LEEC WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Grants, Contests, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana


2012 Environmental Education Symposium – TWO WEEKS AWAY!
There is still time to register for the 2012 Environmental Education Symposium at the Lafayette Crowne Plaza in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 9-10, 2012.
“...After attending many national, regional, and local conferences, I’ve concluded that the LEEC Symposium is one of the very best. The main reason I support and encourage so many other teachers about the LEEC/LEEA conference is that our students need to understand the natural world here in Louisiana. They need to become familiar with their own landbase and not dread or fear it. Or even worse, experience this natural world here in Louisiana only via a television screen or monitor. LEEC shares a wealth of information and resources with teachers about such topics.” --Missy Durham, Baton Rouge. Read more of her story HERE
EE Symposium Updates:
          •   Get Your ROOTS on! Short Course – transportation has been paid for through a recent generous donation, reducing it to $10! Take advantage of this great opportunity and sign up today!
          •    Canoe, Explore… A Watershed Lesson and Tour! is FULL. We are no longer accepting registrations for this short course.
          •   Low on funds and your school is not paying?!  Contact Venise Ortego (vortego@wlf.la.gov) and ask about our limited registration scholarships!
All Symposium forms and related information can be found on our website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/environmental-education-symposium. For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Hosted by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and the Louisiana Environmental Education Association.

Gulf of Mexico Coral Reef Expedition for Educators (Deadline: February 27)
Down Under, Out Yonder (DUOY) – July 6-11, 2012

Application deadline for the Coral Reef Expedition is approaching! APPLY NOW!
Dive into the depths of the Flower Garden Banks and explore the Gulf’s coral reef treasures.
Any formal and non-formal educator who is SCUBA certified is invited to attend. The cost is $250, plus travel to and from Freeport, TX and SCUBA gear. Everything else is covered once aboard the vessel. MUST be diver certified plus provide own equipment (minus tank). For more information, plus exciting videos and pictures, visit: www.gulfmex.org/education-training/down-under-out-yonder/

Summer Research Internship (SumRI) Position Available (Deadline: May 15)
The LSU Department of Environmental Sciences seeks applications for one Summer Research Internship (SumRI) participant position. The high school student will spend 6 weeks in the summer of 2012 conducting research in a marine microbiology laboratory. The research will include microbiology, molecular biology, ecological impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil, field collection of samples in Port Fourchon, LA and in Grand Isle, LA, analysis of phytoplankton and zooplankton, use of remote sensing for ground-truthing data, and other topics of interest. The student will be expected to maintain a laboratory notebook and participate in weekly lab meetings. At the end of the 6 weeks, the student will present his/her findings in a 30-minute presentation and in the form of a scientific manuscript. The student will be conducting research in the laboratory of Dr. Crystal N. Johnson www.environmental.lsu.edu/johnson.shtml. Students will receive a tax-free stipend of up to $750 upon successful completion of the SumRI internship. The SumRI internship participant will be selected based on grade point averages (minimum 3.0), a 500-word essay indicating interest in science, formal interviews, and a letter of recommendation from each of the following: 1 science teacher, 1 non-science teacher, and 1 community representative. 
Please submit the following application materials to Dr. Crystal N. Johnson (cnjohnson@lsu.edu): 1 copy of student's report card, 1 essay, and 3 recommendation letters (in sealed envelopes or sent separately). Application deadline is May 15, 2012.


Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes Awards (Deadline: February 27)
Build-A-Bear Workshop® launches its ninth annual search for Huggable Heroes® - inspiring young leaders who have a commitment to serve, help others, and make a difference in their community. Kids, ages eight to 18, can be nominated through February 27. The 10 selected Huggable Heroes will each receive $10,000 ($7,500 in the form of an educational scholarship from Build-A-Bear Workshop and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity or Canadian cause of their choice). Deadline is February 27. Apply here. 

Disney Friends for Change Grants (Deadline: February 29)
Disney Friends for Change Grants offer young change-makers an opportunity to receive a $1,000 grant to help make a lasting, positive change in the world. Whether you are passionate about protecting the planet, providing meals to those who need it or giving kids just like you the resources they need to star in their own play, be an athlete or an artist, you can be a Friend for Change!  Whatever your interests, a Disney Friends for Change Grant can help you make a difference for people, communities and the planet. Youth ages 5-18 located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply for a $1,000 grant. Deadline is February 29.

Let's Play Maintenance Grants (Deadline: February 29)
Thanks to generous support from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, KaBOOM! will be awarding grants of $750 each to communities this year who wish to make their playgrounds cleaner, safer and more inviting. The Let's Play Spruce grants are designed to reward communities that have maintained and spruced their playspaces since their playground build. If you've done a "spruce up" project at your playground that involved volunteers in the last 6 months, you are eligible to apply. Alternatively, if you are a community that needs to refill the wood fiber playground surfacing at the playground, you can apply for $750 to be used towards the purchase of the surfacing. Deadline is February 29.
2012 Do Something Awards (March 1)
The Do Something Awards (formerly the BR!CK Awards) identifies exceptional young social entrepreneurs, activists, and community leaders who have a significant social impact. The Do Something Award nominees and winners are the pivotal "do-ers" in their fields and causes. For this year's awards five finalists will be selected and rewarded with a $10,000 community grant, participation in the third Do Something Awards TV show on VH1, media coverage, and continued support from DoSomething.org. Of those five nominees, one will be selected to win the Grand Prize of $100,000 grant. Deadline is March 1.

