NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION NEWS


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CONTENTS:
September Littoral News
USDOE Green Strides: Welcoming Baby Green Ribbon….Sustainably
See the First Live-Streaming Views of Wild Condor Nests
August 2015: Learning More about a Threatened NJ Bat Species
NAAEE EE News for August 19, 2015
NJ Tree Foundation: Volunteer, Join our Board, or be Featured on our Instagram!
Science Update: Create a Pollinator Paradise
eNews: A New Species of Hummingbird and Three Ways to Solve Your Bird Mysteries
Green Knight newsletter -- August 2015 -- News of Environmental Issues and Events in New Jersey
August Sustainability Hero Announced
Raritan Headwaters Association August News - A Slice of Summer
EE at EPA: Understanding the Clean Power Plan
August Littoral News
Water Pages eNewsletter
NAAEE: EE News for July 29, 2015
NEEF Announces New Environmental Literacy Report
Banding BatCam Bats At N.J. Home
EE at EPA: Awards, New Partnership Announced
July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
Science Update: Catbird Secrets Revealed
GreenSchools! July Update
eNews: Help Us Test a New All About Birds Website
Earth Science Summertime compilation
CWF - July 2015: Be Terrapin Aware!
ICYMI: NJ's favorite beaches
E-NEWS: Grants, CEP rebates, Monmouth Hub, Mayor Ondish spotlight and more . .
Great Places: Beautiful Beach Preserves You Can Visit
Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for July
Survey: Help Grow Urban Green Spaces
Cloud Institute: What is Education for Sustainability? Plus Summer and Fall Programs
Sustainable Jersey July Sustainability Hero Announced
Raritan Headwaters Association July News - Yay, Summer's Here!
July Littoral News
Water Pages eNewsletter
EE at EPA: Community partnerships, pollinator awareness and climate education.
New Jersey Farm to School Network News: Summer 2015
Soil Health Resources for Districts and Partners
Science Update: Big News for Bats
Identify Your Bird with Computer Vision--Try It Out!
National Wildlife Federation's NJ Eco-Schools Action Newsletter
Map Them and Zap Them!
2015 Sleepaway Camps at PEEC
NWF wants you and your students to take the #Campout2015 pledge!
The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Success Saving Bats
June Littoral News
Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for June
Updates from the Cool Green Science Blog
EE at EPA: Historic Clean Water Rule Finalized
September Littoral News             (Posted: 9-2-15)

Click HERE.

USDOE Green Strides: Welcoming Baby Green Ribbon….Sustainably             (Posted: 8-27-15)

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the News

Welcoming Baby Green Ribbon….Sustainably

Over the past four years, I had the task of gradually breathing life into our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).  At the same time, participating stakeholders, feds, states, districts, and schools have taught me about sustainable schools -- and sustainable living.  Welcoming the other “Baby Green Ribbon” turned out to be a lesson in living in accordance with the Pillars of our award and it was only natural that I implement them as I prepared for his arrival. Read more about welcoming “Baby Green Ribbon” and living and working sustainably. >>>>

The Green Strides Tour will be back in 2016. Here’s a glimpse of the 2014 tour in Colorado at Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School in Fort Collins. >>>>

States Solicit U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Applications

Participating state education authorities have launched 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) competitions with deadlines to submit to them in the winter.  For applications, interested colleges and universities should contact their state higher education authorities, while schools and districts should contact their state education agencies.  Schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions are only eligible if nominated by state authorities.  State education authorities’ participation is voluntary.  Hearing from interested applicants can be helpful to those states considering participation.  State education authorities can find updated criteria and other state implementation guidance on our website and should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information.

Meet More of the 2015 Honorees

As the examples below indicate, U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees are demonstrating innovative practices for all to follow:

El Monte Union High School District, California  

In El Monte Union High School District (EMUHSD) collaborative relationships enable students to explore career options related to the environment and prepare them for participation in a sustainable society.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coordinates health and wellness policy and activities, while Caltrans introduces students to civil engineering careers related to wildlife conservation.  Los Angeles County regional parks allow opportunities for biking and nature study, and the local municipal water district sponsors solar boat project lessons.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brings lessons in water quality testing, and the city coordinates Safe Routes to School.  The Office of Naval Research contributes SeaPerch, underwater robotics for sustainable deep-sea engineering.  The district has successfully implemented USDA’s Rethink Your Drink and My Plate campaigns; and water-wise gardening with the help of the City of Rosemead and Gabrieleno Tongva Indians.  Cenergistic has helped change energy behaviors, generate cost savings, and reduce the district’s carbon footprint.  Southern California Edison organizes a solar roofing project, and Vons Credit Union, Edison International, and GRID Alternatives sponsor student projects to install solar panels on low-income family homes.  Hewlett Packard enables practical math and science experiences for students with an alternative energy greenhouse grant, while Pureology’s Green Champion prize allows a campus to build a greener future.  BP sponsors student wind-turbine designs and Lowes collaborates on community murals.  With State Farm, students relate lessons in history and earth science to earthquake preparedness in low-income communities.  The district received a $135,000 grant from Wal-Mart and the American Association for School Administrators for alternative breakfast.  With Eco-Schools USA, EMUHSD is steadily replacing water-intensive landscaping with xeriscaping, with an emphasis on pollinator plants.  Occidental College’s farm to school program increases student exposure to fresh produce, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona provides STEM mentors for solar boat and wildlife crossing structures projects, as well as professional development for teachers.  Similarly, Rio Hondo College provides STEM mentors for a green zoo construction project.  >>>>

As part of an exploration of local watershed, Arroyo High School students visit the Aquarium of the Pacific to complete dissolved oxygen labs.

Charles F. Patton Middle School, Kennett Square, Penn.

Patton has installed HVAC systems with air changes, automatic temperature controls, solar arrays that power a greenhouse, low-flow toilets and faucets, and a drip line irrigation system.To improve the health of students and staff, Patton uses green cleaning products, reduces hazardous waste, and implements Integrated Pest Management.Patton supports local farmers by purchasing locally grown produce, harvesting and using vegetables from school gardens, and participating in healthy taste tests.Grounds include 30 raised beds, a greenhouse, wildlife and native plant habitats, a solar array, composting, pervious trails, protected wetlands, and plantings by a local farmer.Two outdoor classrooms provide space for learning in a natural environment. Science classes go outside regularly to explore nature, conduct experiments, learn about the growing process, water, and harvest.Orienteering classes teach students how to use a compass and calculate distance, as well as how to find an object using coordinates.Patton implements a bee and garden curriculum, and teaches students about renewable and alternative energies, as well as water conservation and quality.Students calculate their ecological footprints and the effect of human activity. They investigate the impact and develop problem-solving solutions to local and global issues.Eighth graders choose an environmental project for the school or their community.Field trips to sites such as Stroud Water Research Center teach students about water conservation and local streams and rivers.Teachers participate in professional development opportunities addressing standards associated with the environment, energy, and ecology standards. >>>>

At Patton Middle School, students build garden beds, fill them with newspaper and soil, plant the seeds or seedlings, and harvest. In the summer, the Adopt-A-Bed program keeps the gardens thriving with help from the community members who water, weed, harvest, and deliver produce to a local food bank and homeless shelter.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

The University of Virginia (UVA) campus includes some 39 LEED registered or certified constructions. As a partner in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, UVA is committed to reducing building energy use 20 percent by 2020. The school reduced total water consumption by more than 32 percent since the 1999 peak, despite increases in square footage and population. The university participates in the Keep America Beautiful Recycle Mania. In the school’s dining halls, reusable to-go container programs provide zero-waste alternatives to compostable to-go containers; and a reusable punch-card incentive program offers benefits like free coffee and meals to those who use a reusable mug, bag, or to-go container. UVA Dining, which seeks to provide local, organic, humanely raised, and fairly traded food options for students, has achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification. Composting has diverted over 600 tons of organic matter from landfills to date. During the 2014 football season, UVA launched a pilot zero-waste program in the football stadium, yielding over 15,000 pounds of compost, and an 80 percent diversion rate from the stadium’s suites. UVA achieved Green Seal GS-42 certification, becoming the first university in Virginia and the third in the country to attain this level of certification for its green cleaning program. The Global Studies-Environments+Sustainability Major allows students to address problemsassociated with human transformations of the earth through the triple lens of environment, equity, and economy. The Global Sustainability Minor allows students to understand the many facets of sustainability and apply this knowledge to their daily lives. UVA's interdisciplinary Department of Environmental Sciences offers courses of study that help students to learn more about global sustainability issues and technology’s potential to address global challenges. The Committee on Sustainability includes faculty, student, and staff members dedicated to fostering and building sustainability across the grounds. >>>>

On World Water Day 2014, University of Virginia students raise water conservation awareness.

Resources and Opportunities

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues Through Back to School Season

The Green Strides Webinar Series promotes sessions offered by federal agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  Check out the webinar calendar and submit suggestions of webinars on school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov so that we may promote them.

Sept. 2, 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.    Destination Mars – Looking for Life (NASA)

Sept. 9, 2015, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.    Mission to Mars Series – Curiosity, On Target!  (NASA)

Sept. 14, 2015, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  Comparing Earth to Mars (NASA)

Sept. 15, 2015, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.  ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating (EPA)

Sept. 15, 2015, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Art and the Cosmic Connection (NASA)

Sept. 16, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (en español) (EPA)

Sept. 22, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

Sept. 23, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

Sept. 29, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

Sept. 29, 2015, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Primarily Physics (NASA)

Sept. 30, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 301 (EPA)

Apply for Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants by September 30th 

Captain Planet Foundation’s (CPF) Small Grants fund environmental stewardship and service-learning projects that engage children in critical thinking, research, inquiry investigations, and real-world environmental problem-solving.  CPF’s Small Grants are given in five major areas: Earth (recycling, conservation, and gardening projects), Fire (energy conservation and renewable energy projects), Wind (air pollution and pollinator conservation projects), Water (water conservation, watershed, and monitoring projects) and Heart (community vitality and outdoor education projects).  Grants provide educators with the funding needed to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies.  >>>>

Apply for Project Learning Tree’s GreenWorks Grant by September 30th

Do you have an idea for an environmental improvement project but need funds to implement it?  Project Learning Tree is accepting applications for a school/community native plant garden, a forest improvement project, a streamside restoration plan, a recycling program, or energy conservation project targeting students. Grants are offered for service-learning projects that improve schools or restore natural habitats. This year, grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,000. >>>>

