Conservation is the careful management and preservation of natural resources and the environment. This idea is discussed in many of the concepts offered at Pathfinder Ranch. The Earth’s Resources topic is a collection of concepts that specifically touches on the means and resources needed for traditional and/or modern lifestyles. This includes taking a closer look during Ethnobotany at local plants, their uses, and the resourcefulness of the Cahuilla Band of Indians in this area. Water is another significant resource, and its rarity, importance to all living things, conservation, and preservation are addressed in Freshwater Ecology. The importance of energy to human society, applications of energy in our everyday lives, and an evaluation of renewable versus non-renewable energy resources occurs in the Energy concept. During Geology, students will address geological processes with a connection to conserving Earth’s mineral resources (e.g. aluminum, iron). Conservation and responsible resource use are brought up in the Earth’s Resources topic, and mentioned throughout the week with the hope that students will apply what they’ve learned back in their home communities.
Based on the teacher’s concept selections, each class will include the following…
- Ethnobotany- Introduction to the Cahuilla people, the importance of plants as a resource in every society, and a hands-on activity demonstrating traditional uses of local plants.
- Freshwater Ecology- Water conservation practices, water quality investigation, and preserving freshwater resources.
- Energy- Energy conservation, use in human society, differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, and a hands-on activity demonstrating solar or wind energy.
- Geology- Geological processes, their impact on the surrounding environment, and awareness of mineral resources.