October 22nd, 2012 Bob
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is currently accepting applications for the 2012 Environmental License Tag Grant. You must be an Oklahoma teacher (Pre K-12), school environmental club, youth group leader, and/or organization with a youth component to apply for the grant.
Grants are available from $100-$1000. Examples of activities previously funded include Edible Gardens, Outdoor Classroom Revitalization or Enhancement, Environmental Education Projects, Recycling, Composting, and Green Schools.
The deadline is December 1, 2012.
For questions or more information, you may contact Sara Ivey at (405) 702-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Programs and Services Coordinator
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1677
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101
October 1st, 2012 Bob
Are you looking for a fun and creative way to increase school recycling participation in your community? Keep America Beautiful’s, second annual, “Recycle-Bowl,” is a comprehensive nationwide recycling competition for elementary, middle and high school students.
Open to all schools, the incentive-based recycling competition kicks off again this October and registration is now open on the Recycle-Bowl website at http://recycle-bowl.org. The competition runs from October 15 through November 9, culminating around America Recycles Day. Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes.
At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from the top statewide winners to receive an additional $1,000 and a $2,500 store credit to purchase more recycling bins. Schools that collect material from the community will compete in a separate category for first-, second- and third- place cash prizes.
In its inaugural year, more than 1,200 schools around the country, representing more than 500,000 students, participated in the competition. 67% of schools saw an increase in the amount of materials their school recycled during the competition.
From the Recycle-Bowl homepage (http://recycle-bowl.org/2012-map/) you can see who else is competing in your state. Help reach the goal of having 1500 schools participate in 2012 by registering before October 9th.
September 24th, 2012 Bob
This week: (1) Updates on Oklahoma Science Assessments (2) Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers (3) Grant for Teachers (4) Student Opportunities
Greetings Science Educators!
I have received many questions of late about the scientific and engineering practices associated with the Next Generation Science Standards. The scientific and engineering practices were developed to clarify the meaning and application of “Inquiry in the Classroom.”
NSTA is presenting a series of free web seminars explaining the practices and the practical use of them in the classroom. The first web seminar was held on September 11th on “Asking Questions and Defining Problems.”
“Asking Questions and Defining Problems” is a practice that supports Common Core Literacy Standards for Science.
Questioning occurs throughout scientific investigations and drive science. Scientists ask:
· What exists and what happens?
· Why does it happen?
· How does one know?
· How does one communicate phenomena, evidence and explanations?
The webinar provides information pertaining to the practice of Asking Question and Defining Problems (at time point 35:40) and examples of questioning in classroom practice (at time point 44:18 in the web seminar).
You can access the web seminar via the following link: NSTA Webinars on Scientific and Engineering Practices
One of the classroom examples provided in the web seminar focuses on the following lesson outline:
· Start with a driving question: “What is going on inside our bodies that helps us get energy to do the things we do?
- Driving question should be linked to students’ past experiences so…
- students can generate their own questions from the driving question
Are there different types of energy?
- Let the driving question drive the investigation and the activities developed for student exploration of the question.
- During the investigation secondary questions will arise that will continue to drive the investigation or lead to a secondary investigation
- Informational text can be brought in for students to analyze as a means to answer secondary questions that arise from their investigations.
- The investigation as well as any informational text brought in should lead to an explanation for the driving question
The web seminar further explores the application of “Asking Questions and Defining Problems” in a science classroom through additional examples and research. I believe many of you will find that you utilize this structure in your classroom already. However, I hope you will find the information valuable as you begin to explore this practice further.
1. Science Assessment Memo: Latest Updates on Oklahoma Science Assessments
· Please see the Attached memo regarding the most recent information pertaining to science assessments School Year 2012-2013
2. Free Earth Science Workshop for Educators: More! Rock in Your Head
· October 16th, 2012, OKC, OK
· The application and details can be accessed via: Rock in Your Head
3. Project Learning Tree & Project Wet-Claremore OK
· See attached flyer
4. Monarch Migration and Butterfly Festival
· See attached flyer
5. Environmental License Tag Grant:
6. Application for 2013 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing
- The award honors young women who are active and interested in computing and technology
- The application and details can be accessed via: NCWIT Award
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
Have a great day!