It’s All About the Fruits and Veggies Garden Grant Deadline is Oct. 2, 2015

It’s All About the Fruits and Veggies Grant program is open to schools, community organizations, and nonprofit programs in the United States gardening with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18. Programs will receive gardening equipment, curriculum, soil amendments, seeds, and plants to help create engaging nutrition and gardening experiences. Recipients will be selected based on plans to promote nutrition education, ideas for incorporating fruit and vegetable activities into the curriculum, and the ability to sustain the program over multiple years. >>>>

Events

National Public Lands Day is September 26

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. NPLD 2015 will take place on Saturday, September 26.  Find resources and planning tips on the website; register your event site or find an existing one; and connect with NPLD on Facebook and Twitter>>>>

The NAAEE Annual Conference is Oct. 15-18th in San Diego

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has its annual conference Oct. 14-18th in San Diego with the theme of “Building a Stronger and More Inclusive Movement.”  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical success factors for everyone working in the field of environmental education. This year's conference will explore ways to enrich and expand this work and workforce, along with other strategies for strengthening the field and achieving greater collective impact.  Strands include: Conservation and Education; Environmental Education in Urban Settings; Inspiring Connections to the Outdoors; Research-Based Practice in Environmental Education; Teaching About Environmental Issues and Systems Thinking; Greening Pre-K–12, Higher Education, and Vocational Training.  >>>>

The CEFPI Annual Conference is Oct. 22-26th in San Diego

The Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI) hosts an annual conference for those who plan, design, equip, furnish, and maintain places where students learn, this year under the theme “Outside Out.”  LearningSCAPES offers groundbreaking educational sessions, inspiring keynotes, and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future.  LearningSCAPES will also host suppliers of educational furniture, flooring, technology, and the widest array of products used in places where children learn.  CEFPI's mission is to connect those whose passion is to create the best possible learning spaces that encourage innovation, critical thinking, collaborative teamwork, and other skills that will empower students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. >>>>

Food Day is Oct. 24th, 2015

Every October 24th, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to encourage improved food policies.  It’s a day to resolve to make changes in diets and to take action to solve food-related problems in our communities at the local, state, and national level. This annual event involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.  This year, Food Day has the theme "Toward a Greener Diet."  Hundreds of events are being planned on and around October 24th in all 50 states.  >>>>

See the First Live-Streaming Views of Wild Condor Nests             (Posted: 8-27-15)

Click HERE.

August 2015: Learning More about a Threatened NJ Bat Species             (Posted: 8-21-15)


EXPLORATIONS
A monthly e-newsletter to connect you to New Jersey's incredible wildlife.

Female Northern long eared bat (c) Ethan Gilardi
Tracking a Federally Listed New Jersey Bat Species
This summer, our wildlife ecologist Stephanie Feigin teamed up with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and Rutgers University to conduct a statewide mist netting and radio telemetry project to learn more about the summer distribution and habitat selection of Northern long-eared bats; an important project that can shed light on a species we know all too little about.

Read the exciting news about our statewide Northern long-eared bat mist netting surveys, straight from our wildlife ecologist who spent her summer in the field!
A Memorable Visit: The South River Dolphin
Like the beluga whale that once visited Trenton, a bottlenose dolphin found an out-of-the-way place that it could call home far up the South River.

Read the story of the South River Dolphin, as told by Executive Director David Wheeler, who joined the crowds with his son to see the bottlenose on the Old Bridge - East Brunswick border of Central Jersey.
WILD Expo 2015: September 12 and September 13
The New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo connects people with the natural world by providing a unique blend of conservation information, education and hands-on opportunities to learn outdoor skills and activities. Visitors can learn about, and try fishing, hiking, shooting sports, kayaking, camping skills, rock climbing, wildlife watching and much more!

Join us in Jackson Township for bat house building and rain barrel workshops. We will also have a number of activities for Boy and Girl Scouts, CWF merchandise for sale, and discounts on CWF membership. Learn more.
Project RedBand Continues on Barnegat Bay
Osprey Close up
With an estimated 600 nesting pairs of ospreys throughout the state, our "fish hawks" are doing well. Why put so much time and effort into monitoring a seemingly healthy population? 

Even though their population is much larger than it was decades ago, ospreys still face a variety of threats that jeopardize their ultimate survival. 

Successful Nesting Season for "Jersey Girl"
Photo by L. Oughton

This season was her fourth at this nesting location. In 2014, the pair lost two chicks due to a severe winter storm, so it was great when nest observer Linda Oughton reported good news during the 2015 season. 

NAAEE EE News for August 19, 2015             (Posted: 8-21-15)

EENews

NAAEE Announcements

Conference News

Two Weeks Left to Save on Registration!
Early bird registration for the NAAEE conference and Research Symposium closes on August 31. Save $70 or more by signing up soon! The conference offers thought-provoking keynotes, and 500 concurrent sessions from which to construct a program that’s perfect for you! Read more in the registration packet. Be sure to check out the extraordinary four-day pre-conference excursion on Santa Cruz Island, known as “California’s Galapagos,” and other in-depth workshops and field trips offered on Thursday.

Exhibits & Ads
There’s still a short time to purchase your exhibit booth and ads and make the cutoff for inclusion in the printed conference program. For more information, visit the Exibits & Ads page.

Volunteers Needed
It takes more than 100 onsite volunteers to keep the conference running smoothly, and we welcome your participation. Volunteers assist with registration, monitoring sessions, setting up and assisting with events, and many other tasks. Volunteers who work one half-day shift can attend one full day of the conference for free or register for the full conference at reduced rates. To apply, complete the online form. Questions? Email conference@naaee.org.

Share Your Talents!
There are three ways to share your work during the opening reception on Thursday night: the Share Fair for nonprofit organizations, the Author’s Corner to promote publications, and the new Members Marketplace for creative wares. We’re also seeking donations for the Stapp Scholarship Auction. Learn more and sign up through conference registration.

Learn more about the conference and Register!


Webinar: Big Money for Small Groups

August 26, 2015, TIME 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. Central, 2:00 p.m. Mountain, 1:00 p.m. Pacific
80% of charitable funds come from individual donors, not foundations or corporations. Learn to build a fundraising program that honors your mission, engages potential donors, and raises more money.

  • Where money comes from: Building a diverse funding base
  • Redefining fundraising: It's not just asking for money
  • Identifying prospective donors
  • Engaging your board in fundraising

Watch a quick teaser >

Presenters by Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson (www.andyrobinsononline.com) provides training and consulting for nonprofits in fundraising, board development, marketing, earned income, planning, leadership development, facilitation, and train-the-trainer programs. He specializes in the needs of organizations working for human rights, social justice, artistic expression, environmental conservation, and community development.

Over the past 20 years, Andy has worked with organizations in 47 US states and Canada. Recent clients include the American Bar Association, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, American Rivers, the Land Trust Alliance, and many, many local organizations. Andy is the author of six books, including Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money.

Register here >>
Password: education


Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators, Second Edition

Edited by Martha C. Monroe and Marianne E. Krasny. The second edition of Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators has been released with 10 chapters and is now available to download. Environmental educators work in a variety of places to design, deliver, and evaluate programs that inform, motivate, and empower learners of all ages. This collection of resources, perspectives, and examples will help nonformal environmental educators learn more about the field of EE, access resources and gain skills to improve their practice, and over time, build a community of practitioners to advance the field.

http://www.naaee.net/publications/AcrosstheSpectrum


News from the Natural Start Alliance

Visit a fairy village in Seattle, meet a professor helping teachers use nature and the outdoors as a classroom, and catch up on the latest news and research in early childhood environmental education.

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com...


Awards, Grants, Contests

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program

Deadline: November 4, 2015
The 20162017 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching (DA) Program for U.S. K–12 teachers is a unique international professional development opportunity through the Fulbright Program. Teachers gain new skills, learn new instructional methods and assessment methodologies, and share best practices with international colleagues and students, and have the opportunity to expand their understanding of other cultures and international education systems.

http://www.fulbrightteacherexchange.org


Diversity and Environmental Justice Highlights

Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Course

This two- to three-week InTeGrate teaching module enables students to identify the freshwater components of the hydrologic cycle and connect them to the basic need of all human beings for equal access to clean freshwater. Developed by Professor Adriana Perez, University of Texas-El Paso; Professor Jill S. Schneiderman, Vassar College; Meg Stewart, independent instructional technologist; and Professor Joshua Villalobos, El Paso Community College.

http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials...


North American Events, Training, Announcements

Every Kid in a Park

Beginning September 1, 2015, U.S. fourth-grade students will receive an Every Kid in a Park (EKiP) pass that will give them free access to all of the federal lands and waters across the country for a full year, with the goal of getting more than one million fourth graders onto public lands. The EKiP initiative is an effort among the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park


Wilderness Management Distance Education Course

Registration Deadline: September 23, 2015
Course Dates: October 5, 2015–January 29, 2016

This Wilderness Management Planning course is designed to meet the needs of a broad range of students from wilderness professionals, outdoor recreational planners and educators, to members of conservation groups and interested citizens. The course will explore basic planning theory, planning concepts, and effective plan writing. A substantial part of this discussion is the role of public participation in planning. It also discusses differences in planning among the four federal land management agencies, with a comparison of the philosophy and application of each. Credit offered through the University of Montana, Missoula.

http://wmdep.wilderness.net/406_563.htm


PolarTREC: Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating

Deadline: September 8, 2015
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is currently accepting applications from teachers for teacher research experiences. Teachers are invited to submit an application to participate in field research learning experiences during the 2016 (usually Arctic) or 2016-17 (usually Antarctic) field seasons.

http://www.polartrec.com/teachers/application


Resources for Students and Educators

Water Runs Through This Book

From Fulcrum Publishing, in cooperation with the Ecology Center at Utah State University, Water Runs Through This Book celebrates this essential ingredient to life: water. Author and educator Nancy Bo Flood and award-winning photographer Jan Sonnenmair, combine imagination and scientific facts to explore this ever-changing and mysterious element. Written for ages 8–12, Water Runs Through This Book teaches how vital water is to all aspects of our lives and includes conservation tips everyone can incorporate into daily life.

http://www.fulcrum-books.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=6218


Quiver Tree, Phantom Orchids, and Rock Splitters

Plants are often exposed to bitter cold, relentless winds, intense heat, drought, fire, pollution, and many other adverse growing conditions. Yet they are still able to cope with their environment, surviving and often even thriving. Quiver Trees, Phantom Orchids and Rock Splitters: The Remarkable Survival Strategies of Plants showcases these exceptional plants with absorbing information and stunning photos that will inspire a new respect for nature’s innovation and resilience.

http://www.ecwpress.com/quiver-trees


Greening School Grounds is Now an ebook

Over 10,000 copies of our most popular book, Greening School GroundsCreating Habitats for Learning, were sold before it went out of print. Due to popular demand, Green Teacher has republished the book in a brand new format—as an ebook! The most complete compendium of schoolyard greening articles and activities one can find on the topic. Over 175 educators contributed to it. Now available online ($9.99 single copy or as low as $3.99 for bulk copies).

http://greenteacher.com/greening-school-grounds-ebook


This email bulletin is provided by NAAEE with funding from the EECapacity Project. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Education supports the EECapacity Project under cooperative agreement NT-83497401with Cornell University. The contents of this email bulletin do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Cornell University, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

NJ Tree Foundation: Volunteer, Join our Board, or be Featured on our Instagram!             (Posted: 8-20-15)


FALL 2015 NEWSLETTER

Volunteer this Fall
Camden and Newark, NJ

Dig in! The NJ Tree Foundation's fall planting season will kick off in September in both Camden and Newark. Help dig holes, plant trees, and lay mulch alongside other amazing volunteers. For a full list of events, please visit the links below:
Camden Volunteer Events
Newark Volunteer Events

Events take place on weekdays or weekends in September, October, and November. We recommend volunteers sign up in advance by contacting our staff







Green Streets Crew for Hire
Tree planting. Rain Gardens. Tree watering, mulching, and maintenance. We do that!

