Evaluating Contaminants Learning: the experience of the Nunavut Arctic College Environmental Technology Program’s wildlife, contaminants and health workshop

Lead Author Jennifer, Provencher
Institution Contact Carleton University C/O National Wildlife Research Center 1125 Colonel By Drive, Raven Road Ottawa, ON Canada K1A 0H3
Co-Authors Jamal Shirley, Nunavut Research Institute Jason Carpenter, Nunavut Arctic College Mary Gamberg, Gamberg Consulting Chris Furgal, Trent University Shirin Nuesslein, Trent University
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.6 Gaining a better understanding and awareness of the Arctic through education and outreach
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Northern college training programs, like Nunavut Arctic College’s (NAC) Environmental Technology Program (ETP), are producing the Arctic’s next generation of front line environmental workers and decision makers. These individuals are being trained to help identify, understand, and address the many challenges confronting the North and position communities and organizations to take advantage of opportunities in an ever-changing Arctic environment. Further, they are often tasked with being critical knowledge translators, working between communities of scientists, resource users, industry and government. To date, many online courses, workshops, in-class presentations and on the land science camps have been conducted in Arctic communities to support the enhancement of local capacity to understand and take action on critical environmental issues such as the presence of environmental contaminants in the Arctic food chain. However, few are typically documented and shared, and even fewer are evaluated as to their impact on participant or student learning outcomes. This one week workshop combines lectures, interactive lab activities, and group discussions to bring together science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit that draw upon scientists to introduce students to the lab environment, and local experts to teach students traditional methods for butchering and skin preparation of marine birds and seals. We document and evaluate the workshop’ s contribution to student learning in 6 learning domains fields (depth and breadth of knowledge, knowledge of methodologies, application of knowledge, communication skills, limits of knowledge and understanding, and professional capacity and aptitude). It is hoped that the documentation and sharing of this experience (e.g. the workshop approach, modular structure, and integrated curriculum design), along with the evaluative feedback on the course impact in the areas of learning and development, will help other programs and communities wanting to enhance the capacity of students or residents to be better engaged and prepared to address challenges they may face related to environmental contaminants.