Thursday, August 23, 2012

Call for Presenters – MAEOE Annual Conference 2013

Educate, Engage and Energize! 

Understanding the Natural World

The annual MAEOE conference is the setting for environmental and outdoor education professional development.  Participants have all levels of understanding.  Presenters can gear sessions to the educator wanting to pick up ideas for teaching or for those wanting to increase understanding on advanced methods.  Everyone attending the conference will network and build resources.

How to Submit
MAEOE is paperless!  Complete the online form to submit your Application to Present after you have read this page.
Deadline for submissions is September 7, 2012
Conference Session Information
MAEOE invites you to submit an Application to Present for consideration for Friday workshops which run 3 or 6 hours in length,  Saturday sessions that run 50-minutes, or Field Experiences (Thursday or Sunday). MAEOE welcomes applications from professionals representing all levels of education, all content areas, specialists, and business and industry experts.
February 7 – 10, 2013
Princess Royale, Ocean City, Maryland

Tentative Schedule
  • Thursday, February 7, 2013
    • Pre-Conference Wilderness First Aid Training (Thursday - Friday)
o    Professional Development Institute – Sponsored by UMD College of Extension
o    Field Experiences
  • Friday, February 8,  2013
    • Workshops and Field Experiences
    • Welcome/Key Note
    • Exhibit Hall Grand Opening
  • Saturday, February 9, 2013
    • Concurrent Sessions
    • Plenary Session
    • Exhibit Hall Closes
    • Closing Session
    • Social
  • Sunday, February 10, 2013
    • Field Experiences
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:  Technology and Environmental Education
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:  Leave No Child Inside
Break down those walls! These sessions encourage learning in an  outdoor setting. The focus may be on specific topics taught outdoors, professional development in getting teachers more comfortable with teaching outdoors, or curriculum materials that incorporate learning outside of doors.    
Strand Five:   Capacity Building & Outreach
Capacity building is a way to strengthen an organization so that it can perform the specific mission it has set out to do and thus survive  as an organization. It is also an ongoing process that incites organizations to continually reflect on their work, organization, and leadership and ensure that they are fulfilling the mission and goals they originally set out to
do. For organizations, capacity building may relate to almost any aspect of its work: improved governance, leadership, mission and strategy, administration (including human resources, financial management, and legal matters), program development and implementation, fundraising and income  generation, diversity, partnerships and collaboration, evaluation, advocacy and policy change, marketing, positioning, planning. 
Strand Six: Greening Maryland’s Schools 
Nearly 18% of all Maryland schools have been  certified as a Maryland Green School.  While interest in the program continues to increase, formal educators often lack the knowledge, skills, resources, and/or confidence needed to effectively utilize the environment as an integrating context across the curriculum, engage in hands-on inquiry based education, utilize the schoolyard as an extension to or instead  of a classroom, or facilitate student-driven environmental action projects.   Sessions in this strand will work to fill this deficiency by raising the capacity of classroom teachers and administrators necessary to achieve Maryland Green School Certification.   
Strand Seven: Healthy Foods, Healthy People 
This strand emphases the relationship between what we eat and our health. School gardens, buying locally grown food, and understanding nutrition are key to fighting the childhood obesity epidemic we face today. Are you connecting kids to agriculture? Are you teaching them math through cooking? If so, then this is the strand for you! Spread the good
word about how healthy foods make healthy people.
Even though a presentation may address more than one level and classification of audience, only the primary audience level and classification is needed. The targeted audience of your presentation should be designed for attendees who work in any of the following levels and classifications:

  • Early Education
  • Elementary
  • Secondary
  • Higher Education
  • Special Education
  • Adult Education
·         Administrators
·         Formal Educators
·         Non-Formal Educators
·         Curriculum Specialists
·         Env./Outdoor Centers
·         Beginner (new educators)
·         Intermediate (everyone else)
·         Advanced (seasoned vets)

