The Latest

Trees as Storytellers

he thought of talking trees conjures up images of the fantastical. Tolkien’s ents patrol the forest, Baum’s forest of fighting trees throws apples at Dorothy, and Marvel’s Groot guards the galaxy. Or, perhaps, we think of those who speak for the trees that cannot...

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Reclaiming Spaces

Providing opportunities for students of color to explore the outdoors and science careers   Text and photos by Sprinavasa Brown  recall the high school science teacher who doubted my capacity to succeed in advanced biology, the pre-med advisers who pointed my...

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Earth Connections: Science Through the Seasons

Science Through the Seasons by Shea Scribner Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center Carnation WA igns of the shifting seasonal cycle are all around us. Children are especially keen to notice and appreciate the changing colors of leaves, frantic activities of squirrels,...

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Empowering Female Voices

  Brave with Braids Empowering young female voices By Jennifer Allen uthor Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s words have been echoing in my head recently; “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller, we say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not...

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Teacher Favorite Activity Ideas

Favorite EE Activity Ideas from PNW Educators Practical and proven environmental education activities for all grade levels and subject areas, shared by members of the EE community. What is your favorite?   Nature Journal Kristen Clapper Bergsman My favorite EE...

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K-12 Activities: Monitoring Biological Diversity

K-12 Activity Ideas: Monitoring Biological Diversity by Roxine Hameister Developing a biodiversity monitoring project at your school can help students develop many skills in an integrated manner. Here are some simple ideas that you can use to get your students...

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Poetry and Science Education

Poetry as a Tool for Science Communication   by Whitney Chandler Funding for the arts is continuing to be reduced year after year. The importance of serving our children’s right brain has been pushed aside to afford them lessons in math and science. However,...

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Advice for white environmentalists and nature educators

by Sprinavasa Brown I often hear White educators ask “What should I do?” expressing an earnest desire to move beyond talking about equity and inclusion to wanting action steps toward meaningful change. I will offer you my advice as a fellow educator. It is both a...

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Violence, environmental violence, and pro-environmental action

Violence, environmental violence, and pro-environmental action Richard Kool Royal Roads University hile there are many tasks on the plate of any educator, there are two that, to me at least, really seem essential and that are often overlooked; these tasks are for the...

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Why Environmental Educators Shouldn’t Give Up Hope

Photo by Jim Martin Why Environmental Educators Shouldn’t Give Up Hope by Jacob Rodenburg I’m trying hard not to get discouraged. Being an environmental educator in today’s world feels like you are asked to stop a rushing river armed only with a teaspoon. There are so...

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Perspectives: Educating as if Survival Matters

Educating as if Survival Matters Nancy M Trautmann Michael P Gilmore BioScience, Volume 68, Issue 5, 1 May 2018, Pages 324–326, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy026 Published: 22 March 2018 ver the past 40 years, environmental educators through­out the world have...

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Climate Change

  A Chance to Make a Difference: Tackling Climate Change in a Middle School Classroom by Angela Duke Northwest Expedition Academy Hayden, Idaho n the days of selfies and social media mania, it is often a difficult job getting middle schoolers to look up instead...

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Immersive Storytelling

Immersive Storytelling: A Reminder to Read to Your Students Outside By Hannah Levy Sitting amongst towering cedars as the sun treated us to the last bits of golden hour, our final field study day was coming to a close. We had a hard week, for many of my students, this...

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Climate Scientists

On a sunny fall day in Oregon students are outdoors learning about the new citizen science observation site in their schoolyard. With a mix of 4th and 5th grade exuberance and the seriousness of adults they are taking on the mission of gathering basic data for a...

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Exploring Culture and Environment – Pt 1

    Canoes and other forms of human powered watercraft have been utilized by human beings all around the world since time immemorial. For this reason, the study of canoes can serve as a gateway to analyze, compare and learn from the world’s cultures and the...

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Exploring Culture and Environment – Pt 2

This article is a story of how fourth-grade students in Moscow, Idaho studied the confluence of cultures throughout Idaho’s history by building a canoe, hand-carving paddles, and actively participating in the resurgence of the traditional canoe throughout the Pacific...

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E.E.’s Philosopher King

Not One More Cute Project for the Kids: Neal Maine’s Educational Vision   by Gregory A. Smith Lewis & Clark College, Professor Emeritus PART ONE eal Maine, now in his late-70s is an iconic figure for many environmental educators in the state of Oregon. Early...

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E.E.’s Philosopher King (Pt 2)

Not One More Cute Project for the Kids: Neal Maine’s Educational Vision   by Gregory A. Smith Lewis & Clark College, Professor Emeritus   PART TWO (see Part One here) Sustaining Neal’s Place-Based Vision of Education: Lessons Learned Despite the power...

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Lessons from IslandWood

Adventure Hike to a Harbor: Creating a space for all to engage with marine science By Julia Glassy I am currently a graduate student of University of Washington over on Bainbridge Island, WA at IslandWood, a non-profit outdoor education center. I am passionate about...

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Ear to the Ground

Native Voices: Reclaiming a Culture through the Traditional Canoe Interview with Gary Dorr (In conjunction with  Blooming Culture: The Canoe as a Vessel for Exploring Cultures) Gary Dorr is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and Chairman of The River Warrior Society....

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Poetry and Science

Utilizing the Tools of Poetry for Science Inquiry by Jim Martin CLEARING consultant pril is National Poetry Month. Can we celebrate it by using poetry to facilitate teaching science as inquiry? What does the flow of thoughts, images of relationships, grammar and...

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All You Need is Love

Four Lessons in Global Education from the Beatles By Sean Gaillard, June 19, 2017 Editor's note: Sean Gaillard, principal of Lexington Middle School in Lexington, North Carolina, is a huge proponent of international collaboration for students in his school. In this...

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Outdoor Learning

NatureBridge Takes the Classroom Outdoors: Inspires Teachers and Students Through Discovery by Karen West for NatureBridge   “The future will belong to the nature smart… the more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” – Richard Louv, author of “Last Child...

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Connecting Art and Science

Making Science Engaging at Camp Connecting art and science helps students find STEM classes more engaging and enjoyable By Elli Korthuis   is a youth development organization that focuses on helping members, ages 5-19 years, grow as individuals through their...

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Forget Your Botany!

by Jan van Boeckel MANY PEOPLE DEPLORE the loss of direct contact with nature. Moreover, this absence might be one of the root causes for the ecological crisis we are experiencing today, and for the mood of indifference that many people feel for it. It is hard to care...

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Art and the Environment

Getting to the HeART of Teaching Marine Conservation by Kerry Hynes “I don’t understand.  This is too hard. Why are we learning this?”  These are just a few of the phrases that I hear in my classroom that force me to stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself that,...

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Book Review: Place-based Education

Enlivening Students   by Gregory A. Smith   Review of Sarah Anderson’s, Bringing School to Life: Place-Based Education across the Curriculum (Lanham, Massachusetts: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) or the past two decades, books and articles written by place-...

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Marine/Aquatic Education: Nudibranch Population Dynamics

The search for sea slugs Linking non-divers to the excitement of ocean discovery by Elise Pletcher Citizen Science and Volunteer Coordinator The Marine Science and Technology Center Highline College he Nudibranch Team is a citizen science volunteer program at the...

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Blog: Teacher Preparation

Know and Do What We Teach: How many times are we assigned to teach a subject we know little about? by Jim Martin CLEARING Special Contributor t a riparian ecology training for teachers a few years ago, I met two who epitomize a perennial problem in education in...

