Environmental Education at the Ust-Lensky Nature Reserve

Presentation at the International Conference

International Conference Braslaw Lakes National Park and Other Protected Territories: Problems, Prospects, Developments

Braslaw Lakes National Park, Belarus

27-28 May, 2022

Elena Adasheva. Environmental Education at the Ust-Lensky Nature Reserve: Thematic Eco-Lessons

Abstract: This paper speaks about the author’s experience of planning and organizing thematic eco-lessons at the Environmental Education Department (EED) of the Ust-Lensky Nature Reserve located in the Russian Arctic. In an Arctic settlement Tiksi, where the Reserve’s office is based, there are multiple challenges for educational activities, including (1) remoteness from the Nature Reserve, other settlements where schools are located, and large educational centers; (2) low speed and high cost of the internet; (3) lack of available educational materials about the Northern ecosystems and local history, especially educational films. Our educational practice demonstrates a cluster approach to thematic eco-lessons. This approach suggests preparing a series of educational events geared toward different audiences, organized around one theme. For instance, for the Polar Bear Day on February 28, 2022, the EED prepared three events for schoolchildren and students that included various elements: a presentation, a documentary film, a video lecture, and quizzes. Two of these eco-lessons were remote, and one was in person. Local teachers conducted remote classes using the EED’s materials. The cluster approach is flexible and allows to address audiences of different age groups at hard-to-reach places when educators work with limited resources.