2019 LEEC Regional Short Courses

In 2019, the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is bringing continuing education to you! Throughout the upcoming year, we’ll be focusing on environmental efforts going on in each part of the state, so in lieu of a single-location conference, we are staging workshops and/or tours in each of the major regions around Louisiana. The regional short courses will take place on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Please sign up by Friday, February 8, 2019 to ensure that you recieve all pre-event information, and that you will recieve all class materials, lunch, etc. at the short course.

The theme of this year's program is "Taking Environmental Action: What's Great About Your Part of the State?" Workshops will be held in each major region of the state (Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, the North Shore and Shreveport). Educators are welcome to attend any short course regardless of their home regions.

See registration form below. A fee of $20 is required to complete the registration process. Upon submission of your registration form you will be prompted to pay via Paypal. Contact Thomas Gresham at tgresham@wlf.la.gov to arrange an alternative method of payment. Lunch is provided.

Classroom teachers are eligible for a $30 stipend. You may fill out a stipend application at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/2019-leec-regional-short-course-stipend-appication. You will receive an email with a pdf of your form to print, sign and turn in to your facilitator upon completion of the short course.

Short Course Descriptions

LSU Center for River Studies and Your Classroom (Baton Rouge Region) Combination Workshop and Tour
Learn how to bring the LSU Center for River Studies 10,000 square foot scale model of the lower Mississippi River to your students! This state-of-the-art facility offers several distinct themes with illustrations and interactive features to help visualize and communicate the importance of the Mississippi River Delta, the ongoing coastal land-loss crisis, and CPRA’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan restoration and risk reduction program.  This session includes a research overview delivered by Principal Investigator Dr. Clint Willson. Actual water and sediment flow across the model’s 14,000 square mile section of Southeast Louisiana including Terrebonne, Barataria, Breton Sound, and Pontchartrain Basins, depicted on the map as an area from Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico. Using exact parameters of the river’s physical and dynamic properties, the model produces a degree of accuracy never before achieved in lower-river physical modeling at this scale. The primary river-model goals are to produce qualitative land building results associated with sediment diversions in the Lower River, and serve as a complementary planning tool to computer models currently utilized. River Center staff will present an interactive presentation that projects satellite photos and graphics directly onto the massive model! They will also describe field trip opportunities for your students. In addition to the river model, we will cross the levee to view the spring flood pulse of the Mississippi River from the stunning terrace and conference facilities at The Estuary at the Water Campus. Here our session will continue with a review of connections to the Louisiana Student Standards for Science. Participants will learn how to use the model as an anchoring phenomenon and in the development of story-lines as they complete hands-on Youth Wetland Program lessons linked to the model. This is an experience not to be missed! 
Presenters: Steve Babcock, LSU Laboratory School/CPRA with Joseph McClatchy and Dr. Clint Wilson, LSU Center for River Studies 
Location: LSU Center for River Studies, 100 Terrace Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th
Time: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Exploring the Relationship between Watersheds, Water Quality, and Human Activity (Lafayette Region) Combination Workshop and Tour
This 7-hour CLU course is hosted by the Bayou Vermilion District and will be held at our Vermilionville Living History Museum in Lafayette, LA.  Course material will introduce teachers to our environmental science field trip package that offers a unique experiential learning opportunity, which takes a holistic approach to understanding the topic of water.  Our environmental education package is geared specifically towards facilitating a comprehensive understanding that connects the quality of water flowing through our local bayous to our daily habits, our cultural traditions, and our interactions with our natural resources, especially the Bayou Vermilion. In this course, participants will tour our watershed exhibit and rain garden, conduct a macroinvertebrate sampling activity, conduct a water quality chemical test analysis, and take a boat tour on Bayou Vermilion.
Watershed Exhibit tours:  Introduce students to the dynamic interconnections of planetary heat distribution due to the seasons, seasonal weather phenomenon, the water cycle, the life cycle of plants and animals, the physics of watersheds, the effects of water on humanity, and the effects of humanity on water.
Rain Garden Tours:  Introduce students to Best Management Practices used to improve water quality as they tour our BMP demonstration projects on property.
Macroinvertebrate Sampling:  During this activity, students will collect water samples from our pond, identify and classify the larvae of various aquatic macroinvertebrate organisms, and use their data as indicators of water quality.
Water Quality Sampling:  During this activity, students will collect water samples from the Bayou Vermilion and use our water quality test kits to test for temperature, pH, salinity, turbidity/water clarity, and dissolved oxygen.
Boat Tours of Bayou Vermilion:  Expose students to a firsthand experience and interpretation of Bayou Vermilion topography and hydrology, the process of riparian and alluvial sedimentation, riparian habitats, and the important role that swamp systems serve to improve water quality.  
Presenter: Gregory Guidroz, Bayou Vermilion District
Location: Vermilionville Living History Museum, 300 Fisher Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th 
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Coastal Dune Enhancement Project (Lake Charles Region) Workshop/Planting Event

