Natural Resources Volunteer Program volunteer Rudy Brown spoke to AP Environmental Science students and members of the Environmental Club about the importance of participating in the Trout in the Classroom program on Feb. 27.
Though now retired, Brown said he has always been interested in the environment and has also worked as a seasonal ranger aid at Mount San Jacinto State Park Wilderness and as an urban planner. The Natural Resources Volunteer Program is a program of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“I think that [the students] took away the bigger picture because they’ve already seen the trout and started seeing them grow up, and connecting it to the idea of ‘we’re losing lots of species in California and worldwide’ and ‘what can we do to help?’ was a nice framing of the project by the speaker,” science teacher Nadine Eisonkolb said.
Brown used graphics and videos in his speech to students about changes in population growth, land use, California’s diverse natural environment and the loss of natural habitats.
“We hope that you’ll get a conservation ethic where as you nurture your fish and release them, you have a sense and reconnection to nature,” Brown said.
Brown also stressed the importance of learning more about the environment and encouraged students to participate in similar programs.
“This is a proverb that I once read,” Brown said. “It says that if you’re planning for one year, plant rice, if you’re planning for 10 years, plant a tree, but if you’re planning for 100 years, you educate.”
The Trout in Classroom project, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, aims to combat trout depopulation by sending trout eggs to participating elementary, middle and high schools.