OUR MISSION
The Maine Environmental Education Association enhances and amplifies
the efforts of individuals and organizations
building environmental awareness, appreciation, understanding, and action in Maine. 

 

2019
Maine Environmental Education Conference
Strengthening Maine Communities Through Environmental Education

March 14: Environmental Education Research Symposium   
March 15: Annual Environmental Education Conference
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE - HUTCHINSON CENTER, BELFAST

 Join us at MEEA's Annual Conference as we explore ways to leverage ennvironmental education to make change happen in Maine's communities. Enjoy camaraderie, strengthen your networks, build hope, and leave with new ideas to propel your critical work forward in 2019!

On Thursday, March 14, MEEA and the Maine Math and Science Alliance are co-hosting the state's first Environmental Education Research Symposium. This symposium is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to come together discuss recent research on environmental education in both formal and informal learning contexts. The symposium will focus on the questions of what works, what models have had success, how do evaluation and research initiatives work together, what types of research are Maine researchers focusing on and what are they learning? 

On Friday, March 15, the MEEA Annual Conference will feature more than 30 workshops and presentations, revolving around the following strands:

Citizen Science and Technology - How can educators use crowd-sourced data collection, information and communications technology in programming as a tool for change?

Green Leadership - What skills do you need to be a more effective community-based environmental Changemaker?

Connecting With Nature - What education strategies do you use that help Mainers connect to nature?

Better Together: Partnerships That Accelerate Impact - How can two or more organizations, schools, or individuals collaborate to more effectively engage community members in environmental learning?

...and many other topics that help to strenghten environmental education in Maine.

 

Would you like to present at the conference?  

We are accepting proposals for engaging workshops and presentations through January 22nd. Share your passion for nature and community-based  environmental learning with your colleagues; present your eye-opening ideas, skill-building tools, and innovative programs and partnerships.

Submit a proposal at http://www.meeassociation.org/proposals.html 

    ...  

 SAVE THESE DATES:

MEEA Awards Evening
January 30, 2019
Maine Audubon
Falmouth, Maine

 

Annual Conference
March 14-15, 2019
Hutchinson Center
Belfast, Maine


Registration
opens soon

Conference Fees:

Research Symposium
 Thursday, March 14:
$25

Annual Conference
 Friday March 15:
$95
($85 early bird rate through February 11)

includes lunch, refreshments, and one-year MEEA membership

Both Days
$115
($105 early bird rate through February 11)

 Student Rate* 
for Annual Conference
$25
* Special student rate is for students high-school through graduate school.

 

Scholarships will be available

 

 

Census of Community-Based 
Environmental Learning in Maine
Click here to
TAKE THE CENSUS

A partnership between the Maine Math and Science Alliance and the Maine Environmental Education Association is spearheading a Census of Community-Based Environmental Learning in Maine. The project takesthe first steps toward building the capacity and networks for community-based environmental education fields in the state of Maine. A census to determine who, where, and how K-12 youth are engaging in this type of learning will be deployed between October 2018-February 2019, and a final report will be available in Spring 2019. The project is  generously supported by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

 

 Why we need it: The state of Maine has a wealth of community-based environmental education initiatives. Unfortunately, many of these initiatives work in isolation from other similar initiatives and the impacts of the educational experiences are not measured or understood. Consequently, there are no overarching learning goals that this community is working towards in unison.

Goals: The long-term goal of Census of Community-Based Environmental Learning in Maine is that information will be regularly gathered from the field to:

  • Determine professional development needs of those providing this type of education
  • Examine current and anticipated challenges that community-based environmental learning initiatives face
  • Identify regions and populations that are not being served equitably
  • Identify weaknesses in how this type of education is being delivered and the impacts it generates
  • Identify high quality educational experiences that could serve as exemplars for others

An advisory board of leaders in the field of environmental education in Maine will help accomplish these goals. For more information or if you would like to be a part of this project, please contact MMSA Research Associate Alex Brasili, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is Community-Based Environmental Learning? We are interested in learning how schools and organizations across Maine are educating youth about the environment while also connecting them to their communities. There are many terms for this type of learning including “Community-Based Education,” “Inquiry-Based Education,” “Nature-Based Education,” “Environmental Education,” “Eco-Justice Education,” “Place-Based Education,” and many others. We want to hear about all of the work going on across Maine that may fall into these categories. While these learning experiences do not have to necessarily take place outdoors, they do need to connect youth to locally relevant content.

Learning may occur in any setting including inside the classroom, outdoors, or at a nature center, zoo, park, etc. They often (but not always) include some of the following characteristics:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Academic, social-emotional, and civic outcomes
  • Youth action to improve the environment
  • Opportunity to explore environmental issues
  • Problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making
  • Wonder of natural phenomena

Examples of Community-Based Environmental Learning:

  • Making observations and/or gathering and interpreting data about natural phenomena outside of the classroom
  • School gardens connected to math, science, or other learning outcomes
  • Developing a better understanding of an environmental issue – such as water quality or air pollution – and then generating ideas for how to create change locally
  • Generating computer models of environmental systems that influence the local community – such as weather, climate change, or forest ecology
  • Service Learning Projects that positively impact community natural health such as removing invasive species, recycling or composting, assisting in trail building, etc.
 

MEEA To Hire First
Executive Director

The Maine Environmental Education Association will soon have its first executive director! As a thriving, rapidly growing, non-profit organization MEEA is in the process of searching for the right leader to work with the board of directors, staff, and volunteers to lead and grow MEEA's work in strengthening and broadening the environmental education field. 

MEEA builds public support for environmental education through our federal and statewide advocacy and policy work; aligns the actions of environmental education providers throughout Maine through effective communication and networking, and acts as the voice of Maine environmental education professionals at both the regional and national level. MEEA  makes it a point to collaborate across sectors to advance policies that raise environmental literacy and lead to a more sustainable future for all Maine communities.

MEEA has had notable success in recent years in developing and implementing innovative leadership programs that nurture emerging environmental leaders, helping build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environmental sector.

 


 


Critical Window to Reach out to School Districts on ESSA Funding

Hello MEEA members. We wanted to reach out to with some interesting Environmental Education Policy updates that impacts your work here in Maine. Environmental educators have a critical opportunity now to reach out to school district leaders, encouraging them to use applicable funds from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support environmental education.

ESSA is the act that governs K-12 education in the United States, replacing No Child Left Behind. The legislation passed at the end of 2015 and includes, for the first time, language that makes environmental education explicitly eligible for funding under a Title IV grant program.

The fiscal year 2018 budget agreement includes $1.1 billion for Title IV, Part A, which is nearly three times more than was allocated for 2017, the first year for ESSA implementation. This increase makes the 2018-19 school year the first truly meaningful opportunity for Title IV, Part A programs to make an impact in many school districts—and those programs include environmental education.

Federal ESSA funds will be distributed to states July 1, and then states will distribute funds to school districts, which have great flexibility for how to use them -- including for environmental education. School districts need to submit a plan to the state outlining their intentions for using ESSA funds in order to receive their allocation. In Maine our plan is due JULY 1.

The time is now to reach out to districts you work with to make the case for environmental education. 

Please contact us at MEEA if you need support regarding ESSA Outreach!

 

ESSAslide.jpg

 

Click here to read more about the Every Student Succeeds Act from NAAEE

Click here for information from Maine DOE about ESSA.

Here is a letter template that you can use to reach out to superintendents with whom you work.

Download a talking points document here that you can use if you have a meeting with school leadership regarding ESSA funds and Environmental Education.

Click here for a recording of the NAAEE webinar last week that shares more info regarding ESSA and ESSA.