Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Green Colleges": An Online Directory

Students looking to apply to college this year have a new online tool to help them in their search. A free directory of environmental information at nearly 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities is now available at

The directory, which is the first of its kind, provides listings of environmental degree programs as well as environmental opportunities and organizations at campuses around the country.

“This is a unique resource that enables students who have an interest in protecting the environment to discover environmental degrees and programs that they might not even know existed,” says Our Earth founder, John Ullman, who is pursuing concurrent masters degrees at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Fuqua School of Business. “Equally as powerful, it enables students to view videos, share ideas, and learn about successful initiatives at other colleges which they can then bring to their own campuses.”

The directory was created by student volunteers at 40 campuses nationwide, including undergraduate and graduate students at Duke. It offers extensive information on undergraduate, masters and PhD degree programs at nearly 2,000 colleges and universities. Fields of study span a wide range of environmental disciplines. The directory also includes links to campus carbon inventories and recycling opportunities, environmentally focused student clubs and organizations, and environmental opportunities in the local community.

Bill Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School, says, "Our Earth has provided a valuable resource. There has been such an explosion of environmental programs recently that it’s become almost impossible to keep up. As a faculty member needing to advise students on opportunities around the country, I'll be visiting Our Earth’s Web site on a regular basis." is a nonprofit organization, Web site and grassroots initiative founded in 2006 by Ullman and classmates of his when he was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. “Our goal is to transform the way the public finds environmental information,” he says. “The new directory is the first of a series of innovative environmental tools we’re developing.”

The way in which the directory was created is as novel as the directory itself, he adds. “Our Earth’s coalition of student volunteers, its strong academic roots and extensive connections in the environmental community are key to its success. College students and university faculty members are always involved in its projects, and its efforts are supported by dozens of other environmental leaders from around the country.”

Delmarva BioBlitz Award Winners Announced

Delmarva BioBlitz Award Winners Announced at Tally Rally Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences (DLITE) announced the winners of the Second Annual Delmarva BioBlitz at the BioBlitz Tally Rally on November 19. The event was hosted at the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center in Eden, Maryland.

The Delmarva BioBlitz connected kids and families to nature through fun, semi-competitive nature exploration, while raising funds for non-profit organizations working on the Delmarva Peninsula. The BioBlitz helped adult and youth teams of up to 10 citizen-scientists conduct inventories of plants and animals in their local parks, watersheds, and throughout the region during the week of October 10 - 19, 2009. All proceeds were shared 50/50 between DLITE and the designated partner charitable organizations.

Thanks to event sponsors, the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center and Jolly Roger Amusement Park, four prizes of $500 each were awarded to local non-profit organizations. Prizes were awarded to the youth team that inventoried the most total species, and one to the youth team that raised the most money. Prizes were also awarded to adult teams in each category.

The adult team award for most species inventoried went to the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. The Coastal Bays team counted 403 species during an eight-hour block on October 18. The team averaged one species every 71 seconds. The adult team award for most funds raised also went to the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. The Coastal Bays team raised $2,114.15 by soliciting pledges for species inventoried. The team raised $5.25 for every species inventoried.

“The Delmarva BioBlitz is a great fund raising event for us,” said Dave Wilson, Jr., Executive Director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. “Not only do we receive contributions that benefit our own programs, we also get a chance to showcase the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives in the land and water of our coastal bays.”

The youth team award for most species inventoried went to the Coast Kids, a program of the Assateague Coastal Trust. The Coast Kids team counted 274 species during a four-hour block on October 10. The team averaged one species every 52 seconds. The youth team award for most funds raised also went to the Coast Kids. The Coast Kids team raised $1,221.00 by soliciting pledges for species inventoried. The team raised $4.46 for every species inventoried.

"The BioBlitz is such a great opportunity for children to learn about biodiversity in a fun and semi-competitive way,” said Verena Chase, Coast Kids Program Director. “I am so proud of our Coast Kids BioBlitz team members. Some of the kids are talented naturalists already. For instance, they know a lot more about bugs and snakes than most adults do. The children were very focused searching the beach, marsh, meadow, forest, and garden habitats for species. Some animals, such as white-tailed deer and red fox, were identified by their tracks, some birds by their call, and the kids even dug up a termite nest. The Delmarva BioBlitz is undoubtedly the most fun fund raiser."

The Delmarva BioBlitz was sponsored by the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center and Jolly Roger Amusement Park. The Delmarva BioBlitz is supported by the Delmarva Environmental Educators Network (DEEN) and the No Child Left Inside Coalition.

