September 19, 2012

Workshop Focuses on HPWREN LIVE Lessons Learned, Technology Transfer, and Future Sustainability

More than twenty HPWREN collaborators gathered on Thursday, September 13, at the San Diego Supercomputer Center to discuss the future of the Live Interactive Virtual Explorations (LIVE) pilot project, which has been an education and outreach component of the HPWREN program for almost a decade. The history of the LIVE project was discussed by Kimberly Mann Bruch during a LIVE Overview Presentation followed by a talk regarding the technical aspects of LIVE activities by James Hale and lessons learned from technology transfer collaborations by Susan Teel of the National Park Service.

The workshop attendees participated in a roundtable discussion, which included talking about the use of Travelling Trunks before, during, and/or after LIVE activities.

California Wolf Center Director Erin Hunt explained how the Travelling Trunk has been used by wolf researchers for many years and how much value it adds to the hands-on experience for education communities during LIVE activities.

Meanwhile, Cabrillo National Monument Chief of Interpretation Jason Richards discussed the Travelling Trunk utilized at the intertidal area of Cabrillo; while this travelling trunk is not currently affiliated with the LIVE activities, it will be used as a model for the development of a Travelling Trunk used by the park staff involved with LIVE activities.

In addition to talking about the importance of a Travelling Trunk or some type of hands-on activities for the students involved with the activities, James Hale demonstrated the use of innovative technology, such as the "camera on a stick."

This custom-made underwater camera system allows National Park Service interpreters to share underwater ecosystems with remote participants via the LIVE activities.

Southern California Learning Center Director Susan Teel focused her presentation on the Sea to Shining Sea project, which utilizes lessons learned from LIVE experiments to share hard-to-reach National Park Service sites with informal education communities, classrooms, science centers, and museums.

She explains that one of the biggest challenges in the technology transfer project has been the restricted use of common videoconferencing software (e.g., Skype) within National Park sites. Althogh customized systems for each site requires a great deal of labor and resources, security concerns prevent the use of traditional solutions.

The HPWREN LIVE workshop attendees participated in an informal survey following the meeting and everyone agreed that they are interested in participating in future LIVE activities and that they are interested in pursuing funding for continuation.

The workshop was attended by the following:
Tamara Acevedo (Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association), Diane Baxter (UCSD), Hans-Werner Braun, Pablo Bryant (SDSU), Kim Bruch (UCSD), Kisa Collins (Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association), Nick de Roulhac (National Park Service), Kate Gordon (American Indian Recruitment Program), Amanda Gossard (National Park Service), Jim Hale (UCSD), Erin Hunt (California Wolf Center), Tehseen Lazzouni (UCSD), Jeannie Nguyen (National Park Service), Joseph Peralta (Tribal Digital Village Network), Jason Richards (NPS), Norrie Robbins (SDSU), Jeff Sale (UCSD), Kevin Schallert (National Park Service), Elisa Slee (San Juan Capistrano School District), Susan Teel (National Park Service), Roger Wynn (Mountain Empire High School)

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