My name is Rob Gay and I'm the new Education Director here at Colorado Canyons Association. I have a background in paleontology and education and most recently was at the Museums of Western Colorado, right here in the Grand Valley, as their Curator of Education. Stepping into CCA has planted me smack-dab in the middle of our busy educational field trip season and I've been hitting the ground running with a full schedule of exciting events this spring for students in both Delta and Mesa Counties. Here's a quick snap-shot of what we're up to...
- This week (April 24th-28th) we have our back-to-back Archaeology is Awesome events! Taking place in both the Dominguez-Escalante and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Areas, these events will highlight some of the awesome archaeological resources within the NCAs while teaching in a hands-on, real-world way the Colorado state standards that these students need to learn about native cultures, biology, ecology, and physical education.
- The following week (May 1st-5th) is our 7th grade Escalante Field Experience in Dominguez-Escalante NCA. Monday through Thursday, of next week we will be taking students from the Delta County schools out into the NCA to learn about history, archaeology, and biology with the help of our awesome partners at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Delta County Schools, and Trout Unlimited. Students from Delta, Paonia, and Hotchkiss will get a chance to explore our public lands and learn about these resources in a standards-based way.
- Finally, the following two weeks (May 8th-19th) are our signature 3rd grade Nature Knowledge Days. Over four days during those two weeks, we'll be taking a huge team of volunteers out into McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area with nearly 1,000 3rd grade students from around Mesa County. These students will get to hear from local experts on ranching, archaeology, geology/paleontology, native and invasive species, and so much more. This event has been a huge success in years past and the run-up to this has already begun with a series of pre-trip classroom visits that began last week and are used to introduce students to the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace well in advance of their actual field trip!
Needless to say, I’ve got a busy schedule ahead of me but I couldn't be more excited to be onboard as a part of the CCA team! My love of our shared public lands and passion for educating folks means that I'm thrilled to be coming into my new position during this important time of year. I look forward to growing the education department here at CCA and expanding our offerings in regards to size, grade level, and content scope. I’m always looking for volunteers for these events as well, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to help students on the western slope connect with our public lands and our shared heritage!
Colorado Canyons Association