For more information, please contact Jim Rapp at or 443-614-0261.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A special thank you to Dogfish Head Brewery for donating the libations for this celebration!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2010 Toyota International Teacher Program

An application is now available for the 2010 Toyota International Teacher Program to Costa Rica, a fully-funded professional development program for U.S. educators. Funded by Toyota and administered by the Institute of International Education, the program aims to advance environmental stewardship and global connectedness in U.S. schools and communities.

The program will take place June 18 – July 3, 2010; the deadline to apply is January 6, 2010. Please visit for application instructions, eligibility requirements, FAQs, and to apply online.

Requests for information: or 877-832-2457

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MAEOE Moves Into Green Office Complex

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education has a new home in one of the greenest buildings in the state: The EnviroCenter in Jessup. Interest and demand for environmental education has steadily increased since MAEOE’s formation in 1985. While this move is designed to centralize operations to streamline client services, Bronwyn Mitchell, Executive Director for MAEOE added, “The new office will focus additional attention on the tremendous environmental education work being done by thousands of educators in hundreds of locations throughout the state.”

As the organization supporting environmental education professionals, it was important to select an office that reflected and complemented the organization’s mission. In the U.S. alone, buildings represent 39 percent of our primary energy use, consume 12.2 percent of our potable water (15 trillion gallons per year), and 40 percent of global raw materials. Green buildings significantly reduce this environmental burden, while providing a healthier place to work and live. “More than an office, the EnviroCenter is a teacher, textbook, and classroom,” explained Mitchell. “Each visitor to the office will leave knowing more about green building strategies and techniques than when they entered.”

A sampling of the EnviroCenter’s environmental attributes include:

· Walking distance from MARC commuter train between Baltimore and Washington
· ½ block from a Howard County Green bus line stop
· Maximum site density by saving an old 1905 farmhouse and incorporating it into the building
· Capturing of rain water for irrigation and landscape features by Water Savers, LLC
· Passive cooling design features
· Carpeting by “Interface” made with recycled materials and recyclable
· Bamboo flooring
· Siding made from recycled asphalt shingles
· Solar tubes and daylight shafts provide natural lighting and save energy
· Hydronic solar heating integrated with a radiant floor heating system for even, comfortable heating
· A 2.25 kW photovoltaic Solar electric system to offset the electric loads of the building
· A fiber optic daylighting system to focus light from outdoors to indoor light fixtures
· Use of biodiesel for supplementary heat
· Interior trim of wheat stalk boards and sunflower seed husks
· A living "Green" roof
· Environmentally friendly finishes with low or no volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)

MAEOE joins current EnviroCenter tenants in this green office complex, including: ASG, environmental design and construction consultants; Water Savers, working to provide solutions for water and energy conservation; The Green Building Institute, a non-profit offering green building courses; Phase II Architecture; and the Robinson Foundation, developing a nature center in Howard County. Founding partner, Stan Sersen, describes it as a community that shares business ideas, personal networks, and professional passions towards creating a more sustainable world. He explained that “MAEOE is the perfect complement to the suite of occupants. The organization embodies the past, present and future of environmental education in Maryland.”

MAEOE’s new address is:
7761 Waterloo Road Jessup, MD 20794
Tel: (443) 733-1212
Fax: (443) 733-1219

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Solar Decathlon: Last Three Days - Oct. 15-18

The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition where 20 teams of university students from around the world develop fully-functional houses that draw all their energy from the sun.

After spending two years developing their homes, the students ship their partially completed homes to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., finish building the homes, and then compete in 10 contests that measure the team's skills in architecture, home design, and communications. The solar homes must produce enough electricity and hot water to perform all the normal functions of a home, including powering the lights and home electronics, washing clothes and dishes, showering, and cooking, all while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Teams can also earn bonus points if their homes produce a surplus of electricity.

The event will be open to the public on October 15-18. For more information, visit

Monday, October 12, 2009

MAEOE Welcomes Ryan Pleune as Maryland Green School Coordinator

MARYLAND: Ryan Pleune has been chosen to lead MAEOE’s Maryland Green School Program as it enters a period of unprecedented growth. “Originally from Utah, Ryan will bring a fresh perspective and a wealth of new ideas to the program. He is going to broaden the Maryland Green School program by exploring opportunites to connect the program to education reform. I’m excited about the bright future of the program” explained MAEOE Executive Director Bronwyn Mitchell.

