Conference Workshop Descriptions 2022



NAAEE Affiliates Workshop

In-Person Workshop: Full-Day
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM MST

Presenter: Bruce Young, Affiliate Relations Specialist, NAAEE 
Price: $38

Join other leaders from the NAAEE Affiliate Network as we come together for our annual Affiliate Workshop designed specifically for Affiliate Staff and Board Members focused on building capacity at both the Affiliate and network level. Lunch is included. 

Community-Centered EE: NAAEE Community Engagement Guidelines Leaders Workshop

In-Person Workshop: Full-Day
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM MST

Presenters: Libby McCann, Antioch University New England; Jean Chimbirima Kayira, Antioch University New England; Luciana Ranelli, Antioch University New England; Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve; Emily Schuttenberg, Antioch University New England; Susana C Mateos, Antioch University New England; Anne Umali, NAAEE; Bora Simmons, National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education
Price: $0

Participants in this full-day interactive workshop are (1) introduced to the NAAEE’s Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence and equity and inclusion expansion of the Community Engagement Guidelines; (2) offered relevant facilitation and programming ideas; and (3) provided guidance for how to design relevant support in their respective community contexts. The Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence identify community centeredness, collaboration, and inclusion as key characteristics of authentic community engagement. 

Since this is a “train the trainer” type of workshop, participants will be expected to facilitate some sort of educational session related to themes within the Community Engagement Guidelines in the next year. We will provide relevant resources and ongoing support as needed. This workshop will occur in two parts; attendees must commit to both. The first gathering will be in person at the NAAEE Conference, in October 2022. The second gathering will be virtual and will focus on the equity and inclusion expansion of the Community Engagement Guidelines. Participants will have a choice of November 7 or November 14, 1:00 PM–4:00 PM EST for this follow-up gathering. Please save the date that works best for you and put it on your calendar now!

Engaging Classrooms in Environmental Data and Community Science with FieldScope

In-Person Workshop: Morning
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30 AM–12:00 PM MST

Presenters: Sean O'Connor, BSCS Science Learning; Audrey Mohan, BSCS Science Learning
Price: $38

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for students to engage in authentic science and engineering practices. Mapping and analyzing community and citizen science data sets is one approach for students to answer questions about pressing environmental problems through engagement in these practices. Newly-redesigned FieldScope, a platform for citizen science data collection and analysis, provides a K–12-friendly tool for this type of analysis of real environmental data. It allows users to study local environmental phenomena and analyze data across different spatial regions and scales, and across different time points, using multiple ways of representation. Importantly, these learning experiences give students access to meaningful real-world problems that environmental data can help them figure out and even take action to help solve.

We will start by introducing the "Invitations to Inquiry with FieldScope" lessons for middle and high school students. These lessons engage learners and their teachers in science inquiry using data generated by citizen science projects hosted on the FieldScope platform. We will go over the instructional model that underpins each lesson and then explore examples of Step 1 and Step 2 inquiries that are part of a “stepping stones approach to learning.” Participants will also have a hands-on shared learning experience with one of these lessons to gain familiarity with the design of the lessons and the FieldScope platform.

We will then cover how the instructional model can be applied to design new lessons that a project may want to develop for bringing their own environmental monitoring data—whether collected by citizen scientists or not—to life for middle and high school classroom audiences. Once participants are familiar with the design and flow of the materials, we will move into a second part of the workshop where facilitators will demonstrate how other environment-focused learning centers have imported their datasets into FieldScope to make them available to a learner audience.

Advancing Civics in Environmental Education

In-Person Workshop: Morning
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30 AM–12:00 PM MST

Presenters:  Vince D Meldrum, Earth Force; Alyssa McConkey, Earth Force
Price: $38

The workshop will be broken into four elements, each given equal time. The first element will give an overview of Environmental Action Civics and Earth Force in a mixed media format, offering examples of Environmental Action Civics as well as key resources from Earth Force. The second element will feature a guest speaker on the impacts that can be seen through using this authentic action-based learning. We will also do an investigation activity where we practice mapping our local communities. In the third element of the workshop, we will have a guest speaker discuss how to prepare youth to ask for a change and speak to decision-makers. We will also share a new best practices tool that Earth Force created based on a Power Dynamics webinar we held with partners in late 2021. We will wrap up with our fourth element, a Q&A with author Ken Kay on how to convince administrators to support authentic learning models such as Environmental Action Civics.

