Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MAEOE seeks Green School Program Coordinator

Position: Maryland Green Schools Program Coordinator
Location: Jessup, Maryland
Metro Region: Statewide responsibilities

Founded in 1985, The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is the professional membership organization that provides and enforces standards of professional practice, conducts research, provides educational programs, acts as a source of information, advocacy, and a community of colleagues for the environmental education profession.

MAEOE is currently seeking an energetic and creative individual to join our dynamic team as the Full-Time Maryland Green School Awards Program Coordinator, to start immediately. The Maryland Green School Program Coordinator serves 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 as a key member of a small and growing team and will provide program support and assistance to the leadership of the Maryland Green Schools Committee of the Board of Directors Responsibilities:
• Recruit and support schools as they work through the application process
• Build key partnerships with city and community-based partners
• Participate in organizational growth and program development
• Teach Maryland Green School Workshops/Make Presentations
• Oversee program design, logistics, partnerships, evaluation, and reporting
o Manage database and website content
o Develop marketing materials
o Create annual program budget
o Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual reports
• Set the tone and build a strong and positive culture in and within the greater Maryland Green School network
• Develop sources of funding – grants/fundraising
• Coordinate the annual Green School Awards Ceremony
• Meet the goals outlined in MAEOE’s strategic plan
• Other duties as assigned

• Passion for MAEOE’s mission
• At least 3 years of experience in environmental/outdoor education, program development, experience with green building, schoolyard habitats, certification programs a plus
• Experience training teachers
• At least 1 year of experience working in a formal education setting
• Proven ability to mentor and lead by example to inspire
• Demonstrated experience building and managing programs with positive outcomes for participants
• An innovative thinker with strong initiative and demonstrated flexibility, able to handle multiple projects in a
fast-paced, evolving environment
• Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to solve problems, mediate conflicts and exercise sound
• Demonstrated ability to create and sustain effective collaborations and partnerships
• Excellent communication skills—oral, written, and public speaking
• Knowledge of New York City neighborhoods and communities a plus
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional and life experience required; Master’s degree preferred

Compensation: $35,000 per anum
To Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to before July 16, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010


“Educating for Sustainability”

February 10-13, 2011
UMUC Marriott Inn and Conference Center – College Park, MD

The annual MAEOE conference is a venue where the best educators come to share their strategies, methods, and best practices with their colleagues. All environmental and outdoor education professionals are encouraged to submit abstracts for presentations, workshops, roundtables and field experiences for the 2011 MAEOE Annual Conference to be held February 10-13, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. Abstracts must be received by September10,2010 for consideration. Please utilize the online application form for submissions. The conference is designed to build the capacity of those working in the multi-faceted and dynamic field of environmental education. Over 700 formal and non-formal educators from more than 400 organizations, agencies, centers and schools are anticipated to participate in this – the nation’s largest and most respected statewide environmental education conference.

For More Information about MAEOE, the conference and environmental education in Maryland, please visit MAEOE online at Specific questions regarding presentation applications may be sent to

2011 Conference Strands
While a presentation may address more than one strand, only the primary focus area is needed.

Strand One: Natural History and Natural Sciences
These sessions should increase participant’s understanding of the composition and function of the natural world. Topics could include, but are not limited to, a focus on conservation, preservation, human history, life sciences – botany, entomology, ecology, etc., and geosciences – geology, meteorology, etc. Past conference evaluations indicate that many attendees are looking for advanced topics to build their skill sets in working with people in an outdoor setting. Traditionally, this is one of the most popular strands with conference attendees.

Strand Two: Hot Button Topics
These sessions will encourage critical thinking and issue awareness by providing opposing viewpoints on contentious “hot button” topics, challenging participants to look at current environmental issues from all angles and perspectives. Topics could include environmental health, environmental justice, alternative energy, climate change, diversity, and appropriate educational methods designed to develop critical thinking skills in students.

Strand Three: Embracing STEM: Using Environmental Education as a vehicle for learning science, technology, engineering, and math.
These sessions should teach participants innovative ways to infuse technology into environmental education and/or field experiences – including ways to use popular software, web applications, geographic information systems, hand-held GPS units, traditional microscopy, and micro computer based labs, (PASCO, Vernier, etc.) Of high interest are activities that engage students in relevant and critical real world issues.

Strand Four: Working Toward Sustainability
These sessions explore issues, trends, and knowledge related to environmental literacy and stewardship and will focus on ways to engage, excite, and empower students of all ages by increasing their understanding of the natural world and how individual actions impact the environment, both positively and negatively. Topics should include sustainable agriculture, best management practices, composting, pollution prevention, urban green spaces, energy alternatives, consumerism, “green” design or living, ecological footprints and related issues. Projects, modules, and curriculum materials that are designed to build skills and develop students’ knowledge of the environment and important issues would be of special interest to participants.

Strand Five: Environmental Education in Urban Settings
These sessions will help teachers develop effective methods for reaching urban students by tapping into the rich experiences, cultural customs, and practical skills sets unique to urban students. Emphasis should be on topics that urban students will consider to be "real," such as air pollution, solid waste management, water pollution, impervious surfaces, noise pollution, light pollution, displacement of species, environmental health issues, poverty, transportation, habitat fragmentation, and habitat restoration. Sessions in this strand should also help attendees to develop the skills needed to reach culturally diverse groups of students as well as engage their communities in action projects.

Strand Six: Environmental Advocacy: Turning the Tide
These sessions focus on research, resources, courses, programs and techniques designed to build the capacity of formal and non-formal teachers to integrate the environment into all subject areas while seamlessly meeting national and state standards. Sessions will incorporate specific outdoor teaching techniques, projects (both nature and curriculum related), evaluation procedures, and other successful methods of outdoor instruction. Past participants have expressed specific interest in sessions that address integration of EE into the Arts. Also in this strand would be sessions on successful methods for developing skills and knowledge in others, especially when advocating for EE with school administrators, community leaders, and elected officials. This strand may lend itself to roundtable or panel type discussions.

Strand Seven: Environmental Health and Justice
Everyone, regardless of income, race, religion, or occupation, has a right to live, work, learn, play and pray in a healthy community. Unfortunately, the distribution of environmental goods and harms are not distributing equally. Environmental Health and Justice links health science to social rights, justice and equity. Environmental health and justice concerns fall into many categories. For example:
- A neighborhood fighting the construction of an industrial landfill
- Farm workers seeking ways to reduce exposure to pesticides
- Native Americans fighting for land rights
- Soaring asthma rates
- Lead exposure in water and housing
- Rights to clean air and water
This strand explores the current status and trends of environmental health and justice issues facing Maryland, will introduce you to the people and organizations working within the environmental health and justice field, and provide you with knowledge and resources to integrate environmental health and justice issues into your programming.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daniel Dancer's ‘sky art,' climate change choreography

06/16/2010, Grist

Imagine if your job was to work with a couple of thousand elementary school kids at the same time -- to keep them on task, doing the same project, where everyone needed to be exactly in place for it all to work. "The teachers are always worried that it's going to be chaos, that kids are going to cause all kinds of problems," says Daniel Dancer. "But it never happens. There's always love and joy present instead -- it's palpable how present it is."

Dancer is a pioneer of what he calls sky art -- if you watch this video you'll see some of the amazing images he's pulled off just in the last few months.

We at love his work, of course, because every image contains that nugget of science education provided by NASA's Jim Hansen: that 350 is the most important number in the world, the boundary between beauty and desolation. But no one I know manages to get it across with more power and more subtlety.

An early fascination with the Nazca lines (the ancient drawings visible from above that mark the high desert of Peru), and a career as a photographer with a special passion for aerial work, led Dancer to his present work. He's hired by school districts that write grants to raise the money for the art pieces; Dancer arrives, and the first job is to hold an assembly where he shows pictures of his past projects. "Once they realize what they can do, they're all on the same page, they all want to do good, even the problem kids," he explains.

