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UW, Teton Science Schools Launch Japanese Exchange

December 9, 2011

The Japan Environmental Education Forum (JEEF) will select two graduate student educators to intern this spring with the Teton Science Schools in Jackson.

The exchange is the result of a visit to Jackson last May by JEEF's director of strategic planning, Kazue Tsukahara, on a grant from the University of Wyoming's World Comes to Wyoming Fund.

"While in Wyoming, the Japanese educators will learn about Teton Science Schools' unique, place-based K-12 curriculum, field science instruction, teacher training and graduate program along with its eco-tourism wildlife tours," says April Landale, Teton Science Schools associate executive director. "They also will travel to community colleges and the University of Wyoming to lecture and to discuss the Japanese environmental situation, including updates on the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami."

Plans call for instructors from the Teton Science Schools, which is partnered with UW, to intern with JEEF in Japan. The dates have yet to be determined, says Anne Alexander, UW International Programs director.

A continuing exchange of educators is the first step in long-term programs between the two non-governmental organizations. Projects under discussion are eco-tourism for Japanese travelers to Teton and Yellowstone national parks, short-term training programs and an international youth summit for American and Asian environmental leaders. The summit will align with a JEEF goal to assist other nations in the Asia-Pacific region, especially developing countries, to share knowledge and experiences in environmental education.

Jared Waite, who is completing a master's degree at UW's Science and Mathematics Teaching Center, will host the Japanese interns and manage their program. He will return to the Teton Science Schools campus in January.

The relationship between JEEF and Teton Science Schools began with a visit to Japan by Jack Shea, Teton Science Schools executive director, in 2010. Shea's discussions were followed by Tsukahara's visit to Jackson.

Tsukahara is the second recipient of the World Comes to Wyoming Fund, which aims to invigorate established projects throughout the state by bringing in experts from other countries for personal, in-depth exchanges and building on-going friendships in Wyoming.

Applications for the fund's 2012-2013 year must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27.

For more information, contact Alexander at (307) 766-3678, email; or Landale, (307) 413-0210, email

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