Updates & Opportunities

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Updates & Opportunities Archive

For upcoming events go to the DNR Calendar.

NEW - Science Educator Institute

Starting Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Join us at Great Lakes Aquairum for an in-depth look at current research in the Great Lakes Basin. Meet a local scientist, learn about their work and explore relevant curricular connections. Free resources will be provided to support your teaching and learning! Open to educators in both formal and non-formal settings who work with K-12 students.

Brought to you by Great Lakes Aquarium, DNR MinnAqua Program and the Fulbright Ecoleadership Program

Cost: Free

Dates: Tuesdays, February 15th, March 1st, March 15th, March 29th, April 12th, May 3rd, August 16th, and August 30th.

Time: Each session will run from 4:00-6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration: Registration is required. Space is limited. Email Sarah Erickson or call 218-740-2007 for more information or to reserve your spot.


  • February 15th – Long term recovery of coastal wetlands and water quality in the St. Louis River estuary - Dr. Joel Hoffman, EPA
  • March 1st – Using diatoms to understand the ancient lake (Paleolimnology) – Victoria Shaw, Natural Resource Research Institute
  • March 15th – Story of Lake Superior’s steelhead - Minnesota DNR Fisheries
  • March 29th – Mercury, Sediments, Bugs, Oh My! - Natural Resource Research Institute
  • August 16th – Marine Debris and plastics, Dr. Lorena M. Rios, University of Wisconsin-Superior

A SIP OF SCIENCE - ** Every 2nd Wednesday**

Road de-icing salt impact on Twin Cities Waters

Wednesday, February 9, 5:30p.m.

Aster Cafe, 125 SE Main Street, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis


Nearly 350,000 tons of road salt is applied for de-icing in the Twin Cities metro area every year. The salt keeps our roads safe during winter, but where does it all go when the ice melts? Join us for happy hour to hear about University of Minnesota Civil Engineering Professor Heinz Stefan's investigation into the effects of road salt on local water quality and the steps that could be taken to address the issue.
The talk takes place during happy hour at the Aster Cafe || Food and Drink Available for Purchase

Environmental Education Cohort: An opportunity for elementary educators to dialogue and learn ways to blend EE into instruction

Starting Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011

You are invited to join a dedicated group of elementary educators focused on integrating and embedding Environmental Education and outdoor instruction into every day instruction. Join us for one Saturday or as many as works for you schedule.

An opportunity for elementary educators to dialogue and learn ways to blend EE into instruction.

Sponsored by Jeffers Foundation; Facilitated by Cara Rieckenberg, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools Environmental Education Coordinator


  • Saturday, January 29-Focus: Quick and simple ways to integrate EE (Receive the EcoTime Cards and CD)
  • Saturday, February 26-Focus: The Nature of Math - Teach Math within the context of the Environment
  • Saturday, March 12-Focus: Reading and Writing with the Environment in Mind
  • Saturday, April 16-Focus: Tips and Tricks for Outdoor Instruction
  • Saturday, May 21-Focus: Creating and Maintaining Outdoor Classrooms - Tour several different schoolyards for ideas

Location for all Gatherings:

McColl Pond ELC, 13550 Dakota Ave S, Savage, MN


8:30-10:30am with 45-60 minutes devoted to the focus and the rest of the time used as conversation on the focus or similar topics that are brought to the table

To reserve a spot go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8YVX2VR and indicate which dates you'll join us. Drop-ins are always welcome, but reservations guarantee we'll have enough materials.

Consider it an opportunity to attend topic specific mini-workshops at no cost!! CEUs available.

Questions? Email Cara

FREE Climate Change poster from EPA Region V 

Go to: http://www.epa.gov/r5climatechange/ and scroll down to the bottom. They’ll mail you as many copies as you need. The back of the poster has a couple excellent activities for teachers, written by the Earth Day Network and Will Steger Foundation.

Toyota TAPESTRY Program Now Accepting Entries for 21st Annual Science Grant Competition

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, the largest science teacher grant program of its kind in the nation, is now accepting entries for the 2011–2012 program year.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., and administered by NSTA, the program offers $10,000 grants to K–12 teachers for innovative science projects that enhance environmental science education in their school and/or district over a one-year period.
Fifty $10,000 grants totaling $500,000 will be awarded this year. Applicants must either be an elementary teacher who teaches science in the classroom or a middle or high school science teacher, with a minimum of two years teaching experience. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals.

Since the program’s inception in 1990, Toyota TAPESTRY grants totaling more than $9.2 million have been awarded to science teachers across the country.

For more information about the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program or to learn how to apply, visit the TAPESTRY website. Applications must be submitted no later than February 23, 2011, to be considered.


On or around March 20, 2011, there are storytelling events happening around the world, focussed on WATER, the theme of this year's WORLD STORYTELLING DAY. Larry Johnson and Elaine Wynne, KEY OF SEE STORYTELLERS, brought the predecessor of World Storytelling Day to the U.S. from Scandinavia in 1995, and in 2003 they helped a group of storytellers around the world turn the event into WORLD STORYTELLING DAY. Larry is available this year to go into schools to help students (l) look at some stories on the importance of water as a resource, (2) practice some effective storytelling techniques, and (3) use story to teach and speak out for responsible water usage. There's more information on the Rice Creek Watershed District where Larry is already funded to do this activity in schools, but he can, of course, contract to go anywhere.

Larry Johnson, Key of See Storytellers 612-747-3904