Session Handouts and Follow-up Material
Part of effective professional development is providing meaningful handouts and/or follow-up material that allow the participants to further their learning. It is expected that accepted presenters provide handouts and/or follow-up materials to participants.  The preferred method for doing so is for presenters to submit a URL of their materials for posting on the Virtual Handouts section of the MAEOE website. If your presentation is selected, you will be provided with further details.
Internet Access
Wi Fi is available.
Because of compatibility issue, MAEOE asks that all presenters supply their own computers.
LCD Projectors
MAEOE will equip each presentation room with a standard LCD projector with a PC-compatible connector. Mac users must bring their own converter.
Presenters Per Session
A session may be presented by any number of people, but only two presenters will be identified in the session listing in the final program and on the conference website.
Conference Registration
MAEOE is pleased to provide a discounted conference registration to the main two presenters. Upon acceptance, you will receive additional information. Any additional presenters MUST register and pay for the conference through the regular registration process.
Vendor Presentations
A small percentage of presentations are conducted by companies, organizations and individuals representing products, services, or fee-based programming. These sessions should offer valuable facts and content to the audience and are not to be used as an “infomercial.” Sales pitches are highly discouraged. Vendor presentations will be noted in the Program. All vendor presenters must be exhibitors at the conference.
Application Deadline
The Application to Present deadline is September 7, 2012.
Evaluation Process Each application goes through a process of being reviewed and evaluated by topic area experts who use the following criteria:
  • Interest and value to conference attendees;
  • Content of presentation;
  • Topic area/intended audience;
  • Relevance to the conference; and
  • Current and/or cutting edge topic.
Application Notification
Notification of the evaluation outcome will be emailed to the main presenter listed on the Call for Presentations in October.
How to Submit a Good Application
To help you increase your chance that your application will be selected, use the following tips to make your presentation stand out.
  • Apply on time. Applications are not accepted after the deadline.
  • Write an accurate statement of purpose. Attendees do not like it when the session is not what they thought it was going to be. What you are presenting should be truthfully stated in the 25-word description they read in the conference program.
  • Make it clear what you are presenting, who will benefit, and how it fits the needs of today’s educators and students. This will be used to evaluate your session.
  • Avoid duplication.  Make sure that what you are offering is not already a part of the scheduled pre-conference workshops.
  • Be sure to double check your spelling and grammar. Reviewers look at these mistakes as a reflection of the applicant and the application generally receives a lower ranking.
  • Please do not use names of presenters in the session description, or provide biographical information. This information will be removed prior to the review process to ensure that the process remains anonymous.
  • Select the closest fitting strand description. If the session description does not fit the strand, it generally receives a lower ranking.
  • Provide accurate contact information.
  • If you are a vendor, sponsor an educator who uses your product. Our conference attendees do not expect to sit through a blatant sales pitch. Educators prefer to attend sessions led by colleagues who truly believe in a product because it works for them.
Roundtable discussions should meet the following criteria:
  • Focus on a current topic related to environmental education in Maryland
  • Be outcome focused. What are the next steps in addressing this issue?

Questions or comments:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two Grant Opportunities for Programs which engage Middle and High School Students

Two Grant Opportunities for Programs which engage Middle and High School Students

$1 Million in funding for installing Riparian Forest Buffers:
Deadline for Applications: 10/31/12
Informational Webinar: Sept 5, 3pm

Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge is a new competitive grant to engage middle and high school students and other citizens in restoring 1,000 acres of tree buffers along streams in Maryland. Note that it emphasizes partnerships: “This program encourages local governments and non-government organizations – including watershed organizations, school systems, and other academic institutions – to work side by side to bring together scientific expertise, environmental stewardship, and educational practices for the benefit of the Bay and Maryland students.” We strongly encourage participation by schools, and especially school system-wide proposals or those that would involve multiple schools. Think outside of the usual box – this is a great opportunity to do something really meaningful, both in terms of the environmental impact as well as the students’ issues investigation and action. Costs for schools to participate can be included in the proposal. Technical assistance is available, including help pairing schools/school systems with more technical partners. You may want to consider multiple partnerships – for example, a community or watershed organization plus county environmental agency and school system.