And the kids, in turn, draw in the adults. The first image on the video is of a polar bear on a melting iceberg. And the man on the iceberg? That's Maryland governor Martin O'Malley. "I'm not sure he quite knew what he was getting into," says Dancer. "He said 'I gotta leave in 20 minutes.' I said, 'we can do it.' That's the fastest I've ever worked." Occasionally grownups balk: "I've been called into the principal's office a couple of times for teaching the pledge of allegiance to the earth," Dancer says. "But I think I have found an edge I can walk on with this that allows a lot of things to be said."

When he began in 2000, Dancer found only two schools that wanted to participate. Last year he did 20 of the big pieces, including a giant one with 5,000 kids forming a windmill and tulips in the Dutch countryside. "You can literally do anything with this art form if you have enough help," he says. The work itself is relatively simple: you start with an image, and you grid it out on graph paper so you can blow it up. But you have to know a few basic things: "one elementary school kid equals about three square feet," for instance.

And you have to be able to convince kids that what they're doing matters, that they're part of making change. "Kids wake up in the morning, and they tell their mommy: 'This is the most important day of my life,'" says Dancer. "And she'll say, 'Why?' And they'll say: 'Today I'm going to be part of an alligator.'"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Photos from Art in the Sky event at Green School Summit

Click on the photo to take yourself to one of the photo albums from the amazing event!

Photos from the 1st Annual MD Green Schools Youth Summit

Click on the photo to take yourself to an album from the Green School Youth Summit.

New Job Opportunities from Potomac Riverkeeper

New Job Opportunities from Potomac Riverkeeper

Potomac Riverkeeper is currently looking to fill two positions on our staff. You can read the full descriptions below. If you are interested in applying for either our Membership & Administrative Assistant or our Director of Major Gifts positions, Please send cover letter and resume to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or Potomac Riverkeeper, 1100 15th Street, NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

Membership & Administrative Assistant
The Membership & Administrative Assistant reports to the Vice President and is responsible for tasks related to membership development and engagement, volunteer management, events management, fundraising assistance, and office administration.
Read more * Apply This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Director of Major Gifts
Potomac Riverkeeper is seeking an experienced Director of Major Gifts to plan, manage, and implement, under the supervision of the Vice President, a major gifts program for this rapidly growing organization.
Read more * Apply

2010 Conservation Landscaping Contest Open

Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council is pleased to sponsor the 2010 Conservation Landscaping Contest. Healthy, beautiful landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay region demonstrate elements of conservation landscaping, and we hope to see many of them documented on contest applications this summer.

Novice gardeners, students, schools, businesses and professionals are all invited to enter.

Each applicant may submit up to three locations. A separate application should be submitted for each site.

Sites may be residential or non-residential, and must be located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. A USGS map of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed can be viewed at

Applicants will complete check-off and long answer portions of the application to demonstrate how their site meets the Eight Elements of Conservation Landscaping. For a detailed description, see Conservation Landscaping Guidelines: The Eight Essential Elements of Conservation Landscaping (pdf file) here. New this year is a portion of the application that includes EPA’s WaterSense Program “Water Budget Tool.”

An entry fee of $10 is required for each site application submitted by adults (18 and older), and is payable online by clicking below, or by check payable to CCLC mailed to the address at right. Entry fee is not required for applicants under 18 years of age. Please do not send cash.

Winners will be selected in four categories:

Student (new category!)
Non-profit/garden group

Entries may be chosen as a 2010 or future field day location (submit early!), with the permission of the property owner. Winning sites will be featured on the CCLC website and the EPA WaterSense Program website. One applicant for each winning site, with the exception of CCLC Board Member organizations, will receive a complimentary registration to the 2011 Turning a New Leaf Conference.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What a Success!!!

Hopefully many of you were able to attend the Green School Summit last Friday at Sandy Point State Park. It was an amazing event that would have never happened without the leadership from Ryan Pleune, Green School Coordinator, the Green School Committee Chairs Bronwyn Mitchell, MAEOE Executive Director, Elena Takaki, MAEOE Board President, and all the many, many volunteers and sponsors.

Check out a video the Art in the Sky project:

or some news coverage here: