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.

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