The full Request for Proposals (RFP):  

For questions about the RFP and to gain technical assistance:  Gabe Cohee  410.260.8753
For further assistance with educational components and connecting with school groups:  Bill Reinhard   410.767.0486 

NEEF: America's Great Outdoors: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors 2012 Grants 

Deadline for Applications 9/19/12

The National Environmental Education Foundation, in partnership with theNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation, United States Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, have launched the America's Great Outdoors: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors 2012 Grants program.
Through the new program, NEEF and its partners seek to catalyze efforts to increase the number of pre-K-12 youth, particularly urban and/or underserved youth, who build a connection with public lands as places for recreating, learning and volunteering. Proposed projects should maximize hands-on outdoor engagement opportunities on public lands, focused on the areas of 1) education — opportunities that provide quantifiable and meaningful conservation education outcomes that enhance environmental literacy, support STEM education, and use of the environment as a context for learning; 2) recreation —opportunities that promote healthy lifestyles, build outdoor recreation skills, and engage youth in active recreation such as hiking, paddling, snowshoeing, hunting and fishing, wildlife watching, and geo-caching; and 3) environmental stewardship — opportunities that provide quantifiable and meaningful conservation outcomes such as native fish-focused stream restoration, species- focused landscape restoration, invasive species removal, native plant restoration, wildlife surveys/assessments, project monitoring, and trail restoration.

To be eligible, applicants must be a Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management unit or a nonprofit organization, academic institution, or tribal group that partners with these agencies. Applicants must have been in existence for at least two years. The proposed youth engagement events must be held on a Forest Service or BLM site, or show that the project clearly benefits these agencies.
Approximately $243,000 in funding is available to support awards in the range of $2,500 to $20,000. There is a minimum one-to-one non-federal match required for this grant, though larger match ratios are encouraged.

Maryland Green Schools - News for 2013 Applications
There are many existing federal, national, state, and local programs that can be used to multiple benefits to help schools achieve Maryland Green School Certification. As was announced this spring, MAEOE's Maryland Green School Program is now partnered with Eco - Schools USA, so many resources are available to schools through their 11 Pathways. Suggestions, details and links for programs will be included as an appendix to the Program Guide downloadable from the Green Schools Page of
Use existing programs to save time, and take advantage of tools and ideas without reinventing the wheel.

Program Name

EPA IAQ Tools for Schools
Indoor air quality
EPA Sunwise School
Sun Safety
EPA & DOE Energy Star for K-12 School Districts
Energy Conservation
FWS Schoolyard Habitats
Installing schoolyard habitats
DOE Wind for Schools Project
Windmills-renewable energy
USDA School Breakfast Program
National School Lunch Program
Wellness policy, nutrition education, physical activity
USDA Healthier US School Challenge
Nutrition education, healthy eating habits, physical activity, air quality

Farm to School
Maryland Farm to School (MDA)
Local fresh food
Eco Schools USA
11 Pathways
Keep America Beautiful Recycle Bowl
Recycling competition
Safe Routes to Schools
Walking, Biking, responsible transportation

Maryland State Health Improvement Process
Nutrition education, Farm to School, reduce obesity, access to healthy food
Project Citizen
MSDE recommends upper elementary/middle school student Investigation of an environmental issue (Interdisciplinary w/ social studies)
Maryland Asthma Control Program
Indoor Air Quality
Alice Ferguson Foundation: Trash Free Schools
Recycling, waste reduction
Let’s Move/Whole Foods/HBO
Salad Bars for Schools
Obesity prevention, healthy food
County Programs

Healthy Howard
Healthy Eating, physical activity
Healthy Carroll
L.E.A.N Carroll : Healthy Eating, Farm to School
Montgomery County Public School SERT Program
Energy use, recycling, conservation behavior and education
Audubon Greenkids Program
Environmental education and support for MDGS certification

*Involve students in implementation, education    
** Include nutrition and activity education for students