Participate in a service learning project through a hands-on planting experience! A coastal dune enhancement project will be held in Cameron Parish near Holly Beach, LA. Hackberry and red mulberry seedlings and toothache tree stem/root cuttings will be planted in back-dune swales of previously established dunes, and bitter panicum and railroad vine will be planted on areas of developing dunes.  Gain a firsthand understanding of how replanting efforts are accomplished.

Presenters: Andrea Gorum, Gulf Coast Soil & Water Conservation District, and Joey Breaux, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Office of Soil & Water Conservation 
Location: Meet at Brown's Food Center in Hackberry
Grade Level: General (K-12)
Time: Begins at 8:30


Wetlands, Animals, and Early Childhood Oh My (Lake Charles Region) Hands-on Workshop
No registrations will be accepted after 11:59 p.m., February 13, 2019
This early childhood environmental education short course will utilize the story Babies in the Swamp as the backdrop to introduce early learners to the importance of environmental education (environmental awareness, stewardship and sustainability). The short course will provide hands-on, interactive activities that will immerse young learners in the wonders of the wetlands with a special emphasis on the plants and animals that live and need the wetlands for survival. Participants will be provided electronic access to the module.
Presenters:  Angee Burd, McNeese State University, with Melissa Hastings and Amy Smothers, Calcasieu Parish Schools, and Kayla Devillier, Sandra Theriot and Erin Washington, McNeese students
Location: McNeese State University, 4205 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605
Grade Level: Pre-K and Kindergarten
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Environmental and Physical Effects of Altering the Calcasieu River (Lake Charles Region) Tour Canceled

Why is salinity important, and how has it changed? We will start south of Lake Charles at the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, move to the Calcasieu Ship Channel, continue on to Prien Lake, and finally to the Salt Water Barrier. Participants will collect water samples to test for salinity and other water quality parameters,gaining a deeper understanding of the water around us.

Presenter: Brian Fontenot, Calcasieu Parish Public Schools
Location: Leaves from S.J. Welsh Middle School in Lake Charles
Grade Level: General (K-12)
Time: 8:00 to 12:00 p.m.


Cross-curricular Instruction with Animals in the Classroom (Monroe Region) Workshop and Tour

