The Eastern Sierra Watershed Project (ESWP) began as a countywide, middle school science education program organized around the historic rewatering of the Lower Owens River. Middle school science teachers throughout Inyo County met with local scientists and land managers to create a curriculum to introduce their students to watersheds, watershed monitoring, data collection, and the management of water resources. Through partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management and the Bishop Paiute Tribe, ESWP expanded its field study programs to the elementary school level.
The Eastern Sierra Watershed Project takes science in the outdoors to a whole new level-one that gives Owens Valley young people a chance to see the place they live as a science lab and scientists as people they have met . ESWP activities provide students the opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills. ESWP curriculum includes hands-on, inquiry based classroom activities to integrate the student field experiences into the classroom. Science kits are provided by ESWP for the classroom activities. Teachers receive training in the use of best practices for science instruction and in strategies to reach diverse learners.