Professional Development

Climate Change Communication for Environmental Educators Online Course 

Why is climate change such a polarizing topic? How can environmental educators address this loaded issue in their communities and programs? This course is for environmental education professionals interested in applying current research in climate change communication and psychology to their educational programs. Students will learn about recent research on climate change psychology and climate change communication and how concepts from these fields can be incorporated into environmental education programming. 

NOTE: This course is not about climate change science or impacts but rather about effective practices for communicating about climate change through environmental education programs. This course is designed with North American educators in mind, although we are accepting a limited number of international participants. 

Course dates: September 6 – October 28, 2016

For more information and to register:


EPA Webinar: Protecting Students from Mosquitoes and Zika Virus at School 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 02:00PM EDT – 03:30PM EDT

These days, we can’t turn to TV, radio, or social media without hearing alarming stories of Zika virus. Mosquito-borne diseases have been responsible for much suffering throughout human history. Today, the diseases they transmit in the United States and its territories, including Zika virus, Dengue, chikungunya virus, and several forms of encephalitis, are continuing threats.

Join us as we learn about the mosquitoes that are of concern to schools and the interim guidance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers for district and school administrators to help schools keep their students, faculty, and staff safe from Zika virus. Also hear firsthand the steps a school district in Florida is taking to reduce mosquito populations in an effort to prevent mosquito-borne illness.

Space is limited to the first 1,000 to attend. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar.


Green Strides Webinar Series Calendar 

The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools they need to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award.  Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars.


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.


Introducing Biomimicry, Inspiration and Innovation for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce

Presenter: Dorna Schroeter

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST

Are you looking for a way to inspire the next generation of world-builders – engineers, research scientists, chemists, architects, city planners? Biomimicry is a new discipline that offers teachers a compelling way to engage students of all ages and cross the boundaries traditionally found in education. It supports the goals of NGSS, CCLS, and STEAM and offers solution-based thinking while inspiring young people with a sense of the possible. As a link between design (arts) and science, it offers a model of relevancy because it will be part of many of the jobs of the future when today’s students are in the workforce. From elementary to high school, Biomimicry also provides a plethora of literature for linking ELA to science and the Reading Standards for Literature.

This webinar will explore:

  • What is Biomimicry
  • Why Biomimicry
  • How we view nature, and how we view nature through a biomimicry lens
  • Principles of Biomimicry
  • Levels of Biomimicry
  • 3 – Bio-Inspired Case Studies
  • Resources
  • Biomimicry Today


Planet Protecting Superheroes

Presenter: Vanessa LeBourdais

Thursday, November 3, 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST

Using story, arts, and gamification to engage diverse learners in environmental education.


North American Association for Environmental Education 2016 Annual Conference 

The 45th Annual North American Association for Environmental Education Conference and 13th Annual Research Symposium is being held in Madison, Wisconsin from October 18-22, 2016.

For more than four decades, NAAEE has convened one of the leading annual conferences for environmental education professionals, from classroom teachers and teacher educators to nature center staff to climate science researchers and everyone in between. Averaging 1,000 participants each year, the event is designed to promote innovation, networking, learning, and dissemination of best practices.  Held in advance of the conference, the annual Research Symposium attracts more than 150 established and new EE researchers to examine in-progress environmental education research and promote dialogue between researchers and practitioners. 

Visit the conference website to learn more about the conference and stay up-to-date on the latest programming 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


Shelbourne Farms 

Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet.  Its home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.

Shelbourne Farms’ school programs staff support both student learning and professional development for educators. The ideas of place and sustainability are at the heart of its work.  Shelbourne Farms offers a variety of experiences that inspire deep connections to community, and a commitment to a healthy future.  

Upcoming professional development opportunities for educators include:

ABCs of Farm-Based Education / October 16-18, 2016

Discover easy and fun ways to develop agricultural education programs with engaging, kid-tested, educator approved activities! If you are looking for new ideas for an existing program, or are starting to explore the opportunities of farm-based education, this workshop is for you! Spend three days of hands-on discussion and activity based learning and exploration of the Shelburne Farms campus, including the dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms. Experience activities from Shelburne Farms’ publications Project Seasons and Cultivating Joy and Wonder as we discuss ways to engage school groups and farm visitors.  Workshop topics include: creating a safe learning environment, developing programs, resource sharing and networking among participants, and more! 

$250 includes materials, lunch, dinner & tax (scholarships available); optional accommodations $65/person/night, includes breakfast & tax (double occupancy)



Achieve the Core Curriculum:  Water is Life: The Earth’s Hydrosphere and Its Impact on Living Systems 

Achieve the Core offers a number of free, ready-to-use classroom resources designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core and other college and career ready standards.  

This particular module was developed by GSNN’s own Jennifer Seydel.  It consists of three units:

  • Unit 1: Students build background knowledge about the central role that water plays in all life.
  • Unit 2: Students use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s My Waters Mapper to explore major US watersheds and the USGS National Water Information System to examine their local watershed.  
  • Unit 3: This unit provides scaffolding toward students’ summative writing assessment.

Materials include lesson level agendas with text-dependent questions and activities, as well as formative and summative assessments.


Become a National Farm to School Month Outreach Partner!

