Conference Schedule

General Schedule

Friday, September 18

Saturday, September 19

Want to be a part of this?  Register online here.

Concurrent Session Descriptions

Please note, session details, including times will be provided soon. All content is subject to change until the schedule is finalized. 

Friday, September 18

Exploring Science and Nature in North Carolina
April Smith, In Situ Explorer; Sarah Carrier, NC State University

North Carolina is a treasure trove of awe-inspiring natural wonders many of which are highlighted in our new book, Thirty Great North Carolina Science Adventures. A valuable resource for adventurous explorers and environmental educators, many of the book's chapters are authored by EENC members. In this session we will share the science, fragility, and resilience of our state's natural treasures.

Exploring Moths in Evening Programs
Chris Goforth, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Programs about moths and other nighttime insects are a great way to engage visitors after dark! In this session, you’ll learn about moths, lighting options to attract them, citizen science projects, identification resources, and tips for running your own moth night. Walk away with printable resources to get started!

The Hub of the EE Wheel: Cultivating Community Engagement in Public Schools through an Outdoor Learning Center
Melissa Amoabeng and Ashley Meredith Durham Public Schools Hub Farm

Today's most successful school districts engage diverse community partners in their school system, including private, public, and non-profit partners. The Durham Public Schools Hub Farm is a model for bringing these partners in through a school-system operated Outdoor Learning Center.  Learn how your school district can create a similar "Hub" for community environmental education.

Leave No Trace: Active Games for a COVID World
Ruby Compton, Ruby Outdoors

This session offers a basic overview of the 7 Leave No Trace Principles.  Participants play several activity-based games that can be led with children and adults to help instill an understanding of why minimum impact ethics in the outdoors are so important.  Come to this session ready to play!

Culturally Responsive Teaching within Environmental Education
Ti'Era Worsley, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

There is a glaring lack of diversity in EE programs. This presentation explains what it means to be culturally responsive and what that looks like for environmental educators. We will look at how our own experiences have shaped our relationship nature and what a culturally responsive environmental education framework could look like and identify gaps for improvement.

Climate, Kayak, and Conversation: Stories From a Changing Coast
Will Freund; Climate, Kayak, and Conservation

Climate change is a topic of conversation that can often have intense opinions and feeling no matter where you stand on the issue. Learn how storytelling and conversations help build bridges and make connections. Hear stories from those in coastal communities on how their coast has changed over time during my solo kayak-sailing voyage up the Intracoastal Waterway.

Did you ever think you could write a grant AND get funded?
Dottie Shuman, Montreat College

Join a somewhat successful grant writer to learn more about how to share GREAT ideas and get them funded.  We will not only look at who may fund you, but also get you started on writing a proposal and developing your elevator speech.  Be ready to brainstorm and share your ideas. Collaboration with other entities is one of the key areas funders look at.  So, be prepared to collaborate and share!

New Distance Learning Resources from the NC Division of Air Quality
Keith Bamberger, Annie Lee, and Jonathan Navarro, NC Division of Air Quality

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.

Virtual Ice Breakers and Games
Mary Meyer, Horizons Unlimited

With today's world of education constantly changing, it's a good idea to have some ice breakers and games in your back pocket. This presentation will give you over a dozen ice breakers and games that can be played virtually or in-person!

Using EPAs EnviroAtlas as a tool to make programming in your community more inclusive
Jenna Hartley, ORISE Participant, US Environmental Protection Agency

This hands-on session will introduce EnviroAtlas as a tool to help participants build location-specific demographic maps, which can help EE centers answer important questions about their programming, such as "who lives in our communities?" and "what is their surrounding environment like?" Participants will leave with data and maps to justify which groups they're designing programs for and why.

Pivoting to Online: Translating EE Programs to a Post-Covid World
Jonathan Marchal, The North Carolina Arboretum

This session will explore how education programming at The North Carolina Arboretum pivoted from serving in-person experiences to one that reaches its audience entirely online within a matter of weeks. The session will include lessons learned such as restructuring staffing roles to meet challenges, creating online content and translating in-person activities to virtual learning.

Seeking Paths in Nature (SPiN)
Natrieifia Miller, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In, "Decoding Nature's Calendar" we will discuss phenology and why it's important to collect data over a long period of time. Next, using real data collected in the GSMNP we will graph, analyze and interpret trends. Finally, we will discuss how climate change will impact significant organisms in the Park and ways you can help GSMNP and EBCI collect data through Community/Citizen Science opportunities. 

