipitation and temperature data throughout the nation can be obtained by students through the Regional Climate Centers, including California data from the Western Regional Climate Center. To keep the focus on natural hazards, students could create a travel and safety brochure highlighting the natural features of a region, as well as potential hazards and measures travelers can take to stay safe. Past disaster events play a role in assessing hazard risk and the study of past disasters is the focus of Nature Rules!’ (p: 277). In the ‘Websites of Interest’ you’ll find a website highlighting California’s top 15 weather events of the 1900’s to get the ball rolling!

What exactly is meant by the reference to a ‘100-year flood’? That is the question posed in the activity High Water History’ (p: 321), which begins with a simple activity that has helped students and adults understand what is – and is not – meant by the term, as well as the basic statistics involved in the reoccurrences of these events. By the way, flood risk researchers despise the continued use of the term ‘100- year flood’ and much prefer the more memorable and technically correct reference ‘1-percent annual exceedance probability (AEP),’ both of which references are discussed in a fairly easy to read U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet that a number of educator use with this activity and older students to add a non-fiction, scientific literature component. The USGS Fact Sheet includes information on factors that change the flood risk probability of streams.  Changing land use patterns is high on this list, which is the focus of the activity ‘Color Me a Watershed’ (p: 239) and another USGS Fact Sheet that can be used with this activity titled ‘Effects of Urban Development on Floods.’ In ‘Color Me a Watershed’, students learn simply methods to quantify changing land use patterns in a watershed and calculate the potential change in run-off and water flow volume through time. Of course, this also opens the door to investigating how changing land use patterns may influence risk factors in relation to other hazards – or may be compound in the case of large wildfires that can radically change watershed land use and flow patterns in a short amount of time.

Where your house or school is located in relation the rest of the watershed is a big factor in assessing hazard risk – and being in a floodplain is an immediate higher risk factor for insurers. Yet, many Californians live in floodplain locations.  The Project WET activity ‘Back to the Future’ (p: 307) uses a real-life scenario and data to engage students in simulating the analysis and pro and con arguments one will often hear in city council and planning committee meetings to decide if and where building can occur in a floodplain. In addition to the historical flow data students analyze in ‘Back to the Future,’ flood risk and potential damage calculations are often part of these discussions. Students learn simple methods for calculating potential damage from different sized floods as part of the activity High Water History,’ which can be brought to bear to add an additional layer of realism and complexity to the discussions in ‘Back to the Future.’ With the media looking back at the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, these activities can not only provide students with critical lenses to look back on what may or may not have changed as far as flood risk planning since the disaster, but also how to assess our local flood risk and better inform an emergency preparedness plan. 

Halloween may be just around the corner, but education and planning can greatly reduce the fear of a potential nightmare before Christmas one may have by just following news headlines. A few other things to consider is that despite bone-dry conditions for most of the summer and bouts of 100 degree temperatures, Californians have been knuckling down on conservation measures to meet the Governor Brown’s 25% conservation challenge. If you haven’t already, use the Project WET activity ‘Water Audit’ (p: 469) to conduct water audit at home and in your school – or to assess the effectiveness of previously implemented, random water conservation efforts.

Wildfires and months of atmospheric pollution building up across the landscape are a fact of life in a Mediterranean climate, just as added inputs to that pollution in the atmosphere and trash scattered along the landscape is a consequence of human activity whether accidental or intentional. Find out how you and your students can take action to reduce some of these impacts by engaging in a coastal or inland waterway clean up right on your school grounds– and the Project WET Gazette archive is filled with past newsletters loaded with ideas on how to use Project WET to study all of the issues above and how students can take action to tackle water conservation and water quality issues at school and home. Check-out the ‘Websites of Interest’ for some wonderful articles on El Nino, ‘The Blob’ and resources to integrate with the Project WET activities mentioned in this Gazette.  The Fall is also loaded with potential ‘Autumn Events’ to enjoy, ‘Schools and Teacher Grants’ and ‘Student Contests’ to pursue and a full list of upcoming Project WET Workshops , Special Events, and an array of other ‘Professional Development Opportunities’. Hope you have a safe and wonderful Fall!


