• Wednesday, October 25, 2023 9:58 AM | Deleted user

    The League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) is sharing results from a landscape analysis conducted this year by the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA) using collected survey data from over 600 PreK-12 teachers and administrators in the eight SEEA states. 

    The analysis is designed to gain an enhanced understanding of environmental education providers and schools in the southeastern U.S. that are working towards similar goals. It provides a comprehensive look at what environmental education is (or is not) happening in schools, a better understanding of the needs and priorities of teachers and administrators, strategies for scaling programs for a broader, more equitable reach and state and regional findings to inform future strategic planning efforts. 

    The school survey used to gather data focused on integration of environmental education into the curriculum, professional development needs of administrators and educators, field trips, outdoor learning and outdoor spaces

    Some key findings from the analysis include: 

    • When asked how likely teachers are to integrate outdoor learning into their instruction, 32% already incorporate outdoor learning into instruction; 61% indicated interest, but need support; and only 6% say they are not likely to incorporate outdoor learning. 

    • The top barrier to incorporating outdoor learning in schools is logistics (scheduling, time, distance, staging and clean up). 

    • The primary limiting factors for schools' ability to participate in field trips were transportation costs, time, availability of transportation and site fees.

    • When asked what type of professional development educators have participated in, 21% of educators indicated they have had no professional development in outdoor education or environmental education.

    • A total of 66% of educators are teaching about climate science and of those, 50% are spending less than 10 hours per year on this topic. Most educators do not feel confident teaching this topic.

    A full report and a dashboard with detailed findings from the analysis can also be accessed, which allows users to filter the location of the schools, the type of schools, grade level, the level of reported confidence providing EE and more. 

    “We are so grateful to the teachers, administrators and environmental education providers across Florida for their participation.  These insights reveal not only the current state of environmental education in K-12 schools but also the barriers and next steps we need to take in Florida, and the region, to ensure that every student has access to nature and quality environmental education," said Trina Hofreiter, Operations and Outreach Manager for LEEF.   

    To access detailed findings from the analysis, including the dashboard, visit www.southeastee.org/landscape-schools

  • Friday, September 29, 2023 2:55 PM | Deleted user

    Nature Preserve Supervisor 2 position closes 10/13/23.  More information can be found here.

  • Wednesday, September 27, 2023 2:05 PM | Deleted user

    NAAEE is hiring for several positions! Please share these job announcements with your networks to help us find the right folks to join our team!

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023 12:13 PM | Deleted user

    We seek an enthusiastic prospective student interested in pursuing a graduate degree in partnership with a multi-campus effort focused on understanding factors that influence environmental education and career aspirations among members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.  This assistantship is available through the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at the University of Connecticut.  Start date is May 2024. 


    This research will be part of a larger collaborative project with SUNY Plattsburgh and University of Vermont.  Project team leadership includes Drs. Anita Morzillo (UConn), Laura Cisneros (UConn), Kimberly Coleman (SUNY Plattsburgh), and Leon Walls (UVM), in partnership with the Connecticut and Lake Champlain Sea Grants, UConn Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA; https://nrca.uconn.edu/), Upward Bound, and Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program.


    Research for this assistantship will involve understanding factors that motivate or discourage members of the BIPOC community to pursue or not pursue environmental degree programs and careers, and pivotal events, experiences, or other factors that have influenced career choices of BIPOC members of the environmental workforce.  Part of the assistantship funding will be provided by the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program (https://nrca.uconn.edu/cap/); the selected student will assist Dr. Cisneros in leading this teen environmental education program, which includes a summer environmental science field experience and community environmental action project with high school students, their undergraduate student mentors, and adult community partners.  Although the dissertation is expected to focus mainly on these topics, there is some flexibility for part of the dissertation to expand into a complementary focus, based on specific student interest.  Opportunity to serve as an instructor-of-record or teaching assistant is a possibility, but not guaranteed.


    Preferred qualifications include: 1) a background or prior experience in natural resources, environmental science, and interest in environmental science-based education and student mentoring; 2) interest in focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice; 3) at least some familiarity with social science methodologies (quantitative, qualitative, or both); and 4) ability to work both independently and as part of a research team.  The student will be expected to present research results at professional conferences, publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific outlets, and pursue extramural funding to supplement their assistantship, as appropriate.  Candidates must have completed a Master’s degree; please indicate on your cover letter if it was thesis-based or not.  Although not required for the position, we appreciate knowing if applicants have proficiency in the Spanish language.


    Interested students are asked to send the following materials directly to me (Anita Morzillo; anita.morzillo@uconn.edu) as a single .pdf document: 1) a cover letter describing their professional background, relevant research experience and interests, career goals, and reasons for seeking a Doctoral degree, 2) names and contact information for three references, 3) a current curriculum vitae, and 4) copies of transcripts, and 5) GRE scores (if available).


    Unofficial copies of transcripts are sufficient for initial contact.  GRE scores are not required for program admission, but helpful for overall application evaluation.  Potential students must have received a GPA equivalent to a 3.0/4.0 in the last 90 term (or 60 semester) hours of their prior degree programs.  Do not submit materials to the NRE department or UConn Graduate School at this time.


    Application review will begin 15 October 2023, and continue until a candidate is selected.  Members of the BIPOC community are encouraged to apply.


    Further information about the UConn Department of Natural Resources and the Environment may be found at https://nre.uconn.edu/

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2023 10:36 AM | Deleted user

    WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that up to $3.6 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants is now available under the 2023 Environmental Education (EE) Local Grant Program. EPA will award grants in each of EPA’s 10 Regions, between $50,000-$100,000 each, for a total of 30-40 grants nationwide. The program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, preventing future water quality and human health issues, in addition to other environmental topics. 

    “It is more important now than ever that we understand the environmental changes happening around us,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Investing in environmental education is investing in America’s future, and these grants will ensure that communities have access to quality tools to get involved – and stay involved – at a local level.”

    Funded projects will increase public awareness of those topics and help participants to develop the skills needed to make informed decisions. Each of the 10 EPA Regions published a solicitation notice with their respective regional details. Applicants must apply to the Regional NOFO that corresponds with the location of their proposed project. Through this grant program, EPA intends to provide financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, that will serve to increase environmental literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment in local communities, especially underserved communities. This grant program recognizes underserved communities as high-poverty areas, persistent poverty counties, communities the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool identifies as disadvantaged communities, and Title I schools.

    Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 and $3.5 million in grant funding per year under this program, supporting more than 3,920 grants and making the grant program one of the most utilized in the agency.

    Visit the new EPA Grants Community Library of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the EE grant FAQ webpages to learn more about the current competition and the federal grant process. Find out background information on the EE Grants Program and resources for applicants on EPA’s EE Grant Homepage

    Applications are due on November 8, 2023, and the Notice of Funding Opportunities are now posted on www.grants.gov and the EE Grant Solicitation Notice webpage

    The Office of Environmental Education will also host at least one webinar during the open solicitation period on how to write a competitive application and to address commonly asked questions. Once confirmed, webinar registration details will be available on https://www.epa.gov/education/grants#webinar. Stay up to date on all EE grant information, including announcements related to upcoming webinar registration, by subscribing to the EE Grants Listserv
    For further information: EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

  • Tuesday, September 12, 2023 9:32 AM | Deleted user

    For a link to current Environmental Education jobs in Florida posted on NAAEE's job board, click here

    eeVAL is hiring!!

    The eeVAL team is hiring a project coordinator! Could this be you?

    Full time, $50-55k/year, flexible hours/remote.

    Hourly/temp to start, with high potential to transfer to salaried position.

    Apply here! bit.ly/eeVAL-PC

    Questions? Contact Kathryn: kathryn_stevenson@ncsu.edu

    We are looking for someone with:

    - Experience/interest in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation & environmental education

    - Excellent project management skills & experience

    - Lived experience serving those underrepresented and marginalized in EE and evaluation.

    We are hoping to hire quickly, but the position will be open until we find the right fit.

    Now accepting applications for 2024

    Pursue your passion with Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens while you earn your master’s online from Miami University through the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP). Created for working professionals, the AIP is a one-of-a-kind master’s program that immerses students in collaborative inquiry and action as they champion change. Through web-based coursework from Miami and face-to-face experiential learning and field study at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, you will connect with classmates, Miami University faculty, zoo experts, and community leaders locally, nationally, and globally.

    The AIP is designed for students from a range of backgrounds and career stages. With professional and academic mentoring and self-designed Master Plans, students adapt their degree path to fit their interests in fields such as community-engaged conservation, inquiry-driven education, environmental justice, learning across K-12 and informal settings, animal care and welfare, green business innovation, climate change, urban ecology, human-nature relationships, environmental restoration, and public engagement in science.

    Applications are being accepted until February 28 at http://AIP.MiamiOH.edu. Courses begin in May 2024. Applicants may contact the AIP Coordinator at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Jamie Lankenau, at lankenauj@jacksonvillezoo.org or 904-757-4463 ext. 107.

