EENC News

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  • 14 Jun 2018 11:48 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    A letter from Trent Stanforth, EENC Membership Chair:

    Each year the Environmental Educators of North Carolina publicly recognizes environmental educators, EENC members, organizations, and partners for their valuable contributions to EENC, the North Carolina community, and to the field of environmental education. 

    Those who have been involved in North Carolina Environmental Education for a few years will recognize friends, peers, and heroes from the list of previous winners. But I am sure that there are many other environmental friends, heroes, and peers who are not on this list. 

    You have the opportunity to change that. Follow this link to the award nomination form and nominate your peers so they can receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work.

    In addition to asking who they are, where they teach, and what qualities they bring to EE, you will also have a chance to tell us why your nominees are your EE heroes. The awards are not limited to individuals only - they also recognize programs, education centers and partners. Descriptions of the awards can be found here

    The nomination period is open now and nominations are due August 17. The decision will be made in early September, and the awards will be given at the new EENC Annual Conference awards luncheon.

    Sincerely,

    Trent Stanforth
    EENC Membership Chair

  • 12 Jun 2018 9:21 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)


    Two years ago, we asked our membership to contribute to an assessment of the state of environmental education in North Carolina, and diversity, equity, and inclusion was one of the topics you all mentioned repeatedly.  The board agrees with you that this is a critical issue for our field, and identified it in January as one of our five key priorities for the next three years within our strategic plan.  EENC is proud to announce that we are addressing this over the next year through a variety of workshops!

    For members, we will provide two different full-day training sessions in the fall to support you all so that EE is more welcoming and accessible for all .  The first will be an introductory workshop that will be held in conjunction with our conference in September at Atlantic Beach - as if you need any additional reasons to join us!  The second will expand on this experience for a broader conversation in Raleigh on December 13, 2018, facilitated by the Center for Diversity & the Environment.  Registration for this second training will open in the fall after the conference.  Both of these opportunities are funded in part thanks to grants from NAAEE.

    We are also addressing this within our organization at the member and board levels.  The board and executive director will be participating in a training on incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into our strategic plan and how we can focus on implementation of such practices at our upcoming meeting in June.

    While EENC is able to offer these learning opportunities, a workshop alone won't be able to have an impact without your participation and buy-in!  Save the date, spread the word, and know that our board and staff have heard your request for support and action on this. Let's work together to expand our collective reach to engage more of our state’s citizens in environmental education!


  • 31 May 2018 10:02 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Registration for the 2018 EENC conference, EE for All, is now open!  Join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Atlantic Beach, NC September 27-29 for a conference the includes…

    • A full day of diversity and inclusion professional development in our pre-conference workshop

    • Three great field trip options
    • An awards luncheon
    • A fantastic keynote by Juan D. Martinez and banquet at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Friday, September 28
    • Amazing ocean views from all rooms - and special conference hotel rates - at the DoubleTree by Hilton Atlantic Beach!  (Note that this year's conference fees do not include lodging - be sure to reserve your room separately by August 7 for the best rate!)

    Early bird conference registration pricing is in effect through July 20.  Prices go up July 21, and you must be registered by September 7 to attend.  All EENC members who are logged into their EENC account before registering will receive a member discount. Are you the lead presenter for a session?  You’ll receive an e mail with a code to receive an additional $10 off your registration!

    Make your hotel reservations, learn more about the conference, view the preliminary session schedule, or register to attend by visiting the EENC conference page.  

    We look forward to seeing YOU at EENC 2018!

  • 29 May 2018 10:10 AM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)


    We are excited to host you at the upcoming 2018 EENC Conference 2018, EE for All! You already know that the conference brings you great learning and networking opportunities and the chance to reconnect with your friends and colleagues, but add our keynote speaker to the list of reasons why you have to attend this year. We are excited to give Juan D. Martinez the stage for a powerful keynote you won't want to miss!

    Juan is a proud product of South Central Los Angeles and has made a name for himself as the Children and Nature Network’s VP of Strategic Partnerships, a National Geographic Explorer, and a TED Speaker. Those qualifications alone should be enough to convince you he will make a great speaker, but in case you need more reasons...

    At an early age, Juan's passion to empower youth led him to direct the Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles, and his journey engaging children with nature continued from there. Juan represented The North Face as an ambassador for outdoor engagement before being named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, traveling across the US speaking and encouraging other young people to explore the outdoors. In 2014, The National Science Teachers Association’s Multicultural and Equity Committee honored Juan for his work as a Global Explorer. Juan was also invited to be a Murie Center Explorer in Residence in Grand Teton National Park, WY and was then elected to the Murie Center’s Board of Directors. 

    Juan’s most recent contributions included joining the Ambassador Program of Yvon Chouinard’s “1% for the Planet,” an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Through the Children and Nature Network, Juan is also working with strategic partners and dedicates his energy toward creating grassroots campaigns to empower, explore, and create positive change.

    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.

    And if this STILL isn't enough to convince you to come hear him speak, this short video will give you a taste of what you're in for at the conference. 

    This is going to be a great keynote, so come see for yourself! Juan will be speaking Friday night at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.  Join us for great food, a great venue, and an inspiring keynote at this year’s keynote banquet. Registration opens soon - we hope to see you there!


  • 28 May 2018 9:00 AM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Welcome once again to the EENC Board Member Spotlight!  This month, we highlight Erin Lineberger, your EENC Piedmont Section Chair.  Erin is an environmental educator with Gaston Natural Resources.

    Erin grew up in what she considered to be a little patch of natural paradise, on the edge of a bottomland, hardwood swamp in eastern NC. In the summer, it was humid, buggy, and dense. In the winter, it was a haven for year-long resident birds and spring peepers on warm nights. It was just 20 acres, but it connected to neighbors' forested land as well; a green ribbon of floodplain cocooning a small tributary on its way to the Neuse. Erin can remember trying to map it when she was in the second grade, like Lewis and Clark. Such exploits were encouraged by her parents. 

    In middle and high school, Erin's primary passion was participation in a school club called, "Envirothon." She didn't know the word "environmental education" then, but they traveled from the mountains to the coast in search of new species and ecosystems to experience. She  thought she wanted to be an environmental journalist, but after a high school career full of extracurricular activities and AP classes (read: deadlines, and not enough time to meet them), Erin decided she was her best self in the woods. Her mom, who was a 9th grade Earth & Environmental Science teacher at that point, suggested environmental education. She decided to go into Natural Resources at NCSU during the spring of her senior year, and from that point on, EE was her end goal. 

    College included meetings with people like Renee Strnad and Kathryn Stephenson, as well as summer EE internships. Erin also sought out a backpacking trip with Montreat College and learned about their new Master's of Environmental Education program from Dottie Shuman. She began her EE certification and the field unfolded for her like a map. The more EE she did, the more she wanted. She was hooked! 

    Following graduation, Erin worked one season in a residential position in West Virginia and moved back to NC to start her Master's of Environmental Education at Montreat College. She also entered AmeriCorps Project Conserve as an Environmental Educator with the North Carolina Arboretum. One year and a Master's Degree later, Erin came full circle and got her first permanent position with a Soil and Water Conservation District, where part of her job is to train the next generation of Envirothon students.

    When Erin moved to the Charlotte area, the word on the street was all about the lack of connection between EE people and programs in the area. EENC responded by creating a Piedmont Section, and Joy Shuck took the helm as Piedmont Section Chair. Erin knew Joy from a season at the Whitewater Center and when Joy stepped down from her position, she recommended the position to Erin. She eagerly agreed, wanting to continue what Joy had started.

    Erin's primary upcoming projects include hosting a mini-conference this year followed next year by the first ever Piedmont Section conference. Erin believes both will do a lot for educators in the region, and will bring more folks into the fold.

    Let's wrap up with three fun facts about Erin!

    1. Erin is a lover of fiction, from sci-fi fantasy to regency England; Brandon Sanderson to Jane Austen. 
    2. She loves languages, traveling, and culture! She has a minor in Spanish and has spent time in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Honduras. She hopes to add more to the list.
    3. Erin's fiancé has the same name, phonetically: Aaron and Erin. When they first met, she mentally used it as a reason not to date him... He quickly changed her mind,
    That's it for this month. Check back next month when we'll introduce Christine Brown, your president elect!
  • 21 May 2018 1:43 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Looking for a little financial help to get to the EENC 2018 conference?  Apply for a scholarship!  Full and half scholarships are available, but get your application in soon.  Applications are due TODAY, May 21,

    We look forward to reading your application!

  • 23 Apr 2018 10:10 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Do you plan to attend the 2018 EENC Conference and/or Research Symposium, but need a little help to make it happen?  Apply now for a conference scholarship!  Full and partial scholarships are available.  Preference will be given to students, teachers, rangers, EENC members, and first time conference attendees. 

    Scholarship applications are due May 21st, and you will be notified of your decision by June 11th.

    Good luck!


  • 18 Apr 2018 12:26 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Nature is Calling! Mini-Conference

    EENC Piedmont & Western Section Event
    Saturday, June 15, 2018, 9am-5pm
    Camp T.N. Spencer; Concord, NC

    REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!


    The Piedmont and Western sections of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina are uniting to host the 2018 Nature is Calling! Mini-Conference at the beautiful Camp T.N. Spencer Park in Concord, NC from 9 am – 5 pm on June 15th, 2018. This conference will be a summer kick-off, bringing together formal and non-formal educators who want to incorporate environmental education in engaging, innovative, and meaningful ways. Our theme, "Nature is Calling," invites participants to relax and unwind in our greatest classroom: the outdoors. 

    This full and inspiring day will offer a variety of workshops (full schedule will be posted on the event listing soon!) that will empower you to get your students outside -  nature is calling them, too! The outdoors not only serves as a wall-less classroom, but as a vital tool to teach across the curriculum, making learning relevant and meaningful for thoughtful, young minds.  Please join us and walk away with a toolbox full of best practices to encourage curiosity and inquiry in your own programs.

    Come early to enjoy a light breakfast during our networking hour from 8 am to 9 am. A cookout lunch will also be provided as part of the event.  Following the conference, you are invited to socialize with us at Cabarrus Brewing Company over free beer and food truck snacks.

    We are keeping the costs very low to minimize any barriers of your attendance.  Registration fee is $15 for EENC Members and $20 for non-members.  Formal educators (i.e. classroom teachers) with school ID will receive a full refund upon attendance at the conference. 

    We have limited space for this event, so please register as soon as you canRegistration will close on May 30th at the latest, or as soon as conference fills.  

    Please spread the word to all those that might benefit from this rich educational and networking experience!

  • 12 Apr 2018 1:43 AM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    It's time once again for the Board Spotlight!  This month, learn all about your EENC secretary, Tanya Poole,  She is an outreach educational specialist for the Wildlife Resources Commission Pisgah Center.

    Tanya started her EE Certification in college and continued to work on it while she taught 4th grade in a public school. She also worked as an education director for a camp in the summer time. Eventually, she landed a regional educator job with the NCWRC. She has a B.S. in Elementary Ed (minor in Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Education.

    The reason EE matters to Tanya has changed over the years. She started out wanting to do environmental education because she loves wildlife and being outdoors. It made her so happy, and she wanted others to experience the same enjoyment and connection to our natural world. As she's gotten older, she's experienced first-hand the health benefits from spending time outdoors, not only for herself, but for both kids and adults as well. At a recent workshop, she saw such an obvious change in everyone's mood when they went outside to play a game. Everyone was energetic and smiling and laughing. Their connection to our natural world is deep rooted and Tanya thinks many of us have strayed too far from that connection. It is our responsibility, she believes, to take care of our natural world, and we can't do that if we don't know about it and have a connection to it. We benefit as well. Clean air, clean water, and abundant and healthy wildlife and plants means better food, better living conditions, and better opportunities to refresh and reinvigorate our bodies and our minds.

    Tanya chose to serve on the EENC board because Keith Bamberger is persistent! :) Ha! But seriously, she is proud of the EE network in NC. There are many states who have very little support for EE and Tanya wanted to give back to a community that has supported her and given her so much over the past 20 years. Plus, who can turn down taking notes for 6 hours?!

    Tanya is spoiled with two amazing German Shepherds, Maya (1 year) and Greta (6 years) who keep her laughing, active, and covered in hair.  She sometimes talks in her sleep and her husband says that when they go camping, and only when they are camping, she has often woken him up and asked him to read her a story. He always says "the end" and then she goes right back to sleep. (She'd like you to know that her husband  doesn't normally read stories to her, so she has no idea where this is coming from!)  And finally, Tanya's Patronus is a white stallion.  Just saying, Shannon.  :)

  • 03 Apr 2018 10:56 PM | Christine Goforth (Administrator)

    Who's planning to join us at this year's conference, EE For All?! It's taking place September 27-29 at the DoubleTree in Atlantic Beach.  Why not bring the family, stay an extra night, and spend Sunday together on the beach?  

    As usual, we will have a lot of great field trips and sessions where you can learn from one another and help make EE in NC the best it can be!

    We know some of you want to go ahead and make your hotel reservations.  Rooms run $129 a night (and have an ocean view!), but you'll need to call the hotel at (252) 222-4010 to make your reservation.  Use group code EEA to get the discount!  

    Please note tht the hotel will require a credit card to make the reservation, but you will not be charged until you arrive.  Reservations must be made by August 12 to get the discount.

    Hope to see lots of you at this year's sunny, sandy, beachy conference!


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Environmental Educators of North Carolina

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

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