September 14th, 2012 Bob
The 2012 HHMI Holiday Lectures will be webcast live on November 15th and 16th. Andrew H. Knoll of Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, and Daniel P. Schrag of Harvard University will guide you on an exciting exploration of the history of life on Earth and discuss present-day concerns about climate change. Click here to register for the webcast and receive a free classroom poster. If you are interested in information about hosting a live webcast event at your school, museum, or other organization, send an email email@example.com.
September 11th, 2012 Bob
BioBlitz! 2012 Top 20
About BioBlitz! 2012
Important Registration Information
Directions to Base Camp
Schedule of Activities
What should I bring to BioBlitz!?
The BioBlitz! inventory will begin at 4:00 p.m. Friday October 5th and end at 4:00 p.m. Saturday October 6th – but the fun doesn’t end there! Plan to stay another night and enjoy the park after the biodiversity rush!
Just west of Clinton, OK, Foss Reservoir is one of the largest lakes in western Oklahoma, at 8,800 surface acres. Construction began in 1958 with the building of a 18,130 foot long earthen dam and the lake began to fill in 1961. The state park is 1,749 acres of recreation area that includes picnic areas, campgrounds, boat docks, and fishing piers. The Washita NWR lies on the upper end of Foss Reservoir and provides a feeding a resting area for migrating and wintering waterfowl and sandhill cranes. Established in 1961, the Washita NWR consists of 8,075 acres of gently rolling hills, deep ravines, water, and bottomlands laced with creeks. This variety of habitats is home to a diverse flora and fauna.
Access to most of these habitats is made easy by a series of trails in both the state park and refuge. See the park and refuge websites for details.
IMPORTANT Registration Information
Please read carefully the following information before registering:
Online registration will open in spring 2012. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list to receive updates.
Cost will be $7 for students, $12 for non-students. The increase in registration price is to help off-set the cost of event tent, table, and chair rental.
In appreciation of the dedication and hard work of our volunteer expert biologists, we will be waiving the registration fee for all taxa team leaders and activity leaders. If you fall into this category – don’t register (you will be contacted by BioBlitz! staff).
- 2 nights tent camping in designated area at Foss State Park (full bathrooms with coin operated showers available)
- Event t-shirt
- Friday night camp snacks
- Saturday morning early, light breakfast
- full schedule of activities during the inventory
- 24 hours of BioDiversity!
There will be NO MEAL provided on Friday night. The facilities at the park make it difficult for us to provide a full meal to a large group, but we will have snacks on Friday evening. The park is 14 miles from downtown Clinton, which as has a variety of restaurants and stores.
T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register two weeks before the event date (October 5). Registration will close one week before the event.
There will be NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION. All registration must be done prior to arriving at BioBlitz!
Everyone must register individually – except children under school age (they may attend for free).
No registration fees will be refunded. If you are unable to attend the event, or if the event is cancelled, your registration fee will be considered a donation to future BioBlitz! activities.
BioBlitz! may be cancelled in the case of extremely, severe weather. The event will be held in the event of rain. If cancelled, we will make every effort to reschedule the event.
If you register, but do not attend, you will not be guaranteed an event t-shirt.
Directions to BioBlitz! 2012
Base Camp will be at Foss State Park. The tentative location is the Cedar Point Area in the south-east corner of the park
From I-40 West, take exit 41, Hwy 34 toward Woodward. Follow Hwy 34 North for 9 miles. Turn east onto OkHwy 73, travel approximately 12.5 miles. Turn north to enter park and follow signs to Base Camp.
From I-40 East, exit at Clinton. Follow OkHwy 73 west out of town. Travel approximately 14 miles on OkHwy 73. When you reach the park, follow signs to Base Camp.
GPS Coordinates: 35.539137° -99.193859°
What should I bring to BioBlitz!?
While we can’t list all things you might need, here is a list of suggested items that you might want while attending BioBlitz!
Remember you are responsible for your own camping and personal equipment.
Camping equipment, including:
- tent and bedding
- camp chair
- flashlight or headlamp
Food and bottles for water (only the light Saturday breakfast is provided). Water will be available at Base Camp to fill your bottles.
