Honors Environmental Field Studies is a Regional Occupational Program (R.O.P.) class that has been offered at Buena for the past four years. Typically, AP Environmental Science (A.P..E.S.) is either a pre-requisite or a co-requisite for this class meaning you take APES before, or while you are enrolled in Honors Environmental Field Studies. Alternatively, you can get in with permission from the instructor, Michael Yorke.
There are two main components to the class: field excursions and online work through a platform called Canvas. The online portion consists mostly of watching videos, reading articles or listening to podcasts related to environmental science. In addition, students answer questions and take part in discussions with classmates.
The class also offers insight to potential career options by giving students the opportunity to work with real life environmental science professionals such as the National Park Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (N.O.A.A.), and non-profits like the Merito Foundation on activities related to field science.
Yorke listed some of these activities and they include using radio transmitters to learn how island foxes are tracked, recovering deep water ocean sediment traps and working on habitat restoration on Anacapa or Santa Cruz Island.
Yorke emphasized that “there are a lot of great opportunities to do things that you would not otherwise get to do in any other class,” and it’s one of his favorites to teach. This class also fulfills the requirement of an A-G science and counts as honors credit.
Senior Callista Peckfelder says that her favorite part is exploring the Channel Islands and she loves being able to have the opportunities and experiences that are offered. She recommends taking it because “it’s a good way to get out in the community and find new ways to help our environment.”
Yorke also offers a BARK class in order for his students to take advantage of those 30 minutes to work on the online component, and it also serves as time they can use to schedule their field trips.
If you are a self-motivated individual who has any interest in going on field trips, learning about an array of different environmental and scientific practices, or being aware of any career opportunities in the field of environmental science, you are sure to enjoy this class. Those interested should see their counselor about enrolling in Honors Environmental Field Studies.