The NJ Tree Foundation's fall tree planting schedule is filling up. Contact us now to have your trees planted before the holidays. Our Green Streets Crew is thoroughly trained, bonded, and insured. Municipal, school, government, and corporate contracts welcome. All profit secured through our contract services go directly back into our free educational and tree planting programs.
 
For a free estimate, please contact Lisa Simms at njtf1@juno.com.

For more information about Green Streets, please visit our website











NJTF Seeks New Board Members
Since 1998, the NJ Tree Foundation has planted over 202,000 trees in New Jersey's most urban cities. Want to help?

We are looking for energetic, creative, and committed people to join our Board of Trustees for a two-year term. 

For more information and an application, please email Lisa Simms at  
njtf1@juno.com.





#TreePitTuesday - Submit Your Photos!
#TreePitTuesday takes place weekly on the NJ Tree Foundation's Instagram account (@njtrees). It celebrates the personality, life, and love that residents bring to their community's trees. 

Please send us photos of your favorite tree pits for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page! Photos can be emailed to Jessica at  jfranzini.njtf@gmail.com.





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Science Update: Create a Pollinator Paradise             (Posted: 8-20-15)

Click HERE.

eNews: A New Species of Hummingbird and Three Ways to Solve Your Bird Mysteries             (Posted: 8-20-15)

Click HERE.

Green Knight newsletter -- August 2015 -- News of Environmental Issues and Events in New Jersey             (Posted: 8-6-15)

Click HERE.

August Sustainability Hero Announced             (Posted: 8-6-15)

Click HERE.

Raritan Headwaters Association August News - A Slice of Summer             (Posted: 8-6-15)


   VISIT US ONLINE          |         JOIN          |      DONATE

 

RHA's Citizen Scientists Make a Huge Splash!

 
Our professional team was joined by 100 trained volunteers who fanned out across the watershed region to monitor 65 stream sites. Find out what we learned at RHA's State of Our Watershed Conference later this year.

 

Read more and check out what they saw!

 
 
Photo by Nick Romanenko  

 

Welcome!
  

RHA is proud to welcome Kristi MacDonald, PhD

as our Director of Science. Kristi has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Hudsonia, and NY/NJ Baykeeper on programs to guide decision-makers to incorporate protection of habitat and other ecosystem functions into local and
regional land use planning.

 

 
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Water and Wildlife Speaker Series: Edible Weeds, August 22
  

 

Join RHA and Rachel Mackow from Wild Ridge Plants on an easy hike along the trails of Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve. Rachel will teach us how to identify and use edible wild plants--delicious, with many homeopathic benefits--commonly found in our area.
The New Nativists article in Edible Jersey magazine offers a nicely-penned overview of Wild Ridge Plants.
  

Register today! 

 
We're in Full Bloom!
  
Fairview Farm's Bird & Butterfly Garden is radiant with summer color from the more than 30 varieties of perennials, annuals, herbs, shrubs, and vines thriving here. Come and explore with your camera, sketch pad, paints, or notebook or just relax in the company of the birds and busy little pollinators that stop by for a visit.
 
 
Policy Update
  
We prevailed at the NJ Supreme Court in the Lippman case! RHA had signed on to the amicus brief in support of the law protecting whistleblowers. Oral arguments were held back in January 2015.

"This is a big win for us," said Bill Kibler, RHA Director of Policy, "because this decision helps protect senior employees who report their employers for violating environmental laws and regulations."

 
The New Jersey Supreme Court hears oral arguments in  Trenton in 2013. (Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
 
Watershed Watchdog Alert: Our Forests Are Under Attack!


 

Forests are one of our most important natural flood protections and the invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer could destroy acres of forests in a heartbeat. Read about these raiders of New Jersey's ash trees.

For information on what you can do to help, visit the State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture's website.

 

 

Well Testing Program On Tap This Fall
  
If your water comes from a private well, it's up to you to make sure it's safe to drink. No one is required to monitor it for you -- not the EPA, or the NJDEP, or even your town's health department.
 
Find out how safe your drinking water is by participating in RHA's Fall Community Well Testing Program, which runs from September 15 thru November 15. Look for your town in the schedule to be posted on our website on September 1.
 

We're Growing
  
RHA is seeking a creative, strategic and tactical Marketing & Communications Specialist.

We're also accepting applications for a paid part-time Groundwater Monitoring Intern for the fall of 2015.


 
 

 

All Summer: Self-Guided Nature Poetry Walk, White Trail at Fairview Farm


August 5: Chemical Stream Monitoring Training


August: rARiTan Art Month at Fairview Farm: Plein Air Workshop with Andrea Gianchiglia (8/8), Caitlin Albright (8/15), Lena Shiffman (8/22)


August 22: Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: Edible Weeds Hike at Fairview Farm with Rachel Mackow from Wild Ridge Plants


Sept. 15 - Nov. 15: Fall Well Testing Program


October 4: RHA's Old Fashioned Country Fair at Fairview Farm

  
Raritan Headwaters Association is on a mission to protect clean water in the north and south branch of the Raritan River. Join Us!

EE at EPA: Understanding the Clean Power Plan             (Posted: 8-4-15)

Click HERE.

August Littoral News             (Posted: 8-3-15)

Click HERE.

Water Pages eNewsletter             (Posted: 8-3-15)

Click HERE.

NAAEE: EE News for July 29, 2015             (Posted: 8-3-15)

NAAEE Announcements



 

Conference Registration is Open!
Registration is open for one of NAAEE’s most anticipated conferences ever! Check out the registration packet to learn about the exciting lineup of keynote speakers, workshops, and concurrent sessions, along with the Research Symposium, field trips, and special events. Explore timely topics in depth through the optional Thursday workshops: creating a diverse workforce, early childhood, systems thinking, climate change education, and much more.

Exhibits & Ads
Early registration numbers predict our highest-ever attendance! Don’t miss this opportunity to share your programs and resources with more than 1,200 environmental educators. For more information, visit http://www.cvent.com/events/naaee-annual-conference-research-symposium...

Volunteers Needed
It takes more than 100 onsite volunteers to keep the conference running smoothly, and we welcome your participation. Volunteers assist with registration, monitoring sessions, setting up and assisting with events, and many other tasks. Volunteers who work one half-day shift can attend one full day of the conference for free or register for the full conference at reduced rates. To apply, complete the online form at http://tinyurl.com/NAAEEVolunteers. For more information, contact us at conference@naaee.org.

Learn more about the conference and Register!


Awards, Grants, Contests


NSHSS Foundation Scholarships

National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) scholarship opportunities provide high school students financial support toward tuition at accredited colleges or universities. Membership required.

https://www.nshss.org


Wild Ones: Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program

Deadline: October 15, 2015
The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other nonprofit educational organizations for the purpose of establishing outdoor learning centers. Funds will be provided only for the purchase of native plants and seed.

http://wildones.org/seedmony.htm


Diversity and Environmental Justice Highlights

EPA EJ in Action Blog: Strength in Numbers

Check out the latest EPA Environmental Justice in Action blog post, Strength in Numbers: Tackling Environmental Challenges By Collaborating with the Neighbors Next Door, by Johnny DuPree of the Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors. Mayor DuPree talks about how mayors in Mississipi working together with their communities, EPA, and each other have accomplished things that would be otherwise impossible.

http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2015/07/strength-in-numbers


North American Events, Training, Announcements

NSTA Offering NGSS Webinars

NSTA is offering a series of free webinars to help increase science educators' understanding of the standards and ability to implement NGSS in the classroom. The summer and fall/winter schedule is listed online.

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia...


Professional Specialization Certificate in Ecological Restoration ~ Online

This four-course certificate provides advanced ecology training with special attention to the unique conditions and challenges presented by altered environments, offered by University of Victoria. Upcoming courses:

  • Design Principles for Natural Processes: September 7–December 13, 2015
  • Ecosystem Design through Propagation of Native Plants: January 4–April 10, 2016

http://www.uvcs.uvic.ca/sustainability/programs


AUNE Course Explores Cuba’s Lessons on Sustainable Food

When graduate students from Antioch University New England (AUNE) traveled to Cuba this past spring to study agriculture and food systems, they returned inspired. Dr. Libby McCann, faculty member and director of the environmental education program, has offered this course for a number of years. It’s just one of many examples showing how AUNE students apply what they learn in the real world. This year’s trip, from an historical context, was extraordinary; the group returned with a unique perspective about the before-and-after impact the newly-lifted political and trade sanctions have on the country’s people and culture. Find more information on the Food System of Cuba course here.


Green Ambassadors Institute: Bio+Diversity

Join the Green Ambassadors Institute for a three-part series exploring the intersection of social and environmental justice, sustainable food, and service learning.

http://www.greenambassadors.org/biodiversity


Presentations and Publishing Opportunities

12. Green Teacher Magazine Call for Proposals: Place-Based Education Issue

Deadline extended: August 15, 2015
What inspires teachers to take students out of the classroom to learn? What are the challenges? What are the rewards? Scheduled for publication in the summer of 2016, this special issue of Green Teacher will address the particular rewards and challenges teachers encounter while learning with their students outside of the classroom. Articles will encompass how educators (classroom teachers and nonformal educators) orchestrate place-based learning worldwide. Green Teacher welcomes contributions about the history of this practice, inspirational tales, how students meet standards, logistics of learning outdoors, and so on. Submit your outline of a possible contribution before August 15.

http://greenteacher.com/call-for-proposals...


