Wednesday, July 12, 2017

APA Psychology Summit Day 4

What day is it? Wait, Wednesday? I thought it was Tuesday. Time has no meaning here except when it is meal time.

Today was an early day with lots of work. Deadlines loom as we are presenting our strand's "deliverable's" tomorrow.

At breakfast, we had a presentation and workshop led by Dr. Karen Studwell and Alexandra Ginsberg of the APA Education Directorate Government Relations Office. They shared with us what the APA does in Washington, D.C. in terms of trying to influence policymaking in Congress. They shared strategies that we can use back in our own schools, districts, and states. There is a guide to advocacy that they shared that can be found at this link.

After working the rest of the morning in our strands, we had lunch and then shared out our personal next steps as to what we could do to advocate and work for psychology. Ideas included contacting local, state, and national officials about the importance of education and psychology education; contacting our state department of education to advocate for including the Psychology National Standards for the psychology courses. Several people discussed working with local universities to attempt to create partnerships. Others talked about reaching out to younger teachers and bringing them into the fold to work together to present at conferences, run for office and extend beyond their classes and districts. There were many other ideas shared that will be compiled and shared with people within the TOPSS group. One of our goals in TOPSS is to bring in more members to improve the field of teaching psychology at the high school level. Only through communication and awareness.

We had a short meeting in the afternoon prior to going on a brief excursion. The majority of participants live in the flatlands and wanted to see mountains. They went to Ogden Valley that included Snowbasin Ski Resort, Shooting Star Saloon, and Oaks Restaurant. I am told the town was a one-street town. They had an excellent host whose name I do not know.

My group was led by Dr. Carla Trentelman, a sociologist who has lived in the region for many years. She gave us many insights about the Salt Lake Basin/region that I took notes on and will bullet point below. Our trip was to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake that lies several miles off the coast of central Utah near Ogden. We were able to drive there via a causeway. At one time, the water was so high that for about ten years, people could not drive to the island, but had to take boats. For the record, we did see one bison and a small herd of antelope.

When we returned from our excursions, we had a working dinner. Most groups worked until past 8:30.

Facts about Utah and the Great Salt Lake

  • this region is considered high desert
  • the Great Salt Lake (GSL) is a saline lake and a terminal lake--there are rivers than run into it, but goes nowhere else--when the water evaporates, it leaves behind salt and other minerals leaving a bathtub ring-like deposit--over time the salt builds up
  • the water is too salty for fish
  • brine shrimp can live in the salt--you may know them by a brand name, "Sea Monkeys"
  • this buildup of deposits can be blown by unpredictable storms similar to dust storms
  • the lake depth averages between 20 and 45 feet deep
  • the lake's area has ranged from 950 square miles at its lowest/smallest to 2300 square miles with an average of 1700 square miles--it is huge--smaller in North America only to the Great Lakes 
  • the lake keeps the areas East of the lake cooler
  • the GSL has a large population of migratory birds who feed on the brine shrimp and the brine shrimp flies
  • if you drive by Salt Lake City on I-80 to the south or drive north on I-15, you will notice and odiferous stench emanating from the lake. Truth is that it is not the lake--it is the treated wastewater that comes from the three large counties nearby emptying in the southeast portion of the lake called Farmington Bay.

Below are some pictures from today by me, and several others.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

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