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

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.

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 will 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.


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



Fire up Your Feet (

Fire Up Your Feet is a core program of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership that aims to encourage families, students, and schools to create active lifestyles that inspire children to be healthy and physically active. Fire Up Your Feet complements the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s mission to encourage safe walking and rolling to school by emphasizing the importance of engaging in physical activity before, during, and after school. Fire Up Your Feet offers two Activity Challenges each school year – in the fall and spring – in participating regions across the country. Final award amounts vary by region and are made to the schools showing the highest percentages of participation.  Learn more about the Activity Challenges on the website, as well as access resources, an online activity tracker, and a school fundraising organizer.


Let’s Move! Active Schools (  

Started by First Lady Michelle Obama in March 2013, Let’s Move! Active Schools is a national collaborative of leading health, education, and private sector organizations that provides school leaders and educators with the tools they need to create active learning environments.  The program is offered at no cost to schools, and those that sign up receive access to evidence-based resources, free professional development opportunities, grants and incentives, a customized action plan, and technical assistance.


National Center for Safe Routes to School (

Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program. The organization also provides technical support and resources, coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day, and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation.  Their website offers program tools, training, events and activities, data resources and analysis tools, and funding information for Safe Routes to School related programming.


Locate your state Safe Routes to School coordinator here.


Safe Routes to School National Partnership (

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for kids and communities by promoting healthy living, safe infrastructure, and physical activity, starting with bicycling and walking to school and beyond. The Partnership advances policy change; catalyzes support with a network of more than 750 partner organizations, as well as schools, policy makers, and grassroots supporters; and shares deep expertise at national, state, and local levels with those helping propel their mission.  The Partnership’s website provides information on Safe Routes to School, advancing policy change, and creating more active schools, as well as resources and best practices around Safe Routes to School policies, programs, and initiatives.



Chesapeake Bay Trust K-12 Environmental Education Mini-Grant (

 The Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant Program was established to provide accessible funds to schools, organizations, and agencies for pre-K-12 Environmental Education to educate students about their local watersheds and how they can become environmental stewards and make a difference in watershed health. To accomplish this goal the program supports meaningful outdoor learning experiences around a watershed issue investigation including field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects, and schoolyard habitat projects, as well as building teacher capacity to implement environmental education including professional development trainings and programs to advance environmental literacy in the Chesapeake Bay region.  Up to $5,000 will be awarded to projects in Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, or the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.


Due to high demand for field trips and other school-related requests, the Trust will offer 2 Mini Grant Environmental Education deadlines during the next fiscal year:  August 5, 2016 and January 13, 2017.  The Trust will not accept applications after 5pm on the day of the deadlines.


FirstEnergy STEM Classroom Grants (

FirstEnergy proudly supports classroom projects and teacher professional development initiatives focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  One of the ways they support these activities is by offering STEM education grants of up to $1,000 to educators at schools and youth groups in communities served by their electric operating companies, other areas where they have facilities, and where they do business.  More than 1,000 educators and youth group leaders have received classroom grants since the program began during the 1986-87 school year.  Applications for the 2016-2017 school year are now available and must be submitted by September 23, 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.