Resources for Students and Educators

The Edublogger

Learn how to use new technology for successful blogs. Get tips on how to engage students in classroom blogs and social media. Edublogger offers teacher guides on Twitter, Flipboard, Feedly, and more.

http://www.theedublogger.com


YouTube: Faces of EPA

Learn about careers in the EPA and get to know EPA staff. The videos spotlight employees ranging from special agents, to ocean explorers, and others as they explain their career paths and passion for their work.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist...


Birds Without Borders

Birds Without Borders involves kids in investigations using eBird and other datasets and culminates in their devising conservation initiatives based on themes in Partners in Flight’s Saving Our Shared Birds report. Includes two free downloadable lessons, one on the ecological role of birds and the other on conservation planning.

http://www.crossingboundaries.org/bwb.php


Green Teacher's Spring Issue is Here

Green Teacher’s Spring Issue showcases engaging articles on a wide variety of fascinating topics. From bees to caves to youth farm projects and using photography as an educational tool, the Spring Issue has something to offer all teachers and nonformal educators. As with all issues of the nonprofit magazine, two of the articles are fully and freely available to non-subscribers. Everyone can read the first few paragraphs of each article, to help decide whether they might want to purchase the issue or become a subscriber. Note that Green Teacher has expanded the benefits of subscribing: all subscribers have full access to over 50 webinars and 300 articles and activities from past issues, that have been catalogued according to topic and age levels.

http://greenteacher.com/green-teacher-106-spring-2015

NEEF Announces New Environmental Literacy Report             (Posted: 7-28-15)

To view and download the report, visit http://neefusa.org/environmental-literacy.htm.

Banding BatCam Bats At N.J. Home             (Posted: 7-27-15)

A home where a colony of Big Brown Bats have been roosting in a bedroom window was recently visited by biologists with the NJDEP Div. of Fish and Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. The bats were tagged and data was collected to assist in learning more about them and their behavior. A 'batcam' has been streaming online from the window several years.

For an account and photos of the visit, as well as a link to the BatCam, visit http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2015/07/banding_bats_at_nj_batcam_home_photos_and_video.html.

EE at EPA: Awards, New Partnership Announced             (Posted: 7-27-15)

Click HERE.

July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)             (Posted: 7-23-15)

July
2015
July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
 
Greetings from GSGSC! The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Our primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. 
As always, this newsletter is for you as members of the Collaborative. It can serve as a forum to promote events and to highlight the good work that you all do, so please let me know what is going on so we can include your program in upcoming issues.
 
In this issue:
  • Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite with Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)
  • The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto 
  • Video Contest: Tell your STEM story by 8/1
  • How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself 
  • PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ by 8/14
  • Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM
  • Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings 
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool! 
  • Join The Connectory
  • Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality
  • Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects
P.S. If you're interested in additional articles, research and resources, feel free to reach out to me directly.
 
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite w/ Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)

For the first time since 2001, the U.S. Senate Thursday passed a sweeping overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the country's federal K-12 law, which if enacted would significantly roll back the role of the federal government in public education and give states more flexibility in the process.

The legislation, the Every Child Achieves Act, proved a rare example of bipartisan politicking, with co-authors Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., carefully ushering the measure through the amendment process and floor debate with little to no drama. In the end, they held their caucuses together to pass the bill, which would overhaul the law now known as the No Child Left Behind Act, with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, 81-17.

"Consensus among experts is not easy, but consensus is necessary in the U.S. Senate if we're going to deal with a complex problem like this, and that's exactly what we did," Alexander said. "We found a consensus not only on the urgent need to fix the law, but also on how to fix No Child Left Behind."

Murray relayed similar sentiments. "I've been very glad to work with Chairman Alexander on our bipartisan bill," she said. "It gives states more flexibility while also including federal guardrails to make sure all students have access to a quality education."

The legislation's passage in the Senate marks a crucial step in getting a bill to the president's desk. With the U.S. House of Representatives already having passed its Republican-backed ESEA rewrite last week, the two chambers can now begin working on conferencing their dueling reauthorization bills.

And dueling it will be, as the two proposals contain some stark policy differences.

Alexander said he's had "numerous" conversations with Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee and author of that chamber's bill.

"We're on parallel paths," Alexander said. "We know better than to try to make our institutions do exactly the same thing, but ... our bills are not that different."

The Senate PASSED the following amendment via voice vote:
  • An amendment from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., that would allow schools to partner with current and recently retired STEM professionals and tailor educational resources to engage students and teachers in STEM.
Click here to read more.
The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto

When Fran Bagenal began her career working on NASA's Voyager mission to the outer planets, she was among just a handful of women on the team. But that didn't phase her. "That's just how it was," she explains, adding that she was focused on particles and plasma. "Space physics was just my way of exploring the solar system." Now, as the particles and plasma science team leader on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, her response to the relative abundance of women on the team is met mostly with a shrug. "This isn't remarkable-it's just how it is." 

Bagenal's attitude regarding the strong female presence on the New Horizons mission is mostly echoed by colleagues who were informally surveyed. "I've never really thought about it," says Kim Ennico, a deputy project scientist on New Horizons who calibrates instruments on the spacecraft and monitors their status. "I'm really only conscious of it when there are only women in a meeting room."

In preparation for New Horizons' Pluto flyby-the mission phase between July 7 and July 16-Ennico works with Leslie Young, another deputy project scientist who is also the encounter planning leader on the science team. Young is tasked with fitting all of New Horizons' science goals into the precious few days the spacecraft will be in the near vicinity of Pluto. "I figure out the spacecraft's priorities," she says, describing the process as, "a job that means scheduling observations that can run simultaneously to gather the most data in a limited time."

Young's flyby playbook for New Horizons is turned into spacecraft commands by the science operation team managed by Tiffany Finley, who calls the gender balance on the New Horizons team "refreshing." 

Spacecraft commands are passed on to the mission operations team, managed by Alice Bowman. She personally reads every line of code before it's sent on a four-and-a-half hour journey to New Horizons. "I'm the last one who signs off on everything we send to the spacecraft," she explains. "I want to make sure it's perfect." 

Of course, the flyby science couldn't happen without the spacecraft arriving at its target, a major challenge that falls to Yanping Guo. As the mission design leader, Guo configured the entire mission trajectory, including the Jupiter and Pluto flybys. In short, "My job is to get New Horizons to Pluto." 

The dozens of women who are powering New Horizons to a history-making July 14 flyby of Pluto look forward to the day when the conversation about gender becomes irrelevant. "Girls will be inspired to be scientists and boys will grow up to be 'gender blind,' seeing women in science as the norm," says Young.

For deputy project scientist Cathy Olkin, it's simple. "New Horizons is about a group of talented, smart people who are passionate about the mission. That's what makes New Horizons awesome."

At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 New Horizons will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet.

Follow the path of the spacecraft in coming days in real time with a visualization of the actual trajectory data, using NASA's online Eyes on Pluto.

Stay in touch with the New Horizons mission with #PlutoFlyby and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/new.horizons1

Click here to read more.


A video competition for kids learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics outside of school. In three minutes, tell us how you are engaged in STEM learning and dream of a STEM future!

STEM learning opportunities are like charging stations that power up kids' learning. Afterschool programs, summer camps, libraries, museums and science centers all provide "charging stations" with hands-on activities, deep-learning experiences and opportunities to explore.

Young people get the charge with the support of afterschool professionals to see themselves as scientists, engineers, technology gurus and mathematicians - both now and in the future.

Kids are always told to dream big - afterschool programs allow them to do just that. Uncover the work of your program and students, and tell us what really happens in STEM afterschool.

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO TO YOUTUBE BY AUGUST 1 (FOR SUMMER PROGRAMS).

Click here to read more.
Click here to watch Julia's presentation.

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about - and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch - but more important, listen - to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. "Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], 'How I could change myself?'" says Takata, a student in the TED-Ed Club at the Punahou Summer School in Honolulu, Hawaii. "What I didn't realize was: I was letting someone who barely knew me tell me who I was."

Takata sees a connection between this experience and eating disorders, which she thinks of as "your mind having a competition with your body." "It's a constant battle between being skinny and being well-nourished. During this battle, your body is really taking a beating," she says. "All of this to achieve what society often portrays as beautiful."

"But you don't have to be skinny to be beautiful," she says. "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."

Click here to watch Julia's presentation.
PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ - apply by 8/14!
Click here to learn more and apply

The PSEG Foundation is accepting applications from afterschool, summer and youth development programs to develop new or enhance existing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational opportunities for students.  A total of up to $250,000 in grants will be awarded by the Foundation through its PSEG Science SPARK Partners funding program.

 

The PSEG Foundation will consider applications from our New Jersey service territory, as well as Salem and Cumberland counties, and our service/operation territories in Long Island and Albany, NY, and Bridgeport and New Haven, CT.

 

The number of recipients and their award amount will be decided based on the strength of the proposals received, at the discretion of Foundation staff.  Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, August 14 at 5 p.m. EST.  All applicants will receive notification about funding decisions in late September.

 

Applicants may apply directly through PSEG's online application under the PSEG Science SPARK Partners link. Visit www.pseg.com/community to apply.

 

About the PSEG Foundation
The PSEG Foundation (501c3) is the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).  The Foundation generally supports and invests in programs in three areas: community and the environment, education and safety. The Foundation provides grants to organizations in communities served by PSEG and its subsidiaries.

Click here to learn more and apply by 8/14!
Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM & STEM Education

Written by David Miller

Sure, STEM can be hard, but telling kids "not everyone can do it" may make both boys and girls less inclined to try.

We're used to reassuring our kids: "It's OK - not everyone can do difficult math."

But believing such messages may deter both boys and girls from choosing to pursue degrees in physical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a new national, longitudinal study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Instead, the key to piquing their interest in STEM may be telling them it's OK if they find the subjects hard to master. "Students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal," argued Lara Perez-Felkner, a coauthor of the study and assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State University.

The study used data from 4,450 students in the United States who later entered college to probe why some students shun math-intensive fields. The researchers' reasoning: If a student thinks math is too difficult, they become reluctant to try it.

"Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends," said Samantha Nix, lead author and doctoral student at Florida State University. "But fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.'"

High school students who believed they could master the toughest math concepts were more likely to major in math-intensive fields at the college level. Similar results were found for students who believed "most people can learn to be good at math" - something psychologists call a "growth mindset."

Beliefs still mattered even after statistically correcting for some other factors such as demographics and science coursework. However, these controls were somewhat limited. Math grades were omitted, for instance.

Performance on a difficult math test was used as a control. But students had "almost no probability" of correctly answering the test's problems. This fact limits how well the test can measure individual differences in math performance, since everyone was bound to bomb it.

