EE Events and Resources

Upcoming ESE-TE Webinar:  Shifting ESE Online in Teacher Education

Join teacher educators from across Canada and the US to discuss how they are pivoting environmental learning in teacher education to digital formats. Learn from faculty experienced with online teaching about their preferred strategies, promising practices, and innovative ways they are engaging preservice students and in-service teachers in Environmental & Sustainability Education.

When: Thursday September 24, 2020 – 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting: 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting

 Go Outside Fund

The Natural Resources Foundation is pleased to support the important work of our conservation and education partners. We are currently seeking proposals for the following grant cycles:

Go Outside Fund – due September 30th

If your NRF-funded project is being impacted by COVID-19, please keep us in the loop – we are flexible and can work with you to adapt project timelines, activities, and report deadlines as needed.

Apply for Funding

“The Return to Belonging and Reclaimed Narratives about These Lands”

Thursday, October 8th (virtual Event)

We are proud to support the Nelson Institute’s Jordahl Public Lands Lecture, which defines the latest thinking in public lands acquisition, stewardship, and science.

This year’s virtual event, “The return to belonging and reclaimed narratives about these lands” will feature Midy Aponte, Chief Experience Officer with Spitfire Strategies, who will discuss the current reckoning of our nation’s history and highlight the current role of communication in reexamining our collective relationships with the land, and each other.

Learn More

Miami University Project Dragonfly

Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is accepting applications for 2021 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 2021 cohorts are being accepted now with place-based experiences provided at zoos and botanical gardens in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Jacksonville, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.

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

COVID-19 Info and Curricular Innovation

Midwest Environmental Education Conference

Call for Presentations

July 26 – 29, 2021

Luther College – Decorah, Iowa

Download the Call for Presentations PDF that includes the info needed to submit!

Submit your presentation proposal through this Google Form.

Exploring Community: Land, People, Water is our theme.

How can we explore and re-define “community” to include all land, water, and people? What are we learning about how these systems support, enhance, and depend on each other?

How can environmental education (EE), conservation, and outdoor recreation work together to support, enhance, and create vibrant, sustainable, resilient, healthy communities for all?

Think broadly about what environmental education is and who environmental education serves. Our hope is to appeal to a whole range of educators, like professors/students in conservation/natural sciences, field professions like soil and water research and protection, waste management and recycling, public health, city planners, advocates for greenspace/healthy food, clean energy, mental health, sustainability coordinators, and more for both attendees and presenters.

Join the conversation and “explore community” by presenting at the 2021 Midwest Environmental Education Conference! Conference tracks are broadly broken down into water, land, and people, though as you can see below, no work in this area divides so cleanly.

Don’t limit yourself to this list! We love creative explorations and new ideas!

New Guide Aims to Help Advocates Make the Case for Outdoor Learning

To help educators make the case for using outdoor classrooms and spaces in COVID-19-era reopening plans, NAAEE has teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation to compile helpful source information and policy advocacy tips that can be used by parents, teachers, civic organizations, and others. The purpose of this guide is to help energize a large-scale nationwide force of advocates to encourage school officials and educators to apply some portion of their current and future Federal reopening funds and other public funding resources being made available to the effective use of outdoor classrooms.

Guide to Advocating for Outdoor Classrooms in Coronavirus-Era School Reopening

How can we support K-12 teachers as they navigate the barriers of COVID-19 and distance learning?

The Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) recently surveyed K-12 and non-formal educators about their needs and preferences surrounding professional development. The survey was conducted before local COVID-19 impacts began and the RESULTS reveal preferences for professional development even more applicable now as environmental education organizations focus on adapting programming for the upcoming school year.”

Taking Learning Outdoors: A Statewide Conversation

 Resources referenced in 8/14 presentation:


Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education Resources

The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education has added two new “tabs” to our website that contain resources which may be useful to you in the coming months.

COVID Resources Includes lists of KEEP (energy), LEAF (forestry), and PLT (forest-focused EE) lessons that are useful for remote learning or 6-foot distancing outdoors, as well as a few other partner resources for teachers and/or students to use during this time.

Events Calendar Our professional development has been revamped for the year to include additional types of activities for both teachers and K-12 students. Some of these events may be of interest to you. This will be continually updated as events are added throughout the year.

For questions or more information, please contact Nicole Filizetti

NAAEE and its Affiliates are collecting stories about how environmental education providers and programs are supporting K-12 districts, schools, administrators, and families during the COVID-19 crisis and with the reopening of schools during and after the pandemic. Examples of efforts can include a range of applications of the tools and suggestions listed in the eeGuidance document (outdoor learning spaces, curriculum, healthy learning environments, etc), and efforts at any scale (local districts, just one school, just one or multiple EE providers, at-home learning support, etc). Feel free to articulate how you are adapting to benefit schools and students. NAAEE or Affiliates may contact you about possible interviews and other requests from the press, or for permission to use your story for additional outreach on various media platforms. 

We have two requests: 

1.) Could you please share any stories or articles you heard/ seen locally about this effort by using this form.