Clothing and personal items, including
- Sturdy shoes
- Long pants
- Towel and toiletries (coin operated hot showers are available)
- Mug, water bottle, cup
- Insect repellent
Equipment to observe, collect, and identify organisms, including:
- Handlens or magnifying glass
- Identification guides and taxonomic keys
- Nets for terrestrial and aquatic organisms
- Notebook, clipboard and paper, and writing utensils
And, of course, bring your enthusiasm for learning more about Oklahoma’s biodiversity!
Schedule of Activities
Download a copy of the detailed schedule as a PDF
General Tentative Schedule
- Bird walk
- Basics of insect collecting
- Get to know the common plants
- Setting mammal traps and track stations
- Night time insect collecting
- Friday night treats
- Family Night Hike
- Butterfly slide show
- Light and early breakfast
- Check mammal traps and track stations
- Bird walks
- Biogeography Tour
- Ethnobotany walk
- Insect collecting
- Dragonfly walk
- Hunting for Herps
- Slither and Hiss program
- Butterfly walk
- Fish seining
- Nature and Eco Crafts
- Jr. Biologist activity
Celebration of BioBlitz! Oklahoma
- Inventory Announcements
Showing and chat with the producer of “Where Did the Horny Toads Go?”
Taxa Checklists (download as PDFs)
Lists represent species that have been previously found in the in area or statewide.
During BioBlitz! you will not find all these species and you may find ones to add to this list.
◦ Mammals (statewide list with additional information)
Top 20 – list of twenty species you can learn more about that you might see at BioBlitz! 2012
August 21st, 2012 Bob
Announcing 2012-2013 School Sustainability Grants Program
As teachers and administrators, have you ever looked around your school and thought, “Wow! Opportunity missed!” when considering what students could be learning about sustainability from your school’s facility? Here is your chance to engage students in making their school a more sustainable one!
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) is now accepting proposals for their 2012-2013 School Sustainability Grants program. These grants are designed to encourage student learning via sustainability initiatives in EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) K-12 schools. Proposals to be considered are those within a specific school campus that will engage students and result in a more sustainable facility. Project funds are provided via a grant from the EPA Office of Environmental Education Sub-Grants Program to the LEEC, which is under the direction of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
School administrators or fulltime classroom teachers affiliated with accredited public or non-public schools (K-12) in EPA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) are eligible to apply on behalf of their school.
- Grant awards are not to exceed $5000.
- The grant application deadline is October 1, 2012.
- Applications will be accepted via electronic submission only.
- All applications will undergo an anonymous and competitive grant review process.
- Go to Application Guidelines for guidelines and additional information.
- Register in the LEEC Registration System at Registration Form. You will then be assigned a username and password.
- Once you have received your username and password, you will be able to access the proposal form.
Questions are to be directed to Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, at email@example.com.
August 8th, 2012 Bob
Dr. Ian Singleton, the Director of Conservation at PanEco will speak at the Oklahoma City Zoo from 7-8pm on Thursday, August 16th in the Zoo’s Conservation Education Auditorium (far east end of the parking lot).
He is the director of the Orangutan Conservation Programme and manages new projects in species and nature conservation. The OKC Zoo is a benefactor to PanEco and their efforts in Sumatra.
The engagement of PanEco is about environmental conservation and education. They stand up for the rainforest of the Sumatran islands and work to stop the logging. The habitat of the endangered Sumatran orang-utans has yet to be conserved. Only 6500 great apes still live in the Sumatran wilderness.
PanEco activities are about orang-utans and the peat swamp forest is in the north of Sumatra. The quarantine station is situated in Batu Mbelin. The red great apes get returned to the wild in the Bukit Tigapuluah national park and in Aceh (Jantho). The three observation stations in Suaq, Batang Toru and Ketambe deliver important findings about the biology of the Sumatran orang-utans. In the region Singkil is the peat swamp of Tripa where one of the last populations of orang-utans live. The target of our environmental efforts is the preservation of the unique diversity of species.
July 31st, 2012 Bob
Request for Proposals -Released July 30, 2012
Proposals due September 1, 2012
The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM) has been awarded a $150,000 grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Education Small Grants program. In partnership with the other four EE associations in the Region 6 states, Texas Association for Environmental Education (TAEE), Oklahoma Association for Environmental Education (OKAEE), Louisiana Environmental Education Association (LEEA), Arkansas Environmental Education Association (AEEA), and the Albert I. Pierce Foundation (AIP Foundation), EEANM will award grants to organizations in TX, NM, OK, AR, and LA. The small grants will support the development and implementation of projects that advance regional environmental education priorities as defined by state environmental literacy plans and strategic plans, as well as the EPA’s own educational priorities.
