| University of Oregon | Environmental Studies Program

“The kids seemed totally engaged. They were excited all afternoon. Thank you!”
– Crest Drive Elementary School teacher

“Very knowledgeable presenters/guides. Awesome job! Thank you!”
– Howard Elementary School teacher

“Great management of classroom behavior. It kept the students’ interest and excited them more about science.”
– Howard Elementary School teacher


This website is designed to provide information to the public regarding WET and our role in the West Eugene Wetlands Partnership.The University of Oregon’s Wetlands Educational Team (WET) is working with Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN) to strengthen its existing educational programs and gain professional skills and knowledge.

WET consists of six undergraduate students and one graduate student project manager working together to provide environmental education to the community.  WET is working with the Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN) to provide classroom outreach lessons and field trips at the wetlands to students.   

WET has been involved in providing educational programs regarding the ecology and natural history of the West Eugene Wetlands to students in the 4J, Bethel, and Springfield school districts.  Unfortunately, due to funding constraints, environmental education is a commonly overlooked area of conventional education.  We feel that environmental education is critical for developing environmentally-literate citizens, because it provides a space for students to develop their personal connection to nature and cultivates awareness, understanding and passion for the environment.

Who is the Wetlands Educational Team and how does the Environmental Education Initiative work?

As part of the Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) provides an opportunity for students to team up with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and local businesses to work on real-world environmental monitoring, mapping, education, and outreach projects.  This year the ELP launched a new Environmental Education Initiative thanks to funding generously provided by the Williams Fund.  As part of this Initiative a new course entitled “Environmental education in theory and practice” was taught in winter term 2007, and four new teams were created to focus on education in four different ecosystems: wetlands, forests, tide pools and rivers.  The Wetlands Educational Team (WET) is working with the Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN) to strengthen WREN’s existing educational programs. By shadowing and working along side WREN employees and volunteers the Wetlands Education Team has gained professional knowledge and skills necessary for careers in environmental education. This initiative has provided the opportunity for team members to translate classroom knowledge about various ecosystems into effective outreach and educational programs, as well as develop important relationships with local professionals.

The Wetlands Educational Team is implementing these lesson plans and activities throughout the 2007 spring term with special emphasis on the Family Wetlands Exploration Day, a public outreach program set for May 19th. This day of fun and learning is part of the West Eugene Wetlands' celebration of American Wetlands Month WET fills a vital role by providing personnel to help create adaptive curriculum for primary school students, assist with and facilitate outreach programs, and conduct field activities for students visiting the West Eugene Wetlands. WET will also offer interpretive roving at the wetlands and assist in informational booths at an array of community events.