Annual Conference

SEPTEMBER 27 - September 29, 2018

DoubleTree by Hilton
Atlantic Beach, NC

2018 Conference overview

Join us for the 2018 Environmental Educators of North Carolina conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Atlantic Beach, NC from Thursday, September 27th to Saturday, September 29th.  Enjoy the conference full of professional development, networking, learning, and field experiences that will help you expand your knowledge of EE and resources in NC and beyond. Consider bringing your family and spending Saturday afternoon and Sunday at the  beach!

Hotel Reservations

Want to reserve a hotel room at our conference venue?  Our group rate is $129 per night for an ocean view room.  Call the DoubleTree Atlantic Beach at (252) 222-4010 and use the code EEA to get the group price.  Note that you'll need a credit card to make the reservation, but you will not be charged until you arrive.  While our conference rate deal with the hotel expired August 12, they will honor the price as long as they have availability.  Call soon if you'd like to try to get the conference rate!  The likelihood of getting this price goes down as the conference approaches.

Conference Theme

Environmental education is a process that helps individuals, communities, and organizations learn more about the environment while developing skills and understanding about how to address global challenges and inspire change. But if EE is not accessible to everyone, the potential impact is limited.

As we endeavor to support authentic and meaningful educational opportunities for all learners, we embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our work. EENC is taking steps to become more equitable and inclusive in order to support this transformation of the field of environmental education.  We want to invite the EE community in North Carolina to join us on this journey! EENC is working to make good on our Diversity Statement by developing new projects outlined in our strategic plan, offering board training, and creating a diversity, equity, and inclusion working group. EENC wants to help our membership tackle these often difficult and sometimes uncomfortable topics by seeking quality professional development and resources that will help our members and environmental educators across the state promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programs and work environments.

At the 2018 EENC Conference, we will have a workshop focused on inclusion, sessions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a keynote speaker who dedicates his energy to empowering, exploring, and creating positive change. All of this, and more, will help us take steps to make EE for All!


We're excited to bring Juan D. Martinez to North Carolina  from Los Angeles for an inspiring keynote!  Juan credits his experience of growing up in South Central L.A. with a deep understanding of the need to connect children, families, culture, and communities with the natural world.  He has made a commitment to help empower the next generation of conservation and outdoor recreation leaders.  He is an amazing advocate for getting urban youth outdoors and into nature and has been rewarded for his efforts as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a TED speaker, and an NSTA Global Explorer.  He currently serves as the vice president of strategic partnerships for the Children and Nature Network.

You won't want to miss this keynote, so plan to join us at the banquet on Friday, September 28!

Conference Cost

A full list of conference fees, including registration for members and non-members, hotel rates, extra meal tickets, workshop/field trips, and other costs is available as a PDF.  This document also lists the included meals for each registration type.


The preliminary conference schedule is now available!  The current schedule includes the dates, presentation titles, and the presenters.  We'll add more details, including the schedule and the full descriptions, soon!  

Please note that the dates of the presentations are subject to change over the next few months.

Workshops and Field Trips

We have one workshop and three field trips for your learning and enjoyment at the 2018 conference!  All of the following will take place Thursday, September 27.

Workshop: Why Inclusion Matters For Your Teaching, Programs, and Facility.  
9:00am-5:00pm, $25 (includes lunch)

Desiree Adaway     Ericka Hines

Are your programs accessible to all?  Is your facility accessible? Who isn't there and why?  Why should they be there? EENC wants to help our membership tackle these often difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, topics to help our members and EEers across the state consider diversity, equity, and inclusion within their work environments and their programs. Join Desiree Adaway and Ericka Hines for an introduction and self-assessment on this hot topic in environmental education.

Field Trip: Fort Macon State Park
9:30am-4:00pm, $15 (includes lunch)

Visit Fort Macon and see a live musket demo and listen to a talk on the history of the fort.  You will tour the fort, walk the trails and see the beautiful beach beside the inlet that leads to Beaufort.  

Field Trip: Cape Lookout National Seashore
8:45am-3:00pm, $40 (includes transportation from hotel, ferry, and lunch)

Board the ferry at Beaufort and travel to Shackelford Banks.  Sue Stuska, a wildlife biologist will give a presentation about the wild horses, their history and future.

Field Trip: Hammocks Beach State Park
9:00am-5:00pm, $25 (includes transportation from hotel, lunch)

Bear Island is 4 miles of undeveloped beach with a great view of native wildlife.  Enjoy a program led by a park environmental educator and learn about the flora and fauna of North Carolina's coast.

Field Trip: Nature School of Camp Albemarle

1:00 to 4:00 pm, Free (requires registration)

Nature School at Camp Albemarle is an outdoor school in Newport, NC where learning takes place outside, rain or shine. See a class in action, discuss ways to get students outdoors at your facility or bring nature indoors, learn the benefits of nature play, and discuss ways to keep students safe in all weather elements.

Other Activities

Fishing Tournament
Thursday, September 27, 3:00-5:00pm, $5 entry fee (fee to fish from the pier at the DoubleTree)

Join in a fishing tournament on a nearby pier one evening with fishing rod and tackle provided. Prizes (and maybe some cash) will be awarded!

iNaturalist Challenge
Thursday, September 27 5:00pm through Friday, September 28 5:00pm

We're doing the iNaturalist Challenge again!  Help us document the species on Emerald Isle on iNaturalist during a 24 hour virtual bioblitz.  Prizes are available to the top contributors.  Want to get ready?  Download the iNaturalist app for Android or Apple smartphones and add the 2019 EENC iNaturalist Challenge project to your account.  We have quick guides available for the Android and Apple apps to help you get started!

On Your Own

The following are easily accessible from the hotel if you would like to take advantage of them during the conference:

  • Beaufort Maritime Museum

  • Harvey Smith watercraft Center in Beaufort

  • Bonehinge in Beaufort (whale skeletons)

  • Rachel Carson Reserve

  • Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Sponsor the Conference

Want to support the 2018 conference?  Consider becoming a conference sponsor!  We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities available for this year's conference, EE for All.  Review the open opportunities, the sponsorship levels, and the perks for each in our sponsorship packet.

Check out our recent sponsors on our Sponsors and Donors page!

Submit a Proposal

The 2018 call for proposals is now closed.  Please check back here in April 2019 for the RFP for the next conference! 

Registration InformatioN

Conference registration is now open! Please visit the event listing on or after that date to register for the conference.

Want an early bird discount?  Register by July 20 for the best conference rate!  Registration closes September 7.

Don't forget to make your hotel reservations!  Lodging is NOT included in this year's conference fees.  Scroll up near the top of this page for information on how to make your hotel reservation.  Reserve your ocean view room by August 12 for the best rates!


EENC presents several awards at the annual meeting.  Learn more about our awards and review past winners.

Know someone who deserves recognition by EENC?  Nominations for the 2018 awards are open through August 17!  Complete our award nomination form to recommend your North Carolina EE heroes for one or more awards.

Conference Scholarships

We offer scholarships to help people attend the EENC annual conference.  Applications for the 2018 scholarships closed May 21 and awardees will be notified around June 11. 

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

P.O. Box 4904
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4904

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