Nevertheless, the encouraging results echo experiments in actual classrooms that better control for prior mathematics background.

Gender gaps in beliefs were modest. In 12th grade, boys rated their math abilities higher than girls did by 0.2 points on a 4-point scale, for instance. 

Despite the mostly gender-neutral findings, popular press ran with a story about girls lacking math confidence. "Misperception discourages girls from studying math-intensive science," proclaimed the study's press release. "Why do girls doubt their maths ability in the first place?" asked another outlet.

Some gender gaps in STEM are large. Men outnumber women 3-to-1 among college graduates in math-intensive STEM majors. But accounting for gaps in confidence did not explain the much larger gaps in majors, the study found.

Advancing inaccurate clichés like "women don't pursue science because of lack of confidence" does little to address the low numbers of women in STEM.

Nevertheless, related studies suggest beliefs concerning hard work may still affect boys and girls differently in some contexts. Messages about how the mind grows with hard work especially improved middle school girls' performance on a high-stakes math test, according to a prior experiment.

Professors prizing innate "genius" may also discourage women more than men, warned Andrei Cimpian, associate professor of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Women's personal growth mindsets - although undoubtedly beneficial - may not be sufficient to buffer them against an environment that cherishes innate talent," he says.

Across 30 academic fields, philosophy and math professors were the most likely to say that success in their fields depends on innate talent, according to a recent study Cimpian helped lead. Fewer women were found in fields that idolized "brilliance" over hard work. This remained true even after statistically correcting for other factors such as the math performance of graduate school applicants.

"It is crucial to look not just at what's in people's heads but also at the ability beliefs that are 'in the air,'" Cimpian concluded. Teachers who believe that math intelligence is fixed can both comfort and demotivate students with messages such as "It's OK- not everyone can be good at math."

Encouraging students to work their way through difficult math problems may actually help them change their mindset - and improve their outcomes. Struggling students' grades improve when they hear that intelligence can grow with hard work, according to a new study on "mindset interventions" involving 1,594 students in 13 high schools in the United States. Students spent roughly 45 minutes reading and then doing two writing exercises related to an article about the brain's ability to grow.

Improvement in grades was roughly one-tenth of a letter grade - a modest, but still impressive, improvement considering the intervention lasted less than an hour.

My research has looked at how opportunities such as sketching engineering designs shape basic spatial skills such as mentally rotating objects. These skills are important to success in math-intensive careers, yet often neglected in education.

"Oh, but you can't teach those skills," teachers often say when I've discussed my research with them. Contrary to such beliefs, I found that 12 hours of spatial instruction improved students' spatial skills and grades in a challenging calculus-based physics course. In fact, a quantitative review of 217 related studies found training spatial skills was "effective, durable, and transferable."

Teachers who continue to believe that "your basic intelligence can't change" - despite evidence to the contrary - may rob students of opportunities to learn and grow. Computer science and math instructors who endorse such beliefs, for instance, report being more likely to advise struggling undergraduates to drop their classes.

We need to abandon dangerous ideas that some people just can't do math. Neuroscience and educational research flatly contradict such beliefs. As the new study suggests, valuing hard work over innate "genius" might even spur students to tackle new challenges.

Click here to read more.
Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings
Click here to read more

The NRC's Board on Science Education recently released a report to help education leaders, policy makers, and funders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community. The report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings and illustrates how interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. It provides guidance on evaluating and sustaining programs.

Click here to download a free PDF of the report, read the report online, or order print copies.
 Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool!
Click here to get started

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM. Please note that programs that do not currently offer STEM are encouraged to complete the survey as well. We'd like to hear from all of you!

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!
Join The Connectory
Click here to begin

Use The Connectory to collaborate with STEM programs and promote your upcoming STEM opportunities to families. Programs are organizations providing STEM opportunities. Opportunities are time-bound STEM events such as summer camps, one-day events, workshops, career fairs, and competitions, and are automatically promoted to visitors based on their location.

Add your opportunities now so they will be available to the families across the country accessing The Connectory!
  • Join: Make an account profile
  • Create: Add your organization/program
  • Approval: Your program listing will be approved so it can be searched for by program providers
  • Add: Add all your STEM opportunities
  • Approval: Your time-bound opportunities will be approved so they can be searched for by families
  • Discover: Search for other programs providers to connect with
  • Opportunities are visible publicly to families. Programs are visible to other STEM providers.
The National Girls Collaborative Project Program Directory is now The Connectory.
   

SEATTLE (AP) - The Girl Scouts of Western Washington said it has returned a $100,000 donation because it came with the provision that the money couldn't be used to support transgender girls.

The group said it sent back the money in late May after the donor had asked that the gift be returned unless the group guaranteed it would not be used to benefit transgender girls.

"Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl," Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. "It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick."

The local council has transgender girls participating in the Girl Scouts, said Kate Dabe, the council's vice president of marketing and communications. To preserve their privacy, Dabe declined to say how many or provide other details about them.

But $100,000 is a lot of money, the group noted, representing about one-quarter of what it raises each year to provide financial help for girls to go to camp and participate in other activities.

So leaders of the local nonprofit, one of 112 independent local councils across the country and that serves more than 25,000 girls in western Washington, talked about how to they could communicate their needs to the community.

On Monday, the group set up a crowdfunding campaign asking for help to fill the gap. "Help us raise back the $100,000 a donor asked us to return because we welcome transgender girls," it said on its fundraising page on Indiegogo.com.

By Tuesday afternoon, thousands had given more than $185,000.

"We are astounded," Dabe said. "We were prepared for a 30-day campaign. We raised our goal in a day."

Dabe declined to share details about the donor, citing privacy concerns.

Ferland said the donor gave the money a few months back. But in the midst of a national discussion about the Girl Scouts USA being an inclusive organization and discussions about Bruce Jenner's transgender journey, the donor wrote back with the catch, Ferland said.

In an emailed statement Tuesday, Girl Scouts USA said that the group, "as a movement, has always been committed to inclusivity and supporting all girls." It said it works with local councils, which are responsible for their own fundraising. "Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority," the group added.

In Washington state, the local council has heard from both sides on the issue, but the overwhelming majority of comments have been positive, Ferland said.

"I understand that people have different views. We stand by the fact that Girl Scouts is for every girl. We knew going in that not everyone would share that view," Ferland said.

But plenty of supporters, including current and former Girl Scouts, praised the move on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to read more.
Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality: Women Fueling Science & Technology
Click here to learn more

Global Fund for Women created IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology in order to dig more deeply into an issue that we know affects women and girls around the world. IGNITE has highlighted unheard stories about women and girls in technology, shown the impact of equal access to technology for women and girls, and made the case for using technology as a tool to build a more equal world.

Here are five lessons we've learned about how technology can build gender equality.
  1. Get women and girls involved in the global technology revolution. Technology is a women's human rights issue. Read this call to action from our CEO Musimbi Kanyoro, and then join us as we imagine a future where women are given equal access to - and control of - technology.
  2. Change the story - celebrate women in leadership. Women are already leading the way when it comes to scientific and technological progress-you can meet dozens of them, past and present, in our #BetheSpark Gallery
  3. Get girls started early.  In our International Girls Hackathon #HackGirlsRights, we met girls who use their skills and imaginations to create technology solutions to issues that matter most to them. These girls know tech and aren't afraid to use it to build a better future.
  4. Get everyone involved. Throughout IGNITE, we partnered with incredible organizations around the globe, including UN Women on our #BetheSpark petition to end the gender technology gap.  With signatures from 182 countries around the world, we met--and exceeded--our goal of 20,000 people supporting greater access to and control over technology for the world's women and delivered this message to the leaders at the UN.  
  5. Find and support Changemakers.  The good news is, there are so many women and organizations already using technology as a tool to reach gender equality. We've highlighted the work of incredible organizations around the world who are creating change on the ground, from the Argentinian group ACCT that is tracking disappeared women and girls who fall victim to human trafficking, and Liga-Inan in Timor-Leste that uses SMS-text messaging to improve maternal and child health in rural communities.
We asked you to imagine a future where women and girls have equal access to and control over technology. Right now, we believe that that future is closer than ever before. The stories and experiences included in IGNITE have catalyzed Global Fund for Women to redouble our own commitment to increasing women and girls' access to and control of technology. We have created a Technology Fund, aimed to help women around the world use technology as a tool to build power and drive action, increase women's access to and control of technology, and help grassroots organizations use technology to advance women's and girls' human rights. We hope you will join us in making sure technology access is not a privilege of a few, but a right held by all.
 Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects

Written by Kristin Magaldi

As the rate of women enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects is still fairly low relative to their male counterparts, researchers are wondering what it is about the realm of math and science that is keeping women away. They know it is not that women are incapable; in fact, women have proved themselves capable time and time again, especially in the UK, where women taking two-year vocational courses in science and mathematics are outpacing their fellow male students. Yet today, women only hold 27 percent of all computer science jobs, while only 20 percent of women graduate with a related computer science degree. Researchers from Florida State University who have sought to study just that, believe it all boils down to a matter of perceptions.

According to their new study published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology, there is a pervasive misconception that starts when American girls are in high school, and prevents them from continuing on to physics, engineering, mathematics, or computer science (PEMC) careers later on. This belief comes from the misunderstanding that "difficult" mathematics is something you either can or cannot do, and that there is no room to learn. Researchers hope that now that they have isolated this way of thinking, they can change it with more positive enforcement for girls coming from school, home, and government policy.

"Our results indicate the potential for more women to move into PEMC if they perceive their mathematics ability as strong, and open to growth," said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State in a recent press release.

Perez-Felkner worked with doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas to see how perceptions of gender potentially affect perceptions of ability, which may ultimately skew college major choices. Compiling records from the Educational Longitudinal Study of the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, researchers were able to analyze 4,450 students from 750 high schools across the United States between the years 2002 to 2012.

The results revealed what researchers had previously believed: it is all a matter of mindset. Self-perceived mathematics ability highly dictated whether or not women pursued math in the future. Researchers found that high school boys tended to overrate their mathematical abilities, while girls tended to underrate them; however, 12th grade girls who told researchers they could successfully complete the most challenging mathematical problems were 3.3 times more likely to choose a PEMC major for college. This proved to be the case across the board, regardless of science courses taken, ethnicity, college entrance exam scores, or college selection.

Researchers found that the "growth mindset," or believing that mathematical ability can be fostered through learning, added to the amount of girls entering into PEMC subjects. Girls who displayed the "growth mindset" were 2.3 times more likely to pursue a PEMC major than those who reported the opposite belief.