2.)Could you share this form with your membership and other contacts and encourage them to fill out the form with any stories they may have.

Contact with any questions. Thank you!

Project Learning Tree

The following is some information about the possibilities for using Project Learning Tree in your virtual/face-to-face/blended courses this fall and winter. 

If you have been trained in PLT through a previous TENFEE conference and you want to start incorporating the materials into your courses, here are some options:

    • For this semester (and possibly spring semester), we can have the traditional K-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide sent directly to your students at home. (We can also still have them sent to you for distribution in class, if you have in-person instruction.) The cost for the guide is $35.
    • If you do not have a course fee that covers the cost, it is possible to include PLT instruction without giving the book. (Or, offer the book to students that choose to buy it.) This is not ideal, but it is doable. Talk to me for more info about this.
  • This K-8 book is also available as an e-book (password protected PDF) format. It is packaged with PLT’s online workshop. If you want to do your own PLT instruction you could skip that online workshop. That cost is $40.
  • The Environmental Activities for Early Childhood book is also available as an e-book with an online workshop (optional for your students) —that price is $30.
  • If you want to do your own virtual instruction, I can suggest PLT activities that work better than others in this format, if you’d like.

If you haven’t been trained in PLT (or it’s been a while) and you want someone else to instruct your students this year, here are some options:

  • Online training exists for K-8 Environmental Education Activity GuideEnvironmental Experiences for Early Childhood, the K-2 Treemendous Science online curriculum unit, 3-5 Energy in Ecosystems online curriculum unit, and 6-8 Carbon & Climate online curriculum unit. These online modules are hosted by the national PLT office, but participants have contact with me throughout the workshop. I could also supplement these online workshops with a Zoom-based discussion, if you’d like. Note that the cost of these online trainings differs by topic—talk to me for details.
  • We can schedule a Zoom-based workshop with me on any of the curriculum materials (K-8, early childhood, or any of the specialized e-units listed above). The cost for these would be $35 per student if you want them to receive curriculum materials. If you just want an introduction and one or two PDFs, that would be free.

If you have questions, please contact Nicole Filizetti at

Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education’s  Online Environmental Education Options

  1. Energy Education: Concepts and Practices – ONLINE OPEN NOW!

This self-paced online module addresses energy concepts relating to energy definitions, natural laws of energy, energy flows in living and non-living systems, and their relationships to understanding and evaluating environmental issues. Module activities include exploration of energy readings and pertinent websites, home activities such as reading utility bills, home energy audits, and calculating the wattages of various home appliances. Participants have 30 days from registration to complete the module which satisfies the environmental education stipulation through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The cost is $25 and will take approximately 7 hours to complete online.

Register Here:

  1. Step Outside and into Health and Wellness Engagement: Outdoor Classroom Leadership – ONLINEOPEN NOW!

This self-paced online module will help you harness the benefits of the most interactive instruction possible: learning on school grounds, outside the four walls of the classroom. Conducting class outside offers many academic, physical, social and emotional benefits for students. This module is designed for K-8 teachers who are new to conducting class outside and are looking to boost their skills with beginning level resources. Participants learn how to conduct class outside on any type of school grounds (from urban concrete to rural forests) in order to engage and inspire students in learning. Guidelines, rules, safety considerations, resources and handouts will be provided so teachers have everything they need to lead confidently. You’ll also receive a Step Outside kit in the mail for hard copies of resources and supplies for conducting a project-based environmental education product. Classroom management practices that are specific to the outdoors will be discussed. The module includes time for integrating stepping outside into your classroom setting, and provides a variety of ready-to-use activities so teachers can implement outdoor learning right away. Participants have 30 days from registration to complete the module which satisfies the environmental education stipulation through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The cost is $50 and will take approximately 7 hours to complete online.

Register Here:

  1. Using the WI Community Tree Map as an Educational Tool: Tree Inventories and School Site Assessment – ONLINE OPEN JUNE 15!

This self-paced online module will teach you how to use the Wisconsin Community Tree Map, a compilation of tree inventories from around the state, with your students! With the pursuit of a tree inventory, students can learn more about the trees and forest ecosystems around them, becoming more intimately familiar with the places and spaces in which they live. Students work in groups to access the tree map via a smart phone or other device and collect data related to the species, size, condition and location of the trees. Students learn technical skills using equipment and observation, real-world critical literacy, outside field collection, data analysis and interpretation, systems thinking processes, and civic science practices. Participants will receive access to a growing library of resources which include curriculum connections, data collection and analysis documents, and a collection of articles and resources on urban tree benefits. Participants have 30 days from registration to complete the module. Upon successful completion participants will receive an organizational login and password for using the WI Community Tree Map as an inventory, research, and citizen science tool with students. The cost is $25 and will take approximately 3-4 hours to complete online.