Let's Play Community Construction Grants (Deadline: March 16)
Dr Pepper Snapple & KaBOOM! are excited to offer $15,000 Let's Play Playground Construction Grants to qualifying organizations within the U.S. wishing to build brand new playgrounds using the KaBOOM! community-build model. Grantees will plan their project, and share best practices and challenges through the KaBOOM! website. For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit KaBOOM! Deadline is March 16.

State Farm Youth Advisory Board (YAB) Grants (Deadline: May 4)
Applicants may request from $25,000 to $100,000 based on a required budget which outlines project expenses. To be eligible to receive a grant from the YAB, applying organizations you must be a public K-12, charter, or higher education institution; non-profit organizations are also eligible if they are able to demonstrate how they plan to impact student achievement within the public K-12 curriculum. See more details here. All applicants must have a youth contact and adult administrator, as the programs must be youth-driven and youth-led. Deadline is May 4 at 5:00 p.m. Apply here.

Special Olympics Project Unify Grants (Deadline: May 31)
The goal of Project UNIFY is to activate youth around the country to develop school communities where all young people are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy with and for people with intellectual disabilities by utilizing the programs and initiatives of Special Olympics. To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 12 to 20, or a current undergraduate student in college. A Special Olympics North America program is required to be your main partner organization. Projects must demonstrate the core essence of service-learning. Budgets for projects can range from $100 to $5,000. Deadline is May 31st. Application here.


Poster Proposal Deadline for RAE National Conference Extended to March 15
Restore America's Estuaries – 6th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration
October 20-24, 2012   Tampa, Florida, USA
Posters will be featured in the Expo Hall throughout the conference and will have a dedicated session within the Conference Program schedule. All aspects of habitat restoration from all coastal habitat types will be included. Students are particularly encouraged to submit and will be automatically eligible for the Student Poster Contest, for which cash prizes will be awarded. Limited scholarships will be available, check the main conference site [www.estuaries.org/conference] in late spring for the application.
All poster proposals must be submitted through the 6th National Conference program website: http://program.estuaries.org/
For general Conference information: 6th National Conference  
Sponsorship: Harvey Potts (hpotts@estuaries.org)
Exhibitor & Scholarship: Meg Beiter (mbeiter@estuaries.org)
General Conference Information: Elsa Carlisle (conference@estuaries.org)
Conference Program/Call for Proposals: Suzanne Giles Simon (program@estuaries.org)

SunWise Poster Contest Grades K-8 (Deadline: April 1, 2012)
Overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, eye damage, and immune system suppression. Unfortunately, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Sun protection is especially important for children because practicing sun safety from a young age can decrease risk for developing skin cancer. Students in grades K-8 can help raise awareness about sun safety and win great prizes by entering the 2012 SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest, organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SunWise program and the SHADE Foundation of America. The due date is April 1st, and the national winner will receive a family trip to Disney World and a Shade 'N Net shade structure for their school. Contest details are available at www.epa.gov/sunwise/postercontest.html. Winning posters will be displayed by the National Children's Museum during summer 2012.



Natural Areas Registry Newsletter
The Louisiana Natural Heritage Program February 2012 Issue of the Natural Areas Registry Newsletter is attached.

The LDWF Louisiana Conservationist Winter Issue
The La. Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ Louisiana Conservationist winter issue is available online: http://louisianaconservationist.org

December 2011 Gulf of Mexico News
The December 2011 edition of the Gulf of Mexico News is now available online at http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/news/gomexnews.html

Teach Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Scholastic is offering materials for use with Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie for grades 3-5 and 6-8. The LA Environmental Science Comprehensive Curriculum has a Lorax-themed activity (Unit 3 Activity 2) based on the book and original video. This unique science program draws upon themes from Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (both the book and the movie) to help you and your students explore what it takes to build a sustainable future. Using these standards–based lessons and worksheets, students can better understand what they can do to use and preserve natural resources like forests, water, and air.
With these materials created by Scholastic with the support of Universal Studios and HP, students will:
-Explore the concept of environmental sustainability
-Interpret information from graphs and charts
-Write about their experiences in trying to make sustainable choices
-Record their personal experiences in working with others to manage environmental resources
Read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax or see the movie opening on March 2. Then visit www.scholastic.com/thelorax for lessons, printables, family activities, a writing contest, a student game, and the movie trailer!

Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at http://lacoast.gov/calendar/

Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec