Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

Content subject to change.





Concurrent Session Descriptions

Air Is Everywhere - including on-line
Keith Bamberger, Jonathan Navarro, Annie Lee

Air is invisible, has minimal mass, is hard to feel, and keeps everything alive. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality has on-line resources that will help you teach about air, pollution, and solutions to air quality problems -- anywhere. You will spend your workshop time competing for praise and prizes, while participating in DAQ activities and discovering their locations on-line.

Air Quality Citizen Science using Sensors and Satellite data to Empower Students to be Changemakers!
Krista Brinchek, Karmann Mills

Come learn about the air you breathe! Learn how citizens around the world can monitor local and global air particulates using real-time sensors and satellite imagery, JOIN the RTI NASA-funded citizen science project; AND empower students by connecting data to project-based learning using the Design For Change framework. Bring a computer or iPad for hands-on learning during this workshop!

Becoming Wise: Storying the Path
Merrie Koester
Together, we will explore guided field excursion as the plot of a lost and found story that asks: What are the inner conditions needed for each of us to flourish—not just survive? How can the field experience be designed to leave open spaces for something hidden to be revealed?

Bin There, Done What?
Bianca Howard

COVID-19 cracked open the illusion of success for environmental education programs offered by Wake County Solid Waste Management. Overnight, our popular tours, presentations and hands-on training opportunities were rendered irrelevant. Concurrently, the departure of a senior team member created the space to reimagine all our roles. Explore how data is informing our new approach to EE.

Bridging the gap: bringing environmental stakeholders into the classroom
Andrea Miller, Wendy Samz, Mark McCreary

We will share with session participants proven key elements and tools to “bridge the gap” and integrate environmental education programs into local school systems.

Citizen Science StoryWalk; Growing in Science through the Power of Story
Krista Brinchek, Stacy Darwin

What do you get when you combine a fantastic children’s story, outside nature connections, body movements, and place-based Citizen Science at your school? A great community StoryWalk event! Join us to learn what a StoryWalk is all about, and how to connect children’s literacy to exciting citizen science projects.

Coded Language and Environmental Education
Caitlin Riley, Renee Strnad

The language we use matters, and can have unintended consequences. In this session, we will explore the ways in which deficit-based language and practices contribute to social inequities and the underrepresentation of historically marginalized communities in EE. Together, we’ll think about identifying coded language and shifting practices to make a more intentional impact.

Collaborating with Statewide Community/Citizen Science Events
Jonathan Marchal, Chris Goforth

Community science (also known as citizen science) can be a powerful tool to engage the public in scientific processes while also contributing to the understanding of a region or state's biodiversity. In this session we will discuss how individuals, educators, organizations and schools can participate in the City Nature Challenge, Great Backyard Bird Count and other statewide efforts.

Coming to You Live from Across the State!
Chris Goforth

We all had to adapt during the pandemic. Learn the nuts and bolts behind the large, multi-presenter, multi-site virtual events that the NC Museum of Natural Sciences offered in place of typically in-person events like the Great Backyard Bird Count! This session will provide an inside look into how these interactive events were done so that you can implement similar programs at your own site.

Context Matters: Acknowledging Students’ Social, Cultural and Political Backgrounds
Emily Thorpe, Malia Pownall

Students are shaped by today’s increasingly polarized society. How can recognizing students’ social, cultural, and political differences help us create more effective programs that lead to better outcomes for our learners? Join us to explore evidence-based practices for facilitating more inclusive and relevant environmental education experiences.

Creating a Virtual Nature Based Learning Experience for All
Cynthia Peedin, Megan Krintz

The past year has pushed many programs to rethink curriculum and build a virtual learning space. Join us as we delve into the creation and implementation of a Muddy Sneakers Remote Expedition. Participants will engage in group discussion based on their own experiences and/or what they hope to learn in order to build a remote curriculum. Prior experience with virtual learning is not necessary.

Creating Conversations: The NC Climate Education Network
Annie Lee, Keith Bamberger

In NC a bridge of conversation between climatologists and educators has been created. It focuses on best practices, latest climate science and busting misconceptions. This network was born with these professionals sharing the same virtual space to share knowledge, build relationships and confidence in their fields.

Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation in EE
Charlotte Clark, Kathryn Stevenson, Lauren Gibson, Ashlyn Teather

What is culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE), and how might it apply to you? How do you design evaluation to center diversity, equity, and inclusion? How might evaluation help examine and potentially improve diversity and inclusion in your organization? We will use case studies to exemplify the good and the challenging, and to prompt audience questions and participation.

Dirt On My Shirt!
Rustine Sharpe

Kids love fun hands-on problem-based learning, and the messier the better! What better place to get messy while learning about nature than outside! Join me as we explore a variety of ways to introduce young children, from infants to prekindergarten and beyond, to the wonders and marvels of nature that can be found in the world around them!

Do It Fur the Culture!
Chris Conner, Darrell Worrell, Jashaun Proby, Zanuyyah Elsharif

“Do It Fur the Culture!” is an interactive exploration into how Culturally Responsive Pedagogy is amplifying environmental education by re-establishing it as a more inclusive, reflective and connective science. In this session, you will learn from and teach with the diverse faces and voices that have created a method to easily implement this strategy into your classroom and organization today.

Don't Waste It!: A New Solid Waste & Recycling Curriculum
Lauren Pyle, Shannon Culpepper

Don’t Waste It! is an educator guide to waste management, recycling, composting, and waste reduction supporting K-12 learning in and out of the classroom. Learn about the curriculum, demo a lesson or two, and maybe even uncover a few of your own outdated recycling habits in this sampler.

Earth is in Your Hands (and Your Pocket)
Kerry Piper

Have you ever wanted to pull out a globe while explaining how plastic ends up in our oceans or the origin of an invasive species? Is yours too bulky to make the trek outside or get crushed in transit? Did your inflatable globe pop? Learn how to connect your local community with global processes and issues with a budget-friendly collapsible globe in this make and take session.

EE Activities for Global Citizenship: People, Food, Energy and Sustainability
Carol McCullough, David Messer

Discover interdisciplinary, hands-on activities to prepare students to think critically and creatively about global challenges for people and the planet, and how to turn knowledge into civic engagement. Topics include population growth, land use, biodiversity and climate change. Receive lesson plans for the classroom or nature center.

EE for All Ages: Providing Engaging Programs for Seniors
Tori Duval

This session will focus on creating and delivering high quality environmental education programs for senior citizens. We’ll explore both virtual and in-person opportunities to engage with this traditionally underserved population and provide options for advertising to retirement facilities across the state.

Exploring the NAAEE Affiliate Network Toolkit
Bruce Young

Join representatives from the NAAEE Affiliate Network to explore a new tool for Affiliate Leaders, the NAAEE Affiliate Toolkit. In this session we will present an overview of the toolkit, why it was created, how we envision it being used by Affiliates followed by ample time for testing and providing feedback on how it can be improved.

Find Your Champion Tree
Philip Cox

Engage your community by understanding and appreciating your county's valuable and irreplaceable trees. Grand Trees of Chatham has been identifying and awarding outstanding trees and educating citizens on the value and care of trees through workshops, public events, and community outreach. Learn about how to begin your own champion tree program and the benefits of this program to your community.

FireWorks Comes to the Southeast
Renee Strnad, Erin Apple

The FireWorks curriculum, launched by the US Forest Service in 2000, teaches about fire physics, fire ecology, and fire history. Come learn how a team from across the Southeast has been adapting this curriculum to southern ecosystems and the use of prescribed fire. Participants will learn how to access the materials and experience a fire-based activity!

From Virtual Learning to Resilient Youth Action: Lessons Learned from the YES-Resilience Program
Hannah Barg, Taylor Lackey, Dana Haine, Sarah Yelton, Kathleen Gray

In this session, staff from the Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience program will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and best practices of conducting a mostly-virtual climate education program during COVID-19. This session will highlight the promising aspects of hybrid educational models for non-formal environmental education moving forward.

Gender in Environmental Education
Shannon Bodeau, Kristin Anderson

How do we create space for gender diversity in our classrooms, camps, and beyond? In this session, we will explore how gender shows up in our work as educators, with a focus on developing welcoming spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming youth and adults. We will delve into our own relationships with gender, then move on to build a toolkit for supporting gender diversity in EE programming.

Going BOLDly into the Great Outdoors
Willow Alston-Socha, Linda Tugurian, Dan Schnitzer, Ashley Meredith

Building Outdoor Learning Durham (BOLD) started as a grant-funded teacher fellowship and has developed into a K-12 teacher network supported by a full-time Outdoor Learning Specialist. Educators from Durham Public Schools share how collaboration between district departments has elevated outdoor education to a new level.

How Do We Talk About Climate Change? Takeaways from a 1,000-Mile Journey
Will Freund

After kayak-sailing 1,000 miles from Miami, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia, Will Freund with Climate, Kayak, and Conversation discusses what he has learned along his journey to understand where coastal communities stand on the conversation around climate change. An engaging discussion on the storytelling, education, and climate literacy.

Introduction to the Practioner Guide for Assessing Connection To Nature
Bruce Young

Are you interested in understanding your audiences’ relationships with nature? Do you need to demonstrate to funders that your programs increase learners’ connection to nature? This session will introduce you to The Practitioner's Guide to Assessing Connection to Nature, a new guidebook for helping you measure this elusive concept with young children, teenagers, or adults.

Invest in Your School’s Community to Build Environmental Education Capacity
Bianca Cassouto, Alicia Torres, Erin Mitchell

Invest in your educators, invest in your curriculum, and invest in your school community! Learn about our place-based environmental education program model that builds long-term capacity in K-12 schools for the benefit of local and ecological communities. Find out how this model can be applied to drive cultural change, maximize partnerships, and improve environmental science understanding.

Lichen or Not
Keith Bamberger, Annie Lee, Jonathan Navarro

Lichens grow almost everywhere, live a long time, and some varieties are sensitive to air pollution. combination makes them a good school yard student science activity. We will set us temporary lichen monitoring sites on the Luther Ridge Campus, and collect data. We will also use the NC Lichen Database and other on line lichen tools.

Modifying an undergraduate EE course to be more justice-oriented
Lauren Gibson, Kathryn Stevenson, Renee Strnad

While the capstone course for NC State’s EE undergraduate minor has done a good job of connecting students to the local EE scene, it has fallen short in teaching students about EE’s intersections with justice. In this session, we will discuss our efforts to rework the course syllabus to better incorporate justice. Attendees will be invited to provide feedback and share their own experiences.

One Wild Community
Tricia Kyzer

We are connected to nature through the geography of where we find ourselves, the experiences we have in our places, and the natural communities we share that space with. In a world where our experience has increasingly connected us to technological landscapes, we will explore how can help our students make real connections and find their place in their wild communities.

Recollecting the Past to Explore Nature in the Present- An Integrated Approach
Lisa Gross, Mandy Harrison

This presentation will focus on an interdisciplinary collaboration between two departments in creating a general education course that connects college students to nature on campus and in the surrounding community. The presenters will discuss how Universal Background Design (UBd) was used in course development and share how students in an outdoor leadership course supported nature experiences.

Rewilding North Carolina’s Red Wolves
Nikki Robinson

The red wolf once roamed freely from New York to Texas, yet today it is America’s most endangered mammal. The recovery of this iconic carnivore is dependent on improving human understanding of their ecological roles, thus increasing acceptance of coexistence. This session will demonstrate how pairing scientific research and effective communication can cultivate support to protect a species.

Schools In Parks: From The Screen To The Green
Mary Meyer, Sarah Yelton, Sean Higgins, Randy Bechtel

Bat costume? Check! Silly Nature Games? Check! Overhauling monotonous virtual professional development to produce an engaging wonderland of resources that actually gets learners outside? You betcha! Learn how North Carolina state parks, school districts and a university have partnered to ensure meaningful virtual and outdoor environmental education professional development. 

Social Justice Initiatives and Training in Outdoor Experiential Education: A Survey of the Field
Scott Morrison, Jacob Hyle

In this presentation, we will share findings from a research study in which we surveyed and interviewed leaders and administrators in outdoor experiential education from across the United States about their mission, goals, training, and programming related to social justice.

The Outdoors is Open: Building Support for Outdoor Learning with The Durham Public Schools Hub Farm
Ashley Meredith, Hannah Ball-Damberg

Throughout the past year, outdoor learning has received increasing attention as a viable, equitable, and engaging alternative to traditional indoor classrooms. Join the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm, the outdoor learning facility for the Durham school district, to learn about their three-pronged approach to engaging the Durham Public Schools community in outdoor learning.

The Wake Green Schools Partnership: a model for advancing environmental literacy and greening of schools
Laura Wood, Christy Perrin, Krista Brinchek, Jill McGowan

The Wake Green Schools Partnership formed in 2019 to support sustainability initiatives in the WCPSS school district with community partnerships. Learn about a model of a community- school district team to leverage resources, skills, and networking for increasing sustainability and environmental literacy. Participants will have time to brainstorm on fostering collaboration in their own community.

Two-Eyed Seeing: Using Indigenous Stories to Widen Your View of Science
Jessica Metz

Discover the rich science embedded within traditional stories. Learn how Indigenous Ways of Knowing and contemporary science together can create a more inclusive view of all that is science. Let’s explore our definitions of science together, expand our understanding of what scientists do, and learn how you can apply these ideas to your own educational environment. Lots of resources to share!

What Environmental Educators Need to Know About Abolitionist Teaching
Scott Morrison, Dani Toma-Harrold

Environmental and place-based education (EPBE) is often used to get students outside of classrooms and into nature and communities. However, EPBE can perpetuate white supremacy. By centering abolitionist teaching (Love, 2019), could EPBE be used to get outside of the harm caused by schools and dismantle racist policies and practices?

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

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

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