Overall, researchers discovered that girls were 3.7 times less likely to pursue a PEMC major than boys, but were 3.8 times more likely to pursue a major in health science than the boys. When both girls and boys completed both high school courses physics 1 and chemistry 1, they were 1.9 times more likely to major in a PEMC subject than the entire body of their peers. This increased to 2.5 times more likely for both boys and girls if they also completed physics 2 and chemistry 2.

"By focusing on students' perceived ability under challenge, we are getting closer to the 'real' world context, where mathematics anxiety may operate," said doctoral student Samantha Nix. "Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends, but fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.' Here we show that this belief can influence the decision to specialize in mathematics-intensive fields, for both women and men."

The key to changing the gender gap, researchers believe, is to shift widespread perceptions over to the "growth mindset." If this is done, the chances that women will enter a mathematical field will increase, and women's underrepresentation in PEMC fields, as reported by the OECD and the U.S. National Science Foundation, will be a thing of the past. As of right now, researchers note, this gender gap is not advantageous to anyone; by sequestering women to other fields, both science and society lose out on potential innovation, while women also miss out on higher-than-average income jobs. Research also shows that women who learn to code often feel empowered by their jobs, and that is something that can benefit everyone.

"It is important for the U.S. and other nations to continue to invest in interventions to end gender segregation in PEMC science," Perez-Felkner said. "For instance, students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal, and does not say anything about ability to become a successful scientist. In addition, instructors may want to ask themselves if they are giving the same feedback to young women and men who deal successfully with a difficult mathematics problem in class."

With this shift in attitude, we can expect to welcome a lot more women into the world of science and mathematics than ever before. Needless to say, if this change would have been made when I was in high school, I might have reconsidered the path I decided to take.

Sources: Nix S, Perez-Felkner L, Thomas K. Perceived mathematical ability under challenge: a longitudinal perspective on sex segregation among STEM degree fields. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015.

Click here to read more.
Contact
Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative 

Science Update: Catbird Secrets Revealed             (Posted: 7-23-15)

Click HERE.

GreenSchools! July Update             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Project Learning Tree

GreenSchools! Update
PLT's GreenSchools! program inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home, and in their community

As you relax and hopefully enjoy the great outdoors this summer, here are some ideas to engage families in learning about nature together and ways to be more green. 


Green Tips of the MonthGreen Tips

  • Lose the Plastics – An easy thing that you can do to go green is to use biodegradable plates, cups, and cutlery. The price is comparable and the overall impact is significant. 
  • Switch on the Solar Lights – A great way to add ambiance without increasing your electricity bill is solar lights. Simply set them out in the sun for a day and when dusk falls you will have the perfect setting.
  • Use Green Cleaners & Avoid Pesticides – Household cleaners, bug killers, and air fresheners can irritate the lungs, especially for those with asthma. Investigate less toxic alternatives.
  • Reduce Charcoal or Wood Grilling – Use gas, propane, or electric grills, which burn more efficiently and cleaner than charcoal or wood.
James Riley McGirt
Manager of Education Programs
Project Learning Tree
Engaging Parents in Children's Learning Engaging Parents in Children's Learning

Involving parents in their child’s education can help foster a lifetime of learning in students. PLT activities are great for parents and their children to do together because they arefun and hands-on, and involve team work. Here are 3 ideas to try at school next year.

Family Nature Activities PLT's Family Activity Pages

School's out and summer weather means it's time to get out and play — as a family. If you're looking for outdoor activities for kids, we've got you covered. Suitable for children ages 3 to 15, PLT has expanded its collection of easy-to-do activities for families.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree
2000 M St NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20036

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eNews: Help Us Test a New All About Birds Website             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

Earth Science Summertime compilation             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Below are a number of resources you may be interested in for yourself or your colleagues.

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Rock donation:

From John Delaney - 15 boxes of rocks for someone who is interested. Four boxes of igneous, three sedimentary, couple metamorphic, couple fossils, one weathering, one ores,.......

The rocks are currently in Rm 408 Hopewell Valley HS.  If you are interested, contact Karen Lucci at karenlucci@hvrsd.org

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ES Week Toolkits:

Once again, NJGWS has secured approximately 50 Earth Science Week Toolkits for FREE distribution to earth science teachers across the State.  Priority are the public schools, but they are not exclusive.  They are available from us on a first come, first served basis? 

 

Email requests for toolkits should be sent to Kathleen Vandegrift and include the teacher's name, school name and address.

 

Kathleen.Vandegrift@dep.nj.gov

 

Earth Science Week (ESW) is the second full week in October.  This year's theme is ""Visualizing Earth Systems".  Check out the ESW website at www.earthsciweek.org for events and details.

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Websites of the Week:


Mark has again compiled all of those wonderful websites of the week for us.  The Word doc can be found here:

http://www.chatham-nj.org/Page/14190

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NGSS Summer Institute: Creating NGSS Lessons and Units:

Over the past year, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Secondary Education has facilitated regional consortia of science educators, from across the state, to work on translating the Model Science Curriculum [frameworks] into local curriculum for grades 6 through 12.  The educators focused on developing Units of Study which included pacing guides, Student Learning Objectives (SLO), foundations of the SLOs, connections to English language arts and mathematics, benchmark assessments, lists of core instructional materials, and modifications for special populations.

The next step is to translate this work into classroom instruction. North Plainfield School District and the Office of Secondary Education at the NJDOE have partnered to host the NGSS Institute: Creating NGSS Lessons and Units. The institute will kick-off at the Harrison School (12 Harrison Avenue, North Plainfield, NJ 07060) on August 11 and 12, 2015. Follow-up sessions will be held on November 13, 2015, February 12, 2016 and May 27, 2016. Educators will be encouraged to "think locally" and determine how they will support their students in meeting the Student Learning Objectives in collaborative and creative ways.  They will then test the lessons and meet to offer suggestions for future implementation.

Participants must have a strong understanding of the Frameworks for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards. Questions about the Institute and follow-up sessions should be directed to: jamil_maroun@nplainfield.org.

 If you are interested in participating, please register here: http://goo.gl/forms/eQHZxUKWGZ  

Required Resources:

Participants will need print or digital copies of the following documents in order to fully participate in the workshop. Wi-Fi is NOT available at the training site so it is essential that you bring the resources with you.

¨  A Framework for K-12 Science Education:  Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. National Research Council. (2012).Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165

¨  Next Generation Science Standards. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Retrieved: http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards

¨  NGSS Appendix E: Disciplinary Core Ideas. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:  http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20E%20-%20Progressions%20within%20NGSS%20-%20052213.pdf

¨  NGSS Appendix F: Science and Engineering Practices. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20F%20%20Science%20and%20Engineering%20Practices%20in%20the%20NGSS%20-%20FINAL%20060513.pdf

¨  NGSS Appendix G: Crosscutting Concepts.  Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20G%20-%20Crosscutting%20Concepts%20FINAL%20edited%204.10.13.pdf

¨  NGSS Appendix L: Connections to the CCSS- Mathematics. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:  http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix-L_CCSS%20Math%20Connections%2006_03_13.pdf 

¨  NGSS Appendix M: Connections to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20M%20Connections%20to%20the%20CCSS%20for%20Literacy_061213.pdf

¨  EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science:  Lead States. (2015). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved: http://www.nextgenscience.org/resources

o   Download both forms of the rubric: (Fillable PDF) and (Word) 

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Other Summer Workshops:

Looking for a summer workshop?  Try Duke Farms’ offerings:

http://dukefarms.org/en/Programs/educators/Educators-Landing-Page/

CWF - July 2015: Be Terrapin Aware!             (Posted: 7-16-15)

July 2015
EXPLORATIONS
An e-newsletter to connect you to New Jersey's incredible wildlife.

Be Terrapin Aware!
You can help at-risk diamondback terrapins with some steps during the 2015 nesting season! Driving more cautiously on coastal roads through mid-July is a simple way to help terrapins. Nesting peaks during the full and new moon cycles and they're more active during the high tide (less distance to travel on land to nest sites).  
Learn more.
2015 Delaware Bay Shorebird Project Comes to a Close
red knots feeding
According to Dr. Larry Niles, "all our efforts to help shorebirds on Delaware Bay this year couldn't have been better rewarded - nearly every red knot left the bay in good condition and in one of the earliest departures in the 19 years of the Project." 

Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Gets Interactive
The talented winners of our 2015 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest are showcased in a new Story Map! Viewers can see the winners' schools, their gorgeous artwork, and their inspiring essays. 

Check out our blog post for more information and to engage with our new Story Map.

Researching Beach Nesting Birds at Forsythe NWR
Plover Chick- Horiz crop
Did you know barrier island beach makes up approximately 2% of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge? This area is the most productive for beach nesting birds.

Learn how CWF is partnering with Forsythe to collect data on these birds!

Nesting Ospreys Fared Well from June 23 Storm on Barnegat Bay
Osprey Chicks
At this time of year almost all osprey nests have young. They range in age from only hatchlings to 4 week old nestlings. 

Some can be easily blown from shallow or weakly built nests and can be easily blown from the top of nesting platforms. 

Read more about our June 23 osprey survey to learn how these imperiled birds fared during the dangerous early-summer storm. 

ICYMI: NJ's favorite beaches             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

E-NEWS: Grants, CEP rebates, Monmouth Hub, Mayor Ondish spotlight and more . .             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

Great Places: Beautiful Beach Preserves You Can Visit             (Posted: 7-13-15)

Click HERE.

Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for July             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Survey: Help Grow Urban Green Spaces             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Assist with Connecting Children to Nature

You're invited to participate in a nationwide survey to help understand and improve urban green spaces.


Our friends from Children & Nature Network (C&NN) and National League of Cities (NLC) are partnering on a new three-year initiative, Cities Promoting Access to Nature. Their goal is to ensure that all children have the opportunity to play, learn and grow in outdoor green spaces.

As a key element of the initiative, the partners--along with Yale University Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)--are conducting a nationwide assessment. This survey will help provide information on the range of strategies, policies and programs that cities nationwide have to promote access to nature. 

Please consider sharing what your city does to engage youth in the outdoors. Click to begin the surveyThis will be open until noon on Friday, July 10. 

This survey constitutes the first phase of a multi-year strategy to stimulate and support city leadership in this area. As a follow-up to the survey and subsequent steps in the initiative, cities will receive an invitation this summer to apply to participate in one of two upcoming leadership academies. The leadership academies will provide opportunities to learn about best practices and innovations to connect children to nature, meet experts in the field and receive technical assistance to develop plans for their city. 

If you have any questions about the survey or the initiative, please contact Paxton Barnes.

Thank you for your efforts to support Cites Promoting Access to Nature.  

NEEF is the nation's leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.