Engaging Youth Groups in Community Action Projects for the Environment

In-Person Workshop: Morning
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30–12:00 PM MST

Presenters: Martha C. Monroe, University of Florida; Gabby Salazar, University of Florida; Ailee Odom;  Sarah West Davis, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Price: $38

CAPE (Community Action Projects for the Environment) is a new program for youth clubs combining environmental education and civic engagement. In 8 meetings youth select a local environmental issue and focus on a project that addresses a policy change in their community. Meeting activities, reflection pages, and "missions" between meetings help youth explore their community, interview decision makers, collect data, consider different decision making procedures, partner with a community group, select an issue and a project, build skills in project management, and consider how to persuade and justify a request for change. The program has been co-developed with 4-H agents and leaders in Florida and will be pilot tested this year in several states.
In this workshop, we will introduce the 8 sessions and conduct some of the CAPE activities. We will also introduce the evaluation tools we are using to assess civic literacy and governance skills, individual and collective efficacy, and positive youth development. You can take home a copy of our curriculum guide to pilot, and we would appreciate your feedback! 
CAPE adapts Earth Force activities to the non-formal setting, making the Earth Force process of addressing community action more accessible to those who do not have classrooms. It will also be helpful to anyone interested in the intersection of civic engagement and environmental education. CAPE helps youth conduct an action project in the community with community leaders and for the community and environment. This process of community problem solving is commonly used in service learning, Give Water a Hand, and Give Forests a Hand, and has been shown to increase youth efficacy for creating additional community change in the future. Club leaders have seen youth develop a more sophisticated understanding of community governance and skill in systems thinking as they gain collective efficacy.
CAPE is part of the ee360+ program of the North American Association for Environmental Education, funded by the U.S. E.P.A. The program is led by a team from the University of Florida, IFAS/Extension.

Nurturing, Educating, Connecting: A Tour of Manzo Elementary's School Gardens

In-Person Workshop: Afternoon
Wednesday, October 12, 1:00–4:30 PM MST

Presenter: Carly Pierson, Community & School Garden Program
Price: $38

Tour Manzo Elementary in person for an in-depth school garden experience. Manzo has a desert tortoise preserve, ecology garden, greenhouse, chickens, compost, vermiculture, desert biome, and agrivoltaics garden beds, and is called “The Greenest Elementary School on the Planet'' by the Center for Green Schools. 

Students at Manzo have multiple ways of connecting the garden to their lives, from contributing to daily “farm chores'' to cooking with the food they harvest and improving their food literacy at the Food Literacy Lab. Fourth graders participate in real-world agrivoltaics research by studying how well different plants grow when under solar panels. The research they perform is then used by scientists at the UA to better understand how agrivoltaics could be utilized more broadly for energy and food production. Students meanwhile learn about climate science, energy and water consumption, and food production techniques. 

The Community and School Garden Program (CSGP) was borne from the vigorous ecology program at Manzo, and we support not only Manzo Elementary’s school gardens, but 25 others in Tucson. Our goal is to foster social-emotional growth, help students reclaim their nutritional health, and grow food, community, and culinary traditions. This includes the Sonoran Desert School Gardener’s Almanac, a place-based yearly publication with recipes, gardening information, and activities sourced from the local community for educators and students to use in the garden. We value the knowledge that comes from community members we know and we value the connections we have spent time building, acknowledging each author and the traditions they come from. The CSGP also runs a school gardens workshop class at the UA, educating them in the basics of sustainable agriculture and connecting UA interns to school gardens around the city so they can put their knowledge and skills to work, supporting gardens and the students who use them. The Manzo Elementary tour will take you through each of these aspects of the school and the Community and School Garden Program.

Transportation to the school will be provided and is included in the workshop price. 