California Project WET Workshops

The California Project WET program and our sponsors are eager to assist in supporting local professional development and water education outreach efforts. Our volunteer network of workshop Facilitators have been hard at work designing and organizing workshops for the upcoming season.  You’ll find a full list here! We also have a number of special events and Project WET opportunities coming up this autumn that can be viewed here.

USACE Simulated Water Management (SWM) Model Training

MIDDLE and HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS! Are you looking for models that allow your students to manipulate variables and study the outcomes based on real-life scenarios? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed just such a model and are looking for opportunities to work with you at an in-service day or workshop time that works best for you. If you would like to schedule or attend a training for using SWMM in your curricula, please contact Hunter Merritt or Rachael Orellana at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District.

California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI)

The EEI Curriculum is 85 K-12 grade units that teaches standards through an environmental lens, including understanding resources, conservation, where our food, energy, and water come from, and complicated decision-making processes related to climate change, green chemistry and use of our public lands. California examples make learning relevant and stimulate student involvement with the world around them. Click here to see a list of correlating Project WET activities to use with individual EEI units!

Salmonids in the Classroom Teacher Workshops

The Salmonids in the Classroom (SIC) teacher workshops give teachers the tools they need to hatch salmon or trout in their classrooms and then release the fish into the wild. The goal of this program is for the students to learn to be stewards of the watersheds in which they live. The program can be used in pre-K through college level, and it works very well with Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards. Start participating in the program by attending a free workshop!


FreshWaterLIVE is an online exploration of the origins, travels and perils of fresh water from green forests to household faucets. FreshWaterLIVE brings learning about fresh water to students, teachers, non-formal learners and all who have an interest in this important resource. Participate on October 1 by watching a webcast and sending questions to freshwater scientists, who will be standing by all day to answer questions from your students or any others who have questions about water and watersheds. 

Making Next Generation Science Standards Work for Us

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represents a dramatically different approach to science education with the incorporation of three-dimensional instructional strategies. A completely new strategy, that no longer focuses on students reading about science or observing their teachers, rather “having students do science” – and a golden opportunity to more effectively connect environment concepts and content into standards-based science education. This webinar will focus on a discussion of effective strategies for integrating environmental content into the implementation of the NGSS.

CREEC Network

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC), administered by the California Department of Education, is an on-line hub offering a searchable database of for a variety of resources, including professional development, field trip and grant opportunities from over 500 informal education providers across the state. Click on your region, then search the events calendar to find a wonderful array of environment based professional development opportunities!

LiMPETS Teacher Workshop- Introduction to Sandy Beach Monitoring

Long-term monitoring is needed to be able to evaluate the health of California’s intertidal systems. The intertidal habitats along the West Coast of the United States are among the most diverse and productive of any region in the world. Monitoring programs, like LiMPETS, connect students to the ocean, involve them directly in a real scientific endeavor, and increase their awareness of, and interest in, the marine environment. Get involved in this exciting science education program for students!


National Preparedness Month

This September, as part of National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross encourages all Americans to develop a family game plan. How prepared are you? Check out the tips and resources on our website for important information you can use to protect yourself, your family, and your property. Preparedness is a responsibility we all share. Let’s do our part! Check-out the California Office of Emergency Services Preparedness Month website too


The prime California fire season still has several months to go, and burning is already above average. Overall, nationally, 6,290,234 acres have burned in wildfires so far in 2015, well out ahead of average for this time of year. On the CAL FIRE website, you can view the view the current status of fires in this website, find statistics for fires by size, damage and how they are started – and download some great maps!

Article: ‘Godzilla’ El Niño: Unbelievable rain for California, dry winter for Midwest’

A “Godzilla” El Niño could be coming this winter and could help bring some relief from California’s punishing four-year drought. But what do Godzilla El Niño winters really mean, based on past experience? Unbelievable rainfall in a short amount of time, says Bill Patzert, climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Article: ‘El Niño vs. the Blob: which will win out this winter?’

