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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Curriculum Resources for the Alaskan Environment

Subject Areas: resource management, biology, math, vocational education

Timeline: summer, early fall

Grade Levels: 9-12

Purpose: to analyze variables involved in fish runs in order to determine the best net placement


Hart Allex and Gary Shriver
Netting Fish


Square bullet Activities

  • In the classroom, teach the fundamentals of fish migrations, highlighting local types of fish; use movies of spawning salmon.
  • Visit fish wheels or nets in the region:

    ask local fishermen about the types, numbers, and sizes of fish caught; try to correlate with weather, time of day, and time of year

    discuss which places on the river would be best for catching fish; consider current, depth, shadows, etc.

    keep a record of all the information.

  • Have the students analyze the information to determine the best way to catch the most fish under different conditions.
  • Have the students place small nets in areas away from the village, so that they will have to judge productivity of the spot themselves:
  • keep records of catch.

  • Have students prepare a final summation, indicating any changes in their beliefs about the best fishing tactics.

Square bullet Resources

  • local fishing fleets; fish processing plants
  • University and State film libraries
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game 
  • Salmonid Enhancement Newsletter, 1090 West Pender Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6E2P1 (free) 
  • Salmonids in the Classroom, B.C. Teachers' Federation, Lesson Aids Service 105-2235 Burrard Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 3H9 
  • Bering Sea Fisherman Newsletter and Bering Sea Fisherman's Association, 805 W. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501


  • Study the salmon cycle:

    set up an aquarium/hatchery in the classroom; maintain it throughout the year; observe the cycle from fertilization to the release of fry in the fall

    visit a hatchery

    place students in work/study apprenticeships in hatcheries.


Village Map and Directory

Land Selection

Local Weather Station

Star Mapping

6" Newtonian Reflecting Telescope Construction

Planetarium Construction

Investigation of Snow Melting

Insulation Experiments: Cardboard Boxes/Snow-Fenced Houses

Durable, Energy-Efficient Homes

Practical Application of Alternative Energy System

Solar Energy Uses

Construction of School/Community Facilities

Bush Shop or How to Learn Carpentry Without Wood

Basic Home Maintenance

Snowmachine Maintenance

Glider Construction (Aviation Shop)

Subsistence Tool Construction

Operating a Trapline, Subsistence Trapline, or Subsistence Net

Survival Skills

Heritage Campout

Netting Fish Efficiently

Natural History

Study of a Food Resource

Effects of Diet on Mice or Rats

Medicinal Plants

Farming the Sea

Summer Marine Science Program

Vegetable Gardening

Greenhouse Construction and Gardening

Chicken Farming

Water Usage Study

Garbage Disposal

Village Dogs

Fire Safety



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified August 17, 2006