The Road to NAAEE Higher Education Accreditation: A Map for Success

In-Person Workshop: Afternoon
Wednesday, October 12, 1:00–4:30 PM MST

Presenters: Rebecca L. Franzen, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education; Billy Bennett, Kentucky Environmental Education Council; Patty Born, Hamline University School of Education; Howard Drossman, Catamount Center/TREE Semester; Lucy R. McClain, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center - Penn State University
Moderator: Bora Simmons, National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education
Price: $38

This half-day workshop will provide you with all you need to know about NAAEE’s college/university EE program accreditation, as well as get you started on the process. We'll highlight benefits of accreditation and explore the NAAEE Guidelines for the Professional Development of Environmental Education (which accreditation is based upon). Then, we'll dig into the logistics of the process…what information do you need to gather? How should you present it? How is it reviewed? We'll share real submission examples, as well as tips to be successful in the process. There will be some work time for you to put what you learn into action and for you to ask one-on-one questions of presenters. Presenters have been through the accreditation process, and some have reviewed accreditation materials from other institutions. Take advantage of this time to move forward in your accreditation efforts!

Building Capacity for Justice-Centered Climate Change Education

Virtual: Thursday, October 6, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenters: Lindsey Kirkland, Climate Generation; Seth Spencer, Climate Generation; Sarah R Johnson, Wild Rose Education
Price: $25

Climate Generation, in collaboration with 26 education leaders from across North America, has developed a model that leverages collective planning and decision-making to create our annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, a professional development conference for K–12 and nonformal educators. Central to the goals of the Summer Institute is to authentically incorporate aspects of racial justice at the intersection of climate change solutions. We understand that educators must not only stand in solidarity with students, colleagues, and community members of color, they must also take action to create systemic change to address racial injustice and inequality. 

To authentically incorporate aspects of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into our work, we aspire to be anti-racist. We acknowledge it is not enough to simply teach about justice, promote equitable practices, and to support diversity with inclusive practices; we must also consistently and fervently oppose racism and promote racial tolerance in all aspects of our work. To do this, we work to undo the legacy of past and current harms of white supremacy and work against the role that white culture plays in preventing us from dismantling racist systems in our communities and organizations.  

Join us in an interactive workshop where we tell our stories of moving from DEI to anti-racist work, critically explore the dimensions of planning that create justice-centered environmental education programming, and discuss key learnings from our collective planning model, specifically how we build capacity for organizations to provide justice-centered climate change professional development for educators. Hear from several climate change education organizations (including Ten Strands, Climate Generation, and Wild Rose Education) as we share our climate justice journeys, and some successes and failures along the way. 

Participants in this workshop participate in an interactive and critical discourse around the personal and professional work required to bring justice into environmental education programming. Educators and organization leaders will also have the opportunity to learn more about the collective model of Climate Generation’s annual Summer Institute, investigate some of the challenges of collective program planning, and receive an invitation to participate in the 2023 Summer Institute.

Nature-Based Charter Schools to Increase the Accessibility of Environmental Education

Virtual: Thursday, October 6, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenter: Jessica Lehson, Watershed Public Charter School
Price: $25

This session will present an innovative approach to increasing the accessibility and diversity of environmental education by using an established but little-known path. Charter Schools are unique public schools that highlight innovation, receive public funds, and are open to all. They have no fee for attendance, meaning that they are often the only choice outside of traditional schools for many families. Nature-based charter schools are often the first and only exposure that less affluent students have to nature and environmental issues. Comprehensive, standards-aligned environmental education is not only possible but incredibly engaging to students.   

Why? Workshop participants will first look generally at how a nature-based program and standards-aligned curriculum can support their students and environmental goals. Watershed Public Charter School will be used as a case study.

How? Next participants will walk through the steps involved in starting a charter school from scratch. We’ll look at creating a mission statement, designing engaging place-based curriculum, and heading off some of the challenges of the charter process among other things. Participants will leave knowing how and where to start and with a better understanding of whether or not this is the right fit for them.      

This session will inform environmental educators about a proven way to increase accessibility in environmental education using the charter school model to increase diversity and availability to lower-income families. Integrating environmental education into comprehensive standards-based education should be the norm, not the exception. Giving educators a practical path to work this way is incredibly engaging. Participants will have time to really dig into a complicated subject. 

This session aims to create a more just, diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible field, by making ee available in public schools as well as private ones. The case study is in a very urban area, and the green space on campus is the only green space many students interact with. The design of the curriculum and the location of the school are important parts of creating equitable opportunities for all students.

