Tuesday, June 30, 2015

W. Kerr Scott USACE Rangers form Environmental Education Partnership with local Child Care Centers

This is such a great concept and we hope that other environmental education centers and programs will model it. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Rangers at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir and the Wilkes Community Partnership for Children have formed a partnership to promote outdoor education in early childhood development centers. Rangers will be visiting child care centers throughout the community offering environmental education programs. Wilkes Community Partnership for Children will in turn work with child care centers and will help rangers promote programs and encourage outdoor activities. The Visitor Assistance Center at W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir will also be a training location for child care teachers to conduct classes and host meetings. 

Many of our readers may not realize that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers rangers also provide environmental education at their Visitor Assistance Centers. As a matter of fact, many USACE rangers in our state are N.C. Certified Environmental Educators! In North Carolina, you can visit the USACE rangers, view exhibits and participate in programs at the Falls Lake Visitor Assistance Center, the Jordan Lake Visitor Assistance Center, and of course, the W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Registration Opens for 24th Annual Environmental Educators of North Carolina Conference

Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC) will be hosting their 24
th annual conference, Sound Choices in EE, at the Eastern 4-H Environmental Education and Conference Center, September 25-27, 2015.

The center is located on beautiful Bulls Bay overlooking the Albemarle Sound in Columbia North Carolina. There will be lots of opportunities for hiking, canoeing and enjoying the amazing forests, estuaries, and creeks around the center.

This year’s conference strands follow the values of the 4-H program: Hands, Head, Heart and Health. There is also a strand for those new to the environmental education field. Conference strands will highlight program management techniques, the therapeutic benefits of nature, opportunities for community service, hands-on learning and citizen science and connections between environmental education and human health.

On Thursday, you can find out more about the most recent research in the field during a research symposium. The conference will also feature two full-day workshops and field trips to the Scuppernong River and salt marshes.

Early Bird Registration closes on July 24, 2015 so don’t miss this opportunity to meet other professionals working in environmental education!

For more information about the conference or about membership in EENC, visit the website at http://eenc.org

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Environmental Educators in Action: Keeping Workers and Wildlife Safe

Environmental education in action... Environmental educators serve many roles beyond the traditional nature center or park programs for the public. This is not the first time we have seen North Carolina environmental educators called in to give instruction and consulation that not only educates, but also provides practical safety knowledge and skills for people who work outdoors. 

Recently, Mecklenburg County Environmental Education Manager, Stephen Hutchinson, was invited to the City of Concord to teach local snake ecology and safety to 213 City of Concord Service Crew members. Sessions like these help outdoor workers safely perform their vital duties and also help protect wildlife. Thanks to Mandy Smith-Thompson, environmental educator with the City of Concord, for sharing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Camera Traps: Effectively Using Technology to Connect to Nature

As you may have noticed, trail cameras are increasing in popularity. This technology is also a great way to connect students and adults to the wildlife around them. Since last summer, a Kenan Fellows project has been working on ways to use camera traps in the classroom to teach science and engage students with their local environments.

This group has now published its first lesson plan on using camera traps in (and outside of, of course!) the school classroom. This lesson was produced by the Kenan Fellows Program Students Discover Team who work with the N.C. State University Your Wild Life project and the Biodiversity Lab at North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesYou may recognize Kenan Fellow Kelsie Armentrout--she's also a N.C. Certified Environmental Educator and talks about using camera traps in our EE Certification video! Also on the team are teachers Dave Glenn and Dayson Pasion. The project researchers are Dr. Roland Kays and Dr. Stephanie Schuttler. 

Learn more about the Camera Trap Stakeout Project and view the lesson plan on the Students Discover website