You may have heard a strong El Niño could bring lots of rain this winter, but there’s another weather pattern in the region that might keep things dry. It’s a ridge of high-pressure air that’s created a huge patch of warm water off the coast, nicknamed “the Blob.” This ridge and blob tag-team is believed to be deflecting storms and keeping California locked in drought. Which pattern will win out? Let’s size up the players in this quick video.

My Hazards Map

Natural hazards are part of living in California. Use this website to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk! The best way to recover from disasters is by reducing the risks before a disaster strikes. Having a preparedness kit will help you weather the days after a disaster, but did you know there are steps you can take that may actually reduce the risks of injuries to you and your neighbors and lessen the damage to your home?

Do You Know Your Flood Risk?

The Central Valley is home to more than 1,600 miles of State-Federal levees. In many areas protected by this levee system, the risk of flooding is greater than the risk of fire. Reduce your flood risk by being aware and prepared. Use this site to increase your flood risk awareness and learn practical, easy ways to protect you and your property from costly flood damages.

The Ready Campaign

Ready is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

California Flood Preparedness Website

Precipitation in most of the country varies year to year 10 to 30 percent above or below the local long-term average. In most of California, precipitation varies year to year 30 to 70 percent above or below the local long-term average (see illustration at right). Additionally, California’s physical location makes it subject to three very different types of storm phenomena: the North American monsoon season, storms from the northern Pacific Ocean, and atmospheric rivers.

The Ready Campaign

Ready is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation. Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things: (1) build an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.

California Flood Preparedness Website

Precipitation in most of the country varies year to year 10 to 30 percent above or below the local long-term average. In most of California, precipitation varies year to year 30 to 70 percent above or below the local long-term average. Additionally, California’s physical location makes it subject to three very different types of storm phenomena: the North American monsoon season, storms from the northern Pacific Ocean and atmospheric rivers.

California Data Exchange Center

The California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) installs, maintains, and operates an extensive hydrologic data collection network that includes data on California reservoir levels, weather, precipitation, snowpack, river forecasts and river stages – All in one location for researchers and general citizens alike! 

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages working together to measure and map precipitation. Using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. Click to learn how your class can participate in real hands-on science! 

Article: ‘Northern California is in El Niño’s sights’

The northern reaches of bone-dry California will get some drought relief this winter, federal climate experts predicted Thursday — the first time forecasters have suggested that the much-hyped El Niño could send storms to the part of the state where they’re needed most. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported at least a 33 percent greater likelihood of a wet winter across the Sierra Nevada and the Sacramento Valley in its newest monthly climate report.

NASA: El Niño

One of the most well-known climate patterns that we have come to recognize and better understand is the El Niño. Every three to seven years during the months of December and January, the balance between, wind, ocean currents, oceanic and atmospheric temperature and bioshpere breaks down, resulting in a severe impact on global weather. During an El Niño event the trade winds weaken. The region also experiences an extremely higher than average amounts of rainfall.

California’s Top 15 Weather Events of the 1900’s 

Staff at the National Weather Service offices in California have reviewed records of major weather events to affect the state over the past 100 years. Based on impacts to people, property and the economy, National Weather Service has chosen the top 15 weather-related events to impact California, listed in ascending order. You will note that most of the larger events are recent. This is due to the fact that record keeping has improved in the latter half of the century, while urbanization in the state has increased the economic impacts of severe storms and floods.

Project WET Portal 

The Project WET Portal team has been working through the summer to add resources for many of the Project WET Guide 2.0 activities. You’ll find additional materials for a number of Project WET Guide 2.0 activities, courtesy of Project WET Coordinators across the country!  The Portal includes the Common Core Standard correlations for Guide 2.0 activities and we are in the process of updating our draft NGSS correlations.     

Water Facts & Fun 

Lots of free materials for California educators, including children’s video programs that provide a fun and easy way to teach children about water related topics such as the drought, conservation, storm water, flood safety, fish hatchery operations and the life cycle of the Chinook Salmon. Footage of California’s earliest water projects also demonstrates water’s importance in California’s economic development.


September 19 – October 11, 2015 – COASTWEEKS 2015

Each fall, people all over the country participate in COASTWEEKS, a celebration of our coastal and water resources, kicked off by the 31st California Coastal Cleanup Day! Please join the California Coastal Commission in celebrating COASTWEEKS. Register your school as a Schoolyard Cleanup Site to receive assistance and recognition and to be a part of an international effort to protect our coast and ocean, no matter where your school is!

September 19, 2015 – California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state’s largest volunteer event. Data from past cleanups tell us that 60‐80% of the debris on our beaches and shorelines originate in land‐based sources, traveling through storm drains, creeks, or rivers to the beaches and ocean. In 2014, 66,844 volunteers picked up 1,085,505 pounds of trash and an additional 104,559 pounds of recyclable materials!

September 19, 2015 - Great Sierra River Cleanup

During the first six years of the Great Sierra River Cleanup, more than 24,000 volunteers have joined together to remove nearly 700 tons of trash and recyclables from watersheds throughout the Sierra Nevada. Hundreds of community groups have spread across 22 counties and over 2,200 river miles to pull appliances, cigarette butts, beverage cans, baby diapers, tires, furniture and more from the rivers and streams that supply the State of California with more than 60 percent of its water. This effort serves to promote good stewardship on all of our waterways, from the Sierra to the sea in partnership with California Coastal Cleanup Day. 

September 25 – 26, 2015 – Oroville Salmon Festival

Come see thousands of returning Chinook salmon! Every September, the streets of Oroville between Historic Downtown and the Feather River Fish Hatchery burst with activities during the Annual Salmon Festival. On this special weekend Oroville celebrates the thousands of spawning salmon that annually make their way from the ocean back up the Feather River. Environmental education, music, salmon tasting, tours of the hatchery and fun for kids and adults highlight this free event.

September 26, 2015 – National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States. NPLD educates Americans about critical environmental and natural resource issues and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands, while building partnerships between the public sector and the local community to enhance and restore America’s public lands. Click here for more information.

September 26, 2015 – Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with free entrance to a local National Park! Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise. 

October 2-4, 2015 – California Science Education Conference

CSTA returns to Sacramento for the 2015 California Science Education Conference! The conference features the perfect mix of hands-on, one-hour workshops, engaging lectures from professional scientists and university-level educators, in-depth three- and six-hour courses, one-of-a-kind field course experiences, and quality networking opportunities that are only possible when meeting face-to-face. Please visit our website to register and learn more about the conference.

October 11-17, 2015 – Earth Science Week 2015

Take part in Earth Science Week 2015! “Visualizing Earth Systems,” is the 2015 theme. Using technologies ranging from on-site data collection to satellite-based remote sensing, scientists investigate conditions of Earth systems. And today’s geoscientists display their findings in charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations, photos, videos, computer-generated animations, and 3D-printed creations. With this theme, Earth Science Week explores what it means to see our planet through eyes informed by the geosciences. Order your Earth Science Week toolkits now!

October 15-18, 2015 – 2015 NAAEE Conference

NAAEE has convened an annual conference for environmental education professionals since 1972. Averaging more than 1,000 participants each year, the event is designed to promote innovation, learning, networking, and dissemination of best practices.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical success factors for everyone working in the field of environmental education. This year’s conference will explore ways to enrich and expand our work and workforce, along with other strategies for strengthening our field and achieving greater collective impact.

October 22-24, 2015 - California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference

Explore the journey from farm to you at the 2015 California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. Experience the latest in agriculture literacy, teaching strategies, curriculum and research to expand your professional development and celebrate your commitment to connecting students with the source of their food and fiber and learn how products get from Farm to You.

October 29-30, 2015 - California STEM Symposium

This Symposium will bring together teachers, administrators, students, higher education representatives, program providers, philanthropic representatives and industry representatives to engage them in STEM education. The Symposium will have a special focus on increasing and supporting the participation of women and girls—as well as other underrepresented groups—in STEM fields. It will also highlight leaders in classroom innovation from across the state and attract student teams to showcase critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork.

November 11, 2015 - National Parks Free Entrance Day

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees. Making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers. Click here for more information.

November 15 – 21, 2015 – Geography Awareness Week

The 2015 theme “Explore! The Power of Maps” helps celebrate100 years of cartographic history with National Geographic.Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth and environmental sciences, and so much more.   Check out a suite of resources all about geography and tips and tools to plan your own GeoWeek celebrations! 