Ocean Literacy and E-STEM to Empower Youth in Climate Action

Virtual: Thursday, October 6, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenters: Carlos Perez Murcia, Fundación Mundo Azul, Centro CIMAP.; (Presenter) Hazel Araujo, Semillas del Océano
Price: $25

The workshop will consist of small sessions (45 mins each) reviewing each principle of Ocean Literacy, applying E-STEM activities with accessible/homemade materials. In addition, each principle will include success stories and personal experiences of our students in Guatemala and the region who have shown to be ocean leaders tackling climate change. 

Principle 1- The Earth has one big ocean with many features  
& Principle 2- The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth,  

Using statistics and math to visualize the magnitude of the ocean on the planet. Then, understanding salinity and temperature effects in ocean currents with a chemistry/physics experiment. Finally discussing the effects of ocean currents on all life on earth, and how climate change is affecting this. 
Principle 3- The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. 
& Principle 4- The ocean made the Earth habitable.

Learning how technology has helped us understand the origin of Earth (with a focus on ocean making the planet habitable through phytoplankton). Then, chemistry experiments on the greenhouse effect, and ocean acidification effect on marine ecosystems. Ending with a discussion on the issues with the increase of greenhouse gasses on the capacity of the ocean to buffer CO2 and provide oxygen to the planet. 
Principle 5- The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems. 
& Principle 6- The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected. 

Marine biology interactive class of the most representative species and ecosystems in the ocean.  Then, a summary of the coastal communities' relationship with marine life in Guatemala and worldwide. And ending with a round table of sustainable development in coastal communities to promote the conservation of marine life, highlighting sustainable fishing and tourism. 
Principle 7- The ocean is largely unexplored.
Presenting global ocean leaders who have made an impact in promoting the exploration of the ocean, focusing on empowering equity and inclusive opportunities to all. After this, each participant will have the opportunity to pitch their idea of a project to become an ocean leader using E-STEM tools to fight climate change.

How to Teach Climate Change Effectively

Virtual: Friday, October 7, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenters:  Karen Acton, OISE, University of Toronto; Michele Michele Martin; Melanie Williams, LSF-LST
Price: $25

Climate change is the most complex and wide-reaching challenge facing humankind today. It is essential that we help younger generations take on this challenge and that we call on their energy, creativity, and drive to help us all work towards a common goal of mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. Schools are a critical part of the global, national, and local responses to climate change. Climate education is best taught using an interdisciplinary approach in all subjects; however, research has shown that many educators feel they are not fully equipped to take on this challenge and are asking for additional support and training.
This virtual workshop uses current research to highlight effective teaching strategies. Educators from Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) will engage participants in a lively and hands-on exploration of strategies and resources to effectively teach the nuanced topic of climate change. Conventional teaching, based on information transfer and finding the “right” answers, does not align well with the complexity of climate change or the evolving nature of the field. Climate change education requires a multi-pronged approach that directly addresses misconceptions and also facilitates critical questioning of societal norms and cultural drivers. 
When tackling complex problems like climate change, active learning strategies are essential tools to engage students and allow for students’ perspectives and voices to be included. This workshop, using interactive online teaching tools (polling, whiteboards, and shared docs), will allow participants to explore and use current resources such as Empowering Learners in a Warming World: A Climate Change Guide for Educators, which is based on inquiry learning and critical thinking protocols. An additional focus will emphasize solutions and student actions that are an essential component of teaching climate change in order to address eco-anxiety and foster hope. Participants will leave the workshop with new strategies and resources that can be added to their repertoire of teaching tools. They will also have gained the understanding that active hope means empowering students to create new ideas that push forward the vision of a positive future.

Re-Storying, Gamifying, and Reconciling Environmental Education for a Regenerative Future

Virtual: Friday, October 7, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenters: Jane Ji, Springbay Studio; Haley Higdon, Natural Curiosity; Ian Shanahan, Green Teacher
Price: $25

Three leading Canadian organizations are collaborating on a two-part virtual workshop based on local, inquiry learning for educators of all grades. Participants will explore innovative teaching frameworks and tools for transformative environmental education from each organization and their focus area: inquiry and engagement through an Indigenous lens (Natural Curiosity), gamification for climate action (Springbay), and connecting emotionally through storytelling (Green Teacher). 