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E2E Grant Project Report – Alaska

E2E Grant Project Report Evaluate EE Programs for Systemic Change in Your Community How to improve the effectiveness of teacher professional development in environmental education   By Cathy Rezabeck, Marilyn Sigman and Beverly Parsons illingham, Alaska is a...

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Marine and Aquatic Education: Underwater Technology and ROVs

Engaging Students in Underwater Technology and ROVs by Jessica Lotz Education and Outreach Coordinator The Marine Science and Technology Center Highline College ften times it’s hard for us air breathers to really appreciate the depth and immensity of our ocean when we...

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Blog: Science, Art, and English Education

What is the Place of Science in Art and English Education? by Jim Martin CLEARING Special Contributor School districts have, over the past four decades, reduced their arts offerings in order to meet increased demands for time devoted to science, mathematics, social...

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Outdoor, Hands-on STEM Learning

Outdoor Learning in Shelton: A Surge of Hope by Eleanor Steinhagen   Bayshore Preserve – Shelton, WA wo 7th graders have just tossed their pears into Johns Creek and are jogging downstream to see which one will cross the finish line first. Maneuvering around a...

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Empathy and Environmental Education

The Compassionate Educator: Empathy and Environmental Education Tom Stonehocker common challenge in environmental education is working with students who feel disconnected from their environment. This disconnection not only impedes a student’s ability to understand how...

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Reframing Sustainability

Reframing Sustainability Peter Denton, Ph.D. Keynote Address - EECOM Conference 2016, International Peace Gardens peaking here today is kind of like preaching to the choir. It is great to have a friendly crowd who does not think a polar icecap is the name of some new...

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Urban EE and Sense of Place

Urban Environmental Education and Developing a Sense of place   Authors: Jennifer D. Adams, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA David A. Greenwood, Lakehead University, Canada Mitchell Thomashow, Philanthropy Northwest, USA Alex Russ, Cornell...

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Environmental Handprints

  Environmental Educators Create Handprints   by Jon Biemer he Handprint is a paradigm whose time has come. The Handprint motivates by focusing on the positive ways to think about sustainability and follow through with appropriate action. Over the past...

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Integrated Teaching

Integrated Teaching: The Student-Directed Investigation by Jillian Whitehill s educators, our goal is to increase the growth of each of our students, foster their passion for learning, and best prepare our students for the real world. While there are many different...

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Forest Schools

When Water Speaks: The Power of the Forest School Movement by Amanda Crawford issouri is a treasure trove of outdoor places and wild spaces dedicated to adventurers of all kinds. The natural brilliance of the Missouri landscape is no secret. And yet, unbeknownst to...

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Eco-Art: How to Flow Upstream

  By Shimshon Obadia hirty-one degrees Celsius and the air is dry to the touch in downtown Kelowna, BC. I whip my bicycle down the shoulder of Pandosy Street where the bike lane would be until I hit K.L.O. Road where I connect to the actual bike lane embedded in the...

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Jim Martin on Inquiry

Is active learning an effective vehicle to train science inquiry mentors? Walking along with you is far better than telling you "I’ll show you the way." ow should we prepare mentors of teachers who wish to learn how to engage their students in authentic science...

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Suquamish Basket Marsh: Creating a Living Library

Traditional Ecological Knowledge The Suquamish Basket Marsh: Creating a Living Library An Outdoor Environmental Learning Classroom for the students of Suquamish Elementary School By Melinda West There is a Salish legend passed down by the First Peoples of the Pacific...

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Place-based Education

The Time is Now for Place Based Education Schools are not just training grounds for children to learn content and job skills for twelve or more years before they are allowed back into broader society, ready to pursue their own individual enrichment. In the place-based...

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Of Education and Place

  Everyone Ought to Have a Ditch "What gets lost, when we focus on facts, are the initiation experiences, the moments of transcendence when the borders between the natural world and ourselves break down." by David Sobel spend a lot of time these days talking with...

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Connecting to the Natural World – Biome Bonanza!

A Biome Bonanza! After taking a class for teachers about sustainability several years ago, my teaching partner and I were inspired to get kids out and about and connected to the natural world more. We looked at our science curriculum and with the help of Bob Carlson...

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Outdoor Education Perspectives

Outdoor Education — Thoughts From an Elder by Dan Kriesberg   uring college I was a waterfront director at a sleepaway camp and absolutely loved it. When my post college job search led me to residential outdoor education centers I was thrilled. It was summer camp...

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Environmental Education Activities K-12

Environmental Education Activities K-12 a potpourri of teaching ideas for the classroom   GRADES K-2 Science   Flannel Beach Life Cut out pictures of intertidal animals from calendars or a cheap field guide. Laminate pictures and use stick-on velcro to turn...

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STEM Learning: Quatama School/Oregon Zoo

  by Alison Heimowitz Every fall students in Sharon Angal’s third-grade classroom at Quatama Elementary, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) school in the Hillsboro School District, wait patiently for the arrival of the “salmon lady.”...

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Climate Change Education

Climate Change Education: A Student's Perspective   by Eliot Brody At my recent high school graduation, I found myself reflecting on the 12 years I spent in Oregon’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools. While I sat through the speeches in my...

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Ocean Plastic Pollution

Mitigating Microplastics Development and Evaluation of a Middle School Curriculum by Marie Kowalski and Tracy Crews   ABSTRACT Microplastics are plastic marine debris less than five millimeters across. Microplastics are a threat to the health of our ocean. One...

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Jim Martin on Teacher Mentors

Why would a practicing teacher need a Mentor? Is the idea of mentoring teachers an unnecessary element in our Schools?   by Jim Martin If you were to trace your ancestry 25,000 years or further, you'd find that your forebears read no books about the natural...

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My Favorite EE Activity – Margie B. Klein

By Margie Klein Retired Interpretive Naturalist Now doing environmental ed. and nature interpretation part-time at local public lands sites. She is also a writer and author of many articles in national magazines; co-author of a nation-wide curriculum; recipient of an...

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Jim Martin on Science Inquiry

Can We Learn What Science Inquiry Does For Us? What To Teach; And How?   by Jim Martin n a previous blog, a student, Maria, noticed a salmon fry darting toward a rock covered with periphyton, a thin colony of algae which supports microbes and invertebrates living...

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Garden of Wisdom

News release submission for CLEARING Magazine - February 2017 The Garden of Wisdom A peace-building program among environmental educators and conservationists in the Middle East inspires children to love and nurture the natural world. Please help us to publish our...

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What Can I Do Monday Morning?

  50+ Simple EE Activities Across the K-12 Curriculum   GRADES K-2 SCIENCE Back to the Earth Display food items such as a boiled egg, apple, peanut butter, bread, jelly, strip of bacon, etc.  Pictures can be used.  Ask students to identify the food items you...

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The Importance of Deep Experiences in Nature

The Importance of Deep Experiences in Nature By Joseph Cornell rofound moments with nature foster a true and vital understanding of our place in the world. I remember an experience I had as a five-year-old boy that awakened in me a life-long fascination for marshes,...

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NGSS and Active Learning

Maria’s Eye: How do we empower it to engage and understand her world? by Jim Martin CLEARING writer and contributor f I could imagine the best possible classroom in the world, it would be one in which each student is empowered to look out into the world, see something...

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A Pedagogy for Ecology

A Pedagogy for Ecology by Ann Pelo s a teacher, I want to foster in children an ecological identity. I believe this identity, born in a particular place, opens children to a broader connection with the Earth; love for a specific place makes possible love for other...

