WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Webinars/Workshops, Contest, Grants, Lessons, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana.


Transit of Venus Events and Resources (June 5)
Transit of Venus Events and Resources (June 5)
The Sun-Earth Day and NASA EDGE Teams will bring the Transit of Venus to the world from the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. During a live webcast, the transit will be shown in high definition video through H-alpha, Calcium-K, and White Light telescopes. Coverage will consist of video of the transit, interviews with scientists and Native Hawaiians, and question and answer sessions. Resources are available on the website for use in museum events and classroom participation, including videos providing cultural and historical information about the transit. Promotional materials include bookmarks, wallpapers, and a flier that can easily be downloaded from the website. A Google map is also available, to see where events are happening, and where you can submit your own event. For more information, visit http://1.usa.gov/H1raix.

GOMA Invites the Public to Learn about Regional Programs at Annual Meeting (June 19-21)
The 7th annual Gulf of Mexico Alliance meeting is scheduled for June 19-21, 2012, in Corpus Christi, Texas. A key topic at the conference this year is an address by the new director of the National Ocean Council, Deerin Babb-Brott, who will provide an update on the implementation of the National Ocean Policy. Also, the Alliance has invited industry leaders from key sectors such as energy, tourism and harbors to join the conference to offer insight on working together effectively, including integration and obstacles when collaborating on ecosystem programs such as National Ocean Policy objectives. Other key topics at the conference include the status of Natural Resource Damage Assessment restoration activities, an update on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and a panel dedicated to discussion regarding resilient communities. Keynote speakers include high-ranking personnel from the Department of Interior, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. The two-day plenary meeting will be followed by concurrent sessions on water quality, nutrient impacts, ecosystem integration and assessment, habitat conservation and restoration, coastal community resilience, and environmental education. The meeting is open to the public. Registration and sponsorship information as well as a full schedule of events is available at: http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org.

The Great American Backyard Campout (June 23)

A new traveling exhibit at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Animal Grossology, the newest exhibit at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, uses a different view of the animal kingdom to make kids laugh and learn. Experience some of the slimiest, stinkiest and downright yuckiest creatures on earth! Oozing with disgusting science and interactive learning games the new “Animal Grossology” exhibit takes a slightly different view of the animal kingdom. The exhibit follows in the footsteps of the overwhelmingly popular “Grossology, the (Impolite) Science of the Human Body” and is the next generation in the GROSSOLOGY series.Animal Grossology was created and produced by Advanced Exhibits, a division of Advanced Animations LLC, in collaboration with Sylvia Branzei, the author of the popular GROSSOLOGY books.



LPDES General Permits
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is sponsoring free training sessions that will give you an understanding of water discharge general applicability, outfall schedules, and how the effluent limits and requirements are derived. This session will also include a basic overview of stormwater general permits and requirements, and a preview of several new general permits. Please register for one of the sessions below:
LAKE CHARLES:  June 7, 2012, 10AM-12PM
LSU AgCenter, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles, LA 70607
NEW ORLEANS AREA:  June 14, 2012, 10AM-12PM
Yenni Building, Room 405, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Jefferson, LA 70123
ALEXANDRIA AREA:  June 26, 2012, 10AM-12PM
Main Street Community Center, 708 Main Street, Pineville, LA 71360
If you would like to attend any of these workshops please register online at www.deq.louisiana.gov/enviroschool or fax the attached registration form to (225)325-8222. If you would like more information please call (225) 219-0877 or visit the ENVIROSCHOOL website at http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/2601/Default.aspx. These workshops are free and open to the public, so please forward this to anyone who may be interested. 

MarineTech: STEM Preparation for Teachers through Marine Engineering Experiences (July 10-11 & July 12-13)
This two-day summer professional development workshop at UL will prepare teachers to incorporate marine kits into classroom instruction. Participants will receive a $400 stipend while becoming better equipped to incorporate technology such as sea perch robotics into the student experiences providing training aligned to the Science and Engineering Principles of the Next Generation of Science Standards to raise student career awareness and interest.  Contact Dr. Suren Dwivedi at suren7483@gmail.comor 337.482.5361.

OneNOAA Science Seminars
All seminars are open to anyone within or outside NOAA. You can view all of the seminars in google calendarformat if you prefer. For questions, please contact Hernan.Garcia@noaa.govor a OneNOAA Science seminar partner.
OneNOAA Science Seminars: June 2012
June 12: Title: Future of International Climate Agreements; Speaker(s): Alexander Thompson (The Ohio State University); Location: WebEx Event, remote access only; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
June 13: Title: Climate Links to Florida Extreme Coastal Sea Levels; Speaker(s): Joseph Park (NOS/CO-OPS); Location: Silver Spring, MD; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
June 13: Title: Development of an Integrated Benthic Ecosystem Survey; Speaker(s): Dvora Hart (NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center); Location: Silver Spring, MD; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
June 19: Title: LEO, The Local Environmental Observers: A Growing Network For Monitoring Change In the Arctic Communities; Speaker(s): Michael Brubaker (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium); Location: Fairbanks, Alaska; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
June 20: Title: Assessments of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) for Data Assimilation; Speaker(s): Fuzhong Weng (NOAA/NESDIS/STAR); Location: Camp Springs, MD; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
June 21: Title: State of Decadal Prediction; Speaker(s):Lisa Goddard (IRI), Arun Kumar (CPC), Tom Delworth (GFDL); Location: Silver Spring, MD; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
July 11: Title: The Social Coast - Social Science, Simply Explained and Applied; Speaker(s): Susan Fox (NOAA Coastal Services Center); Location: Remote access only; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar
August 02: Title: Toxic Algae and Dead Zones: Resurgence of Old Problems in Lake Erie; Speaker(s): Don Scavia (University of Michigan); Location: NOAA SSMC-4, Silver Spring, MD; Click here to add this seminar to your google calendar



