NPF Unveils Saguaro National Park Electronic Field Trip Site

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) September 21, 2011 – Using Saguaro National Park in Arizona as its classroom, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, is inviting students across the country and around the world to learn about the role biodiversity plays in this unique desert  environment through an innovative new Electronic Field Trip (EFT) on Friday, October 21, 2011. As part of the program, the National Park Foundation has unveiled www.electronicfieldtrip.org/saguaro, an interactive online web resource for students and educators to get a jump start on their interactive adventure to Saguaro National Park, featuring interactive games, lesson plans and more. 

Teachers and broadcasters are encouraged to register for the program FREE now at www.electronicfieldtrip.org. This Electronic Field Trip, the 14th produced by the National Park Foundation, coincides with the National Geographic Society-National Park Service fifth annual BioBlitz.  Part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom, the Saguaro National Park BioBlitz will bring together more than 150 leading scientists and naturalists from around the country, thousands of local citizens of all ages, and more than 2,000 students from the greater Tucson area.  By partnering with the National Park Foundation, students from around the country and the world will be able to take part in this unique learning experience.

The Electronic Field Trip, “Desert Diversity: A BioBlitz at Saguaro National Park,” will include two, live, hour-long broadcasts (1pm ET and 4pm ET) from Saguaro National Park, made available through the website (www.electronicfieldtrip.org) as well as on participating public television stations. The companion website features five lessons plans covering some of the same skills scientist will be using during the BioBlitz to count and discover species living within the park. The lesson plans, as well as interactive games, cover topics such as species identification, plant adaptations, measuring and recording observations, the importance of diverse life zones and the implications of climate change, and how to conduct your own schoolyard BioBlitz!

The FREE program is designed for students in the 4th through 8th grades. The Saguaro program is the next in a series of investigative EFTs produced by the National Park Foundation to discover the valuable lessons that science being done in national parks can provide to students in classrooms.
Previous EFTs have educated millions of students across the United States and around the world on historical events, climate change, biodiversity and more. For more information about the National Park Foundation’s EFT program and a full catalogue of all previous EFTs, visit www.electronicfieldtrip.org.

The Saguaro EFT, made possible through support from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, is done in partnership with the National Park Service and National Geographic.

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You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems and historical sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

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Marjorie Hall
Director, Communications
National Park Foundation
1201 Eye Street, NW Suite 550B
Washington, DC 20005
Direct:  202-354-6480
mhall@nationalparks.org