Target Field Trip Grants – Deadline: September 30, 2015

Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom, but it’s become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help schools out, we launched Field Trip Grants in 2007. Since then, we’ve made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip. Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. We accept grant applications between noon CST Aug. 1 and noon CST Sept. 30.

Captain Planet Foundation - Deadline: September 30, 2015

Grants are made for activities that promote and support high-quality educational programs, enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through learning experiences and engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities.  CPF grants are limited to $2,500 and preferential consideration is given to applicants who have secured at least 50% matching or in-kind funding for their program.

GreenWorks! Grants - Deadline: September 30, 2015

GreenWorks! is the service-learning component of Project Learning Tree that provides grants to PLT trained educators to help implement environmental improvement projects with students. By blending comunity service with the academic curriculum, students are “learning by doing.” Some examples of past projects include habitat restoration, watershed improvement, school gardens, outdoor classrooms, recycling and energy conservation.

Toshiba America Foundation Grant: K – 5 - Deadline: October 1, 2015

Toshiba America Foundation’s mission is to provide teachers with additional funds to support classroom projects. After school, summer projects, and independent study projects are not eligible. The Foundation strongly encourages projects planned and led by individual teachers or teams of teachers for their own classrooms. Any K-5 teacher in a public or private (not-for-profit) school is eligible for a grant to support science or math education up to $1,000 for project materials. 

Earth Science Week 2015: Photography Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

The Earth Science Week photography contest “Earth Systems Interacting.” is open to interested persons of any age. With a camera, you can capture evidence of the dynamic impact of change processes in your home, school, neighborhood, workplace or local public spaces. Entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community. 

Earth Science Week 2015: Visual Arts Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

This year’s visual arts contest,Earth’s Connected Systems and Me,” is open to students in grades K-5. How might you create a picture that illustrates Earth systems affecting each other? Scientists pay special attention to the ways that these things affect each other, such as the way wind shapes the landscape or falling rain nourishes plants. These parts of the natural world can be described not only in words and numbers, but also in images. Use artwork to show how land, water, air, and living things interact in the world around you.

Earth Science Week 2015: Essay Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

The 2015 ESW essay contest, “Earth Science Visualization Today” is open to students in grades 6-9. “Visualization” has been an important way of explaining and understanding the interactions of land, water, air, and living things since the earliest hand-drawn maps and diagrams. Earth scientists today use more sophisticated technology to monitor and represent these Earth systems. What contemporary means of geoscience visualization do you use in your daily life? Explain one way that geoscientists’ use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today. 

Get to Know Contest – Deadline: November 1, 2015

The Get to Know Contest runs from May 1st to November 1st and invites participants to get outside and create original works of art, writing, music, photography or videography inspired by nature. The goal is to be as creative as possible. For inspiration, check out some of the amazing programs offered by our partners. Then, get outdoors and get to know! Submit your work for a chance to win cool prizes. Get started today! 

Water Project Grants for Educators – Deadline: November 14, 2015

Western Municipal Water District offers educators in western Riverside County the opportunity to apply for grants for water-related projects. Grants up to $700 help fund creative classroom projects that further a better understanding of water and the vital role it plays in the community. All teachers in Western’s District, in both private and public schools in grades K -12, are eligible to apply for these grants. Please visit our website for more information.

Community Partnering Program - On-going

The primary focus of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Community Partnering Program (CPP) is sponsorship of water conservation and water-use efficiency programs and activities. It provides sponsorships for community-based organizations including nonprofit groups, professional associations, educational institutions and public agencies. Requests for a maximum $2,000 award will be reviewed year-round and funds are awarded throughout the year.

Adopt-A-Classroom Grants - On-going is a national nonprofit that pairs donors with teachers to provide critical resources and materials to meet the unique needs of their students. When a classroom receives a donation, 100 percent of the funds are immediately made available to the teacher through an online credit. Teachers can use those funds to shop online for classroom supplies from a network of more than 40 vendors on; the supplies they choose are delivered directly to the teacher’s school. Donors receive personal feedback from the teacher about the impact of their donation.