Register Here: (you may register now; workshop opens June 15)

EEAI EE Speaker Series

Grant Writing 101
Jennifier Tariq – Douglas Hart Nature Center – 
Two Sides of the Same Coin – Literature and Science – Colleen McVeigh – Field Museum –
Crowdfunding Campaigns- Six Weeks to Critical Funding
EE Activities for a Very Popular Planet
There’s a Better Way to Teach about Climate Change and Environmentalis
Ben Whitehouse – Sky Day Project –
Get SMART – Electricity’s Journey Through the Smart Grid
Exhibits on a Budget
Composting 101
Protecting Pollinators
Some additional incredible opportunities for online learning will be coming soon as well from EEAI. We are excited to be partnering with Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence and Earth Force on projects in 2020. Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates on these opportunities. And if you want to be first on the list to register for these events and more please consider joining EEAI TODAY! Your support is vital to our ability to continue to offer high level programming for the Illinois EE Community. 

Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

Learning Outside During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While Minnesotans shelter-in-place, the need is greater than usual for students to benefit from the movement, fresh air, and exciting discoveries that nearby nature provides.  The following resources can help you take advantage of this opportunity to engage the sense of wonder as a strong motivator for learning.

Let’s Go Outside!  Daily Nature Observations

  1. A new page on the PWLC web site, Prairie Wetlands Almanac, lists simple, daily, readily available nature observations students can make in their yard or neighborhood.  We welcome you to provide a link to the PWA for students in your distance learning classroom.
  2. Also, Brenna Nyboer, a 5th grade teacher at Princeton Intermediate, provided us with the link to her daily outdoor distance learning lessonsto share with you.  Thank you for generously sharing your inspiration with us, Brenna!
  3. Thanks also to 4th grade Prairie Science Class teacher, Mona Davis, for sharing this fun letter-writing lesson, Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

PWLC Field Trip Lesson Plans

As you are probably already aware, the PWLC offers preschool through 5th grade lesson plans on-line that teachers can access for trip planning purposes.  You are welcome to also use these lesson plans for distance learning, modifying activities and materials as you see fit. They are organized by grade level and season, with an additional Nature Journaling lesson plan for all grades and seasons.  Remember to look at these parts:  Field Investigation Procedure, Weather Alternatives, and Teacher-Led Extensions/Adaptations/Assessment Ideas.  The References and Resources section provides lists of books and web sites for children and teachers to use, and the very last page or two provides handouts, worksheets, songs, and/or identification cards, if needed.

Other Helpful Resources

Thanks to Prairie Science Class 4th grade teacher, Mona Davis; Susan Morse, writer/editor for the National Wildlife Refuge System; and Laurie Heupel, course leader for the National Conservation Training Center, for sharing these gems!

COVID-19 Relief Sources

Below you’ll find explanations of important laws passed in recent weeks, along with links to articles and other resources from like-minded organizations that can help us unravel the vast amount of information coming at us at a sometimes overwhelming pace.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

This law, effective March 23, expands sick leave benefits for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, either through quarantine, illness, or caring for a family member who is ill. Learn more here.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

This economic stimulus package, which took effect March 27, provides $367 billion in loans and grants for small businesses; expands unemployment benefits by $600 per week for people furloughed, gig workers, and freelancers; and pays $1,200 per adult and $500 per child for households making up to $75,000. Learn more here.

Here are links from organizations that expound on the implications of this act:

Americans for the Arts: Federal Economic Stimulus Relief Funds Provide Encouraging Support to the Nation’s Community-Based Arts and Culture Organizations Experiencing $3.6 Billion in Devastating Losses

Inside Charity: CARES Act for Nonprofits – What’s in the Bill For Charities?

Nnprofit Quarterly: How Nonprofits Can Utilize the New Federal Laws Dealing with COVID-19

Independent Sector: CARES Act: How to Apply for Nonprofit Relief Funds

Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act

The National Council of Nonprofits provides this chart of loans available to nonprofit organizations, including eligibility criteria, terms, and application information. Their page is updated regularly, most recently on April 5.

IMLS Authorizes New Grant Flexibilities for Libraries, Museums

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the first of a number of critical measures to aid museums, libraries, and communities across the nation in response to COVID-19. The new guidelines outline how institutions with open IMLS grants may adapt their existing funds to address immediate needs and extend timelines for their work to accommodate the disruption caused by coronavirus. Examples include continuing to employ staff, modifying project activities to align with social distancing requirements, and covering basic costs necessary to resume community work once the emergency has passed. Learn more here.

Tips for Working from Home

The National Park Service’s Career Academy for Cultural Resources shares this whimsical and very relevant video on best practices for working from home.

Tips to Emerge Stronger

From the field of adventure travel, one of many tangential to interpretation, come this relevant article on how to emerge from this crisis stronger. The Adventure Travel Trade Association also provides a “COVID-19 Guide for the Adventure Travel Industry.”

Snapshot Wisconsin

Snapshot Wisconsin is a partnership to monitor wildlife year-round, using a statewide network of trail cameras. The project provides data needed for wildlife management decision support.

We have an activity that anyone can do from home. Many of the photos captured from these trail cameras are uploaded to a crowd-sourcing website where people can go and identify the animals present in the photos.

Snapshot Wisconsin offers a fun and educational activity for anyone to do from home. This can be great for students or anyone looking to pass some time and enjoy Wisconsin’s wildlife.

Here is the link:

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