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The Confluence Project (Idaho)

from the Fall 2016 Issue of CLEARING Integrating Watershed Science in High School Classrooms: The Confluence Project Approach by Audrey Squires, Jyoti Jennewein, and Mary Engels, with Dr. Brant Miller and Dr. Karla Eitel, University of Idaho It’s not just because I...

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Understanding Ecosystems

Understanding Ecosystems is a Real Need: Will we help today's kids learn what they ought to know about ecosystems? by Jim Martin CLEARING Writer and Contributor ids in school today, and their children, need to understand ecosystems, and their own place within them....

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Classroom without walls

“Mr. D., that was the best science class I’ve ever had!” The trials and successes of a classroom without walls By Greg Derbyshire he above feedback, made by a grade 8 student, is one of many similar comments made to me by students and parents who recognize and...

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Ear to the Ground – Rus Higley

An Interview with Rus Higley 2016 Marine Education Classroom Educator of the Year Rus Higley has worked as Manager at the Marine Science and Technology Center at Highline College since its opening in 2003. He was born in Alaska, but grew up in Des Moines and graduated...

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EE Questions and Actions

Critical Questions 1. What kinds of support are available in your school, district and community for supporting environmental educational activities? 2. In what ways can environmental education activities enhance learning? 3. What are the most effective strategies for...

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Ethics and Science

Chymograph by Jim Martin· kymograph (‘wave writer’): a device that produces traces on a piece of smoked paper clamped onto a rotating drum, a mechanically amplified graphical representation of spatial position over time, such as the rise and fall of a worm’s blood...

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10 Tips for Teachers

These tips, developed by The Straub Environmental Learning Center, may be helpful for teachers who are beginning to integrate a service learning component into the classroom: 1.Start small, and find other teachers who are interested in doing a community project....

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Restoration and Renewal

Environmental Learning Center: Restoration project heals environment, community and college Written by Shelly Parini, CCC senior executive project manager   he Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College (CCC) represents something different to...

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NGSS and Environmental Education

Use the Real World to Integrate Your Curriculum In today’s test-driven schools, there’s little room for including the world outside the classroom in the curriculum, even though school is supposed to be based on the real world. And prepare us for it. by Jim Martin...

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Urban Schools and Environmental Education

Urban Schools and Environment Education by Alison Swain IslandWood Graduate Student/ Field Instructor his past fall, an IslandWood instructor gave me the advice that a teacher can only take her students from the place they are coming from.  Through weeks of teaching...

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Wolverines, Wonder and Wilderness

Wolverines, Wonder and Wilderness Why the Wolverine Matters to a Kid Who Has Never Seen a Raccoon by Megan McGinty IT IS APRIL AND I AM SITTING UNCOMFORTABLY on the cobbles of a gravel bar on the Skagit River in the North Cascades National Park with a group of local...

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Permaculture Garden

Care for Self, Care for Others, Care for the Land: How Springwater Environmental Sciences School Uses Their Permaculture Garden as a Microcosm for the Environment. Kaci Rae Christopher t first, starting a school garden that combined permaculture and science seemed...

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Jim Martin on NGSS

Active Learning: Is this something our pre-service education equips us for? ’m interested in the Resource section on the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) web site (http://www.nextgenscience.org/resources). At the very end of the materials, there is a link to...

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Transformative Power

The Transformative Power of Wilderness Education A graduate student finds an understanding of the effect of wilderness on the development of young people’s sense of self-worth by Rory Crowley n July 7th, 2001 I lie huddled in my sleeping bag, shivering as I survey the...

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What is Good Environmental Education?

What is Good Environmental Education? Our students need to be ready to invest in building positive futures for the communities to which they belong - household to global. by Peter Hayes he choice to become an educator brings with it a career-long sentence to the...

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Integrating Place-based Learning

  Wenatchee School District’s Case Study of Science Field Experiences by Susan Ballinger and Karen Rutherford his year (2005) in the shrub-steppe eco-region of rural Eastern Washington, over 3600 elementary students, teachers, and adult volunteers will spend a...

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Human/Natural Systems Interactions

  Human/Natural Systems Interactions: A Framework A critical thinking tool for developing ecological literacy throughout the curriculum compares cultures and their relationship to the natural world. by Barbara Jackson n this era of relentless consumption of...

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4-H Urban-Rural Exchange

By being on the land and walking in the shoes of their host families, students begin to understand more deeply how and why Oregonians manage the land the way they do. By Maureen Hosty With contributions from Gary Delaney, Deb Schreiber, John Williams, Jed Smith and...

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Digging Deeper

  by David A. Greenwood, Lakehead University, Canada As part of the 2009 North American Association of Environmental Education Research Symposium, this article addresses the cultural and theoretical frameworks that we bring to environmental education, the web of...

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A While in the Wild: Educating for Environmental Empathy

A While in the Wild: Educating for Environmental Empathy Experiences in wild nature, the leadership of a significant adult, and the educational support of the classroom offer powerful tools in shaping students toward lifelong leadership in environmental...

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Ear to the Ground – Ryan Monger, Sultan High School

An Interview with Ryan Monger Winner of 2015 EPA Presidential Award for Innovation in Environmental Education   Ryan Monger, Sultan High School Sultan, Washington Ryan Monger, an environmental education teacher of students in grades 9 through 12 at Sultan High...

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Place-based Learning: Community Mapping

Engaging Students With/in Place through Community Mapping By Susan Jagger University of Toronto This article was reprinted from Pathways - The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, Volume 26, Issue 3 ommunity mapping brings together local people as they celebrate...

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Teaching Science

Why kids need ecology now! Teachers, as well as science majors and graduate students, need to understand the process of science. And they need to be able to argue it, discuss it, suggest novel perspectives, give and respond to criticism. Does our inservice education...

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Ear to the Ground – Monica Nissen

An Interview with Monica Nissen 2015 Environmental Educator of the Year The Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) has named Monica Nissen as the 'Outstanding Environmental Education Non-profit Individual' for 2015. In addition, the...

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STEM – Joseph Gale Elementary

The Utility of Partnerships - Joseph Gale Elementary Because clean water is part of daily life and it’s readily available, we often take it for granted. It’s easy to see why local utilities, wastewater included, don’t always come to mind as educational partners. In...

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Citizenship Education

Seeking Environmental Maturity at Starker Forests Helping students climb the ladder to responsible citizenship by Richard Powell tarker Forests is a family-owned tree farming business of about 80,000 acres, mostly within an hour’s drive in the Coast Range west of...

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Jim Martin: Arts and Humanities in the Sciences?

Arts and Humanities in the Sciences? Is that incongruous, or what? By Jim Martin Have you ever ‘felt’ the weather as cloud formations began to change? I love to watch Mares’ Tails form; multiple long extensions of a cumulus cloud that race out ahead, then turn up and...

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Environmental Leadership: Making Connections

Environmental Leadership: Making Connections Two service-learning programs within the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Oregon aim to deepen students’ knowledge of their bioregion through day-long, hands-on field trips. By Kathryn A. Lynch,...

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Forest Schools and the Benefits of Unstructured Outdoor Play

Forest Schools and the Benefits of Unstructured Outdoor Play By Deanna Fahey Miami University, Oxford, Ohio t is snowing outside and you’re getting your child ready to go to kindergarten.  While other children may be wishing for a snow day so they can play in the...

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Teach a School to Garden…

Teach a School to Garden… by Brandi Mendenall Central High School Springfield, Missouri s I watched the dump truck unload what would be the first of three loads of the highest quality compost our small school club could afford, I could not help but wonder if we really...

