Professional Development

2016 No Teacher Left Inside Summer Institute (

The annual No Teacher Left Inside Institute bring together teachers from all grade levels, content areas, and schools to learn about community-based environmental learning, learn new outdoor skills, and build a community of professionals committed to engaging students in learning about the world around them. Community-based environmental learning integrates science research and inquiry, project-based, place-based, and service-learning methodologies to empower students to make a difference in their local environment.


The No Teacher Left Inside Institute will feature organized hands-on, minds-on explorations and field experiences and collaboration time in “unconference” or “EdCamp” style.  Participants will develop action plans that meet state standards and establish student learning objectives while using the environment as a context for learning and teaching. Educators of students in grades K-12 should attend. Instructional teams are encouraged to apply. Educator scholarships and university credit are available.


This year’s Institute will be held July 18-21, 2016 at Conserve School in Land O Lakes, Wisconsin.


Aldo Leopold Foundation Land Ethic Leader Workshop (

In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold set forth his most enduring idea– the “land ethic,” a moral responsibility of humans to the natural world. Leopold’s land ethic idea is extremely relevant in today’s society, but it can be difficult to define, discuss, and implement. To even begin that monumental task, we need leaders who are deeply committed to rolling up their sleeves and building a land ethic at the grassroots level in communities everywhere.


During the 2-day Land Ethic Leaders workshop, participants explore and deepen their own land ethic together through outdoor observation, environmental service, and reflective discussions. Afterwards, they walk away with new relationships, tools, ideas, and facilitation skills that inspire creative ways to bring the land ethic back home.


The cost for the 2-day Land Ethic Leader workshop is $200. This includes most meals during the program and program materials, including a copy of the Green Fire film licensed for public screening (a $350 value). Travel and lodging is on your own. We have arrangements with a very affordable local hotel in Baraboo, and there are also great camping options nearby as well.  Click here to register.

2016 Workshop Dates

June 2016: Thursday, June 23 and Friday June 24

August 2016: Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6



CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability (

CELF’s Summer Institute (July 18-20/21, 2016) enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. This program equips K-12 teachers with practices and teaching methods to address the core concepts of Education for Sustainability – the intersection of social, economic, and ecological systems.  Teachers participate in the CELF Summer Institute in order to:

  • Become familiar with teaching strategies that challengestudents to embrace complex problem solving, encourage students to transfer and relate information between disciplines through hands-on and collaborative activities, compel students to connect to their community – at home, in school, and in the world beyond, and inspire them to make a difference.
  • Explore effective and engaging methods of communicating the interconnections between a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a fair and equitable social sector – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to every academic subject area.


The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education (

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education works with schools and school districts to help them integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into their curriculum.  Core services include consulting and leadership development (on-site and off-site); professional development and faculty coaching; curriculum design, assessment, mapping, and alignment; and school and community partnerships.  The Cloud Institute holds an annual Summer Design Studio that enables educators, administrators, and program designers to learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.


This year’s Summer Design Studio will be held August 15-19 at the Omega Institute.  Learn more about this opportunity and other upcoming Cloud Institute offerings.


Community Works Institute (

Community Works Institute (CWI) works with school and community educators—across the U.S. and internationally—in support of teaching practices that connect K-16 students and curriculum to their local community and the world.  CWI’s work focuses on helping educators integrate place-based, service-learning, and sustainability within the curriculum, with the goal of making that a central part of every student’s K-16 experience.

CWI offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities and customized on-site trainings for schools and organizations. Each year, CWI holds two intensive Summer Institutes in Los Angeles and Vermont. These Summer Institutes offer expert training, powerful collaborative opportunities, and a chance to work with educators who literally come from around the world. CWI’s Summer Institutes are appropriate for educators who are experienced with service-learning and sustainability, as well as those who are just beginning.

CWI’s Summer West Institute will be held in Los Angeles, California from August 1-5, 2016.  Space is limited.  Learn more and register here.

Educator Climate and Conservation Colloquium (Ec3) (

Ec3 is a one-of-a kind professional development opportunity for educators and sustainability coordinators offered by the Green Schools Alliance in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  At Ec3, participants:


  • Work with national experts
  • Receive training in sustainability leadership, financing, and assessment
  • Share ideas and network with colleagues
  • Participate in NCTC’s unique conservation programs and field work


This year’s Ec3 is being held from July 6 – 10.  For registration information, please visit:


Green Teacher Webinars (  

Transforming School Food

Presenters: Jonathan Foley and Dan Hendry

Tuesday, September 27 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST

The transformation of school food is long overdue.  Our two presenters will share two different approaches that are currently underway.  In the first, we’ll learn about California Thursdays, wherein participating school districts in that state serve locally grown, healthy foods in their cafeteria every Thursday.   Following that, we will learn about the Slow Cookers for Kids project, where a partnership with the culinary arts program at a local community college teaches grade 7-8 students how to shop and prepare inexpensive, healthy meals. Please be prepared to share your own ideas for transforming school food with all the participants in this upcoming session.


Making the Connection: Climate Changes Health: A 4-Part Webinar Series (

APHA and ecoAmerica are proud to co-sponsor a four-part webinar series investigating the health impacts of climate change. The series explores the connection between climate change and key areas of our health: allergies and asthma; health risks in children; mental health; and transportation and healthy community design as a mitigation approach.


Part IV – Making the Connection: Climate Changes Mental Health
Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Susan Clayton, PhD, MS, and Lise Van Susteren, MD

In our fourth and final webinar of the Climate Changes Health series, participants will gain insights on how the conditions of climate change can impact mental health and how this presents itself in our communities.


Nature-Based Education Summer Institute (

The University of Maine at Farmington is hosting a Nature-Based Education Summer Institute on Saturday June 25, 2016, with an optional pre-conference institute on Friday June 24th.  The full day program is focused on nature-based education.  Sessions are designed to be interactive and outdoors, for a range of educators working across age levels and settings.  Programming is designed for educators- in-training as well as those who have extensive experience in the field. Opportunities to connect with colleagues will foster shared learning and exploration. The day features a keynote by David order ambien online Sobel, locally grown food, and workshops that will bring participants outside to learn more about how nature-based education benefits children and adults.  Visit the website for the program schedule and registration information.


Project Learning Tree GreenSchools Training (

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a national environmental education program that provides PreK-12 teachers and informal educators with professional development, instructional materials aligned to state and national academic standards, service-learning programs, and grants for action projects. PLT’s GreenSchools program offers training for adults, including tips on starting a green school program, how to obtain equipment and collect data, and ways to empower your students to design and lead an action project that uses their STEM skills. It includes a set of 5 investigations for students to reduce energy and water use, recycle, and improve their school site, among other projects. For a PLT GreenSchools online course that can be completed in your own time, along with a listing of other PLT online courses and products, go to To attend an in-person professional development workshop in your state, go to




Hands on the Land (

Hands on the Land (HOL) is a network of field classrooms designed to connect students, teachers, and families to their public lands. HOL offers a variety of hands-on education programs in natural and cultural settings that have been developed collaboratively by public land management agencies, education centers, member sites, and schools.  In addition to the field activities at each site, teachers and students can learn from each other through the HOL website. This website allows teachers and students to share information and learn about their local ecosystems, creative teaching strategies, and much more!  The website also houses a collection of member-contributed educator resources that span all core subjects.


JASON Learning (

JASON is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard. JASON provides curriculum and learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for K-12 students, and high-quality professional development for teachers.


Each comprehensive JASON Learning curriculum features print and digital materials, hands-on activities, videos and online games for students, as well as lesson plans, implementation tips, professional development, and a powerful digital platform for educators. Live, interactive events throughout the year connect the JASON community with inspirational STEM role models, including renowned scientists and other experts who have pursued STEM careers.


Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC) is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinators across America.  Schools can get in on the action too! Plant a pollinator garden or landscape and register your habitat so it can be counted.  The MPGC website contains a number of resources to help you get started, as well as curricula and lessons for the classroom.


Wow! The Wonders of Wetlands (

This K-12 Guide is just one of several resources offered by Minnesota Project WET, which trains classroom and other educators in hands-on, interactive lessons that are focused on water and encourage critical thinking.  The guide features more than 70 pages of background material followed by more than 40 activities. Every page is thoughtfully laid out with core text, great photographs, sidebars, maps, and illustrations to make information clear and quick to use. Activities are organized into five sections: wetland definitions, wetlands plants and animals, water quality and supply issues, soils, and people. The appendix offers instructions for planning and developing a schoolyard wetland habitat.  Learn more about Minnesota Project WET, as well as the national Project WET Foundation.



Chef Ann Foundation Project Produce Grants ( )

The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a performance nutrition brand, to launch Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools.  These $2,500 grants help schools increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and veggies and nutrition education.  Any district or independent school that participates in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply.  Grants are determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding.  More information about grant requirements and submitting a proposal can be found on the website.


Fab School Labs (

Fab School Labs is a grant competition presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.  The Foundation will be awarding 5 grants up to $100,000 each to public middle schools for their very own fabulous school lab makeover.  For rules and regulations, how to apply, and key dates, visit the Fab School Labs website.  The deadline for applying is June 17, 2016.


GetEdFunding (

GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals.  Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily.  Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy.  Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.


The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants (

The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:

  • Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research.
  • Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.


Grants awards are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.  Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year and are reviewed three times a year, every year.  Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15.


Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants (

Project Learning Tree® (PLT), a national environmental education program for PreK-12 educators, offers GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world.  Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. The projects partner students with their whole school, local businesses and/or community organizations, and provide opportunities for student leadership. The funds can be used by students to implement recycling programs at their school, conserve water and energy, or establish school gardens and outdoor classrooms, for example. To be eligible to apply, an educator must have attended a PLT training, either in-person or online, that also provides them with PLT lesson plans and other resources to help integrate these projects and environmental education into their curriculum. Apply by September 30th, 2016.


The Shell Science Teaching Award (

A partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), this award recognizes one outstanding classroom teacher (grades K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and the community through exemplary science teaching.  The recipient of the Shell Science Teaching Award will receive $10,000, as well as an all-expense-paid trip (along with the two finalists) to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. All three will be honored at the Awards Banquet. The recipient will also be recognized at the Teacher Awards Banquet. The 10 semifinalists will receive certificates of distinction.  Completed applications must be received by January 6, 2017.