EE Events and Resources

Opportunity to Review EPA Grants

Our colleagues at the EPA Office of Environmental Education are looking for volunteers to review proposals for the upcoming round of regional EE grants. See below for information from EPA.

As many of you may already know, EPA has released its FY 2020 Request for Applications for environmental education projects. Given the volume of applications EPA expects to receive under this opportunity, we are cooperating with volunteer grant application reviewers who are knowledgeable in environmental education at the community, state and regional levels to assist us with reviewing applications.

In order to be a grant reviewer you must not have any conflicts of interest with competing applicants, or otherwise, under the competition. You will be asked to sign a conflict of interest and waiver of compensation document. EPA will not pay volunteer grant reviewers. If you are selected to be a volunteer reviewer, you will get the chance to review upcoming and exciting projects from across the country at the grassroots level and provide invaluable assistance to the program.

What will I do?
You will be assigned 3-5 grant applications to review based on the criteria in the solicitation. You will read them, score them based on the criteria in the solicitation, and then provide your scoring to the Regional contact. EPA will provide guidance and instruction about the evaluation process.

How much time do I need to dedicate for being a reviewer?
Typically grant reviewers spend roughly 2 hours providing their review per application. We start with a short training on how to score the applications and then you will review them sometime within a 3-4 week period we provide. Grant reviews will begin no sooner than the end of January 2020.

How do I volunteer?
Please send your resume or letter of interest to if you are interested in this volunteer professional development opportunity by December 2, 2019.

2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators

WASHINGTON — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is now accepting applications for the 2020 Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) and Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). Winners will be invited to Washington, D.C. in mid-2020 to be honored by the agency and present their work in a poster session.


Established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act (NEEA), PEYA recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from Kindergarten to 12th grade, by promoting environmental awareness and encouraging community involvement. Also established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, PIAEE recognizes outstanding K-12 grade educators who integrate environmental and place-based, experiential learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country. Under NEAA, the White House Council on Environmental Quality assists EPA in administering the PIAEE awards program.


EPA is seeking 2020 PEYA and PIAEE award applications for projects on a variety of environmental topics, including (but not limited to), projects on:

  • reducing food waste and loss and excess food recovery efforts;
  • reducing contributions to ocean and marine litter;
  • solutions in recycling;
  • using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to teach environmental education;
  • environmental sustainability;
  • sustainable agricultural practices; and
  • healthy school environments

The Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from grades K-12, by promoting environmental awareness and encouraging community involvement. EPA will select up to two winners in each of EPA’s 10 Regions – one regional winner for grades K-5, and one regional winner for grades 6-12. Winners of next year’s awards will be invited to participate in an awards ceremony and poster session in Washington, D.C. in mid-2020, and their projects will also be highlighted on EPA’s website. All student projects must be sponsored by at least one adult over the age of 21. And, if the sponsor is not a teacher, the project must have a teacher as a co-sponsor. The application and eligibility information are available at:

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) recognizes outstanding teachers for K-12 who employ innovative approaches to environmental education. Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. Teachers will receive a Presidential plaque and an award of up to $2,500 to be used to further professional development in environmental education. Winning teachers’ local education agencies will also receive awards of up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Winners of next year’s awards will be invited to participate in an awards ceremony and poster session in Washington, D.C. in mid-2020, and their projects will also be highlighted on EPA’s website. The application and eligibility information are available at:

Applications for both awards programs are due no later than January 15, 2020.

For more information on the youth awards (PEYA), please contact:

For more information on the teacher (PIAEE) award, please contact:

NOLS WFA Training (National Outdoor Leadership School – Wilderness First Aid)

Prepare for the unexpected with this fun, hands-on introduction to wilderness medicine, taught over two days. If you like to take short trips relatively close to medical resources, work at wilderness camps, enjoy weekend family outdoor activities, or recreation outdoors, this course is for you. More info HERE.

Where: Outdoor UW at Memorial Union (800 Langdon St., Madison, WI)

Cost: $200 for Hoofer Club Member, $250 for guests

Available course dates:


NOLS WFR Training (National Outdoor Leadership School – Wilderness First Responder)

If you work in outdoor recreation, or in other austere environments where access to medical care is delayed or communication is unreliable, our 9-day Wilderness First Responder course is for you! This certification represents the industry standard in wilderness medicine for professional guides, trip leaders, search and rescue team members, outdoor enthusiasts, and international travelers.

Cost: $790 for Hoofer Club Members, $850 for guests

Where: Outdoor UW at Memorial Union (800 Langdon St., Madison, WI)

Available course dates:


Learn more about getting academic credit for this course HERE.