Since 1999, 266 or approximately 10 percent of Maryland public and independent schools have been certified as Maryland Green Schools through MAEOE’s signature program, which was recognized by Governor O’Malley as a model in his Children in Nature Partnership State Environmental Literacy Plan. The program was also recently featured in a PBS national documentary highlighting Green School initiatives, scheduled to air on Earth Day 2010. MAEOE’s Maryland Green Schools initiative challenges schools to integrate the environment into every aspect of the school culture including professional development, curricular connections, student-led projects which model environmental best management practices, and community engagement.

Interest in Maryland Green Schools has grown steadily throughout the program’s history, although Mitchell explained that the program has entered a period of hyper-growth. “It seems every school wants to be a Maryland Green School -- and wants to be one now!” She estimates that the record set in 2009 of 70 new Maryland Green Schools will easily be eclipsed in 2010.

Mr. Pleune will put his experience as a classroom teacher and outdoor educator, along with innovative ideas and his accessible yet charismatic personality, to work as MAEOE’s Maryland Green School Coordinator beginning on October 13. Pleune is anxious to get started, and MAEOE is equally anxious to have him, his enthusiasm, and his dynamic ideas on board as soon as possible.

ABOUT MAEOE: Founded in 1985, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which seeks to develop a Maryland citizenry that understands and is engaged in responsible environmental behavior and stewardship by training and supporting Maryland educators.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Good 100: The Teacher Salary Project

Everyone knows teachers aren’t paid enough. But what we don’t often think about is the effect of that meager paycheck.

Teachers play a huge role in the educational outcomes of their students, but they’re leaving the profession in droves. Forty-six percent of public-school teachers bail within their first five years. That the average annual salary for a new teacher is only $35,000 isn’t helping to retain talent.

People who are good at teaching have a wide range of intellectual and interpersonal skills and are tireless workers—those are qualities that can easily bring them more money in the marketplace.

That’s why the Teacher Salary Project is so important. Built on the success of the book Teachers Have It Easy by the teacher and journalist Daniel Moulthrop, 826 National’s CEO Nínive Calegari, and the writer Dave Eggers, the Teacher Salary Project is a multipronged media and advocacy effort to remind a forgetful America how important, overworked, and underpaid our public-school teachers are.

On the Teacher Salary Project website, teachers from across the country are invited to send in videos documenting their personal challenges. These stories will be distributed online, and combined with material from the Academy Award–winning documentary filmmaker Vanessa Roth, to create a film that explores the firsthand experiences of America’s teachers.

The website is also building partnerships with organizations across the country that are working to improve public education through local ballot measures and experimenting with progressive pay systems.

In the end, the goal is make sure the job of teaching is valued—to make it something for which people will even compete. And as Calegari points out, “As long as you expect American teachers to take that Mother Teresa vow of poverty, you’ll never have that competition.”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

PumpkinFest Weekend - Irvine Nature Center - Oct. 16-18

PumpkinFest Weekend is a celebration of the fall harvest season. Pumpkins on the Green, a casual "un-gala" style event to benefit Irvine Nature Center will be held at the Center on Friday, October 16 from 6:30 - 11:00 p.m. The event will also kick off PumpkinFest on October 17 and 18 Irvine's annual fall harvest festival, two fun days for families and communities to celebrate the delights of the fall season. Each October, hundreds of families gather
at Irvine to enjoy a day of music, food, and fun, including:
  • Arts
  • Face Painting
  • Food
  • Pony Rides
  • Hay Rides
  • Scarecrow Making
  • Nature Games and more!
For more information on Pumpkins on the Green, contact Rachael Buhler at: 443-738-9227. For more information on PumpkinFest, contact Monica Wiedel-Lubinski at 443-738-9213.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cash for Lawn Clunkers - Baltimore 10/18/09

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Noon to 4:00 pm
Herring Run Nursery
6131 Hillen Rd., Baltimore
(at Mount Pleasant Golf Course)

Trade in your old, noisy, gas-guzzling lawn mower for a coupon worth up to 1/3 off the cost of a brand new battery-powered, cordless, rechargeable, electric mower.

Help clean up the air and local water, make your community a healthier (and quieter) place, provide for birds... and save money at the same time!

Event presented by Together Green, Audubon Maryland-DC, Herring Run Watershed Association, Herring Run Nursery, Neuton Mowers, and Baltimore City Department of Public Works.