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On Teaching Science

What's the Difference... ...between a single performer and an energetic band? Can students teach themselves? by Jim Martin CLEARING Master Teacher n an earlier set of blogs, we followed a middle school class whose science teacher had started them on a project to study...

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Sowing the Seeds of Community and Place-based Learning

Sowing the Seeds of Place and Community-based Learning by Becs Boyd Place and Community Based approach can be transformative for students and teachers, schools and communities. Making this approach work means taking a fresh look at the school community, the wider...

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Schools Gone Green

  Schools Gone Green Get inspired by these four Portland-area schools that are doing more than their part to save the planet. “What makes me most excited about Oregon Green Schools is hearing from the students about their progress. I appreciate that we are...

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Teaching Science Inquiry

Can I become a science inquiry facilitator? . . . If I’ve never been one? by Jim Martin What do I need to be competent in, comfortable with, being a facilitator instead of a top-down teacher? I think a first thing is the recognition that people can learn on their own;...

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Girls in Engineering and Marine Science

  Girls in Engineering and Marine Science (GEMS) by Marie Kowalski Reprinted from Oregon Coast STEM Hub blog A team with their light trap On April 16th, twenty-seven young women arrived at Hatfield Marine Science Center, excited for two sunny days of science and...

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Environmental Justice and Urban E.E.

How Environmental Education Can Address Issues of Environmental Justice in Urban Settings by Anjelique Hjarding, Alicia King and Belinda Chin HIGHLIGHTS • Environmental injustice occurs when the most vulnerable, poor, minority or underserved populations carry the...

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Educating About Water

Brightwater: An Opportunity for Connection by Cynthia Thomashow he Metro bus opens its doors, releasing 40 fourth-graders who have ridden an hour from South Seattle to the Brightwater Water Treatment Center in Woodinville, Washington. “We’re in the wilderness!”...

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Earth Day

Although this article was written in 1996, and contains references to events and people from that era, much of Weilbacher's critique remains relevant today.  -Ed.   Every Day is NOT Earth Day Reflections on the True Meaning of Earth Day by Mike Weilbacher 'll...

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Reaching Out with Respect: EE with Underserved Communities

Reaching out with Respect: Environmental Education with Underserved Communities Thinking about environmental education and underserved communities is an opportunity to challenge our assumptions about nature, culture and science, and, our assumptions about the life...

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Jim Martin: Is Science Communication?

Is Science Communication? Can students, moving around and talking, do science? by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor You’re trying to answer a question. Student work groups have designed their own investigations to understand the question, develop inquiries to...

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Bird Language

Creating the Need to Pay Attention Field trips and adventures in the woods are tremendously important experiences for children, especially those students that don’t often get to spend time in a natural setting. Some of the most important, lasting results of good...

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Coastal Margin Science and Education

CMOP: The Best Environmental Education Program You've (Probably) Never Heard About . . Coastal Margin Science and Education in the Era of Collaboratories by Vanessa L. Green, Nievita Bueno Watts, Karen Wegner, Michael Thompson, Amy F. Johnson, Tawnya D. Peterson and...

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Why Garden in School? (Part 4)

Can School Gardening Help Save Civilization? (An Essay in Four Parts) by Carter D. Latendresse The Catlin Gabel School Abstract This paper is an argument for gardening in schools, focusing on two months of integrated English-history sixth grade curriculum that...

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Jim Martin: Do We Learn As Our Students Learn?

Do We Learn As Our Students Learn? by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor We propose that an essential feature of learning is that it creates the zone of proximal development; that is, learning awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to...

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Greening the Language Arts

Considering Sustainability Outside of the Science Classroom by Lauren G. McClanahan Western Washington University Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life. —E.O. Wilson...

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Place-based Education

15 Ways to Know You're Connected to a Place What Does "Connecting to a Place" Really Mean? By Cliff Knapp Environmental and place-based educators frequently refer to a goal they set for their students — connecting or reconnecting them to a place. What does this really...

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Why Garden in School (Part 3)

Can School Gardening Help Save Civilization? (An Essay in Four Parts) by Carter D. Latendresse The Catlin Gabel School Abstract This paper is an argument for gardening in schools, focusing on two months of integrated English-history sixth grade curriculum that...

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Bias and the Educator in the Mirror

Bias and the Educator in the Mirror Our inherent perspectives color the world we share with our students. by Victor Elderton Many of us in environmental education strive to create lessons and activities which we hope will facilitate greater understanding and stimulate...

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Why Garden in School (Part 2)

Can School Gardening Help Save Civilization? (An Essay in Four Parts)   by Carter D. Latendresse The Catlin Gabel School Portland, Oregon Abstract This paper is an argument for gardening in schools, focusing on two months of integrated English-history sixth grade...

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Phenology Wheels: Earth Observation Where You Live

Phenology Wheels: Earth Observation Where You Live By Anne Forbes, Partners in Place, LLC This article originally appeared in Earthzine - http://earthzine.org/ . . aking a habit of Earth observation where you live is a fun and fundamental way to practice Earth...

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How Big is Science? Can I Discover its Dimensions?

How Big is Science? Can I Discover its Dimensions? There is great beauty in thoughts well conceived and clearly expressed. This is science, when it is skillfully done. by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor (Photo by Jim Martin also!) When I first taught high school...

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In Support of Outdoor School

In Support of Outdoor School By Merrill Watrous “I not only learned about ghost shrimp and how to catch them, I did catch them. I not only learned what a chitin was and where it lived, I went out to where it was and petted it. Almost everything (at Outdoor School) was...

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Students’ Lived Experience

Effective Education: Turning the Classroom Inside Out By Indira Dutt s a child at school I remember sitting in a stuffy portable looking out the window to the field and houses beyond. I felt constrained: my seat was attached to the desk, the classroom was just barely...

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Why Garden in School (Part 1)

Can School Gardening Help Save Civilization? (An Essay in Four Parts)   by Carter D. Latendresse The Catlin Gabel School Abstract This paper is an argument for gardening in schools, focusing on two months of integrated English-history sixth grade curriculum that...

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Helping Teachers Gain Competencies in a Technological Age

Helping Teachers Gain Competencies in a Technological Age Is Active Learning, Learning? by Jim Martin Because active learning requires practice and feedback on thinking like an expert (a scientist), it demands considerably greater subject expertise by the teacher. . ....

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EE Research: Storytelling as a Tool for Young Learners

EE Research: Storytelling as a Tool for Young Learners Using storytelling is the best way to engage very young students from EE Research Bulletin Nicole Ardoin, Editor Research suggests that lasting attitudes toward nature and the environment form in the first few...

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Book Review: The Sixth Extinction

Reviewed by Mike Weilbacher The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History By Elizabeth Kolbert Henry Holt. 319 pp. $28 We inhabit an extraordinary planet overflowing with an abundance of life: massive coral reefs built by billions of tiny invertebrates, rain forests...

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Book Review: A Pedagogy of Place

What is Outside of Outdoor Education? Becoming Responsive to Other Places By David A. Greenwood A review of Wattchow, B. & Brown, M. (2011). A Pedagogy of Place: Outdoor Education for a Changing World. Clayton, Victoria: Monash University Press. As someone who follows...

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Earth Tales and Activities

The Power of Storytelling: Earth Tales and Activities   Show the Way for Living in Balance by Michael J. Caduto ©2014 All Rights Reserved From Siberia to the tip of South America, and from Africa to Polynesia, stories have grown from the very Earth upon which...