Saturday, September 19

STEM-ulating Activities on Human Ecology
Daniel Wheeler, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Discover innovative ways to teach middle school students about human-environmental interactions, while also building STEM skills through problem solving, mathematical modeling, interactive technology and more. Interdisciplinary topics include human population growth, land and ocean use, climate change and biodiversity. Receive electronic lesson plans for use in classrooms and nature centers.

CooCoo for CoCoRaHS CitSci Program! Rain Gauge Learning & Connections
Krista Brinchek, Wake County Public Schools; Chris Goforth, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

The Collaborative Community Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) is a community-based network of volunteers to measure and map precipitation. Implementation of this project provides opportunities for hands on engagement, while authentically teaching standards. Come learn what CoCoRaHS is all about, how to get started, how to join the CoCoRaHS Teacher Network, and other CitSci connected projects!

A Tale of Two "Green" Public Elementary Schools
Laura Wood, Wake County Public Schools; Jill McGowan

Once upon a time, two Title 1 schools became more environmentally-focused through green initiatives. Wake County Public School System has shown support of Environmental Literacy by choosing an Environmental Connections theme for our two schools. Learn about Millbrook and Lincoln Heights Magnet Elementary Schools and take home ideas for how you can also get on a GREEN path to "happily ever after!"

Virtual Field Trips: Exploring Phenomena with Youtube360
Rebecca Weaver, Wake County Public Schools

Virtual Field trips provide students with the opportunity to explore inaccessible locations, especially during remote learning. When 360 videos are embedded and sequenced purposefully, the trip comes to life engaging students in an authentic and meaningful process of making sense of phenomena.

Can your Students Grow Chickens on Mars? Mine Can!
Sarah Moore, Uwharrie Ridge 6-12

Chicken Nuggets on Mars?! After a year, students learned how to compare different ways to grow plants, how to raise chickens (on Earth and Mars) and how environmental issues on Earth may or may not be an issue on Mars. Mars is a hot topic so why not use it to engage students in science concepts! Teachers will leave with lesson plans, activity ideas, community partners ideas  and grant ideas.

I Wonder Why They Aren't Participating? Nature is For Everyone 
Ti'Era Worsley, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

When we think about the current lack of diversity within environmental programs we often forget to think about historically where did it start. We will address issues of diversity and inclusion by examining socio-historical narratives of why different races have not seen themselves as "environmentalists" and why it is our job as environmental educators to disrupt that narrative.

Using the Schoolyard as the Classroom for Ecosystem Studies
Diana Rashash, NC Cooperative Extension; Michelle Chadwick, Onslow County Public Schools

This session provides practice in evaluating and using schoolyard features to teach to the NC essential standards for Ecosystems. The focus is grades K-5; however, the concepts are transferable to other grades. Various stations (e.g. soils, water, decomposers, “slow the flow”, and outdoor observations) will be discussed. Final reflections will recap what was done and observed, and how this could be used at participants’ school sites.

7 Gut Checks if You're Thinking About Starting a Pre-school EE Program
Haley Tedder Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

This title is intentionally misleading as this will be a light and fun presentation! Seriously considering starting, or might already have begun, an environmental education program for pre-school children? Let's affirm all of your positive thoughts about the capabilities of you & your staff, and dispel any negative ideas you might have concerning such a crazy program.

Strategies for Encouraging Pro-Environmental Behavior Change Among Your Audience
Marissa Blackburn, Bald Head Island Conservancy

Is one of your EE program goals to inspire pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors among your audience? Do you want your programs to be memorable and impactful? Learn several strategies you can utilize in your programs to inspire behavior change, based on research, including increasing empathy for wildlife, utilizing universal values, reframing issues positively, and telling more stories.

Inclusive Teaching Workshop
Barbara Goldentyer, Cape Fear Botanical Gardens

Participants in this session will jointly create a guide to developing an inclusive learning space. Together we will create a list of ideas and tips for making our classrooms and outdoor learning spaces encouraging, inspiring settings for learners of all races, genders, ages, sexualities, and abilities.

Backyard and Beyond
CC King, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission; Danica Heflin, Piedmont Triad Regional Council

Conservation corridors connect us across the landscape. Let’s gather and discuss the tools we have available, the principles at work, and some examples of methodology to promote habitat resilience. This session will highlight the Green Growth Toolbox, the Conservation Corridors program, and the iNaturalist Conservation Corridors project that connects backyard habitat constituents across NC.

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