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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - South

Shelley Stiaes: Learning to Live with Water & Wetlands

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  • This video introduces Shelley Stiaes, a wildlife refuge manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Louisiana, who explains her connection to nature and her career journey.
  • There are discussion questions, ideas for taking action, and links to further explore the related topics.
  • Students will learn about the importance of nature refuges and will comprehend that everyone can help with climate change solutions.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is presented in an interview format, but frequent visualizations of nature, animals, and airboats keep students engaged in the presentation.
  • As students watch and listen, they will understand the importance of working toward a goal and doing what they can to safeguard nature.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Consider reviewing the discussion questions prior to showing the video.
  • Students and teachers will need access to the Internet to watch the video.


  • This would be a great video to show to students who are considering career paths and colleges, as it describes a nontraditional path to a career in science.
  • It is mentioned that there are 540 nature refuges in the United States, so teachers can have students view the video and then find the refuges in their area.  Language arts students can then create an objective paragraph with citations or a personal narrative about their own experiences with being in nature.
  • There is a call to action to plant trees, so science teachers can create a class project of planting and caring for a tree on the school campus or connect the water topics discussed to lessons about watersheds or wetlands.
  • There is a reference to the damage done by Hurricane Katrina and the fact that neighborhoods bordering the refuge did not flood due to the refuge protecting them, so science teachers can have students research how storm surges and flooding rains affect different types of land environments.
  • Many links to enhancement activities and climate action resources are included, so teachers can assign scaffolded lessons designed to build upon the knowledge gained from viewing the video.
Scientist Notes
There is no specific climate science in this video to review. However, the video does convey the importance of STEM identity activation - being able to see yourself in STEM roles, which is incredibly important for children to develop.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
      • SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Related Resources


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