 
To accomplish this, NEEF provides knowledge to trusted professionals and other leaders who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve every day environmental problems. NEEF sees a future where by 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people.

 

Learn more at neefusa.org.

Cloud Institute: What is Education for Sustainability? Plus Summer and Fall Programs             (Posted: 7-7-15)

What is Education for Sustainability?

Education for Sustainability (EfS) as a transformative learning process that equips students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and ways of thinking we need to achieve economic prosperity and responsible citizenship while restoring the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend. EfS has multiple, positive effects on student achievement, school culture, community vitality, and ecological integrity. Read a brief history of Education for Sustainability.

 

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education prepares K-12 school systems and their communities to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.


.

NEW! Blog Post - Is this Education for Sustainability? - Jaimie P. Cloud
The questions I ask faculty and administrators to consider when I am invited to a school to audit their sustainability education program are:

 

1. Have you chosen a set of EfS benchmarks for the faculty to design, teach and assess with?  

2. Do you document and map the curriculum?  If so, is it a living document that is continually improved and innovated over time?

3. Does the faculty use the benchmarks to assess for evidence of EfS?

4. Do they explicitly communicate quality EfS performance criteria to their students?

5. Do you have student work as evidence of the enduring understandings, knowledge, skills and attitudes of EfS?

 

If the answer is “no” to all the above, then my next question is,

6. Is there a shared understanding within the school community of what Education for sustainability is?


If the answer is “no”, then my next question is,

7. What can I see?  Where can I look for evidence of EfS in the Curriculum?  I learned a long time ago that even if the answers to all my questions are “no”, it doesn’t mean people are not educating for sustainability.  It simply means we have to ask the next question, which is “how can we know?”


The way The Lovett School in Atlanta Georgia addressed my last question was to provide me with an extensive list of Stage 3 (UbD) curricular activities that the K-12 faculty was asked to prepare so that I could help them determine to what extent they were, indeed, educating for sustainability. read more

 

Related Blog Posts

- Useful Steps to Embedding EfS Standards into your Core Curriculum using Backwards Design (UbD)

- How our Teaching Changes our Thinking, and How our Thinking Changes the World
- Educating for Sustainability with the Brain in Mind

 

Professional Development Opportunities

Cloud Institute Summer Design Institute | New York, NY - July 26th - July 31st

Summer Design Studio Ideal for curricula and community program designers, SDS offers structured time, space, coaching and peer reviews to develop units and protocols that educate for sustainability. Participants gain access to expertise, resources and tools required to develop curricula, protocols or action plans designed to implement EfS change initiatives in schools and communities. The Intro to EfS Workshop is included in the cost of the Summer Design Studio. cloudinstitute.org/summer-design-studio

 

 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools - Earn Points with The Cloud Institute
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time. sustainablejerseyschools.com

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education is a Task Force Member, Advisor and Service Provider to Sustainable Jersey for Schools, and we can assist you. We have selected the actions required that best suit our expertise and we stand ready to serve the NJ schools and districts seeking certification. We can help you earn up to 205 points towards your certification and more importantly, we will help prepare your administrators and teachers to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.

The actions that we can assist with include: Student Learning, Learning Environment, Leadership & Planning and Innovation Projects. The full list of actions are available here. If we can be of service in any one of these four areas, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with Jaimie Cloud to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Learn more about the Cloud Institute's program for Sustainable Jersey Registered Schools and Districts: www.cloudinstitute.org/sjforschools.

Stay connected - meet us online!

   

Sustainable Jersey July Sustainability Hero Announced             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Raritan Headwaters Association July News - Yay, Summer's Here!             (Posted: 7-7-15)


 
The Numbers Are In! 

 

Over 1,000 volunteers helped RHA Staff and Trustees remove 9.6 tons of litter from 40 sites in 29 towns across Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris Counties during our 25th Annual Stream
Cleanup event this spring. Our volunteers are amazing!
 

 

  
Raritan Headwaters Association is on a mission to protect clean water in the north and south branch of the Raritan River. Join Us!
   VISIT US ONLINE          |         JOIN          |      DONATE

 

It's Stream Monitoring Season

  

This year, volunteers and staff are monitoring 63 sites along the north and south branches of the Raritan River and their tributaries. We added six new sites this year, which supports our goal to include at least one stream monitoring site in each of our 52 subwatersheds.

 

Learn more, and check out our Facebook photo album to see what our "citizen scientists" are finding.

 
 
Watershed Watchdog Update
  

In recent months, Bill Kibler, RHA's Director of

Policy, has testified before the State Senate Legislative Oversight Committee regarding NJ's lack of a current Water Supply Master Plan; the Highlands Council presenting our stream monitoring results for the poor health of the headwaters around the Fenimore Dump in Roxbury Twp; and the State Senate Environmental Committee on the disastrous "budget gimmick" known as the "Exxon Deal," ...just to name a few.
 

These issues and more are on RHA's watch list -- stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for more updates!
 

 

Water and Wildlife Speaker Series: The Silent Majority--Moths of NJ
  

Blaine Rothauser, owner of BR Environmental LLC, will come to Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve on July 16 at 7pm to share his incredible knowledge about NJ's moths, our "nighttime jewels." 

  

Register today! 

 
Take a Hike!
RHA has unveiled a self-guided Nature Poetry Walk along our Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve's White Trail, which can be enjoyed throughout the summer free of charge. Inspirational poems are located along the trail for hikers to enjoy along with the beautiful landscape.
 

 

Welcome!
  

RHA is proud to welcome Danielle Wolfrum

to our staff as Development Associate. Prior to joining RHA, Danielle held development positions at several local non-profits, including The Morris Museum and The Center for Contemporary Art. She enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, kayaking, and gardening.

 

 
Water Wisely...
  
Using water wisely saves money on your utility bill, nurtures green spaces that deliver real environmental benefits and protects your community's water supply for generations to come.
 
 

 

 

All Summer - Self-Guided Nature Poetry Walk, White Trail at Fairview Farm

 

July 6 - August 7 - RHA Nature Day Camps

 

July 16 - Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: The Silent Majority--Moths of NJ, with Blaine Rothauser at Fairview Farm

 

August - rARiTan Art Month at Fairview Farm: Plen Aire Workshop with Andrea Gianchiglia (8/8), Caitlin Albright (8/15), Lena Shiffman (8/22)

 

August 22 - Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: Edible Weeds Hike at Fairview Farm with Rachel Mackow from Wild Ridge Plants

 

October 4 - Old Fashioned Country Fair at Fairview Farm

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July Littoral News             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Water Pages eNewsletter             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: Community partnerships, pollinator awareness and climate education.             (Posted: 6-25-15)

Click HERE.

New Jersey Farm to School Network News: Summer 2015             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Soil Health Resources for Districts and Partners             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Science Update: Big News for Bats             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Identify Your Bird with Computer Vision--Try It Out!             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

National Wildlife Federation's NJ Eco-Schools Action Newsletter             (Posted: 6-24-15)

June Newsletter


NEW JERSEY ECO-SCHOOLS USA 

A partnership between National Wildlife Federation and New Jersey Audubon

   



2015 Year End Summary and Upcoming Opportunities - May 2015

School-communities have an unprecedented amount of organizational, curricular and economic support from multiple organizations and agencies to help implement student-led sustainability initiatives. New Jersey’s Eco-Schools USA program provides resources, professional development and direct support for teachers and school teams to support student learning and take appropriate sustainability actions.  Join the growing network of 165 Eco-Schools in New Jersey and over 50,000 Eco-Schools worldwide.  APPLY FOR AN AWARD and get your school recognized for your efforts.  Share your story and your data with others.  

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR 

  • Milltown Public Schools initiated a “Green Professional Learning Community” that consisted of a multi-disciplinary team of teachers, grades Pre-K to 8, to address the Waste and Consumption Pathway and earned an Eco-Schools USA Bronze Award. This initiative was supported by Milltown’s Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Brown. The initial training was attended by 26 stakeholders including the business administrator, local watershed employees, grounds and maintenance staff, and more. “Working to raise student awareness in [reducing] waste and consumption has been a key factor in fostering a growing culture of environmental responsibility at our schools.” Dr.Stephanie Brown.
  • The Statewide Professional Learning Community webinars sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation brought together over 100 registrants to learn about a variety of school sustainability projects and give feedback to 6 school team leaders as they shared information on how they created favorable conditions for effective sustainability initiatives and how the process impacted their students.  Click here for the webinar recordings on Sustainable Foods and Energy. Each webinar was crafted to highlight school actions and ways to integrated arts education and creative thinking to support and celebrate student learning. Susan Haig from NJ ARTS News shared how to use succinct “storytelling” as an art form and how short news videos can be effective tools to raise understanding of sustainability actions in the school and community. Kari and Drew Lloyd from OASIS (Organizing Action Sustainability in Schools) in Mercer County worked to include all students in the “buzz” around making solar cars.  While some students designed the cars, others designed infomercials to elicit support and excitement about the project.
  • Eleven New Jersey schools participated in a yearlong sister-school program with 11 schools in Taiwan.  22 school teams shared their project-based learning initiatives around common environmental issues with local solutions. “Participating with a sister school in Taiwan has added so much to the learning experience for my students. It has opened their eyes to the idea that the world is a small place...The experience highlighted the interconnectedness we all share with the Earth...Seeing the the smiling faces of the [Taiwanese] students and their sense of wonder come across the Skype screen was truly priceless. What a fantastic experience!” Erika Parke, Elementary teacher, Mendham.
  • A strength of the New Jersey Eco-Schools USA program is the on-the-ground support that school teams receive through professional development. Over 1,100 people attended workshops, seminars and other professional development to take participants through a process that helps them design coordinated place-based learning opportunities for their students. Here is what one teacher had to say: “Our time with [New Jersey Audubon and the Eco-Schools team]  has been helpful because it’s opening up a different way to teach about sustainability and energy use.”- 4th grade teacher, Trenton.



OPPORTUNITIES FOR REGISTERED ECO-SCHOOLS
FOR THE 2015-2016 SCHOOL YEAR:

Not registered?  It’s easy and free.  Click
here to find out more.

  • Registered Eco-Schools can apply for a $500 mini-grant to implement project-based learning using the Eco-Schools framework in one of the 10 Eco-Schools Pathways (Biodiversity, Climate Change, Consumption & Waste, Energy, Healthy Living, Healthy Schools, School Grounds, Sustainable Food, Transportation, Water).  Fill out this interest form to learn more. 
  • Give your students the opportunity to present their Eco-Schools sustainability project to an audience of their peers and professionals.  The New Jersey Eco-Schools Student Exchange in May 2016 will provide a venue for sharing and learning. Fill out this interest form to learn more.
  • Learn how to receive free, in-house professional development for your school’s green learning team to initiate organized project-based learning around a vision for local sustainability using the Eco-Schools pathways and framework. Fill out this interest form to learn more. 
  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Department of Health through its Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant is providing $120,000 to support a cycle of the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program for health and wellness initiatives in schools serving students grades 6 through 12.  For this cycle, thirty $4,000 grants will be awarded. Application Deadline: Friday, June 26, 2015, at Midnight.

