Project Identification - PMIS 165350

Project Title: Develop a Curriculum-based NPS Sea to Shining Sea LIVE Distance Education Program and supporting system

Project Total Cost: $

Park/Unit: Cabrillo National Monument

Region: Pacific West

States: CA

Congressional District: CA53

Old Package Number:

Reference Number:

Project Type: Non-facility , Multi-component

Financial System Package Number: CABR 165350

Contact Person: Susan Teel

Contact Phone: 805-370-2332


Project Status - PMIS 165350

Date Created: 06/23/10

Review Status: Region-Reviewed on 05/09/2011

Date of Last Update: 07/01/11

Updated By: Geoffrey Swan


Project Narratives - PMIS 165350


Develop a curriculum-based NPS Sea to Shining Sea (StSS) Live Interactive Virtual Explorations (LIVE) distance education/interpretive programs and 2 accompanying traveling trunks each to engage remote audiences. The program modules will correlate to Ranger led field trips and incorporate scientific data or images from the host park. The concept of video conferencing from any NPS site to any classroom in America is an innovative and cost effective way to extend interpretation to non-traditional park visitors, favorably received by the National Leadership Council. This project will provide opportunity to expand and enhance visitor/student access to up to 200 NPS units via Sea to Shining Sea LIVE video conferencing.


Sea to Shining Sea (StSS) LIVE is a direct response to Director’s Call to Action Goals 16 and 17 and the Second Century Commission Recommendation that "as easily as we now make a phone call, every classroom in America should be able to conduct video conferences with park rangers, natural and cultural resources staff, and other experts, to learn about issues important to parks, and how these issues relate to local, national and global concerns."

Following a presentation to the Second Century Commission (SCC) in 2009 by Cabrillo NM staff the SCC endorsed the concept of video conferencing from any NPS site to any classroom in America as an innovative and cost effective way to extend interpretation to non-traditional park visitors. A subsequent demonstration to the National Leadership Council in February 2011 was favorably received.

This project will expand and enhance visitor/student access to all NPS units via StSS LIVE video conferencing. The Sea to Shining Sea LIVE project will allow real-time, interactive virtual access to parks throughout the nation and provide an unparalleled opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborative educational programs concerning our nation’s most treasured natural areas. Imagine all 394 NPS units with the capability to broadcast LIVE distance education programs to any school in the USA. Audiences need only have an Internet connection and a computer to interact in real-time with Rangers and Scientists.

StSS projects connect NPS sites which which have unique or rare resources to share with students via live interactive virtual explorations distance education programs. Low cost StSS equipment supports distance education in remote and hard to reach field locations, increasing public interest. LIVE activities allow audiences to experience hard-to-reach culturally-diverse sites throughout the country and interact with National Park Service rangers via videoconference from the classroom. StSS LIVE events require a classroom or conference room with Internet connection, a computer, a microphone, one or more web cameras and speakers. Temporary wireless bubbles can also be set up to connect visitors and students to park resources outside traditional visitor centers using a $1,500 LIVE backpack system.

The project will expand new visitor bases to include non-traditional visitors by integrating new technologies at a time when NPS is experiencing a decline in visitor numbers and children are not spending time outdoors. This project will address 3 of the Fee program criteria - one in each goal category.

Stewardship Goal - Criteria 3 - Enhance quality of visitor experience: StSS visitors will transcend space and are able to move quickly from park to park to understand a cohesive story, concept or natural phenomena. Visitor can interact with rangers in 4 parks within one hour towards better understanding of a theme. Through StSS LIVE, underserved youth can also compare their own experiences with youth in different areas of the country, share information with park staff, and contribute to the work of caring for parks. Program themes will include oceans, coasts, geology, cultural diversity of the American peoples, and living history.

Relevancy Goal – Criteria 1 - Focus Youth and Diverse Audiences: Target audiences for StSS LIVE programs are children from underserved communities, tribal groups, ethnically diverse family and community groups, and audiences that are geographically remote from NPS units. StSS LIVE will focus on connecting youth at inner city schools and after-school programs to make intellectual and emotional connections with their national parks though LIVE distance education.

Education Goal - Criteria 2 - Improve park education programs: StSS LIVE will develop 5 curriculum based program modules which will restore a sense of exploration, discovery and wonder by providing real-world scientific opportunities for participants, to interact with natural resources in a way that is compelling, fun, and invites them to participate in local activities, so that they can personally connect with, and contribute to, the future health of the parks. StSS LIVE will provide educators with an innovative, interactive medium to complement traditional curriculum.


Measurable Results

1) One curriculum-based NPS Sea to Shining Sea LIVE distance education program module will be developed, incorporating scientific data or images from the host park. Associated traveling trunks which correlate to Ranger led field trips are furnished. The StSS modules include thorough evaluations that are summarized in annual reports.

2) The StSS LIVE programs improve universal access by providing an in-park virtual visit to national parks and messages about national park natural and cultural resources to underserved audiences with limited funds, equipment and/or transportation options (e.g. inner-city youth, those not financially capable of visiting a park).

3) Through the delivery of StSS LIVE programs and workshops, the project via the Internet reaches some of the more than one million students and thousands of teachers who conduct field trips or participate in professional development training in National Parks each year.

4) StSS LIVE programs broadcast from remote locations in parks to visitor centers, enable people with physical limitations who are visiting a national park to explore and enjoy places, and blind and vision impaired audiences to experience natural sounds within the park that they could not otherwise access.

5) Purchase equipment and install a basic system to support Sea to Shining Sea LIVE Distance Education programs at CABR.