Will you join us this year? By signing up as an outreach partner, you commit to using your organization’s communication channels (social media, blog, website, newsletter, etc.) to promote National Farm to School Month. To help our partners do this, we send weekly mini-toolkits throughout October with sample messaging, social media copy, resources, and media highlights that can be used on your content channels. Your organization will also have the option to be listed on our Farm to School Month page at, which had more than 53,000 unique visitors last October. Sign on your organization by using this form.


Looking to promote Farm to School Month this October?  Check out National Farm to School Network’s 2016 Farm to School Month Communications Toolkit.  The toolkit contains information about Farm to School Month 2016 activities, a sample press release, suggested social media posts and graphics, example text for newsletters, and ideas and tips for making media pitches.  You can access the toolkit here.


EarthEcho International 

EarthEcho International was founded in 2000 by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau.  The organization offers a host of tools and resources to equip youth with the skills necessary to identify and solve environmental challenges starting in their own communities.  These include service learning projects through EarthEcho Expeditions; virtual field trips; and lesson plans and curriculum materials to support high-quality classroom experiences.


Izaak Walton League’s Creek Freaks Program 

The Creek Freaks program is for kids ages 10-14 who want to make a splash to help the environment.  They become their community’s stream experts – exploring local streams; learning how healthy trees, shrubs, and grasses protect clean water and wildlife; and what the community can do to improve water quality.

The program uses a guide called Holding onto the GREEN Zone, developed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which helps youth explore “green zones” (another name for riparian zones).  The program is filled with discovery, exploration, and of course, using the Creek Freaks’ website to share photos and data with other Creek Freaks.

Educators will find training, curriculum materials, and a number of additional buy ambien singapore resources to help implement this program in their classroom.


Keep America Beautiful Recycle Recycle Bowl Competition 

Many schools have been slow to embrace recycling.  Recycle-Bowl hopes to galvanize recycling in elementary, middle, and high schools across America through a national K-12 recycling competition.  By participating, schools have the opportunity to win prizes and receive national recognition.  Visit the competition website to learn more about competing, view the official rules, and register your school.  Registration ends on Tuesday October 11th, 2016 at Midnight.


Learning Lab 

A product of the U.S. Green Building Council’s The Center for Green Schools, Learning Lab provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action.

Discover best-in-class content, training, and tools. Access their curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards, and were created by educators, for educators.


OneLessStraw Campaign 

The OneLessStraw pledge campaign was created by One More Generation (OMG) and its partners to raise awareness about the dangers of single use plastic straws and their effects on our health, our environment, and our oceans.  During the month of September, students are encouraged to ask parents, schools, and businesses to take the OneLessStraw pledge and go strawless during the month of October.

Visit the website to learn more about this campaign, sign the pledge, and share your commitment with others.

OMG is a nonprofit organization founded by Carter and Olivia Ries back in 2009. Carter and Olivia have become world renowned for their work on plastic pollution education and animal conservation.


Trout in the Classroom 

Sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a conservation-oriented environmental education program for elementary, middle, and high school students. Throughout the school year, students raise trout from eggs to fry and then release them into approved cold water streams and lakes. This act of raising, monitoring, and caring for young trout fosters a conservation ethic within participating students and promotes an understanding of their shared water resources.

Teachers can tailor the program to fit their curricular needs, meaning each TIC program is unique.  TIC has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education.  More information on possible activities and lessons can be found on the TIC website.


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.



Captain Planet Foundation (

The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting the next round of applications for small grants totaling $500-$2500.  Grant activities must be project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes.  Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions, and to fill out an application.  The next deadline for applications is January 31, 2017.


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 preK-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.


Constellation E2 Energy to Educate Grant Program 

Constellation E2 Energy to Educate grants inspire students to think differently about energy.  Through this unique grant program, Constellation has offered over 100,000 students in grades 6-12 and college opportunities to enhance their understanding of science and technology, and experience solving both today’s and tomorrow’s energy challenges.

Constellation is seeking proposals for hands-on projects which engage 100 or more students, within the following themes:

  • Energy in Transportation
  • Backyard Generation
  • Zero Waste

Grant awards are up to $25,000 for grades 6-12 and up to $50,000 for colleges and universities.  Applications must be submitted online by October 1, 2016.  Grant awards will be announced in November 2016 during American Education Week.


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 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.


Lowe’s Toolbox for Education 

The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program is funded by the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, which has supported thousands of grassroots community and school projects in the communities where Lowe’s does business.  Now in its 10th year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program has provided over $42 million to more than 9,600 schools across the country.  The Fall 2016 grant cycle closes on September 26, 2016.  Visit the website to learn more about past grant recipients, view sample projects, and download a pre-application checklist.


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 30, 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.


Target Field Trip Grants 

It has become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target began offering Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide in 2007.  Since then, Target has made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip. Each Field Trip Grant is valued up to $700. Grant applications are accepted until 11:59 p.m. CT on October 1, 2016.  Visit the website for further details and to see past recipients.


Toshiba America Foundation Grants 

Do you teach in an elementary school classroom? Do you have an innovative idea for improving math or science instruction in your classroom? Is your idea project-based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning math and science fun for your students?

K-5 teachers are invited to apply online for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom. With a Toshiba America Foundation grant, elementary teachers can bring their best new teaching ideas to life.

Grant applications are due on OCTOBER 1st each year.