Jennifer Dowd, Ed.S.
Eco-Schools USA – New Jersey Coordinator
New Jersey Audubon
Plainsboro Preserve
80 Scotts Corner Road - PO Box 446
Cranbury, NJ 08512
(c)
908-292-8030
www.njaudubon.org
www.ecoschoolsusa.org
NJ Audubon's Facebook
ECO-SCHOOLS CALENDAR 

**Making New Jersey a better place for people and wildlife since 1897.
Facebook For more information about New Jersey Audubon activities, visit us on our web siteon Facebook, or on Twitter, 
New Jersey Audubon Society 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ  07924
www.njaudubon.org

Map Them and Zap Them!             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

2015 Sleepaway Camps at PEEC             (Posted: 6-24-15)


Pocono Environmental Education Center | 538 | Emery Road - Lehman Township | Dingmans Ferry | PA | 18301

NWF wants you and your students to take the #Campout2015 pledge!             (Posted: 6-4-15)

Click HERE.

The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Success Saving Bats             (Posted: 6-4-15)

Click HERE.

June Littoral News             (Posted: 6-1-15)

            
June Littoral News
IN THIS ISSUE
MEMBERS DAY
- JUNE 13

Outreach
- Barnegat Bay Festival
- World Ocean Month

Workshops, Lectures, Meetings
- Pirate Hunters
 
Calling All Volunteers
 
Summer Camps

Field Trips
Name that Bird!
What bird is this??
 
Submit your answer to us at info@littoralsociety.org. All correct submissions will be entered for a chance to win a Littoral Society t-shirt. 
 
Stay tuned for next month's 
Name That Bird
 
Congratulations to last month's winner Garry Annibal, who answered Semipalmated Plover!
FIELD TRIPS and OUTINGS
Horseshoe Crab Walk

June 2
Parking Lot B
Sandy Hook
6pm
Free, registration required

Get up close and personal with a living fossil. Take an evening walk at Plum Island on Sandy Hook to look for spawning horseshoe crabs. Learn about an animal that has survived virtually unchanged for 450 million years. Wear foot gear that can get wet. 
 
Registration is required, call (732) 291-0055 to reserve. 
Montauk Spring Weekend

June 5-7
Montauk Manor House
$395/person

Spend an extended weekend at the luxurious Manor. Hike the "Walking Dunes", Lighthouse Beach, Montauk Bluffs, and Shadmoor State Park.

Includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and a star watch.

View the full itinerary and purchase tickets Click Here. For more information call (718) 474-0896 or
e-mail: donriepe@gmail.com

Summer Solstice Walk on Fathers' Day
Sunday, June 21
Building 18
Sandy Hook
6 pm
Free, registration required
 
Join us on the longest day of the year. Meet us for a stroll on the Hook to look for different flora and fauna. You can also bring a picnic dinner and sit on our porch before the walk. 
 
To register, email megan@littoralsociety.org or call (732) 291-0055.
Canoeing in the
Pine Barrens
Friday, June 26
3107 County Road 563
Chatsworth, NJ 08019
9:30 am
$50 member registration
$60 non-member registration required,
Space is limited

Join our staff naturalists for a canoe trip down the tea colored waters of the Wading River where we will explore the world-renowned Pine Barrens. Discover the biodiversity of the Pine Barrens as your guides point out the native flora and fauna that can only be found in this unique habitat. Pack a lunch and bring extra clothes in a dry bag in case your canoe flips over (which is unlikely). Canoes, kayaks, and life vests provided. Great for ages 5 and up.
 
Email stevie@littoralsociety.org
to register or call
(732) 291-0055
to make your reservation.
SAVE the DATE
Fluke Tagging Trip
Saturday, July 25
Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina
Mi-Jo II Boat
2 Simon Lake Drive
Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
$75 per person
 
Bring your friends and family and come sail with us off the coast of New Jersey. Join Jeff Dement, Fish Tagging Director for the American Littoral Society, for a fun and educational day of fishing. Become a citizen scientist by helping us tag fish safely and responsibly. 
 
Now in it's 50th Year, the American Littoral Society fish tagging program is the world's largest all-volunteer program. The data collected is sent annually to the National Marine Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, MA, where it helps inform fisheries scientists about the health and status of coastal fish species. 
 
Ticket price includes hot coffee, boat, bait, tackle, fish tags and fresh fish for your fridge. Feel free to bring your own bait and tackle. Space is limited. For additional questions, contact Jeff@littoralsociety.org or call (732) 291-0055

CLICK HERE to RESERVE your spot today!
 
Gray
MEMBERS DAY 
and ANNUAL MEETING
JOIN US
Saturday, June 13
noon - 4 pm
Building 18
Sandy Hook
Free for members, $20 per non-member guest

Please join the American Littoral Society for a day of celebration and to thank YOU, our members.

Activities include guided walks along the bay, beach, and marsh, a BBQ and an election of Trustees.

Three Walks departing at 12:15 p.m., include Birding, Seining, and Tree/Plant discovery

Things to keep in mind...

* Event is rain or shine so dress for the weather and comfort
* Bring chairs or blankets for a picnic style lunch
* Upon arrival, check-in and sign up for your walk of choice
* To avoid parking fee, notify rangers at the entrance booth that you are coming to the American Littoral Society
* Public transportation from NYC to Sandy Hook is available by Sea Streak Ferry. Visit www.seastreak.com to see the schedule.
 
We encourage our members to bring non-member guests to introduce them to the work of the American
Littoral Society!

Please email Megan at megan@littoralsociety.org or call (732) 291-0055 to make your reservation by June 10
WORKSHOPS, LECTURES and MEETINGS
Best-Selling Author Robert Kurson in Conversation with Tim Dillingham
Wednesday, June 17
Nauvoo Grill
121 Fair Haven Road
Fair Haven, NJ
7:30pm
 
The American Littoral Society will partner with River Road Books in Fair Haven to host 
New York Times bestselling author Robert Kurson, writer of the popular Shadow Divers, as he unveils his newest book 
Pirate Hunters; Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. Mr. Kurson will participate in a conversation with the American Littoral Society Executive Director, Tim Dillingham, to discuss the book. This will be Mr. Kurson's only appearance in New Jersey for his book tour. Tickets are the cost of the hardcover book, $30. Reservations should be made by calling (732) 747-9455.
OUTREACH
WORLD OCEAN MONTH
Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet 
President Obama has declared JUNE as National Ocean Month. Learn more about how the American Littoral Society's work ties to ocean health by visiting
Barnegat Bay Festival
Sunday, June 7
Wanamaker Complex
Island Heights, NJ
10 am - 4 pm (rain or shine)
Free

Stop by the Littoral Society table to say "hi" at the Barnegat Bay Festival, the Barnegat Bay Partnership's signature event. This free day of family fun educates visitors about Barnegat Bay, celebrates its resources, and encourages visitors to engage in interactive programs that stress the importance of the ecosystem. 

For more information, click here.
CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS
Hopewell Township

Friday, June 5

Barrett's Run Grassland

Hopewell Township, NJ

10 am

  

  

Volunteers are needed to plant 2,000 plugs in an effort to create a native plant pollinator garden in our 7.5 acre grassland/outdoor classroom in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County. The plants will provide enhanced habitat for all manners of critters using the grassland, but more importantly it will be creating new habitat for the Monarch Butterfly.

 

Come and go as your schedule allows.To access the grassland take the farm lane along the hedgerow located a quarter mile west of Hopewell Crest School.

 

Google map to the farm lane (follow the lane all the way back): https://goo.gl/maps/Nk08E 

 

Please contact Shane Godshall if you plan to attend - shane@littoralsociety.org or 856-825-2174.

IT'S TIME FOR SUMMER CAMP!
Sandy Hook is our coastal classroom, rich with ecology, miles of beaches and dunes and abundant wildlife. Sitting at a PC or turning the pages of a book might help children become interested in the coast, but standing in the surf with the wind in their faces and a horseshoe crab in their hands develops a passion. 
 
Let the American Littoral Society ignite your child's desire to learn about the coast and the science that reveals its wonders, and the stewardship needed to protect and preserve it for a lifetime of enjoyment.
________________________________________________

Marine and Environmental Day Camps 
on Sandy Hook

COASTAL EXPLORERS 
One-Day Camp July 17, July 31, August 21 
Children entering grades 1-3 9am - 1:30pm 
18 Hartshorne Drive, Sandy Hook 
$40 for members $50 for non-members

Join Society educators for a day of seining and shell collecting. Ideal for children interested in learning more about the marine world, this hands-on, feet-wet program will delight your child. After outdoor activities we return to Building 18 for coastal art and crafts.

COAST CAMPS
August 3 - 7
Children entering grades 6, 7, 8

August 10 - 14
Children entering grades 4, 5, 6

9am - 2pm
18 Hartshorne Drive
Sandy Hook
$250 per camper per week

Coast camps are a week of educational fun at Sandy Hook that includes seining, marine life identification, fishing,
crabbing, birding, shelling, field journaling, plankton discovery, coastal botany, and understanding nature through art.
 
Small group size. Sessions are limited to 15 students. Admission is on first-come, first-serve basis. Space is secured once payment is received.

No refunds after July 1.

For more information or to register, visit www.littoralsociety.org, email stevie@littoralsociety.org
or call (732) 291-0055

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18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite 1
Highlands, NJ 07732

Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for June             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Click HERE.

Updates from the Cool Green Science Blog             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: Historic Clean Water Rule Finalized             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Clear Protection for Clean Water

Today, in an historic step for the protection of clean water, EPA and the U.S. Army finalized a rule under the Clean Water Act to more clearly protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

Clean water and water ecology are topics of special interest to many environmental educators. Students of all ages understand the importance of clean water in their own lives. Local watersheds provide opportunities to connect students to nature. 

Learn more about protecting clean water with these resources.Image of coastal wetlands.

Visit the website.

Use social media, new videos and graphics to spark your students' interest.

Explore an interactive map on local drinking water.

Find more water education resources for your classroom.



We encourage you to share our Environmental Education eNewsletter with your colleagues.  To subscribe, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/newsroom/email-subscriptions

Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education
Office of the Administrator / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Archived WEB-LINKS are available upon request throught the webmaster.