    Graduate tuition for all programs is greatly reduced because of support from Miami University. NEW for 2024 Applicants: To help make a Miami education more accessible and affordable, the Miami University Graduate School will waive the $50 application fee for those who attend one of the following Information Sessions preceding the fee payment step of the application process: https://miamioh.edu/cas/graduate-studies/project-dragonfly/highlights-and-digital-media/informational-webinars.html 


    Interested in a global classroom? Miami’s Project Dragonfly also offers global field courses, which can build toward the AIP master’s degree. Earth Expeditions graduate courses occur online and at global field sites in 15 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. http://EarthExpeditions.MiamiOH.edu

    Project Dragonfly reaches millions of people each year through inquiry-driven learning media, public exhibits, and graduate programs worldwide. Project Dragonfly is based in the biology department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Established as a state university in 1809, Miami is one of the eight original Public Ivies and has a distinguished record of excellence in research and teaching in science and science education.

  • Thursday, September 07, 2023 11:45 AM | Deleted user

    Thanks to LEEF member contributions, we were able to award $2,000 in Mini Grants in 2023.  The LEEF Board of Directors has selected 4 applicants from this year's LEEF Mini Grant program to receive $500 of funding each.  These innovative programs are located in communities with a majority of Black, Indigenous and people of color residents and make a priority to include these residents in their programs.  They also demonstrated innovation in environmental education, and some included a focus on climate change or climate resilience. 

    Each organization will present a session about their program at either the March 2024 LEEF Conference or in an online webinar to share their lessons learned with others.  Their programs will occur in 2023-24 and finish by August 30, 2024. 

    Below is a brief description of each LEEF member organization selected for funding:

    Alachua Conservation Trust - From the Classroom to the Creek: The Creekside Environmental Education for Kids Program

    The CrEEK Program serves approximately 1,000 4th grade students, predominantly from Title I schools in Alachua and Putnam counties in Florida. On average, student participants are approximately 65% African American, 20% Caucasian, and 15% Hispanic, and disproportionately from low-income families. The CrEEK program provides these students with access to fun and engaging environmental education, while actively working against educational barriers and fostering a diverse future of nature lovers and environmental leaders. 

    The CrEEK program busses 60 4th grade students to an Alachua Conservation Trust property each week during the school year and provides 5 contact hours per student.  The program includes 3 outdoor stations, lunch and follow up discussion in the classroom the next day.  The program goals are to develop students' curiosity for nature, meet educational standards, and reinforce student empowerment.  To meet these goals, CrEEK guides students in hands-on activities such as dipnetting in the creek and sweep netting in the meadows to learn about life cycles, observing decomposition of plants and logs to learn about the carbon cycle, and walking on nature trails to reinforce observational thinking and species identification.  The CrEEK program serves each student with 5 contact hours.

    LEEF funding will provide supplies necessary to expand the program to other Conservation Trust areas and offer a new CrEEK Family Days program to families to participate in engaging outdoor learning.

    Reef Environmental Education FoundationInspiring Hope for the Ocean's Changing Climate 

    REEF will lead the Inspiring Hope for the Ocean's Changing Climate lesson for High School students in class or through after school clubs in the Florida Keys. Thirty percent of the households in the Florida Keys are below the poverty level and defined by the United Way as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed (ALICE). ALICE residents earn just above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what it costs to make ends meet. Students of these households may have barriers that will likely prevent them from participating in activities and extracurricular opportunities. Though surrounded by water, access to the ocean is still limited to those who own boats. Demographics of Monroe County (Florida Keys) include residents from Cuba, Haiti, and Columbia.

    The goals of the program will be:

    • To provide a context for climate change and its impacts by focusing on local issues and observed phenomena by residents 
    • To strengthen a student’s connection to their home and community by nurturing positive relationships with the environment
    • To empower students to take action steps that increase community and student dialogue to inspire hope and climate solutions

    This program combines the qualitative information gathered through community conversations and REEF's quantitative data on fish population declines in the Florida Keys - an essential part of life to the population of 2.4 million residents and 5 million visitors in the Keys. Students will collect interviews about the changing climate with family, friends, and community members asking them about changes they have seen in their lifetime. Anticipated stories may include: hurricanes, sea level rise, less fish, coral bleaching, and warming temperatures. As a small group activity, students will use the qualitative data from the interviews to piece together actions, events, and impacts of climate change and how it affects fish populations, diversity, and abundance of the Keys. This flowchart activity shows students the interconnectedness of humans and nature while gaining a thorough understanding of their natural surroundings. Ocean Literacy and Climate Literacy Principles will be incorporated to provide scientific content for climate and ocean systems. As a concluding event, students will host opportunities for various groups to write their “What can I do” post-it notes creating dialogue on climate solutions. Meeting audiences where they are, action steps are encouraged to be tailored to what each demographic can practically accomplish. These steps may include sharing their reflections and findings on social media. This lesson turns students into active citizens by understanding where they live, garnering pride, and caring for their backyard and community.

    Sanibel Sea School - A Week in the Field

    A Week in the Field will mentor high schoolers in environmental research in Southwest Florida. Participants will learn about water quality issues, resource management, coastal wildlife, and conservation. They will conduct authentic scientific research on Sanibel Island, Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. They will be mentored in research methods and laboratory practices by SCCF biologists. Participants will gain valuable skills in collecting, interpreting, and presenting data to the community.

