environmental education

Registration For The CCNR-COEAA Conference Is Now Open

Beaver Brook State Park in Chaplin with dead treesThe Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources and Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association Joint Conference for 2021 will be Monday, March 15, 2021 from 9:00AM – 3:30PM.

This year’s theme is Creating a More Equitable & Inclusive Environmental Sector.

Click here to register.

Visit the conference website to learn more about conference highlights, including: 

  • Plenary Panel: BIPOC Young Environmental Professionals: Stories & Reflections to Guide Ways Forward 
  • Keynote: Parker McMullen Bushman: Making the Outdoors Welcoming Spaces for All People 
  • Conference platform facilitating 24 concurrent talks and an interactive poster & networking session (stay tuned for a call for presentation next week) 

 Interested in being a CCNR-COEEA Sponsor? Learn more here: https://ctcnr.weebly.com/host–sponsors.html 

Meet Meg Sanders: Environmental Education Intern

Meg SandersHello everyone, my name is Meg Sanders, and I am a UConn Extension Environmental Education intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Academy for summer 2020.

A little bit about myself, I am a sophomore at UConn studying environmental science with a minor in communication. I was an intern with UConn Extension during the summer of 2019 and I worked with other extension educators and 4-H educators. My experience with UConn Extension has allowed me to gain valuable field experiences at Auer Farm, the 4-H Hartford County Fair, and other 4-H sites in CT. I’ve been really lucky to have had opportunities working with many diverse groups of youth and adults in order to both teach others and learn about their experiences with the environment. I especially loved working with CT youth at Auer Farm, and being able to teach students who didn’t have much experience with rural ecosystems about the animals on a farm.

During the academic school year of 2019-2020, I was a grant recipient for the UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Change Grant. With this grant, I worked with two fellow UConn undergraduate students to create environmental education curriculum kits that we hoped to distribute to middle school educators all over Connecticut. We prepared an online and in-class curriculum using existing 4-H educational materials on climate change education, and planned to distribute these and kits to CT middle schools before schools were closed down this spring. This effort was done in paralleled with Connecticut Environmental Action Day. From this experience, I was able to learn more about what goes into creating environmental educational content, and was able to further my experience working with extension educators.

My interests in the environment are still growing and changing daily. A fun fact about myself is that I had the opportunity to attend a short UConn study abroad experience before I began interning for UConn Extension. Unfortunately, it did not happen due to the pandemic, but we would have traveled to South Africa to study African field ecology. With this, I’d hoped to be able to see ecosystems that I normally wouldn’t be exposed to, and learn about what conservation means to different people around the world. This trip will not be happening this year but will be next year, and I hope to be able to still gain these unique experiences. Next year, I would love to be able to use some of the knowledge about conservation that I will have learned this summer and apply it to what I will be learning abroad.

This summer, I am very excited to learn how to provide environmental education in many ways, including online. Learning how to utilize resources online to deliver similar content that would have been used in hands-on field experiences will be interesting and thought-provoking. I look forward to improving my skills with mapping technologies, such as GPS and GIS. Overall, I look forward to being able to apply all of the natural resources knowledge that I can to other aspects of my life in order to promote conservation and sustainability.

Original Post: https://blog.nrca.uconn.edu/2020/06/09/meet-meg-new-ee-intern/

Summer Environmental Education Academy

man sitting at an Apple computerConnecticut educators are invited to participate in FE3: Facilitating Excellence in Environmental Education, Climate Simulation Workshop and Resources professional development program from July 14 to 16.

To meet changing health directives this workshop will be offered electronically from a.m. to 3 p.m. A flier for the Summer Environmental Education Academy can be found here.

This series for secondary, upper elementary, and university education professionals will focus on bringing understanding of climate change action to students through interactive model simulation using the EN-ROADS Simulator from MIT.

The three-day training will provide educators with integration of environmental resources into curriculum.  Participants will:

  • Receive a $100 stipend for your participation
  • Run climate action policy simulations for application with students.
  • Work with state scientists to understand local climate actions
  • Introduction to participation in the Climate Youth Summit for 2021
  • Support NGSS applications to weather, climate and system understanding for data use, argumentation and presentation aspects.
  • Obtain a library of resources to support your curriculum, including new climate materials & lessons

This series is open to all educators in the state of Connecticut.  Registration is required and can be completed electronically using this link.  For more information or to answer any questions please contact any of these state coordinators:

  • Susan Quincy: susan.quincy@ct.gov
  • Susan Robinson: susan.d.robinson@ct.gov
  • Beth Bernard: bbernard@ctwoodlands.org
  • Kristen Bellantuono: kristen.bellantuono@ct.gov.

The workshop is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; the Connecticut Forest and Park Associationthe Connecticut Department of EducationProject WildProject WETConnecticut Sea Grant; and EN-ROADS.

Original Post by Connecticut Sea Grant: https://seagrant.uconn.edu/2020/06/04/summer-environmental-education-academy-announced/

Teen-Adult Power = BIG Collective Environmental & Community Impacts!

UConn NRCA Academy - Emily Wilson helps a student with a project on the computerWhen we think of environmental education (EE), we might think of connecting youth to nature, increasing student academic achievement, and developing the next generation of environmental stewards. These are all excellent and proven benefits of EE. But EE that specifically empowers youth and adults towards environmental action in their community can also lead to direct environmental and community benefits.

Goal: I set out to assess collective environmental & community impact of conservation projects carried out by teen-adult volunteer partnerships participating in UConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy.

But first, what’s UConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA)?

  • NRCA comprises programs that provides place-based, environmental action programs for teens & adults
  • Teen & adult volunteer teams formed
  • Trained in conservation science & technology during field experience or workshop
  • Teams identify & address a local conservation issue (projects tailored to individual circumstances & community need)
  • Participants share projects at regional conferenceQuantifying impact: I assessed impact of 167 projects carried out by 308 teens and adults participating in two UConn NRCA programs (Conservation Ambassador Program and Conservation Training Partnerships).
    • The challenge: develop a systematic protocol to quantify metrics from diverse conservation efforts

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