The Small Grants:
- At least 19 competitive grants will be awarded.
- The maximum competitive grant award is $5,000. The EPA mandates that exactly $92,273.50 will be awarded per region which necessitates that some grants will be for less than $5,000.
- No entity may receive more than one award.
How to Apply:
Fill out the Attached Application and submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funded projects will begin December 1, 2012 and must be completed by November 30, 2013.
At least 33% of the grant amount (or 25% of the total project cost) must be matched by non- Federal funds.
A Region 6 Small Grants Program Leadership Team, with at least two representatives from each of the five state associations, will over-see the program’s administration. The Leadership Team will determine awards, based on the assessments of proposals by a team of volunteer
reviewers from each state. An evaluation rubric is provided as an appendix to the application. Awardees will submit quarterly progress reports and will work with EEANM and the state associations to promote and disseminate the results of the projects. The Leadership Team will be available for technical assistance if the project encounters obstacles.
September 1, 2012 Proposal deadline.
October 25, 2012 Awards are announced.
November 30, 2012 Contracts are in place and projects may begin on December 1, 2012.
November 30, 2013 Projects are implemented and completed.
December 31, 2013 Final reports are due.
Priority will be given to proposals that contribute to increased and sustained capacity to deliver effective environmental education. Proposals must also address specific state priorities that advance environmental literacy and other goals. Those priorities are derived from state Environmental Literacy Plans and state association strategic plans and are listed below:
Oklahoma proposals should address the one of the following priorities of OKAEE:
1. Professional development opportunities for formal and non-formal educators
2. Student-led community projects
EPA Educational Priorities:
All small-grant projects must address at least one of the EPA’s educational priorities:
Capacity Building: Increasing capacity to develop and deliver coordinated environmental education programs across a state or across multiple states.
Educational Advancement: Utilizing environmental education as a catalyst to advance state or local education reform goals.
Community Projects: Addressing environmental stewardship in a local educational context and using community-based stewardship activities as the primary teaching tool.
Human Health and the Environment: Educating K-12 youth, post secondary students, and educators in formal and non-formal settings about human health threats from environmental pollution/issues and how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health.
EE Teaching Skills: Providing pre-service and in-service professional development for teachers, faculty, or non-formal educators to improve their environmental education teaching skills and/or knowledge about environmental issues and content.
Career Development: Educating K-12 youth, post secondary students, and their educators in formal and non-formal settings about environmental issues, solutions and stewardship for the purpose of encouraging interest in environmental careers.
EPA Strategic Environmental Priorities:
Every small-grant project must address at least one of the following EPA strategic priorities:
- Taking Action on Climate Change
- Improving Air Quality
- Assuring the Safety of Chemicals
- Cleaning Up Our Communities
- Protecting America’s Waters
- Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice
- Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships
More information about the EPA environmental priorities is found at:
Any local education agency, college or university, state education or environmental agency, or nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, may submit a proposal. A teacher’s school district, an educator’s nonprofit organization, or a faculty member’s college or university may apply, but an individual teacher or faculty member may not apply.
Applicant organizations must be located within the five states and the activities must take place within the five states. The project may take place in two or more states.
“Tribal education agencies” that are eligible to apply include a school or community college which is controlled by an Indian tribe, band, or nation, which is recognized as eligible for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians and which is not administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal organizations do not qualify unless they meet that criteria or the non-profit criteria listed above.
Grant funds cannot be used for the following activities:
- Technical training of environmental management professionals
- Environmental “information” and/or “outreach” projects that have no environmental education component. *
- Advocacy promoting a particular point of view or course of action
- Lobbying or political activities
- Non-educational research and development
- Construction projects
- Indirect costs
- Prizes or rewards
* Environmental information and outreach may be important elements of EE projects, but these activities by themselves are not environmental education. By itself, environmental information only addresses awareness and knowledge, usually about a particular environmental issue. Outreach involves information dissemination and requests or suggestions for action on a particular issue (often without the critical thinking, problem solving and decision making steps in between). EE covers the range of steps and activities from awareness to action with an ultimate goal of environmental stewardship.
