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EAGLES School Program

Environmental Awareness Gives Life to the Eco-System

ECO Kustyn in classroom

The Department of Environmental Conservation's Division of Law Enforcement offers an environmental awareness out-reach program entitled Environmental Awareness Gives Life to the Eco-System (EAGLES). The Program is developed for sixth and seventh grades and is administered by the Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs). To see about how you can get this program started in your school, contact the regional office in your area and speak to the ECO in charge.

*Note: Not all ECOs participate in this program, so please do not contact ECOs directly; go through the regional office!

The EAGLES Program is an exciting way to introduce students to New York State's abundant environmental resources, the roles of their local Environmental Conservation Police Officer, and the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Conservation. ECOs presenting the EAGLES Program receive extensive training in environmental out-reach and youth-related classroom instruction.

"The EAGLES Program deals with both local and global issues such as wetlands, wildlife management, endangered species and pollution to name a few", says ECO Edward Kustyn. "Ultimately, we want to instill in the students a sense of environmental ethics and stewardship, as well as a feeling of empowerment that each student can actually make a positive difference through awareness and involvement."

The EAGLES Program is offered as a free service to schools and youth groups. A uniformed ECO will present up to six 50-minute modules to a class. The schools may decide on the number of modules and topics presented.

Each person is participatory. Discussion and question and answer sessions are blended with audio-visuals and actual hands-on experience with specimens such as confiscated items made from endangered species, clean animal pelts native to NYS, white-tail deer antlers and eagle feathers. Real-life accounts of ECOs' field experiences excite the curiosity of students within the program. Pre- and post-visit materials are provided for the teachers as well as the students. With three sessions attended, a student receives an EAGLES certificate suitable for framing.

The EAGLES Program was developed by ECO Edward C. Kustyn when he was a part-time student at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse in conjunction with Anita Sanchez and Laura Carey from the Division of Public Affairs and Education; the Division of Fish and Wildlife; and the New York Conservation Officer's Association.

More about EAGLES School Program:

  • About The EAGLES Modules - Modules used in the The Environmental Awareness Gives Life to the Eco-System (E A G L E S) Program
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