Angler Education and Fishing for Dinner – Angler R3 Instructor Training Workshop

The current workshop schedule is as follows:

  • November 2, Camp Upham Woods near Wisconsin Dells
  • November 9, Urban Ecology Center – Washington Park Branch in Milwaukee
  • March 19, DNR office in Spooner

Details and registration forms are found in this link.

We are also open to scheduling other training workshops if none of these locations suit you.

R3 Grants now open!

Applications and guidance for Angler R3 and Hunter R3 grants were recently posted on the DNR’s website.

Application deadline is December 1, 2019 for both.

Other dates to remember:

  • Free Fishing Weekends: January 18-19 & June 6-7, 2020.

Nature-Based Early Learning Forum

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Umhoefer Building, UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County campus

1006 Connie Road, Baraboo, WI 53913

Join the Wonder Guides from the Wisconsin Nature Action Collaborative for Children and learn nature-based learning activities for your work with young children.

The day will be an exercise in learning outdoors so that we can successfully bring the wonder and joy of the natural world to the children and families we serve. Please dress and prepare for the weather.

During this 6-hour workshop, there will be sessions that highlight the interconnectedness of nature and foster the development of perspective taking and empathy; explore ways that natural materials can inspire students’ creativity; learn how to use the unique resources of your site to inspire joy, wonder, and learning for the children in your care.

The seminar is worth 0.6 CEUs or six hours of continuing education training in Early Childhood Education.

Registration is $69, includes all materials, continental breakfast, lunch and beverages. To register, or to learn more about the Wonder Guides and the day’s events, please go to:

NatureStart Professional Development

Friday, November 15, 2019

9am-noon  Cost:$60

Register here

From lying on their backs and looking up at clouds to squatting low to watch an ant scurry home, children show their interest in the world around them. Books and stories about nature can also capture young children’s sense of wonder, interest, and curiosity about the world around them.

Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum will host the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo’s NatureStart™ Professional Development Program mini-conference focusing on young children. Join us for this special experience.

We’ll follow a story trail and experience how nature play and literacy offer multiple touchpoints for STEAM learning in early childhood. Using hands-on exploration and take-home materials, you will have many opportunities to create, imagine, and be inspired by nature through themes from children’s stories.

Plan to attend this workshop at the beautiful Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum to explore, play, and learn together! As a participant you will:
• Develop authentic learning experiences using nature and natural elements that connect with topics in books for young children
• Gain skills and understanding enabling you to enhance your curriculum to extend a child’s creative thinking, problem-solving, and language development
• Identify early learning goals and standards that are supported by nature play
• Experience learning though hands-on activities in a nature-based setting
• Receive resources and handouts to take with you
For more information contact or click here

Wisconsin  KidWind Events

These events will take place at the Wisconsin Energy Institute (1552 University Ave, Madison).

KidWind Educator Workshop – Saturday, October 26th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

This free workshop will provide you with all you need to know to serve as a coach in the 2020 KidWind Challenge. We’ll dive into hands-on activities you can bring back to your classroom or use to guide your team to success at the Challenge in March. Register soon! The first 10 to register will receive a free Wind Turbine Kit to get your team started. Materials are geared for middle and high school students 2020.

Wisconsin KidWind Challenge – Saturday, March 7th, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

The KidWind Challenge is a hands-on student wind turbine design competition that engages middle and high school students in STEM through the lens of wind energy. Student teams design and construct small wind turbines that they test in a wind tunnel, and present their design process and demonstrate their contextual knowledge of wind energy in front of a panel of judges. Read more about the Wisconsin KidWind challenge (now in its third year) here and check out our 2019 photo album here.

Although KidWind is still young in Wisconsin, the students involved are ever raising the bar. Last year the top two Wisconsin teams competed in the National KidWind Challenge in Houston, TX finishing in the top 5 out of 60 middle school teams.

We are super excited about all the partnerships and collaboration involved in making the Wisconsin KidWind Challenge possible.

Arboretum Classes – Fall 2019

Saturday, November 2, 2–4 p.m.

Credit – Bob Jaeger

All about Owls – Learn about Wisconsin’s twelve owl species, focusing on the three that nest in Madison, and how to identify these elusive birds of prey. Habitat, calls, courtship, and adaptations to acquire food will be discussed. Indoor class. Instructor: Sylvia Marek, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by October 29.

Saturday, November 16, 1–3 p.m.

History of the Lost City – An in-depth look at the fascinating history of the failed Lake Forest development project and how the Arboretum
acquired the land. Who were the personalities involved, why didn’t the original project succeed, and what’s the status of the area?
Instructor: Kathy Miner, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $20. Register by November 12.

Saturday, November 23, 1–3 p.m.

Wreath-making from Nature – Using natural materials found at the Arboretum, make nature-inspired wreaths just in time for the holiday season. Materials supplied. You are welcome to bring ornaments and ribbons for decoration. Instructors: Marian Farrior, Arboretum restoration work party manager, and Jane Hawley Stevens, herbalist. Fee $25. Register by November 19.

Saturday, December 14, 1–4 p.m.

Effigy Mounds – Considering the People, Culture, and Environment. For hundreds of years, earthen mounds—including effigies of animals and conical and linear shapes—were built by Native peoples in southern Wisconsin. Join us for a presentation and discussion of the environment and ways of life of the people who created them. Indoors, with an outdoor walk if weather permits. Instructor: Paul Borowsky, Arboretum naturalist. Fee: $30. Register by December 9.

How to Register: Advance registration is required. Register online with a credit card at or at the Visitor Center reception desk with check or cash. Please make check payable to UW–Madison Arboretum.

Fall 2019 Lecture Series: Indigenous Knowledge Inspired by the Land

Where: UW-Madison Arboretum, 2880 Longenecker Drive, Madison WI

When: Four Tuesdays in October, 7–8:30 p.m.

Speakers will share research and cultural insights about Indigenous relationships with the land.

Free, no registration required. Suggested $10 donation at the door.

Tuesday, October 22

Using Indigenous Experience and Knowledge to Guide Sustainable Forestry in the Twenty-first Century. Michael J. Dockry, assistant professor, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota. Indigenous people have managed forests for generations using Indigenous science, values, and knowledge. Sustainable forestry began with the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin. Dockry will illustrate how Indigenous forestry is leading the way to solve some of the most complex environmental problems we face.

Click here for Fall Lecture Series Poster

Miami University’s Dragonfly Project

Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2020 Earth Expeditions graduate courses that offer extraordinary experiences in 16 countries throughout the world.

Earth Expeditions can build toward the Global Field Program (GFP), a master’s degree that combines summer field courses worldwide with web learning communities so that students can complete the GFP master’s part-time from anywhere in the United States or abroad.

Project Dragonfly also offers the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) master’s degree that combines web instruction from Miami University with experiential learning and field study through several AIP Master Institutions in the U.S. Applications for Miami’s 2020 cohorts are being accepted now with place-based experiences provided at zoos and botanical gardens in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis. New for 2020: residents of the Jacksonville, Florida area can study and earn the AIP master’s through Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, AIP’s newest Master Institution.

Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University.    1/20/20

Trees for Tomorrow Themed Courses

Trees For Tomorrow is excited to offer our Wildlife and Careers themed course for High Schools scheduled for November 3-6  and our NEW Energy/Climate and Careers themed course scheduled for December 11-14.

For who: These courses are for groups of students (2-15 students per group) and at least 1 teacher from your school.

Why Trees For Tomorrow?

  • We do the teaching! Our professional Environmental Science Teachers have formal classroom experience, Master’s Degrees, and a variety of experience teaching in environmental education settings.
  • We have updated curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.
  • We are an accredited school! Our goal is to be an extension of your classroom. Relevant and fun!
  • Our curriculum incorporates natural resources careers to help you meet some of your ACP requirements!
  • Only $65 per person for all courses, 3 nights lodging, all meals, and transportation to off-campus field sites.

Contact Cheryl today for more information and to schedule your natural resource field experience for you and your students!

Preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s stewards of our natural world.


Academy of Natural Resources (ANR)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a great place to study fish and wildlife management in a vast wilderness setting.  The Michigan DNR recently expanded their Academy of Natural Resources (ANR)  into the UP and Wisconsin educators are invited.  The ANR program celebrates its 11th consecutive year of offering professional development to educators from Michigan and the Midwest. ANR North includes tagging along with the largest predator/prey study in North America, learning Native American management methods, boarding a lake Superior fisheries research vessel and more.  To check out ANR North and the “original”, ANR Classic, go to www.michigan/gov/anr

Backyard Science Education

Great information for kids on the environment.

(Site suggested by Hannah Ainsworth’s elementary science class – Jane, Michelle and Sam)


Titled: “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classroom!” produced by WGBH- PBS LEARNING MEDIA. There are some great lessons dealing with climate, weather, and the solary energy from the sun… just to mention a few!

Each topical collection listed below includes a lesson plan and supplementary resources that feature a range of innovative media. Some of the media-rich education resources featured in these lessons include: IMAGES, INTERACTIVES, GAMES, VIDEOS, and DATA VISUALIZATIONS. Flexible support materials aid instructional use and integration into the classroom. The material contained in this product is based upon work supported by NASA.
There are units for all grades K-12.
K-2: Waves (light), Space, Earth’s Systems, and Weather/Climate
3-5: Space, Earth’s System
6-8: Space, Earth’s System, Weather/Climate
9-12: Space, Weather/Climate

Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

Outdoor Classroom News