Questions may be emailed to the project manager below at email@example.com. All questions and replies will be posted on the EEANM website at www.eeanm.org.
Barbara Garrity, Executive Director
Environmental Education Association of New Mexico
PO Box 36958
Albuquerque, NM 87176
July 30th, 2012 Bob
Michael Pollan Named 2012 Recipient of The Distinguished Service Award
The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) is proud to announce that Mr. Michael Pollan, teacher, best selling author and award winning journalist, has been named the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award for Enhancing Education through Biological Research. This award will be presented at 2012 NABT Professional Development Conference in Dallas, TX during the Biology Educator Leadership Scholarship (BELS) Benefit Dinner. Mr. Pollan will also be a featured guest at this event, where he will be interacting with the audience in a moderated interview and Q&A type session.
“Michael Pollan is incredibly talented at helping people connect culture and biology through popular scientific literature that appeals and informs readers at all life-stages,” said Donald P. French, President of NABT (and a Professor of Zoology at Oklahoma State University). “His books, presentations, teaching and related media productions inspire, inform, and encourage the public to pursue a greater understanding of their connection to the natural world, and the importance of nature, biology and biology education in their own lives and their children’s future. I am very proud of this opportunity for NABT to honor Mr. Pollan with our Distinguished Service Award.”
The NABT Distinguished Service Award was established in 1988 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the association. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals for the significant contribution that their work has made to the field of biology education. Notable winners of the award include Lynn Margulis, James Watson, Stephen Jay Gould, Francis Collins, E.O. Wilson, Sean Carroll, Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, and Neil Shubin.
”If America is ever going to repair its relations with the natural world, it will be because biology teachers have prepared the ground of understanding in our young people. The thought that they might find some of my work useful in their work is both humbling and thrilling. I can’t imagine a more meaningful honor.” said Michael Pollan.
For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing award winning books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Botany of Desire received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).
Pollan was named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In 2009 he was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders.” A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards: he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in 2009 for best essay; he received the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003; the John Burroughs prize in 1997 for best natural history essay; the QPB New Vision Award for his first book, Second Nature; the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award for Environmental Journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal agriculture; the 2008 Truth in Agricultural Journalism Award from the American Corngrowers Association; the 2009 President’s Citation Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the 2009 Voices of Nature Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council. In 2009, he appeared in a two-hour PBS special based on The Botany of Desire as well as in the documentary, Food Inc., which received an Academy Award nomination.
In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, health and the environment.
Nothing complements the NABT Conference experience like the special workshops, meal functions and field trips that make the meeting truly memorable. Tickets are now available online and can be added to your registration. Space is limited.
Special Workshops: Sometimes, a 75-minute session just isn’t enough time to cover a complex topic. NABT Special Workshops highlight expert teachers who address advanced topics in biology education.
Meal Functions: A biology teacher cannot live on knowledge alone. From section breakfasts to luncheons to the BELS Benefit Dinner featuring Micheal Pollan, NABT makes sure you have real food as well as brain food.
Field Trips: Adventures abound at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden and Trinity River Audubon Center.
Time is running out for you to register before the Advance Registration deadline of October 15th. Don’t miss out on these special savings!
July 20th, 2012 Bob
The PBLU Schoolyard Habitat Project is a collaboration between the Buck Institute for Education, the Pacific Education Institute and the National Environmental Education Foundation. In the Schoolyard Habitat Project students become engaged learners as they research, design and implement a plan to enhance their school campus by creating wildlife habitat, planting native plants or even removing weeds and invasive plants from the school grounds. Elementary teachers are encouraged to participate in either the summer or fall courses. A Schoolyard Habitat Project for secondary teachers will be available in time for the fall course dates.
Sign up today to take a free series of online classes designed to walk you through the PBL essentials. Learn how to apply PBL to a capstone project and engage your students in practicing math and language arts skills while enhancing the wildlife habitat of their school campus through low or no cost strategies!
For details and to register go to: http://www.pblu.org/projects/schoolyard-habitat-project
Classroom Earth’s mission is to increase the ability of K-12 teachers to integrate environmental education into curricula so that students are prepared to be a part of environmental solutions.