EPA Launches Video Project Asking Americans Why “Water Is Worth It” (Deadline: September 14)
View details at http://water.epa.gov/action/cleanwater40c/video-project.cfm
2012 marks the 40thanniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Everyone deserves clean water – it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy. To help commemorate the 40thanniversary of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking people to send in a 15-second video clip about the important role that water plays in their life. Each video should include the phrase “Water Is Worth It,” but the rest is up to you. EPA will post selected videos on its website and Facebook page. To learn more and register, visit http://water.epa.gov/action/cleanwater40c/video-project.cfm.Fill out a video entry form, and submit your entry as a video response to the promotional video on EPA’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/USEPAgov. Video submissions must be received by September 14, 2012. Grab your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, and pets and let us know why “Water is Worth It” to you!

EPA Launches Competition for College Students to Develop Innovative Approaches to Stormwater Management (Deadline: December 14)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new design competition called the Campus RainWorks Challenge to encourage student teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge opens September 4, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 - $2,500, as well as $8,000 - $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_challenge.cfm



Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program (Deadline: July 2)
Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities through Environmental Solutions for Communities by supporting projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations; state, tribal, provincial and local governments; and educational institutions working in states and communities where Wells Fargo operates. Grant awards will typically range from $25,000 to $250,000. http://bit.ly/LjLJ7Y   


I Can Grow Lessons
Burpee Home Gardens and the National Gardening Association recently released the I Can Grow series of 6 lessons targeting grades 1-9: http://www.burpeehomegardens.com/ICanGrow/_ICanGrowCurriculum.aspx. Lessons cover topics like life cycles and identification, photosynthesis, plant classification, weather, sustainability, and soil nutrition. Lesson titles: Bean Beginnings (1-8); Sunshine Power (4-9); ‘Shoe’ Me How to Classify (1-9); Weather (4-9); From Farm to Fork (5-9); and Soil Symbiosis (3-9).

Renewable Energy Lessons
The University of Idaho’s Biodiesel Education Program has created a 7-lesson curriculum to help students understand the concepts of energy and renewable energy. These lessons were originally written for 4-H clubs but are also appropriate for elementary classrooms.  Many hands-on lesson activities are featured. Go to http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/bioenergy/4-H.shtmlfor the student workbook and instructor’s manual.



Critical Facilities Flood Exposure Tool Expanded Nationally (CSC)
The Critical Facilities Flood Exposure Tool, originally developed for Mississippi and Alabama, is now available for coastal areas nationwide. With this tool, coastal communities can “see” the critical facilities and roads that lie within their flood zones. This information is helpful for those who develop and implement risk mitigation strategies. The visual nature of the information also makes the output a strong component of any risk management outreach effort. For more information, contact Billy Brooks.

EarthCaching Resources
EarthCaching combines Global Positioning System technology with outdoor field experiences, allowing students to experience the wonders of Earth in a new way. At http://www.geosociety.org/Earthcache/intro.htm, teachers can learn how to create EarthCaches, direct students to create EarthCaches, or use existing EarthCaches in your classroom.

Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman's Guide to a Sustainable Career
Why Green Is Your Color: A Woman's Guide to a Sustainable Career is a free, downloadable comprehensive manual designed to assist women with job training and career development as they enter into innovative and nontraditional jobs. The guide is a resource to help training providers, educators, counselors, and other workforce development professionals promote the recruitment and retention of women in green career paths. Details: http://www.dol.gov/wb/Green_Jobs_Guide  

Break the Grip of the Rip!
Heading to the beach this summer? Prepare you and your family first by reading up on rip currents - narrow channels of fast-moving water that pull swimmers away from the shore. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves and are common along the U.S. coastline even when the skies are clear. Last year, 41 people lost their lives in rip currents in the United States, but on average more than one hundred people die each year from them. NOAA, along with the U.S. Lifesaving Associationand the National Park Service, are working to reduce the death toll by educating people throughout the year, and especially this week during Rip Current Awareness Week, about the danger of rip currents and how to avoid them or survive if caught in one. Go to http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120604_ripcurrents.htmlto brush up on safety tips and find out how to Break the Grip of the Rip!

Find a Local Farmers Market
Spring is a great time to visit your local farmers market and see what’s growing near you. The USDA's market search lets you look for farmers markets by location, products available, and payments accepted. http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/ 

EPA Releases Fact Sheet on the Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds
EPA has released a new fact sheet as part of its Healthy Watersheds initiative describing the economic benefits of protecting healthy watersheds by highlighting examples from existing peer-reviewed literature and studies. EPA’s Healthy Watersheds Initiative is intended to protect the Nation’s remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate restoration successes. It encourages interested states to take a strategic, systems approach to protecting healthy watersheds that recognizes the dynamic and interconnected nature of aquatic ecosystems. The fact sheet describes studies that demonstrate protecting healthy watersheds can reduce capital costs for water treatment plants and reduce damages to property and infrastructure due to flooding, thereby avoiding future costs. Additionally, examples in the fact sheet show that protecting healthy watersheds can generate revenue through property value premiums, recreation, and tourism. This fact sheet directs readers to important resources to learn more about the substantial efforts to monetize ecosystem services from across the country. This fact sheet is also a resource for those doing outreach to promote the protection of healthy watersheds. The fact sheet is available at:  http://www.epa.gov/healthywatersheds.

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/

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