In the first part of the workshop, we will provide a holistic introduction to each organization and their resources, and conclude with an inquiry activity that invites participants to reflect on and share about “a special place”—a place in the natural world that is meaningful to them. Educators’ personal identification to place will serve as the basis for the development of their own inquiry learning plans in Part 2, which can in turn, be applied with learners.

Participants will dive deeper into a focus area of their choice in the second part of the workshop:
Green Teacher: Using the stories we tell about our special places as the starting point as participants are guided through a dynamic, interactive exercise to create an emotionally-impactful learning experience about how climate change affects their and their learners’ lives.     
Natural Curiosity: Exploring our connections to the natural world through the four-branch framework of environmental inquiry and using an educator story mapping tool to develop a plan for local land-based inquiry with an Indigenous lens.
Springbay: Learning local environmental issues through the lenses of Sustainable Development Goals and exploring how gamification can be incorporated into inquiry to drive behaviour change while engaging students in climate empowerment.

Throughout the workshop, expert-facilitators will demonstrate how to devise a meaningful inquiry-based learning experience while participants create their own. Idea-sharing during the breakout sessions will be recorded on a Jamboard (or similar platform) and shared with the entire group. At the end of the workshop, participants will have gained a deeper understanding of how an inquiry approach to climate education, informed by Indigenous perspectives and rooted deeply in their local context through storytelling and holistic gameplay, can leave both educators and students feeling more engaged and empowered about the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

Know Your Audience: Empowering Effective Climate Change Communicators

Virtual: Monday, October 10, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenters: Ruthie Gold
Price: $25

At the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, the golden rule of effective communication is to “know thy audience.” Climate change engagement efforts must start with the fundamental recognition that people are different and have different reasons for acting—or not acting—to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Whether the audience is our family, friends, or our broader community, only when we understand our audience are we able to effectively communicate with them about climate change.

This interactive workshop will enable participants to use our suite of NGSS-aligned activities as a framework to explore YPCCC’s golden rule. First, participants will listen and discuss a Yale Climate Connections 90-second radio story about how a teen changed his stepdad’s mind about global warming to demonstrate that it is possible for young people (and everyone!) to change minds about climate change through effective communication. Next, we will take a deep dive into the YPCCC-defined Six Americas: six audiences who each approach climate change in their own unique way. Participants will get the opportunity to work with a scenario where they must brainstorm effective communication strategies for each of the Six Americas. Then, they will work with an interactive model, the Yale Climate Opinion Maps, to see how climate change beliefs in their own communities compare to climate change beliefs across America as a whole. The workshop will end with participants using what they have learned to identify a climate change message and how to most effectively communicate that message in their communities. 

Our tools and activities make climate change approachable, accessible, and relevant to all learners, which this workshop will demonstrate. Through polls, breakout rooms, podcasts, and more, educators will learn how to navigate YPCCC’s For Educators page, familiarize themselves with YPCCC’s data and research, and come away with ideas and strategies that will help empower their students to be more effective climate change communicators.

Thrive Naturally

Virtual: Monday, October 10, 9:30 AM–1:00 PM MST
Presenter: Amy Lang, University of MD Extension
Price: $25

Current research indicates that we can all strengthen and refine our programs. In this session participants will reflect on research from the Search Institute that looked at goals and outcomes of both nature-based programs and positive youth development programs, finding that when programs incorporated both nature and youth development goals, the outcomes for both were enhanced. Research will be presented, followed by a discussion of implications for our existing programs, considering how participants might be able to incorporate additional elements of PYD or nature-based programming to enhance outcomes.  

Following this discussion, an overview of the Thrive Naturally curriculum will be provided, highlighting how the authors intentionally incorporated this research to create lessons with both nature-based and positive youth development elements.  Participants will analyze select lessons to identify both elements and discuss the benefits of incorporating both rather than simply a nature-based environmental education program, or one focused solely on positive youth development.  

Finally, participants will experience one or two lessons from the Thrive Naturally curriculum. A discussion will follow to highlight the overlapping elements and the strengths of using this blended approach.  

The Thrive Naturally program is a highly interactive set of lessons that intentionally blends positive youth development and nature-based goals, resulting in enhanced outcomes for both.  Youth participants thrive with increased confidence, hopeful purpose, and social skills; while experiencing an increased affinity for nature.  

Participants will be invited to download the curriculum and associated IRB approved evaluation tools for use in their home settings.