The Coca-Cola Foundation – On-going

The Coca-Cola Company and its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, aim to make a greater impact on the communities we serve around the world by being responsive to the citizenship priorities of the communities in which we live and work. Our community investment priorities reflect the global and local nature of our business and focuses on those global pillars where The Coca-Cola Company can make a unique and sustainable difference: water stewardship, active healthy living, community recycling and education.

Every Kid in a Park

FOURTH GRADE TEACHERS! Our country is full of dazzling landscapes where you can play and learn. President Barack Obama created Every Kid in a Park so fourth graders and their families could discover our wildlife, resources, and history for free. As a fourth-grade educator, you can download an activity and print paper passes for each of your students. 


Campus Rain Works Challenge – Register by: September 30, 2015

EPA’s Office of Water challenges undergraduate and graduate student teams to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus showing how managing storm water at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment. EPA asks student teams to incorporate climate resiliency into their storm water management designs.  Winning teams will earn both a student prize divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize to support green infrastructure research or training.

Caring for Our Watersheds Writing Contest -Teacher/ Advisor Workshop: October 23, 2015

The Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) program empowers 9th-12th grade students in Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn, El Dorado, Placer, and San Joaquin counties to imagine, develop, and create solutions in their local watersheds. CFW is both an environmental proposal contest and a project funding opportunity for high school students. The program promotes watershed awareness and stewardship, values student ideas, and offers support when turning theoretical ideas into action. Caring for our Watersheds is currently open to all   Interested? Contact Beth Del Real at (530) 795-1544 or

“Earth Systems Interacting” Photography Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

The photography contest is open to persons of any age. Entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community. With a camera, you can capture evidence of the dynamic impact of change processes in your home, neighborhood, school, workplace, or local public spaces. In a photo, show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community.

“Earth’s Connected Systems and Me” Visual Arts Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

The visual arts contest is open to students in grades K-5. Scientists pay special attention to the ways that Earth systems affect each other, such as the way wind shapes the landscape or falling rain nourishes plants. These parts of the natural world can be described not only in words and numbers, but also in images. Use artwork to show how land, water, air, and living things interact in the world around you.

“Earth Science Visualization Today” Essay Contest - Deadline: October 16, 2015

The essay contest is open to students in grades 6-9. “Visualization” has been an important way of explaining and understanding the interactions of the world around us since the earliest hand-drawn maps and diagrams. What contemporary means of geoscience visualization do you use in your daily life? What types are being used in areas such as agriculture, energy, disaster preparedness, and climate science?

Get to Know Contest – Deadline: November 1, 2015

The Contest invites you to get outside and create original works of art, writing, photography, videography and music inspired by nature. Get Outdoors and “Get to Know Your Wild Neighbors”. The goal is to be as creative as possible. For inspiration, check out some of the amazing programs offered by our partners. Then, get outdoors and get to know! Submit your work for a chance to win cool prizes. The contest runs from May 1st to November 1st – Get started today!

River of Words Art and Poetry Contest – Deadline: December 1, 2015

River of Words was founded to give new life to the teaching of art and poetry through watershed exploration. Our innovative Watershed Explorer Educator’s Guide brings together sketching and botany, nature journaling and poetry writing. Students who participate are encouraged to submit their work to our free international art and poetry contest, held annually since 1995 in conjunction with the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress.


The Water Education Foundation is now participating in the Amazon Smile program, which allows Amazon customers to designate a 501c3 nonprofit organization to receive 0.5% of purchase price of products bought from Amazon.  Please consider supporting the Water Education Foundation if you shop on Amazon by visiting and designating the Water Education Foundation as your charitable organization of choice. Amazon Smile provides the customer with the same products, prices and service as, but has the added bonus of allowing you to support the Water Education Foundation. Your support will be much appreciated!


California Project WET Gazette is published by the Water Education Foundation, which serves as the state coordinator for Project WET USA, a program of the Project WET Foundation.

Editor: Brian Brown, California Project WET Coordinator

Water Education Foundation
1401 21st Street, Suite 200  
Sacramento, CA 95811

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