Need to know:
  • Only push mowers will be accepted, no riding mowers at this event.
  • Your mower must be drained of all oil and gas - recycling facility and assistance provided onsite if needed. Or drain in advance and properly dispose of fluids, such as at Baltimore City Household Hazardous Waste event October 10 -11
  • Coupon is for $110 off of a Neuton Battery Powered Mower plus free shipping.
  • Limit one mower/ coupon per household.
For more information:

Monday, September 28, 2009

“Turning a New Leaf “ Conference - Dec. 4

Friday, December 4, 2009
George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

This conference brings together landscaping professionals, policy makers and educators to learn and share information about sustainable landscaping practices in the Chesapeake Bay region.

The Honorable Anthony Williams will open the conference talking about D.C.’s green initiatives. Concurrent sessions will cover sustainable design, selling green, getting it done with local governments, and urban ecology and new technologies.

Eric Eckl, founder of Water Words that Work will close the conference with a talk on “The World Outside: What They Say About Why Your Work Matters."

Register before November 1 and pay only $95. Registration after November 1 is $105.

The one-day conference includes an Eco-Marketplace, educational displays, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and afternoon reception. Join us for this unique conference that seeks to promote sustainable landscaping and form new partnerships that will lead to a more beautiful and healthier environment for everyone.

Presented by the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council and George Washington University’s Landscape Design Program.

Visit for details and registration information.

General Information:
Sylvan Kaufman
410-634-2847 ext. 41

Register Now!
Space is limited this year!

Friday, September 25, 2009

2009 Solar Decathlon: Oct. 9-18

The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition where 20 teams of university students from around the world develop fully-functional houses that draw all their energy from the sun.

After spending two years developing their homes, the students ship their partially completed homes to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., finish building the homes, and then compete in 10 contests that measure the team's skills in architecture, home design, and communications. The solar homes must produce enough electricity and hot water to perform all the normal functions of a home, including powering the lights and home electronics, washing clothes and dishes, showering, and cooking, all while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Teams can also earn bonus points if their homes produce a surplus of electricity.

The event will be open to the public on October 9-13 and 15-18. For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2009 Oh Deer! Environmental Forum

The Cacapon Institute is currently enrolling high school classes in the upcoming Oh Deer! Environmental Forum. Students participating in the Environmental Forum explore the science and societal impacts of regional conservation issues that are relevant to their lives. In Oh Deer! students study the impacts of deer overpopulation in the context of ecosystem balance, land management, economic impacts, and watershed protection. They then challenge one another across the internet to find socially acceptable consensus-based solutions to this complex environmental problem.

From science to agriculture to social studies, the eForum can be used to develop 21st Century technology skills. The role play as stakeholders is the basis for a Project Based Learning activity to engage students in core curriculum content or a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience around forest protection for watershed health.

The eForum is an opportunity for environmental organizations to engage students in their issues and mission. Cacapon Institute invites conservation organization to use Oh Deer! as a platform to engage high school youth in local stewardship issues. Consider recruiting a teacher and mentoring a class as they explore the science and politics of deer management to reduce forest degradation and protect agricultural income. The lesson is completely prepared, free of charge, and ready to use “off the shelf” by clicking on the phone in our internet-based Potomac Highlands Watershed School. Please share this invitation with interested organization, schools, and teachers.

To sign up a class follow the Environmental Forum link and scroll to the bottom. If you are interested in participating, can recommend a school to participate, or would like additional information, please contact Frank Rodgers at (304) 856-1385 or by email at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

D.C. Metro Area Solar Homes Tour: Oct. 3-4

The D.C. Sierra Club, along with the Virginia Solar Council and Potomac Region Solar Energy Industry Association volunteers, are hosting their 19th annual D.C. metro area solar homes tour on October 3 and 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., which will also include sites throughout Maryland.

Over 60 solar-powered homes will highlight a variety of passive design, technology and sustainable living concepts, including photovoltaic and solar hot water systems, radiant heat, energy-efficient appliances, and energy-saving building construction techniques. Additional homes can be viewed in our Takoma Park Green Homes “tour within a tour.” Many homeowners also will be demonstrating their energy and water conservation measures, recycling and composting procedures, and their fuel-efficient or alternative energy vehicles. Also, a self-guided bike tour is planned for some homes in Frederick and Washington Counties.

Details are available on the solar tour website ( The tour guide can be downloaded for free after September 13 or purchased for a tax-deductible $5 from participating outlets, such as all local REI stores.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recycle Bottle Caps?!?!?!?!

If you are like me you've been recycling for years, however, how frustrated are you that you can't recycle the tops to all those plastic bottle tops? Well, now you can! Check out to see how you can incorporate this project into your school's recycling program.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

New Green Schools Network Available

Ecoschools US, is a non-profit and independent advocacy network that promotes the greening of K-12 educational facilities and daycare centers.

The organization’s website,, provides a new and integrated platform to exchange contacts, ideas and resources between green schools experts, advocates and school system employees. The site also features related news, presentations, events, training, sponsorship and grant opportunities. A special resources section provides videos, press articles and interviews.

There is no cost for membership in Ecoschools US, but application is subject to approval by the network. Approved members gain access to a faculty of renowned green schools experts offering presentations and free consultations on the subject of sustainable school design, operations and education.

The Ecoschools network was founded recently by Anja Caldwell, a LEED-certified architect trained in Germany, and an acclaimed expert in green building design and implementation for schools. She calls Ecoschools US an independent pollinator that is spreading green ideas and information “like a busy bee.” Ms. Caldwell recognizes that because of budget and schedule constraints, sustainability has not become a priority in the majority of American school districts.

It is believed that the independent Ecoschools network will make readily available the necessary tools and training desperately needed by school system decision-makers, facility managers, teachers and staff, thereby enabling them to move forward with sustainable design, while further demonstrating sustainable leadership, all without wasting valuable time and resources in an unnecessary learning curve.

For more information about the Ecoschools US network, contact Anja Caldwell, at 240.481.5779 or email To understand more about the goals, vision, and resources of Ecoschools US, or to apply for membership, visit the network website:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

River of Words Poetry & Art Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources would like to announce the upcoming deadline of the River of Words International Poetry and Art Contest. Opened to students Grades K-12, the contest deadline is December 1, 2009. The theme is Watersheds. All Maryland entries will be entered in a State contest.

For River of Words’ Contest Rules and Guidelines, including information on where to send entries visit the River of Words website or contact Joann Wheeler, Maryland River of Words Coordinator 410-260-8809.

Click here to download a free Teacher’s Guide.

A free classroom poster and Teacher's Guide on CD may be obtained by contacting by emailing Joann Wheeler.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Call for Presentations: 2010 Maryland EE Conference

MAEOE 25th Annual Conference
Many Paths, One Destination: From Knowledge to Action
February 4-7, 2010
Rocky Gap Lodge – Flintstone, Maryland

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) invites you to submit an Application to Present for consideration for one or more of the following:
  • one of the 10 Friday workshops (3 or 6 hours in length)
  • one of the 50 Saturday sessions (50 minutes)
  • a Sunday Field Experience
MAEOE welcomes applications from professionals representing all levels of education, all content areas, specialists, and business and industry experts.

The annual MAEOE conference, the largest statewide environmental education conference and the only one of its kind in Maryland, brings together more than 600 educators from schools, local and state government agencies, environmental centers, businesses and organizations to develop strategies and skills to develop a citizenry that understands and is engaged in responsible environmental behavior.

Call for Presentation Deadline: September 4, 2009

More detailed information about MAEOE, the annual conference, or submission background is available at:

Click on the following link to submit your proposal: MAEOE.ORG/CONFERENCE.PHP

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Job Opening: Green Schools Award Program Coordinator

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE), Maryland’s professional organization dedicated to building the capacity of educators to effectively create an environmentally literate citizenry, is seeking an energetic and creative individual to join our dynamic team as the Maryland Green School Awards Program Coordinator, working part-time (averaging 20-hours a week) to start immediately. The successful candidate will serve as the program director, public spokesperson, and will oversee all aspects of the program’s operations. The coordinator will report directly to the MAEOE Executive Director.

Click here to download the complete Position Description.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Town Hall Meeting - Annapolis - Aug. 11

Following President Obama’s executive order on May 12, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and other federal officials are writing plans for watershed-wide restoration efforts. The EPA is also in the process of developing a regulatory pollution budget for the Bay watershed, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

The Chesapeake Bay Town Hall Meeting will provide a forum to show your support for strong standards, enforceable pollution limits, and increased accountability. Details below:

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 6:30-8:00pm

St. Philip's Episcopal Church 730 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, invited
Chuck Fox, EPA Senior Advisor on the Chesapeake Bay
Will Baker, President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Dr. Don Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Rev. Rick Edmund, United Methodist Churches, Smith Island
Brad Heavner, State Director, Environment Maryland

Tommy Landers, Environment Maryland, 410-467-0439
Terry Cummings, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 410-268-8816

Environment Maryland
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Choose Clean Water Campaign
Sierra Club Maryland Chapter
Clean Water Action
Growth Action of Anne Arundel County


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Reflections on NOAA and B-WET

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) first national B-WET Conference. B-WET (Bay Watershed Education and Training) is a grant program administered by NOAA which funds professional development for educators as well as Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEE) for students. The program, which began in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, is now offered in seven regions which include Hawaii, California, the Pacific Northwest, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast. The conference provided grant recipients an opportunity to share and learn from each other, gain substantive and current scientific knowledge and data from NOAA scientists, help guide the future of the B-WET program, and understand more completely the people and programs that make up NOAA.

NOAA has a treasure trove of information that educators can use to supplement and enhance their curricula. Here is a sampling:

Data for your Classroom
Climate Change Reports
Lesson Plans
Activity Books
Monitoring Procedures
Teacher at Sea Books
Curriculums - Elementary and High School
Coastal Population Trends
Nutrient Data from your Watershed

Want something, but can't find it? The scientists and other professsionals at NOAA are accessible and responsive. The Administration just completed a 20-Year Education Strategic Plan. That is a testament of their commitment to getting data into the hands of the public. I encourage you to visit and take advantage of the wonderful resource.

Submitted by Bronwyn Mitchell

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Put Your Best Foot(wear) Forward

Donate Your Shoes
Reduce the Waste Stream
Help Someone in Need

MAEOE and Soles4Souls are teaming up at next year's conference with an easy way to help reduce the strain on our environment: donate your "gently worn" footwear to people in need instead of throwing them away.

Last year alone, Americans discarded more than 300 million pairs of shoes. When these shoes break down in our landfills, the toxic glue that holds the shoes together can leak into our water supply and atmosphere.

Soles4Souls will clean the shoes and ship them to needy people around the world, who will treasure the gift for years to come. Since its inception following the Asian tsunami, Soles4Souls has distributed over 4 million pairs to people in 125 countries, and our efforts have been publicized in thousands of articles, including the Green Guide by National Geographic and Runner's World.

For more information, visit the special Shoe Drive Page on the MAEOE website.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Green Building Council - Young Leader Awards

The U.S. Green Building Council is now accepting applications for the USGBC Young Leader Awards. This award recognizes individuals between the ages of 13 and 25 who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and effected change in their schools, communities and beyond. Honorees will enjoy an all-expense paid trip to Phoenix, Ariz. for Greenbuild from November 11-13, 2009. Additionally, honorees will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the Speak Green Festival in April 2010, where they, along with poets from the Youth Speaks Green Team, will take the stage at the Kennedy Center to be celebrated for the work they are doing to transform their communities toward a more sustainable future. The deadline for applications is August 31, 2009.

Learn about the award and download the application.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming

Thoreau's Legacy: American Stories about Global Warming is the new anthology from the Union of Concerned Scientists and Penguin Classics which brings together established writers and fresh voices, including Bronwyn Mitchell, current Executive Director for the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE), to inspire us with personal stories and reflections on global warming.

Following in a uniquely American tradition of environmental writing begun by Henry David Thoreau and continued by great writers from Rachel Carson to E. O. Wilson, Thoreau's Legacy enhances our appreciation of the world around us and galvanizes support to preserve it for future generations. The 67 pieces of writing and art in the anthology are drawn from nearly 1,000 submissions about beloved places, animals, plants, people, and activities at risk from a changing climate and the efforts that individuals are making to save what they love.

A foreword on global warming by the well-known author Barbara Kingsolver helps to set the context, and is a powerful call to action.

Launch the interactive book to read the anthology now, or explore the site to learn about the forthcoming hardcover and e-book versions and what you can do to help address climate change.

The selected essays represent a variety of perspectives, voices, and experiences. The authors follow in the long tradition of great American environmental writers, like Henry David Thoreau, who have broadened our awareness and sharpened our perspective about the world we share. And they are inspiring action to protect our planet from global warming. They are Thoreau's legacy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Green Schools On the Air!

Jeanne Armacost is discussing MAEOE's Maryland Green Schools Program on Friday at 2:00 p.m. on WNAV - AM 1430, on the "1430 Connection," the local news magazine in Annapolis. The interview will be re-broadcast on Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m., and during the following week online at

Yvette Paradis hosts the in-depth interview program designed to present a broader scope on local issues. Yvette and Jeanne will welcome your phone calls at 410-267-7777.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Smithsonian Folklife Festival & Welsh Sustainability

June 24-28; July 1-5
National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special evening events.
All events are free.

The 43rd annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is linking traditional culture with sustainable practices in the country of Wales. Wales is leading the way in becoming environmentally sustainable on a national level. Many participants in this year’s Festival specialize in sustainability and will provide valuable insights and experiences to take back to the classroom.

Special Programs:

Convergence on Zero Conference
National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium, June 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the Centre for Alternative Technology. Features speakers from Wales and the U.S. on the transition to zero carbon emissions. Registration for this free conference is online at

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales
CAT demonstrates practical solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems and offer a free information service on all things green, including wind energy, solar panels, green roofs, building with straw bales, and other sustainable solutions. Festival participants from CAT include Blanche Cameron, a green building designer; Matthew Slack, an energy consultant who lives in a house heated by solar power; and Adam Thorogood, a contributor to ”Zero Carbon Britain.”

Ty Unnos House
A sustainable house that is made from locally-sourced timber. The timber is prefabricated into walls, doors, and windows, all in a range of sizes, which are then used to build affordable and sustainable housing.

Ty Mawr House
Built by Ty-Mawr Lime Ltd., this green house features plasters and mortars made from recycled glass, insulation made from sheep’s wool, and environmentally-friendly floors.

TYF Adventure
The first carbon-neutral adventure company in the world.

In addition, join in family-friendly activities using recycled materials in the Family Activity Area, and enjoy listening to Welsh music about climate change and our world’s condition performed by Gai Toms.

For more information please visit the Wales Smithsonian Cymru Web sites at: and

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tracking PolarTREC

Tom Harten, a teacher with the CHESPAX environmental education program of the Calvert County Public Schools in Maryland, will be traveling to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, July 15-18, as a part of the PolarTREC program, a project that partners teachers with scientists conducting polar research in both the arctic and in Antarctica. Mr. Harten will be a participant in a project that will investigate the impact of climate change on seabirds nesting on these remote islands in the Bering Sea. The project is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Mr. Harten will be posting journal entries from the field as video and audio podcasts and answering questions from interested students and teachers. To follow the expedition visit:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

REI's Passport to Adventure

REI, long one of MAEOE's staunchest supporters, has introduced a free new program called Passport to Adventure, which is designed for children ages five to 12, with the goal of encouraging them to participate in at least one outdoor activity through the end of the year. To get started, families and caregivers can stop by any REI store to pick up a complimentary adventure journal, plus hike and bike trails in their local area.

After participating in at least one outdoor activity, participants can complete the program online or through the mail to receive a certificate of completion and a special prize for their children – multifunction binoculars that turn into other tools, such as a compass, signal mirror, magnifying glass and more.

Click here for more information on the free Passport to Adventure program.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bumble Bee Nest Site Survey

Bumble bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops and wild plants, but we know little about their natural history in North America. Anecdotal evidence and preliminary research suggest that bumble bee species are declining throughout the continent but much more research is needed. You can help! By filling out this short survey when you find a bumble bee nest, you’ll be contributing to important research on bumble bees. Every detail brings us closer to understanding and conserving these important pollinators!

The goal for this survey is to compile nest site and habitat features for bumble bees throughout North America and make this information available to anyone at no cost. Survey results and a narrative report will be available for viewing after each survey season is over (usually in November/December).

Click here to access the Bumble Bee Nesting Site Survey. The convenient online survey provides complete instructions.

Thanks again for your support of bumble bee research!

Job Opening: Chesapeake Program Organizer

Location: Washington, DC

Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund seeks an organizer for watershed restoration activities in the Anacostia watershed in Washington, DC and Maryland. Clean Water Action is a national citizens' organization working for clean, safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empowerment of people to make democracy work. Clean Water Fund organizes strong grassroots groups, coalitions and campaigns to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life.

Primary duties include:

  • Provide organizing support to communities in Anacostia watershed, helping them develop and implement plans to address water quality problems;
  • Recruit and train volunteers to assist with Anacostia watershed restoration activities;
  • Participate in other issue campaigns in Maryland and the Chesapeake region as assigned by supervisor;
  • Represent the organization in meetings and other events with allies and others;
  • Research, write, design, produce and distribute flyers, fact sheets, reports and other written products;
  • Assist with fundraising, administration, financial management;
  • Manage lists, files and databases needed for work assignments;
  • Perform other duties as directed by supervisors
For complete details about this position, click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Maryland Pollinator Week - June 22-28

Maryland Governor O'Malley will issue a proclamation declaring June 22-28, 2009 Maryland Pollinator Week, corresponding to National Pollinator Week. The week is an opportunity for all to learn more about pollinators, appreciate their contribution to our lives, and engage in activities to protect pollinators and educate others about them.

