Monday, February 14, 2011

environmental education conference - a change of pace

I'm not exactly feeling myself. I don't want to talk about my poor kitty anymore, but I'm still feeling sick about the loss.

No sooner did I have to put the cat down, then the very next day I had to go to a work conference, overnight. My first night away from E. I was so upset about the cat that I didn't have time to dwell on how hard it might be to leave E. The conference provided a distraction, that's for sure.

This work conference was the much anticipated annual MAEOE (Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education) conference in College Park, MD. Translation: giant convention of nature-loving geeks!

I mean no disrespect, I obviously count myself among the nerds. The goal of the conference is to educate and energize professionals in the field. Mission accomplished! To give you a sampling of my sessions:

-how to make an oyster reef ball (check out what they did when Memorial Stadium in Baltimore came down)
-natural history of bees (colonial versus solitary, it was the bee's knees :)
-how to use National Geographic's FieldScope with GPS to mark points, monitor watershed data, etc.
-natural history of frogs and how to participate in FrogWatch monitoring
-all about Maryland's DNR curriculum for finned fish
-how to use and create a Green Map
-a look at the Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence compiled by NAAEE (North American Association for Environmental Education) - this was a glorious validation for our curriculum at The Nature Preschool at Irvine, and research-based at that.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend, you won't regret it. Even if your sessions turn out to be lack-luster or not as informative as you'd hoped, the networking opportunities are worth the while. If you are not in Maryland, I'm sure your state has something similar (try the NAAEE site above).

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Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!

Yes, peas are delicious - and funny!
Our little guy at 15 months, February 2011.