As most of us know, education is so critical to success in our personal and professional lives. Former US President Thomas Jefferson extolled the virtues of an educated citizenry and their value in a democracy and certainly a public that is educated on the value of clean water and species that depend on clean water is valuable when it is time to protect and preserve coldwater habitats. Against this backdrop the Congress hopes to provide opportunities and examples of how organizations and governments use education to inform the public and decision makers, but more importantly how groups get people truly excited about trout and trout habitat.
Here in the US the “Trout in the Classroom” program run by Trout Unlimited builds classroom programs for teachers and students at all levels and has been wildly successful in developing new and creative ideas to get kids involved in learning about clean water and the trout that live there. In Spain, Rios Con Vida, another conservation leader has developed instructional materials for children and adults alike. They conduct workshops in the classroom and along the stream to teach all aspects of stream ecology, trout biology and water quality. Almost every country where trout are present has developed some sort of curriculum to educate school children and the public on the value of trout and clean water.
One of our organizers, Rene Beaumont has developed a unique approach to educating young people. His organization “Continental Trout” has developed the first “Masterclass” of young adults from countries around the world. Instructors from 10 countries met with students in Tolmin, Slovenia to exchange ideas and teach important concepts about the values of clean water and wild trout. This first of its kind event has drawn rave reviews. If you’d like to learn more about this unique effort visit the Continental Trout website at www.continentaltrout.com.
So many efforts occur worldwide that we can’t capture them all in this short space, but as we open the Congress to invite people to submit symposia, workshops and ideas we urge you to send them to us to make the education part of the Congress a success. Sharing ideas, materials and innovative education ideas will help build a stronger global network of people who care about trout and the amazing places they live.
As a side note, our facebook page continues to gain followers from around the world and the interest in the Congress has been amazing. Each week more and more folks are joining the conversation. We look forward to engaging them all.