An Education Program of the National Park Service

Benefits of Joining

There are many benefits to joining The River Mile, including connecting with teachers, students, scientists, and community members around the Columbia River Watershed.  Whether you are a teacher, school administrator, education official, resource manager or scientist, The River Mile has a number of benefits that can help you meet your objectives.

Students and teachers engage in science education outdoors and explore scientific practices through real-world resource projects. By spending time in the field investigating and researching their section of the watershed, groups become intimately familiar with their outdoor classroom

Being a part of The River Mile Network connects STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals with students around the watershed exploring the essential question: “How do relationships among components of an ecosystem affect watershed health?” The purpose of the network is to connect students, teachers and STEM professionals and promote collaborations, data sharing, best practices, lessons learned, examples, links to resources and real world scientific data.

Other Benefits Include

  • Quarterly newsletter updates about activities in the field
  • Networking opportunities through participation in Network-sponsored events, training, and online community groups.
  • Ability to add resources and materials to the online library and receive notifications of additions.
  • Inclusion in mapped, online member directory
  • Access to member only portion of website (e.g., containing archived webinars, map-based member directory, graphics, community groups).

Benefits for Teachers and Informal Educators

  • A variety of age-appropriate FieldSTEM lessons and investigations, which integrate into your curriculum.
  • Engage students in collaborative, community-based research and activities that help them learn about the local environment as well as how it connects to the entire watershed.
  • Teacher training program prepares teachers to conduct fieldwork activities and apply those lessons inside the classroom. Teacher training is overseen by Pacific Education Institute
  • Training opportunities that help teachers heighten their passion for science and network with their peers around the world.
  • Become a STEM Champion

Benefits for Resource Managers, Scientists and other Professionals

Resource managers, agency personnel and informal educators interested in participating in The River Mile, can participate in all training. Training is available to help you work meaningfully with teachers and students in your area. It is very important to understand how you and your agency/organization can support schools in meeting the education standards.

There are also many ways you can help: Serve as a Watershed Facilitator for your area, provide additional training, work with the groups in your area on their river mile projects, write articles for the newsletters and do presentations for webinars are all great examples.

  • TRM provides you with the opportunity to contribute to STEM education in schools and other learning centers. Professionals can propose projects or get involved with educators and students projects.
  • database contains data obtained by students
  • TRM sparks students’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to the practices of science and helping them learn about the environment around them.
  • Become a Watershed Facilitator
    Watershed Facilitators, informal educators, facilitate the implementation of The River Mile in their local area. Facilitators recruit teachers and schools, provide training opportunities and mentoring activities for teachers to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery.
  • OR, Become a Point of Contact or Resource in the digital library.