2018 Summer Professional Development for School Forest Teachers

Get outside and learn! As summer approaches, outdoor and environmental education trainings abound. We've gathered a great listing of professional development opportunities offered by partners.

May 20-22: Gathering Partners of Natural Resources Conference, Brainerd
A collaboration of University of Minnesota Extension Aquatic Invasive Species, Forestry, and Minnesota Master Naturalist programs, this conference provides an array of sessions and field trips.  Keynote speaker Dan Molloy will talk about working with biocontrol agents and their ability to deal with pest critters such as black flies and zebra mussels. Keynote speaker Sam Potter will discuss climate projections and what they say about Minnesota's future. Cragun's Resort, Brainerd. For questions contact [email protected] or call Lynette Lothert at 320-589-1711.

June 11-15 The Fundamentals or River Science: Applied Geomorphology and Ecology, Marshall
Teach the fundamentals of stream science including geomorphology, hydrology, connectivity, biology, and water quality. Participants will learn about river science, river monitoring and assessment, and restoration including solutions, designs, and applications that ensure long-term health and stability.  Check out the 2018 flyer or contact Amy Childers for more information.

June 19-21 Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop, St. Joseph
Come sharpen your earth science teaching skills and learn about the geology and resources of northeastern Minnesota with 16 different sessions and multiple field trip opportunities. College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph. $45 registration. Participants will receive food, a variety of resource materials including rock and mineral samples, lesson plan ideas, posters, maps, videos, and other useful information. Price increases after May 14. For questions contact Andrea Reed.

June 21-22 The River Starts Here Workshop, Whitewater State Park
This first annual collaborative workshop provides educators with resources and tools to use water as a context for learning in the classroom, while addressing Minnesota academic standards. Participants get instruction and hands-on, indoor and outdoor water-based education activities, lessons from MinnAqua, Projects Learning Tree, WILD, and WET, introduction to ESRI story mapping, tour of the Whitewater watershed, catered lunch from local farmers and Q & A with farmers, annual state park permit, and 16 CEUs. $35/person. Optional lodging at Whitewater State Park (cabins or campsites), but act quickly!

Waters to the Sea Rivers Institutes

  • June 25-27 St. Croix River Institute
  • July 23-25 Mississippi River Institute

The Rivers Institutes are designed to increase teachers' science content knowledge and investigation skills, and help area educators translate their professional experiences into meaningful, engaging classroom investigations. The institute focuses on elementary and middle school classroom teachers, as well as teams of teachers. All educators are welcome to apply. Free. Institutes include lunches, Waters to the Sea® multimedia tool and 21 CEUs. Two graduate credits from Hamline University are available at a reduced rate. For questions, contact Sara Robertson.

June 25-28 Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom, Fergus Falls
The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center is hosting this free workshop for K-12 teachers concurrently with a biology camp for gr. 5-6 students. Teachers will observe education and natural resource professionals and apply outdoor classroom methods outdoors with children, in a supportive team teaching environment. They will learn innovative ways to use an outdoor classroom and gain knowledge of prairie pothole ecosystems.

June 26-28 Will Steger Foundation: Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, Collegeville
Engage in hands-on activities that bring climate change concepts into the classroom and learn best practices for climate change interpretation. Hear from experts in climate science, climate change education, and climate solutions. Dig into their Next Generation Climate curriculum, explore the St. John's arboretum, and network with others who teach climate change. St. John's University, Collegeville.
Through the contributions of several generous donors, 30 teachers will receive full-registration scholarships and limited funding for lodging and travel. Priority will be given to first-time attendees and grades 6-12 teachers with demonstrated need. Scholarship Application site.

June 26-28 Geo-Inquiry Institute, St. Paul
The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education, along with National Geographic will offer a 3-day institute for middle school earth science and social studies teachers based on a new interactive geography education program: The Geo-Inquiry Process. Geo-Inquiry is a process designed to guide educators and students through the phases of asking and answering geographic/environmental questions in order to make a difference in the world. Macalester College, St. Paul. Free, 18 CEUs, lunch, and a $100 stipend are provided. For further information contact [email protected].

Aug 6-8 WaterWorks! A Drinking Water Institute for Educators, Rochester
Enrich your water-related curriculum, investigate drinking water quality and chemistry, learn about inquiry-based models for your classroom, and find water resources within your community. This three-day, hands-on workshop allows grade 4-10 science teachers to gather information from expert presenters about how safe, reliable drinking water is delivered to your community, as well as drinking water issues facing Minnesota. Check out the tentative agenda. For questions, contact Sara Robertson.

August 11 Minnesota Association for Environmental Education Conference, Savage
Get inspired with new ideas and build connections at this Environmental Education conference. McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center, Savage. Details coming soon. Check out their Facebook event page for updates.

Online Project Learning Tree (PLT) workshops
Several options to choose from, participate any time on your own. Options include: Early Childhood, K-8, and GreenSchools, plus explore PLT's eUnits on TreeMendous Trees (K-2), Energy in Ecosystems (gr. 3-5), and Carbon and Climate (gr. 6-8)

DNR education and teacher professional development
Check out the DNR events calendar for up-to-date information on Project Learning Tree, WET, and WILD workshops.