Thursday, February 16, 2012

Regional Environmental Literacy Workshops

The Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature and the Maryland State Department of Education will co-host a series of regional environmental literacy workshops to discuss the effective development and implementation of county environmental literacy plans (ELPs). Anyone involved in planning, delivering or supporting school environmental literacy programs is invited to attend (county school system representatives, administrators, educators, environmental education providers, etc.). Seven workshops are planned for February and March to help school systems prepare for the April 30th ELP submission deadline. These workshops are designed to:

· Review environmental literacy requirements, resources and process for county ELP development;

· Discuss elements of effective environmental literacy programs, methods & strategies to “fill in the gaps,” and share regional examples or plans;

· Provide an opportunity for schools and EE providers to meet and discuss partnership opportunities ( for example, helping to meet the “every student outdoors every year” goal);

· Provide break-out time for participants within each county to discuss ELP development and potential opportunities for further communication

Dates, times and locations for all meetings are noted below. Please click on this link to register for the meetings: . It is best to attend the workshop(s) that correspond to the county or counties in which you work. If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like information about your program to be shared at the meeting, please complete the registration and check the appropriate box on the form. Please register as soon as possible to assist us in planning appropriately. Thank you so much for your continued interest and efforts.







(Harford, Cecil, Balt.Co)

Baltimore County MD Agricultural Center, Cockeysville, MD

10:00a -2:00p


Upper E. Shore

(Talbot, Kent, QA, Caroline)

Chesapeake College

Wye Mills, MD

9:30a – 12:30p


West Central

(Howard, Mont, Fred, Carroll)

Robinson Nature Center

Columbia, MD



Lower E. Shore

(Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset, Dorchester)

Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD

1:00p – 4:00p


Central MD

(AA, Balt. City, PG)

Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge

Laurel, MD



Southern MD

(Calvert, Charles, St. Marys)

Calvert Marine Museum

Solomons, MD

1:00p – 4:00p



(Garrett, Allegany, Washington)

Frostburg Univ. Compton Science Ctr

Frostburg, MD

10:00a – 2:00p

Maryland Green Centers Show their Impact with National Geographic's FieldScope

MAEOE is collaborating with University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and National Geographic to develop a new digital tool for Maryland Green Schools and Centers. It will allow teachers, administrators, students, parents, policy makers and others to clearly see the extent of Maryland Green Schools and Centers and their tremendous impact on the environmental health of our region. It uses National Geographic’s user-friendly online mapping program called FieldScope. Maryland Green School and Center leaders and others involved in sustainability efforts will be able to input their data for their site, compare these data to other maps, and examine spatial trends. This effort is part of the Chesapeake-FieldScope User Group Project and is funded by the NOAA B-WET program.

Check out the preliminary Maryland Green Schools FieldScope Map at

If you have any questions send them to Cassie Doty at

1. We have thought up a few questions to explore with this new map, such as where are all the Maryland Green Schools with rain gardens, are there more Maryland Green Schools in wealthier counties, where is the closest Maryland Green Center? What questions would you be interested in exploring with the Maryland Green Schools FieldScope Map?

2. What would you need to explore these questions? This might include data, functions (e.g., graphing or measuring), or resources on green roofs or other sustainable practices, or something else. Be as specific as you can.

3. 3. Do you have any other suggestions or comments on this preliminary Maryland Green Schools FieldScope Map?

The 27th Annual MAEOE Conference - Provoked yet?

It's an exciting time for environmental education in Maryland. Environmental literacy plans are under development across the state. Regional Environmental Literacy Workshops are beginning this week to discuss effective development and implementation. At this year’s MAEOE Conference, Dan Blumstein and Charlie Saylan challenged attendees to tweak their approaches to achieve environmental education's potential. The Hot Topics of Fracking, Wind Energy, and the Dangers of Chemical Exposures were examined by Dan Soeder, Mike Tidwell, and McKay Jenkins. Over 600 educators of all types learned, networked, and had some fun. On to the planning for next year!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting Ready for the 2012 MAEOE Conference

This week more than 500 educators will convene in Ocean City for the largest state environmental education conference in the nation. They will stay in local hotels, eat and drink at local establishments, enjoy local nature and discuss the challenges, complexities and successes of environmental education.

"Fulfilling Environmental Education's Promise: Authentic Learning and Real World Impact," is the 27th annual conference of the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.

It is an exciting time for environmental education. During the last session, Maryland lawmakers passed legislation citing environmental literacy as a requirement for high school graduation, the first requirement of its kind in the nation. Now, school districts across Maryland are working to implement Environmental Literacy Plans.

For example, in Worcester County, Board of Education officials have enlisted local nonprofit organizations, museums and parks to assist with identifying and delivering age-appropriate, curriculum-based outdoor learning experiences for every child, every year.

The MAEOE conference will provide a variety of opportunities for both school-based, or formal educators and non-formal educators to increase knowledge, gain new skills, access newly developed resources and network with other education professionals.