    LEEF funding will allow underrepresented groups to participate in the Week in the Field summer camp program on Sanibel Island at no cost to campers via an application system.  Sanibel Sea School will organize transportation from Cape Coral and Fort Myers to make the camp more accessible. There is a $9 toll to the island, and many families can’t take the time to go out of their daily commute to drive their children over.

    The Week in the Field camp's primary goal is to foster and encourage the interests of Lee County high school students in the research fields, especially interest in STEM amongst underrepresented groups.   

    Place-Based Education – The camp focuses on community-based problems. The camp will be organized around real-world problems and how scientists work to solve them on Sanibel, in order to connect students to their community.

    Diversity & Inclusion - Sanibel Sea School considers all children to be valuable members of learning experiences with differing voices, strengths, abilities, and contributions. Their inclusive programs embrace and expand children's sociocultural repertoires while teaching them how to deal with controversy and conflict creatively and constructively.

    Mentorship – Students work alongside biologists with years of expertise and use research-grade equipment. They analyze samples in a laboratory setting while being mentored in laboratory practices.

    Oxbow Eco-Center - St. Lucie Watersheds and Wildlife

    There is a distinct disparity between access to nature and nature programming between more affluent and underserved schools. As such, Oxbow has selected a local school whose students have been financially unable to visit the Oxbow Eco-Center for many years to be the beneficiary of this program: Chester A. Moore Elementary School in Fort Pierce. With the grant funding, the school will receive both transportation to the Oxbow Eco-Center and nature programming at no cost. Principal of Chester A. Moore Elementary, Ms. Thelma Jackson, is enthusiastic and inspired by the possibility of this opportunity. The St. Lucie Watersheds and Wildlife program will:

    • Provide transportation for students and teachers from the grade(s) selected by the principal to participate to the Oxbow Eco-Center and Preserve for environmental science programming at no cost to them
    • Provide meaningful, immersive nature and watershed experiences for students while at the Oxbow Eco-Center and Preserve at no cost to them
    • Provide classroom teachers supplies and resources to independently implement outdoor learning at their school via Oxbow's Watersheds and Wildlife resource bin.

    Watersheds & Wildlife is a hands-on program that highlights watershed concepts, basic needs of living things, and local keystone species such as the alligator and gopher tortoise. Students will interact with Oxbow's virtual watershed sandbox, meet Oxbow’s live animal ambassadors, incorporate physical movement into their learning, and actively explore the watershed on the Preserve during a watershed stroll.

    These activities will provide students the opportunity to be immersed in nature, which in turn develops appreciation for the environment, the desire to care for it and fosters stewardship. In addition, teachers will be provided supplies and resources to implement their own watershed lessons at their school site and/or classrooms via Oxbow's Watersheds & Wildlife resource bin. The resource bin was successfully piloted with teachers in the 22-23 school year and provides the means to independently lead additional environmental science lessons effectively and efficiently at their schools.

    For over 20 years, the Oxbow Eco-Center has been recognized as a respected environmental education and nature center in Port St. Lucie. Oxbow staff hosted over 3,000 students in high-quality, hands-on environmental education programs during the 2022-2023 school year.

    Congratulations to these winners of LEEF's 2023 Mini-Grant program; we are honored to support your efforts and look forward to learning from you in the coming year.

    If you have any questions about the Mini Grant program or would like to contribute to funding this program in 2024, please contact LEEF's Operations and Outreach Manager at trina at leef-florida.org.

  • Thursday, February 16, 2023 10:35 AM | Deleted user

    Did you know that students in the United States spend just two hours per school year, on average, learning about the climate crisis? According to UNESCO, only half of the national curricula in the world have a reference to climate change.

    National Wildlife Federation and Bard College’s Graduate Programs in Sustainability launched #Teach10Hours4Climate in 2022 to increase the amount of time – five-fold – that K-12 students spend learning about this existential topic and gain the knowledge and skills they need to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Ten hours for climate education per school year sounds like a modest request – and it definitely is, given the scale of the crisis. But it’s an achievable start.

    Click here to register and receive a guide with worksheets and resources

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2023 2:32 PM | Deleted user

    Calling all high school educators!  The Climate Initiative's Learning Lab has three teacher modules and seven learning modules available for free to download.  Register by February 15th and you could receive a $300 stipend for a 2022-23 school year project.

Founded in 1983, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida is the professional association for individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of environmental education in Florida. We are the state affiliate for North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), an organization that brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of our natural world and one that has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world for over four decades.  

The League of Environmental Educators in Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

© 2021by the League of Environmental Educators in Florida.

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