Plants must be pollinated in order to set seed or bear fruit. With no pollination at all, many of the foods we eat would no longer be available. Many flying creatures, such as bees, butterflies, birds, and bats are pollinators: their actions move the pollen grains from flower to flower. It is estimated that 1/3 of the food we eat can be traced to animal pollinated plants.

A National Academy of Sciences study found a decline in pollinators generally. This is alarming not only because our food depends on them, but also because they are critical to some ecosystems and because their condition is an indicator of ecosystem health.

Honeybees are valuable for their honey, and even more valuable for the pollination services that beekeepers can provide. The success of many crops depends on honeybee pollination, but pests and diseases have made it harder and harder to maintain healthy managed colonies. Recently, Colony Collapse Disorder, CCD, whose cause is still unknown, has devastated the hives of many commercial beekeepers. The United States no longer maintains enough colonies to pollinate its crops and must import bees each year from other countries. A recent Canadian study found that although the total number of bees worldwide is increasing, the demands of intensive agriculture have been growing even more quickly, creating shortages.

In Maryland, about 1700 beekeepers, most with just a few colonies, pollinate our pumpkins, orchards, melons, and squash. CCD is not a problem yet, perhaps because Maryland is nearly self sufficient in bees and relatively few of Maryland's hives travel out of state. The Maryland State Beekeepers Association, in its 101st year, and local independent beekeepers associations teach people how to be successful beekeepers. To find your local Maryland beekeepers association go to

National Pollinator Week is an initiative of the North American Pollinator Partnership (NAPPC). For more information see

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chesapeake Classrooms

Get your feet wet paddling, hiking, fishing, sampling water quality, and visiting people and places that connect your school community with the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Classrooms is a five-day immersion course that will focus on watershed issues in conjunction with the Maryland Green Schools requirements. During the program, participants will visit with U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), and MAEOE experts, which also fulfills the Maryland Green Schools professional development criteria. Staff will provide advice and guidance as participants walk through their personal Green Schools plan. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Geographic Society, appreciates having MAEOE as their partner for this trip.

Registration Details:

When: August 10-14, 2009 2 days local, 3 days/2 nights at a CBF Island Center

How: Go to, click 5-Day Immersion Course, and complete the registration form. You may also fax completed forms to 410/268-6687 or mail them to: Chesapeake Classrooms, 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403

Cost: $150.00 (covers food, housing, ferry cost, and materials included)
$25.00 non-refundable deposit due with registration form (cash, check, or credit card)

Credit: Participants can earn 3 MSDE credits or graduate credits through one of our regional college or university partners at a reduced rate.

Visit our professional development page and click on the Summer Immersion courses.

Questions? Contact:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chipapalooza GREEN

May 9 - Noon
College Park, Maryland

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is proud to announce Chipapalooza GREEN on May 9th at noon at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 9450 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740. The show will raise awareness of environmental problems in Maryland and all profits will be donated to the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. The event will feature live music starting at noon, great outdoor activities, guest speakers, food and beverages, merchandise, and a marketplace for green businesses to showcase their products and services.

Three high school friends, Chip Hiden, Chris Trenner, and Pat Gibson, started the Chipapalooza Charity Concert that was first held in Hiden's backyard, and began by raising more than $1000 dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. More than 300 enthusiastic people attended and demanded that the concert become an annual tradition. Since then, the concert has continued to grow, being held in bigger venues, featuring nationally touring acts, and raising more money for charity. Now in its fifth year, the planners are looking forward to their biggest concert yet with Chipapalooza GREEN. All MAEOE members, friends and family -- and friends of the environment and environmental education -- are encouraged to attend. For more information, visit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Background & History of MAEOE

MAEOE PhotoSince its rather modest grassroots origins in 1985, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) has grown to be an appreciable leader and professional authority on environmental, outdoor, and natural resources education and program development. Moreover, MAEOE has become a trusted partner with many groups, schools, and centers who share the organization's goals for promoting sustainability and environmental health.

MAEOE board members and volunteers have played a significant role in the development of educational materials and programs across the state, including a State Environmental Education Directory (1989), and have, throughout the organization's history, forged important and cooperative relationships with numerous other state, regional, and national organizations, including the Maryland Writing Project, the Outdoor Education Association, the Maryland Conservation Council, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Elementary Science Integration Project, the Maryland Geographic Alliance, the North American Association for Environmental Education, the NAAEE Affiliates Workshop, the National Environmental Education Advancement Project, the D.C. Environmental Education Consortium, among many others.

If MAEOE's goals and programs are of personal or professional interest to you or your colleagues, please consider joining us. For more information, visit our Membership Page.