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EE Research: Using Inquiry-Based Activities to Teach Science

Using Inquiry-Based Activities to Teach Science from EE Research Bulletin THE RESEARCH: Tan, A.-L. & Wong, H.-M (2012) ‘Didn’t get expected answer, rectify it' — Teaching science content in an elementary science classroom using hands-on activities. International...

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Integrating STEM and Sustainability through Learning Gardens

Integrating STEM and Sustainability Education through Learning Gardens: A Place-Based Approach to the Next Generation Science Standards by Sybil S. Kelley and Dilafruz R. Williams; Portland State University ur ecological and social problems are deeply interconnected....

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How Teachers Are Learning About Place Through Service Learning

To view this article in .pdf format, click here: MyMcKenzie An environmental education professional development program using place-based service-learning by Kathryn Lynch University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program here does your drinking water come from?...

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Re-thinking Trash

Re-thinking Trash with Students! Getting youth—and anyone—to reconsider their trash can be difficult, but that’s what Trash for Peace, a Portland-based nonprofit, does. The organization aims to help people reduce waste through functional art by using the items we...

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Students on the Road for Science

Students on the Road for Science For two weeks in July, seven Heritage University students and 11 high school students from White Swan and Yakima traveled more than 2,000 miles for a class that was one part field experience and one part cultural exchange. The course,...

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EE Research: Writing Stories Builds Scientific Literacy

Writing Stories Builds Scientific Literacy From Environmental Research Bulletin Nicole Ardoin and Jason Morris, Project Leaders THE RESEARCH: Ritchie, S. M., Tomas, L., & Tones, M. (2011). Writing stories to enhance scientific literacy. International Journal of...

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Share Your Standards to Integrate Your Teaching

Teaching Science: Share Your Standards to Integrate Your Teaching by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor Let’s say you wish to incorporate an activity in the neighborhood of your school into a unit you are planning in science, and have been thinking about asking the...

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Supporting Our Children’s Innate Sense of Wonder

Holding the Space: Supporting Our Children's Innate Sense of Wonder By David Strich, M.Ed. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and...

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Teaching Stewardship Through Native Legend

Teaching Stewardship Through Native Legend Abstract: This article provides the reader with a general background of Alaska Native education and resource conservation, focusing on southeast Alaska cultures. European contact severed these education models by creating...

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Teaching and Learning Ecologically

Cultivating Ecological Teachers and Learners Using Project Learning Tree   by Jaclyn Stallard from The Branch, Project Learning Tree's E-newsletter Summer 2014 "Ecological teaching and learning is not just a matter of pedagogy, but also philosophy. Ecological...

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Using Snowpack to Teach Climate Change

Climate Change Education SWEet!: Using Cascade Snowpack to Teach Climate Change by Padraic Quinn, Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School Padraic_Quinn@beaverton.k12.or.us Illustration by Bill Reiswig Three years ago I was given the opportunity to learn with the...

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Listening To The Language of The Land and People

Place-based Education: Listening to the Language of the Land and the People By Clifford E. Knapp, Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University Introduction The intersection of place and education has occupied much of my teaching even though this field has not...

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11 Great EE Resources for July

Special thanks to Phyllis Dermer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 1. Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation Grants K-12 teachers are invited to apply for grants to develop or implement environmental curricula that integrate hands-on...

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Are economies the only things that expand and contract?

Are Economies the Only Things that Expand and Contract? Do we need to inject more time for contemplation into our curricula? by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor Photo by Jim Martin Concentration and contemplation. Expand and contract. Walk drive. Makes life...

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Gardens Grow Minds: The School as Green Educator

Gardens Grow Minds: The School as Green Educator   by Mary Quattlebaum “We have a garden! With flowers and butterflies!” The third graders beam as they describe their wildlife garden during my author visit to St. John the Baptist (SJB) School in Maryland. I...

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The Power of One

  The Power of One by Michael J. Caduto You must be the change you wish to see in the world. —    Mahatma Gandhi   bout five years ago I started to plan for a new book for children, parents and teachers about global climate change. I soon found that there...

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Starting a Community-based Natural Resource Education Program

Starting a Community-based Natural Resource Education Program Strategies for Authentic Community Engagement Authors Patrick Willis Oregon State University Extension 4-H Portland, Oregon Susan Cross Environmental Educator Tucson, Arizona lmost every school has a...

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Using litter-fall to study carbon cycling

The LitTER Project: A field method for using litter-fall to study carbon cycling by Lee Cain & Nick Baisley Astoria High School Science Department ABSTRACT During a NASA funded Teacher-Researcher Partnership program focused on bringing Global Warming and Climate...

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Using snowpack data for inquiry, graphing and analysis

Middle School Students Use Historic Snowpack Data to Gain Inquiry, Graphing and Analysis Experience by Joe Cameron Beaverton Middle School teacher   What do you get when you mix researchers, teachers, authentic science opportunities and a group of GREAT people?...

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Don’t call it “Climate Change”

Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say "global warming", don't say "climate change". New research released on...

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from Edutopia: Place-Based Learning MEASURES Up

Successful educational projects that focus on the community share key characteristics. by James Lewicki During the last several years, I have worked with dozens of elementary, middle, and high schools that value place-based learning enough to shift curriculum...

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NOAA: Bridging art and science to protect salmon habitat

Balancing waterfront development with the needs of salmon is a continuous challenge that requires innovative thinking. To step outside the box, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Pacific Northwest College of Arts formed a unique...

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Top 10 Benefits of Environmental Education

By Susan Toth in Educator Tips & Stories, PLT Blog Environmental education (EE) connects us to the world around us, teaching us about both natural and built environments. EE raises awareness of issues impacting the environment upon which we all depend, as well as...

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Community-based Science Teaching: A Journey of the Mind?

By Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor he young woman carefully pours hydrogen peroxide into a graduated cylinder, presses a key on a computer keyboard, then measures ten drops of liver homogenate into the cylinder.  The surface of the hydrogen peroxide seems to leap...

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Coyote Teaching

by Connor O'Malley reprinted courtesy of Alderleaf Wilderness College http://www.wildernesscollege.com/ oyote teaching is a phrase popularized by Tom Brown Jr. and Jon Young.  Similar teaching methods however, have been used by indigenous people, philosophers,...

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Next Generation Science Standards:

Should they direct students’ educations, or would they be better applied to teachers’ educations? by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor icture this: Science teachers with a strong background in doing science, working in a collegial environment, building their own...

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A Journey Of Surprises

Rivers reveal their secrets to Idaho students researching water quality through rigorous scientific inquiry Photos and story by Suzie Boss Squiggly blue lines cover the map of Idaho, a state with more than 2,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers. From the...

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Race, Class, Climate Change and Outdoor Education

Race, Class, Climate Change and Outdoor Education By Jay Roberts A recent post on climate change and race (http://tinyurl.com/b6fzp7) brings up an issue that really needs to be on the forefront of outdoor and environmental education moving forward. It is becoming...

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Literacy as a Stepping Stone to Environmental Citizenship

“The librarian tells me that there have been skirmishes over books, especially on topics we’ve been discussing in class. She and the librarian see this as a problem but not me. I see small steps towards victory with my class. The interest [in Environmental Literacy]...

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Indigenous Response to Global Climate Change

  isdom of the Elders is developing a summer field science camp focused on environmental and climate change issues, and career pathway planning in STEM fields. The Wisdom Project is a youth leadership initiative for Native and low-income youth in the greater...

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Planning and Evaluating Your Environmental Education Program

By Pamela Jull, PhD Applied Research Northwest t’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning the activities of an environmental education program. Programs are neat. They are often fun and innovative and they usually give participants a memorable, positive...

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Building a Citizen Science Center: A Framework

by Shamin Graff Lake Katherin Nature Center & Botanic Garden Palos Heights, IL he sat quietly for several moments, watching and waiting. Suddenly, a streak of yellow flew by and then another. She quickly snapped a few photos on her phone as they flew off....

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Will You Teach Science Better If You Have Done Science?

  By Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor hat if science teachers did science before they began teaching? Might a teaching model like this be possible to employ? Instructive to explore? There have been initiatives which followed up on this possibility. Their...

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Leaving Space for Awe

  We need to provide opportunities for students to establish connections with the natural world, to be in awe of its power and beauty. t was February 2012 in northwestern Ontario. I was in teachers college and my outdoor, environmental education cohort was on a...

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5 Outstanding EE Resources You Should Know About

1. Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators This downloadable collection of resources, perspectives, and examples will help nonformal environmental educators learn more about the field of EE, access resources, and gain skills to improve their...

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Honeybee Heroes: Carter Latendresse at Catlin Gabel School

Honeybee Heroes: Carter Latendresse at Catlin Gabel School by Katie Boehnlein arter Latendresse is the sixth grade English teacher at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, OR. In addition to his classroom courses, which focus on fostering social responsibility in his...

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Honeybee Heroes: Sarah Red-Laird at Bee Girl

by Katie Boehnlein arah Red-Laird, or “Bee Girl” is an Ashland, OR native who says that she has been fascinated with honeybees since her early childhood. On the playground in elementary school, she would pick up bees and pet them to impress other kids. Her aunt’s...

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BOOK REVIEW: Three new nature titles from Dawn Publications

by Michael D. Barton CLEARING Associate Editor Dawn Publications (Facebook/Twitter/blog) has three new children’s nature books out for ages 3-8, and I am delighted to not only have copies for my children, but to share with you how awesome they are. This publisher does...

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Honeybee Heroes: Ryan King at Southern Oregon University

An Alternative to Traditional Education Honeybee Heroes: Ryan King at Southern Oregon University by Katie Boehnlein outhern Oregon University in Ashland, OR is a “sweet” place to be. Ryan King, a recent graduate of Southern Oregon’s Master’s of Science in...

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Fueling the Fire: North Cascade Institute’s Path for Youth

Fueling the Fire: North Cascade Institute's Path for Youth by Mollie Behn t is no secret that today’s youth are increasingly disconnected from nature. As a result, youth are less aware of issues and threats facing the environment and how to address them. We need to...

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When you empower students, you teach more than content

by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor e left the teacher we have been following as she was planning a project she and her class will do on a creek at the edge of the school property. What she is doing, as well as her plans, appear to approach what the National Board...

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Honeybee Heroes: Eric Engman at Mt. Vernon High School

by Katie Boehlein ric Engman is a physics teacher at Mt. Vernon High School, where he has also taken on the role of “campus beekeeper.” The process of starting a school beehive began some years ago, when Eric began installing a rotational series of mostly...

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Plants and People

Plants and People Three service learning teams from the University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program tackle teaching children about the ecological and cultural importance of native plants. . . by Kathryn Lynch Environmental Leadership Program University of...

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EE Research: Give students a say in what and how they learn

Dr. Peter McInerney et al. review the literature related to the theoretical foundations of place-based education (PBE). They propose that the main task of PBE in schools is “creating opportunities for young people to learn about and care for the ecological and social...

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Share your favorite EE activity with us!

If you're a teacher, CLEARING would love to hear from you! We are compiling anecdotal examples of fun, engaging and successful environmental education activities from teachers around the Pacific Northwest. We are especially interested in teachable moments that sprang...

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8 Ideas, Resources, or Programs You Should Know About

1. National Geographic Education: Collections The National Geographic Education website has a number of collections dedicated to different areas within the natural sciences. Topics include ocean education, ecosystems, natural disasters, endangered species, and much...

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Details, Details, Details…

Details, details, details... The degree to which you can elaborate detail determines the level of confidence you’ll have in teaching curricula which begins in the real world by Jim Martin CLEARING Associate Editor ust as the degree with which they elaborate the...

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Book Review: On the Day You Were Born

On the Day You Were Born Author: Debra Frasier ISBN-13: 9780152579951 Reviewed by Seth Webb any of the stories that we tell our students and the cultural lessons that we share are our part of our collective oral tradition – they belong to all of us. They are of the...

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Book Review: The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book

The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer (Guilford, CT: Falcon Guides, 2013), 224 pp. Reviewed by Michael D. Barton n an ideal world, kids would spend more time playing outside, in their...

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On Rain / A Poetic Confrontation

by Matt Love n a Thursday in late November 2010, a month that eventually produced the second wettest November since instruments have measured depressing records of this kind, I sat at my desk in my classroom and heard rain falling for the 31st day in a row. I...

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What is School?

Teaching how to involve and invest students in their education and empower them as persons isn’t a passive set of knowledge, skills, and understandings. Rather, it is an active, dynamic process, not as easy to teach, at least within the current education paradigm. by...

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Earth Day and Beyond: K-12 Activities for Rivers and Streams

The following activities were submitted by K-12 teachers from around the Pacific Northwest who have participated in watershed education programs in their classrooms. The majority of these teachers were involved in the following coordinated watershed education...

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Seeking Environmental Maturity…

...at Starker Forests Helping students climb the ladder to responsible citizenship by Dick Powell This past summer I attended the World Forestry Center's International Educator's Institute (IEI). As an environmental educator without any formal pedagogical or...

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Learning is more than a classroom exercise

By Lee Sherman In Brief Whether identifying fish or monitoring water quality, students combine education with service through OSU's Oregon Natural Resources Education Program.  Through partnerships with local watershed councils and other agencies, students are making...

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5 Ideas and Programs You Might Want to Know About

1. Slow: Children at Nature Play This attention-catching sign is designed to raise awareness about the importance of connecting children to nature. The goal is to promote getting children outside and exploring nature similar to the neighborhood signs that ask drivers...

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Teach the student who lives within the body

Photo credit: Sarah Sullivan, Abernethy School, Portland by Jim Martin Clearing Associate Editor he last time we met, students had planted seeds in parts of a garden plot they chose. So, where do they go now? They’ve made their decisions about where to plant each of...

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6 Useful Ideas, Projects and Programs You Should Know About

1. Ocean Science Summer Institute This institute, June 24-27, 2013 in Port Townsend, Washington, is a Training of Trainers for both formal and informal educators.  Participants will receive hands-on experience with the Ocean Sciences Sequence including implementation...

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Inquiry Learning: Asking Your Own Questions

When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it. -Carl Sagan by Jim Martin Science Educator and CLEARING guest writer oing out into the world beyond the classroom for science and other curricula...

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7 EE Ideas, Grants, or Projects You Should Know About

1. Environmental Literacy Grants NOAA’s Office of Education has issued a request for applications for projects designed to build the capacity of educators to use NOAA data and data access tools to help K-12 students and/or the public understand and respond to global...

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Learning Eco-Literacy (Lessons from an Orca Grandmother) Pt. 3

by Sally Hodson, Ed.D. author of Granny's Clan, published by Dawn Publications See Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Part 3: Tell a Story How do we prepare young people for the 21st century challenge of caring for our planet so that it can sustain future generations...

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The Power of Fun

By Carol Malnor courtesy of Dawn Publications . “Your class sure looked happy,” one of my colleagues remarked last week. And I agreed! They were very happy. When the sun reappeared after a cold spell, I took my Nature Connections students outside for an activity that...

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The Urban-Rural Exchange Bridges Oregon’s Greatest Divide

The Urban-Rural Exchange Bridges Oregon's Greatest Divide By Judy Scott From Oregon's Agricultural Progress Wallowa County in northeast Oregon was the destination for one of this year’s four exchanges. The young guests from the city arrived in the thick of calving...

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Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Building a Network

Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Building a Network by Traci Price In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed the No Oregon Child Left Inside (NOCLI) Act that established an eleven-member task force charged with developing The Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Toward...

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6 EE Grants and Classroom Resources You Should Know About

1. Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators Program, a partnership between the CEQ and the EPA, recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental...

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Do It Yourself First: Leading Student-Directed Inquiry

Do It Yourself First: Leading Student-Directed Inquiry by Jim Martin CLEARING guest writer f you’ve never taken your elementary, middle, or secondary students out of the classroom to learn, and can’t find a helpful mentor or workshop, it’s okay to learn to use the...

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Tree Journals and ONE place

by Harmony Roll, Clearing Regional Advisory Panel from Taiga Teacher The turn around point on my regular running trail in Kodiak. hen I had my 3rd and 4th grade multi-age classroom in Fairbanks, I was in teacher paradise. I was in a Title 1 school, but was given a lot...

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4 EE Grant Opportunities You Should Know About

1. Action for Nature Young Eco-Hero Awards Action for Nature seeks applications from students ages 8-16 for its International Young Eco-Hero Awards Program. The awards program recognizes the individual accomplishments of young people whose personal actions have...

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5 Environmental Ed Resources You Should Know About

1. Pacific Education Institute Toolkit PEI recently created multiple guides as part of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Conservation Education Strategy Toolkit. These include the Project Based Learning Model, Field Investigations, Fostering Outdoor...

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Video: How to Start a School Garden

From Edutopia comes a short video on starting your own school garden.. .To see additional videos, go to http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-school-gardens

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The Return of Salmon Watch

Salmon Watch is back by popular demand and coming soon to a stream near you! . by Lizanne Saunders . his Fall ten classes of middle and high school students in the Portland metropolitan area are participating in a revitalized Salmon Watch program sponsored this pilot...

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Green Living Project Seeks Student Videos

Green Living Project (GLP) is accepting submissions for its fall 2012 Student Film Project contest. GLP is looking for student-created short films focused on sustainability or the environment. The deadline is November 28th, and winning films will be screened at the...

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Sarah and Gage – Kid Cultivators

eet Sarah and Gage, educators at Vernon School in NE Portland. They realized that many local parents weren’t sending their kids to Vernon, so they decided to try something new to reconnect families to their neighborhood school. From the Oregon Museum of Science and...

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Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World

From the book jacket: uman health and well-being are inextricably linked to nature; our connection to the natural world is part of our biological inheritance. In this engaging book, a pioneer in the field of biophilia—the study of human beings’ inherent affinity for...

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Learning Eco-Literacy (Lessons from an Orca Grandmother)

by Sally Hodson, Ed.D. author of Granny's Clan, published by Dawn Publications   . Part 1: Thinking in Webs . lanet Earth is home whether you’re a plant, an animal or a human. Our Earth is the only place in the universe we know for sure that can support life. So how...

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Grade 6-8 Activity: Stormwater Wonders

These lessons were developed by the Bainbridge island Woodward Middle School 6th grade team in cooperation with the Bainbridge Island Watershed Watch program.   Stormwater Wonders Background Storm water or runoff is defined as rainfall that falls on impervious...

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Grade 3-5 Activity: Animal Tracking

Grade Level: 3-5 Subject: Science Teacher: Nancy Fisher, Sauvie Island Academy Another powerful science lesson students do in my class is to ask ourselves, "Who might live in our habitat and how could we find out?" We brainstorm a list and then partners build an...

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Grade 3-5 Activity: Worms

Grade Level: 3-5 Subject: Teacher: Laurelei Primeau, Coquitlam School, BC It was a damp, sunny day, and my grade three class was called to the front lawn of the school for a school-wide portrait. Classes from kindergarten to grade five trooped out and jostled for...

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Grade 3-5 Activity: Nature Observation

Grade Level: 3-5 Subject: Science Teacher: Nancy Fisher, Sauvie Island Academy Section off squares in an outdoor nature area. These can be a square foot or a few square feet, but not larger than that. Assign each student or pairs of students a section. Have them spend...

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Discovering Place: A Place-based Education Video Series

urious about place-based education? Check out this free place-based education (PBE) video series, produced by University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. The series was made possible through a $20,000 grant by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network...

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5 E.E. Resources / Ideas That You Should Know About

1. Green Living Project Sustainability Film Contest GLP is proud to announce its fall 2012 Student Film Project contest!  Students are encouraged to document and submit their own stories of sustainability.  The contest is open to 6th grade through college level...

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My Passion

by Bobbie Snead Straub Environmental Learning Center he male osprey swoops down to join his mate on the enormous stick nest in Minto Brown Park.  Sixty yards away, the third graders from a local elementary school gasp and clap in delight.  I've taught them about...

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EE Research: Give students a say in what and how they learn

Posted By Alex Kudryavtsev from http://eelinked.naaee.net/n/eeresearch Dr. Peter McInerney et al. review the literature related to the theoretical foundations of place-based education (PBE). They propose that the main task of PBE in schools is “creating opportunities...

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Science Inquiry in the Real World

Science Inquiry in the Real World by Jim Martin Retired Science Educator CLEARING Special Contributor f you’ve never done a self-directed inquiry, or don’t see a connection between inquiry in the real world, and the science you teach in the classroom, here are three...

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Teaching in the Outdoor: A Primer

by Jay Roberts Originally published in the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) newsletter. Introduction Teaching in the Outdoors Teaching in general can be a scary thing. We are put in a position of authority and knowledge whether or not we feel...

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5 More EE Resources You Need to Know About

1. Biomes and Ecosystems The National Earth Science Teachers Association’s Windows to the Universe biomes and ecosystems, offers an interactive map to explore various biomes and learn about the natural history and current conditions in the dry steppes, alpine tundra,...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 23

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 23: Notice is a Powerful Verb: Noticing...

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What is Community-Based Social Marketing?

by Katrina Landau o what exactly is social marketing, and how does it work to change peoples' behaviors? While traditional marketing works by raising public awareness, social marketing works to identify barriers to behaviors and create long-lasting change. Instead of...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 22

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 22: Use It All Why settle for simple recall...

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5 New EE Resources You Should Know About Today!

1. Schools That Change Communities Schools That Change Communities, a new one hour documentary from award winning producer Bob Gliner (Lessons From The Real World, Democracy Left Behind) focuses on a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states – Massachusetts,...

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I Am Clark’s Creek – Puyallup School District

I Am Clark's Creek - Puyallup School District ometimes it takes the imagination and inspiration of youth to push a project towards success.  When the Puyallup River Watershed Council in Washington State became concerned about Clark’s Creek, it was the student project...

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6 Environmental Education Resources You Should Know About

1. Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum The National Estuarine Research Reserves has released the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum, a multi-media online science curriculum offering students virtual field trips to estuaries around the country.  The curriculum...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 21

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 21: Where Brains Learn Some cognitive...

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

By now, most of us are aware that there is a large patch of floating plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What you may not know is that it’s not made up of plastic bags and empty bottles. It’s made up of billions of tiny pieces of plastic, and it’s basically...

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7 EE Resources You Should Know About

1. Fukushima Daiichi Accident EarthEcho’s Water Planet Challenge provides information and materials to help middle and high school students take action to protect and restore our planet's natural resources while teaching to key standards. The Hot Topics presents...

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Inquiry: Letting Kids Wonder

Inquiry: Letting Kids Wonder by Katie MacDiarmid (reprinted from the SEECing Natural Discovery website of the Siskiyou Environmental Education Center) cientific inquiry” is one of those things I thought I knew how to do. I had taught middle school science and I’d...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 20

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 20: Beginning at the Beginning . by Jim...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 19

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 19: Walking Backwards May Get You There...

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Youth, Education and Climate Change

By Jana Dean From a talk given at the United Nations. was invited to speak here because I spend a lot of time with some of the funniest, most hopeful and energetic people on the planet: thirteen and fourteen year olds. While my official charge is to teach math and...

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5 EE Resources You Should Know About

1. YardMap YardMap is a free, interactive, citizen science mapping project about habitat creation and low-impact land use from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat for both professional scientists and people...

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Gardens Grow Minds: The School as Green Educator

By Mary Quattlebaum “We have a garden!  With flowers and butterflies!” The third graders beam as they describe their wildlife garden during my author visit to St. John the Baptist (SJB) School in Maryland. I thought about their enthusiasm and the dedicated teachers...

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Rivers and Streams Activities: Grades K-2

Go back to main page Butterfly Math (K-2 Science) While teaching a unit on the butterfly lifecycle, have the students create original artwork showing floral scenes. Laminate and use these small butterfly gardens as fun work mats. Unifix cubes or small counters can be...

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Rivers and Streams Activities: Grades 3-5

Go back to main page How Do Other Animals Deal with Garbage? (3-5 Science) Students will discover how ants and other animals deal with waste materials they themselves have created. Split the students into groups that will each build an ant house, which will contain...

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Rivers and Streams Activities: Grades 6-8

Go back to main page What Does Acid Rain Do to Aquatic Animals? (6-8 Science) Students will be able to discover the effects acid rain can have on aquatic wildlife. Set up two 10 gallon aquariums, each one with a variety of aquatic organisms (snails, caddisfly larva,...

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River and Streams Activities: Grades 9-12

Go back to main page Mapping a Watershed (9-12 Science) Locate a local stream or river on a map, making sure that your map includes the entire watershed. Select a spot on the map as far downstream as possible for your starting point. Next, locate the upstream ends of...

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EE Research: Playing in the woods

Researchers conducted phone interviews with 2000 adults in the US urban areas about their childhood nature experiences and current environmental attitudes and behavior. Interview questions, for example, addressed “wild” nature experience in childhood (hiking, camping...

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Resources for the Classroom — Food Chains

Check out the creative and insightful work of students in Pauline Sameshima's T&L 390 class at Washington State University. (Click on the image to see their individual reviews of K-12 teaching resources).

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community — 18

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 18: Starting at the Top Stand the hierarchy...

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Review: Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors

Reviewed by Seth Webb hile perusing my local library’s children’s section, I found a wonderful collection of playful poems, insightful science and glorious artwork. In Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors, written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie...

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EE Research: Children’s interactions with plants

Lohr and Pearson-Mims have conducted a nationwide phone survey of 2004 adults in cities about their childhood experiences related to nature, and current action and attitudes towards trees. Researchers concluded that, “Growing up next to natural elements such as flower...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community – 17

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 17: Discovery of Students as Persons...

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Gertschen Interview: Jon Marvel

Interview by Chris Gertschen Jon Marvel is the founder and executive director of the Western Watersheds Project. Mission The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives...

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Partnering for Ocean Literacy

Along the Oregon coast, community partners are teaming up with the school district to encourage use of the ocean as a context for learning . by Rachel Bayor, School Liaison Partnership Coordinator hy do kids need to know about the ocean? It may take a moment to...

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Resources for the Classroom— Biomes

Check out the creative and insightful work of students in Pauline Sameshima's T&L 390 class at Washington State University. (Click on the image to see their individual reviews of K-12 teaching resources).

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A Classroom Without Walls

A Classroom Without Walls Deepening Children's Connection with Nature by Seth Webb Free Horizon Montessori School   e each have an incredible gift: the ability to engage children with the world - indeed, the universe - that surrounds them and, of which, they are...

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Hands-on Hanford: Linking Lessons

by Erika Holmes, Community Outreach and Environmenal Education, Washington State Department of Ecology recently attended a forum bringing together state and federal agencies, non-profits, involved citizens, educators, and retired workers with a common goal: getting...

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Abernethy’s ground-breaking Farm-to-School program

n a quiet, residential, inner southeast Portland, Oregon street, a little elementary school is breaking new ground for the farm-to-school and school garden movement. At Abernethy Elementary, students enjoy freshly cooked breakfasts and lunches prepared on site by a...

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Exemplary EE Programs in the Pacific Northwest

Click on the image for an overview of outstanding regional EE programs. Put your program on the map! Recent additions: • Solar panels in Seattle classroom • CREST Farm-to-School Program • Expeditionary Learning in Washington

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community – 10

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 10: Assimilation When the world outside...

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Solar energy in the classroom

Understanding Electricity Through Photovoltaics from green levine on Vimeo. More Than a Metaphor Solar energy in the classroom by Jessica Levine Eckstein Middle School Seattle, Washington As a student of David Orr at Oberlin College I helped design the Adam Joseph...

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Gertschen Interview: Rick Johnson, Idaho Conservation League

Rick Johnson has served as executive director of the Idaho Conservation League for 16 years.  ICL is Idaho’s leading voice for conservation. Interview by Chris Gertschen CG: Is there one particular event or series of events that led you to a profession in...

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Without Leaving the Classroom

by Harmony Roll, Taiga Teacher ou don't need to be an environmental educator, you don't have to stray from traditional norms, or be on the cutting edge to incorporate place-based education into your daily practice as a teacher. The goal is to create connections,...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 6: The Easy Part by Jim Martin, CLEARING...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 4: Inquiry An Introduction to the World of...

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Kettle Falls: Engaging in Real Work

by Val McKern Kettle Falls Elementary School believes that by engaging kids in authentic work, attitudes can change toward both work and community.  As a second grader, Todd started the year with little interest in school, had a difficult time focusing on discussions...

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CREST Farm to School

by Bob Carlson CREST is an environmental education center operated by the West Linn-Wilsonville School District which is located just south of Portland, Oregon. One of the key CREST programs is the CREST Farm . The farm is located on surplus district property....

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Buy the book – get a bonus – and help CLEARING!

This offer is for a limited time only because I have just 10 copies of David Sobel's book Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities available.  But here's the deal: buy a print copy of The Best of CLEARING, and I will add a copy of Sobel's book ($12...

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Changing the world…

..."[Jim] Watson gave up long ago trying to change the world of environmental education through Big Initiatives – the work of government, school boards and such. While he serves on the board of directors for the Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center and North...

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To all residential environmental educators: You are invited!

Straight Talk, Sound Ideas IslandWood is convening a conference for residential environmental educators in the Pacific Northwest! Meet new colleagues, make new connections and friends, get fresh ideas - get inspired! You can look forward to workshops, explorations and...

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Dam Removal as a Teaching Tool

by Derek Jones We erect dams assuming they are eternal, as if they’ll never topple over or be dismantled or fill with sediment or lose their financial rationale. Yet all dams will die. . . They’ll be reminders of an ancient time when humans believed they could...

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