2017 Annual Conference

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Get ready for the 2017 WAEE annual conference on October 19-21 at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin. We have a dynamic lineup of field trips, workshops, concurrent sessions, networking opportunities and an evening gala. Registration is now open!

2017 Keynote speaker James Edward Mills!

The Path of Convergence: Navigating the Flow of Synergy Through The Adventure Gap

As the United States  population grows to become more urban and disconnected from the natural world there is an expanding divide between those who spend time in the outdoors and those who do not. With rising disparities of economic opportunity and political influence that still fall along racial lines, people of color are disproportionately under represented among citizens for whom outdoor recreation and environmental protection are personal imperatives.  This fissure, described by journalist and photographer James Edward Mills as The Adventure Gap, is spreading to include disenfranchised white people as well. Anyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity, who lacks the privileges of social mobility, disposable income and leisure time to enjoy the so-called “Great Outdoors” will find it difficult to invest what few resources they have to protect and preserve it.
 Modern organizations charged with the mission of environmental conservation must shift their priorities to equitably include the diverse interests of an emerging population of citizens who are increasingly people of color, urban and economically challenged. In order to become more culturally and socially relevant throughout a broad cross-section of the American public these agencies are working to shrink the Adventure Gap by engaging a new audience of potential allies.  As groups like the Sierra Club, the Trust For Public Land, the National Park Foundation and many others recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in their efforts to build communities of environmental stewardship, there are a growing number of opportunities to create synergy toward a national movement. Read more

Conference Schedule at a Glance  New! Conference Mobile App

Conference Registration & Pricing

Workshops & Field Trips

Sessions Schedule  New! Session Details

Volunteer Sign Up

Conference Credit Information

Lodging Options

Conference Strands

  • The Rising Tide –  Stewardship, advocacy and community engagement. Waters may be rising, but so are our communities. How is your organization engaging local communities in environmental education? Did you have great success with a specific stewardship campaign? Who are your partners?  Share your successes to help inspire us all.
  • Immersed – Innovative best practices in environmental education. Surround yourself with the best of the best. Share the latest classroom technology. Explore recent trends in curriculum. Examine up and coming research in the field. Share the projects and efforts that continue to make environmental education excellent.
  • Watershed Connections – Diversity, equity and inclusion. Water connects us all. How is your organization ensuring a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment?  How are you delivering culturally relevant education? Where are you struggling?  How can the field of environmental education be more inclusive when it comes to all types of diversity – race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  • At the Water’s Edge – hands-on environmental education and recreation. Share your best water-based recreation and hands-on education projects. How are you integrating water in the field and the classroom to make learning fun and experiential?
  • Water Droplets – Early childhood environmental education. Have you developed an outdoor program for young children? Are you working with unexpected partners? Have you found successful strategies to engage families? From nature centers to day care centers we can all learn from developments in early childhood environmental experiences.

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors:

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