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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on January 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 46

Check out what's new at the Dunes Center

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center is undergoing a bit of a makeover, according to its new executive director, Doug Jenzen. Formerly the center’s assistant director, Jenzen replaces executive director Frances Romero, who was elected mayor of Guadalupe in November.


WHAT’S IN YOUR WATER?
Students in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center’s after-school program recently went on a field trip to Arroyo Grande Creek to learn about insects that live in the water. “The types of insects that live in the water tell us how clean the water is,” the center’s new executive director, Doug Jenzen, told the Sun in an e-mail.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DOG JENZEN

Jenzen holds a master’s degree in history and a teaching credential from Cal Poly in SLO. He served as programs director at the Dana Adobe in Nipomo and wrote a book called Nipomo and Los Berros.

“In the past, the emphasis was on elementary in-class education,” he told the Sun in a recent interview. “I applied for grants to create some new exhibits in the museum.”

He said the new exhibits will focus on “how people interact with the dunes over time,” and will feature sections on the filming of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments; the Dunites, a community of people who lived on the dunes in the 1920s; and indigenous plants and animals.

Jenzen said there are several species of plants and animals known only to exist in the dunes.

“We also have a box of plant specimens that belonged to Kathleen Goddard Jones, who was an environmentalist in the 1960s,” he said.

To implement all of these exhibits and other programs, Jenzen has recruited the help of four new interns from Cal Poly. They join three existing interns from Cal Poly and Allan Hancock College.

Additionally, the Dunes Center received a $5,000 grant from ERG Operating Co., LLC, a privately owned oil and gas company based out of Bakersfield. The grant will go toward expanding after-school programs in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The center currently offers afterschool programs in Guadalupe, Nipomo, and San Luis Obispo.