Thursday, June 27, 2013

Environmental Education Cooperation at its Finest

Our state is known throughout the nation for our tight-knit environmental education community and quality and variety of environmental education programs. Note how this middle school program, which combines classroom and outdoor instruction with hands-on coastal restoration work, was a success due to the collaboration of several agencies, organizations and volunteers   that were all dedicated to environmental education. 

The following agencies and organizations all contributed in some way to the environmental education and restoration effort (let us know if we missed one!):

Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership

Jockey’s Ridge State Park
N.C. Sea Grant
N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island and Jennette’s Pier
N.C. Coastal Federation
The Nature Conservancy
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
The Nature Conservancy
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
Carlson Family Foundation

N.C. Teacher Wins Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

Jeanna Goodson, a science teacher at Maiden High School in Catawba County, was recently awarded the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. The PIAEE is awarded by the U.S. EPA and  recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. The award is given each year to two teachers from each of the EPA's ten regions.

Jeanna has been a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator since 2003 and credits the EE Certification Program with inspiring her teaching and helping her win this award. 

Congratulations Jeanna!

Some of Jeanna's students in action

Below is Jeanna's write-up on the PIAEE winners page:

As a National Board Certified AP Environmental Science and wildlife teacher at Maiden High School, Jeanna has provided students with meaningful outdoor and integrated learning experiences. She strives to connect her students with the natural world in a way that fosters an appreciation for the environment while also building a practical understanding of community initiatives and collaboration. Jeanna worked with local community members and groups to design and create a campus nature trail that enables her students to access different ecosystems for outdoor labs and activities in their studies. On the trail, students conduct science experiments such as water quality testing, and learn about local flora and fauna, population dynamics, air quality and pollution research. She utilizes a variety of creative and integrative education methods such as science simulations, interactive games, hands-on and team based activities and projects to help students to explore larger concepts and gain a better understanding of events and issues they may not otherwise experience. Her students learn the importance of connecting real world issues with their local community and environment which has direct ties to their daily lives. 

Jeanna’s students share their learning experiences and enthusiasm for science, cultural and environmental issues with their families and community members through a variety of interactive projects that include creating and sharing an on-going environmental science A-Z booklet which includes images of labs they conduct, outdoor lessons, and written materials. Parents interact with students in this project through their written reflections about environmental science they collaboratively discuss with students. Jeanna also works with other teachers to encourage the integration of nature activities into other subjects and has participated in North Carolina’s rigorous Environmental Education Certification Program. Jeanna’s exceptional dedication to her students is apparent as she tries to help instill a sense of awareness and responsibility in her students as they learn to be mindful of how their actions can impact the world around them and how they can each make a difference as responsible stewards of the earth. 

EE News Tips Spotlight: The Environmental Literacy Center

Did you know our office maintains the Environmental Literacy Center? The Environmental Literacy Center (ELC) is located in the Nature Research Center, the new wing of the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. We have 2000+ holdings of books and DVDs such as educator guides, environmental curricula, North Carolina field guides, naturalist books, environmental non-fiction and children's books. Subject areas include environmental science, popular natural science, conservation, sustainability, museum and non-formal education practices and science education. The ELC is available for use upon appointment. It can be used as a meeting center and/or a resource center for anyone in the field of education. It's a great place to do research or plan environmental education programs or events. The resources can be used by educators and preservice teachers or for student research but the holdings are only circulating for DENR employees at this time. Learn more about it at