Using the Louisiana Student Standards for Science, Language Arts, and Math, our goal is to provide K-5 teachers of Northeast Louisiana a comprehensive workshop that includes hands-on activities which highlight environmental stewardship. We are aware that students at the K-5 level are extremely impressionable and it is never too soon to spark their interests in environmental conservation, research, and protection. The workshop will include the opportunity to learn how to create habitats using earthworms, mealworms, and butterflies, which will cover all elements that teachers need to replicate and implement the habitat in their own classrooms. Building these habitats will teach students how to engage in language arts through keeping journals, and science and math skills through building and maintaining the habitats. The workshop will also include a tour through Monroe’s Chennault Park where teachers will be exposed to our local resources for scientific education. During the tour, the LEEC, Black Bayou and ULM will work collectively on a water sampling event at the pond. First 30 classroom teachers receive a USB microscope. The microscopes will be used after to examine the water for show and tell. Ryan Daniel, an Inland Wildlife Biologist, and Nova Clarke, Black Bayou Education Specialist, will participate in the water sampling by discussing the aquatic habitat and ecosystem of the pond.
Location: Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum, 1051 Chennault Park Drive, Monroe, LA 71203
Grade Level: K-5th
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Citizen Science in Education (New Orleans Region) Hands-on Workshop
Citizen Science is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to engage people in the scientific method, connect people to their public lands, and gain a sense of stewardship and connection to the environment. Using Citizen Science in education encourages students to pursue their own interests, gain comfort in and fascination with their local environments, and learn about natural systems and the scientific method. 
Come participate in a sampling of 3 citizen science education programs offered at the Barataria Preserve. Some examples include: Water Quality Testing and dipnetting, Nature's Notebook (seasonal monitoring in animals and plants), soil testing and aerial mapping. Participants will gain the tools and knowledge necessary to implement these and similar programs in their own classrooms and school yards and learn about the resources offered to formal and informal educators by Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. 
Presenters: Kimberly Cooke and Kali Bunn,Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Location: Barataria Preserve Education Center 
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Teach Wild: A Lesson on Marine Debris  (New Orleans Region) Combination Workshop and Tour
This workshop will highlight land-based marine debris education programs offered through Audubon Nature Institute's school field trips as well as resources teachers can use back in the classroom. This workshop will educate regional educators and help them educate their students on plastic use in our society, the effects of marine debris along the Gulf Coast, and how to act both individually and as a community to prevent the creation of marine debris. Activities will introduce the topic of marine debris and its impacts on ocean wildlife and local communities. An active learning experience will involve use of a micro-plastic filter apparatus and demonstrations to show the effects of micro-plastic ingestion by sea birds. Community based action can help empower our local communities.
Presenters: Monica Pasos, Audubon Nature Institute
Location: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Grade Level: General (K-12)
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marsh Restoration Exploration in Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge (Northshore Region) Combination Workshop and Tour
This combination hands-on workshop and tour will allow educators to explore an active coastal restoration (marsh creation) site, located in Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge close to Slidell, LA.  
The group will meet at the SE Louisiana Refuges Headquarters in LaCombe for introductory activities, before driving to the site of CWPPRA Restoration project PO 104. See fact sheet at: https://www.lacoast.gov/reports/gpfs/PO-104.pdf. 
They will travel by boat to view the newly created marsh habitat where groups of students and adult volunteers have planted marsh grass to enhance the wetland functions. Participants will walk on the newly created land and learn about the methods employed to create the 600+ acres of wetlands. They will learn first hand how sediment is placed using a dredge, and how a restoration project of this kind is designed and executed. They will have the opportunity to plant wetland grass at the restoration site and assess the success of previous volunteer plantings.  Educational materials and activities will be provided by UNO Coastal Education Program and USFWS.
Presenters: Dinah Maygarden, University of New Orleans, with Rebecca Larkins and Daniel Breaux, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Location: Shea Penland Coastal Education Research Facility
Grade Level: 5th-8th, 9th-12th, College
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WET, WILD and PLT (Shreveport Region) Workshop

Activities! Activities! Activities! Shreveport area educators are invited to a 6-hour Project Learning Tree, Project Wild and Project WET combination workshop to be held at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge near Bossier City, LA. Bring some of the nation’s top environmental curricula to your students using these time-tested programs, presented by experienced facilitators. Participants will receive copies of Projects WET, WILD and Learning Tree manuals - a $200 value!

Presenters: Cindy and Ricky Kilpatrick
Location: Red River National Wildlife Refuge, 150 Eagle Bend Point, Bossier City, LA 71112 
Grade Level: General (K-12)
Time: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.