WEEKLY eNEWS: Events/Workshops, Webinar, Grants, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana


EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION of $35 ENDS THIS WEEK…FEBRUARY 10TH for the 2012 Environmental Education Symposium – March 9-10, 2012
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and the Louisiana Environmental Education Association will host the 15th Annual Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium – “Our Environment…Our Future” at the Lafayette Crowne Plaza in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 9-10, 2012.
          We are excited to announce the PRESENTERS LINE-UP! The presenters were meticulously selected to insure a premium environmental education experience. We’ll offer a variety of hand-on sessions, lesson demonstrations, and exemplary programs catering to formal (K-12) and informal educators. Make sure to browse our presenter line-up in the attached document.
          Lodging assistance is offered to those with significant drive times while funding is available so apply now! EARN up to 12 CLUs! Phenomenal speakers, innovative sessions, and a great time to be had by all in Cajun Country! Join us – register today! Laissez les bon temps rouler!
          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

Seashore Experience to Focus on Marine Debris
“Debris Free Seas: Small Steps, Huge Impact” is a family educational experience offered as part of the Explore a Seashore series through The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. The two-day trash adventure will take place February 10 and February 11 in Ocean Springs, MS. On Friday, from 6-8 p.m., participants will learn about common marine debris found in local waters, learn the repercussions of land-to-water pollution and hear about simple solutions for a cleaner environment and how to go green. On Saturday, participants will cruise aboard the Sea Explorer to Deer Island where they will remove debris and go hunting for shark teeth. They will bring debris back to the Gulf Coast Research Lab campus and sort, identify and weigh it. The data will help determine sources of pollution and help prevent further damage to the Coast. Each participant will receive a field notebook, GCRL pen, and a CD of photographs from the day. The program is open to adults and their children who are 12 and older. Lunch is provided. Cost is $50 per person with a $25 deposit due at registration. To register, contact Martha Brown at martha.brown@usm.edu or 228-818-8833. Flyer: http://masgc.org/pdf/press/120202.pdf

NEW! High-quality, Low-cost Professional Development Opportunity
Saturday, February 25, 2012, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Holy Cross School, 5500 Paris Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122 

Join TI for an exciting, one-day event on Nspired Learning, TI’s newest science learning solution that gives your students a one-to-one science learning experience in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Nspired Learning enables interactive, inquiry-based learning that lets students explore and learn at their own pace in the classroom, lab and field, every day.
Here’s what you get at the event:
          • FREE! One (1) TI-Nspire™ Teacher Software license – a $155 value!
          • High-quality instruction from a T³™ instructor
          • Overview of TI-Nspire™ CX handhelds and TI-Nspire classroom solutions, including available data collection activities and free interactive simulations
          • Hands-on “Getting Started” Science Nspired activities that you can use in your classroom right away
          • Certificate for professional development hours completed
Registration is only $25 per person. Lunch included! For more information: http://link.ti-enews.com/YesConnect/HtmlMessagePreview?a=hivXFeskG0Wlr4Gj6p39ve


Gulf of Mexico Alliance Celebrates Change in Leadership
Jerome Zeringue has become the new management Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA); taking an active lead on behalf of Governor Bobby Jindal. Zerinque made Alliance history, shifting state leadership for only the second time since the Alliance was established in 2004. As the director for the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, Jerome Zeringue steps in as the new Chair of the Alliance Management Team. Their role is to act on behalf of the states’ governors to oversee Alliance direction to address the six regional issues identified as priorities by all five Gulf States. Zeringue hopes to accomplish several items while Louisiana serves as the chair of the Alliance, namely the completion of objectives in the regional action plan as well as Alliance integration into the regional restoration strategy resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. GOMA will hold its annual conference, the “All Hands” meeting, this summer June 2012, in Corpus Christi, Texas. More information can be found at www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org.


Register for Webinar on “Tool for Comparing Impaired Waters Restorability”
Join EPA’s Watershed Academy for a free webinar titled “Recovery Potential Screening: A Tool for Comparing Impaired Waters Restorability” on February 22, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. This webinar will help states, watershed groups and others become acquainted with a new website and methodology for analyzing and comparing restorability differences among watersheds. The webinar will highlight the new recovery potential website, www.epa.gov/recoverypotential, which includes step-by-step screening directions, time-saving tools for calculating indices and displaying results, summaries of over 120 ecological, stressor and social indicators, a recovery literature database and several case studies. The recovery potential screening website was developed to assist complex planning and prioritizing, provide a user-customizable but systematic and transparent comparison approach, and help improve restoration program results. To register for this webinar, please visit: www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts


EPA Announces Grants to Clean Up Beaches across the Nation and Launches Improved Website for Beach Advisories and Closures
EPA announced that it will provide $9.8 million in grants to 38 states, territories and tribes to help protect the health of swimmers at America’s beaches. The agency also launched an improved website for beach advisories and closings, which will allow the public to more quickly and easily access the most current water quality and pollution testing information for more than 6,000 U.S. beaches. The website, called BEACON, has the capability to update as frequently as every two hours based on new data provided by states, territories and tribes. Users will have access to mapped location data for beaches and water monitoring stations, monitoring results for various pollutants such as bacteria and algae, and data on public notification of beach water quality advisories and closures. For the first time, users can also access reports that combine notifications and water quality monitoring data. The The grants will help local authorities monitor beach water quality and notify the public of conditions that may be unsafe for swimming. Grant applications must be received within 60 days of publication of EPA’s notice in the Federal Register. EPA expects to award the grants later this year. View EPA’s enhanced beach advisory and closing information: http://watersgeo.epa.gov/BEACON2/. More information on the grants: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/beachgrants/index.cfm

EPA Grants Award Process Webinar Announcement
The Office of Grants and Debarment is pleased to announce that it is hosting another EPA Grants Award Process Webinar for our external grants community on February 23, 2012 at 2 pm. Registration is limited. The webinar will cover grants management topics, including: how to find and apply for grant opportunities; FFATA reporting requirements; and preparing a proper budget detail. In addition, a Q&A session will be held during the second half of the webinar. Please email ogdweb.gad@epa.gov with any questions in advance of the call. For more information and to register: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/grantswebinar/event/event_info.html.

NSF Funding Opportunity: Math and SciencePartnership (MSP)
Math and Science Partnership (MSP): http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5756&WT.mc_id=USNSF_39&WT.mc_ev=click
Full Proposal Deadline Date: March 5, 2012
Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance (RETA), including STEM Education Resource Collaboratory
Program Guidelines: NSF 12-518
The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program is a major research and development effort that supports innovative partnerships to improve K-12 student achievement in mathematics and science. MSP projects are expected to raise the achievement levels of all students and significantly reduce achievement gaps in the STEM performance of diverse student populations. MSP projects contribute to what is known in K-12 STEM education. All STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). More at: www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5756&WT.mc_id=USNSF_39&WT.mc_ev=click

Request for Proposals - 2012 Walton Family Foundation Conservation Grant (Deadline: April 15)
The Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture (LMVJV) partnership, working in cooperation with the Walton Family Foundation (WFF), is pleased to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2012 WFF Conservation Grants. The WFF has once again authorized the LMVJV to identify projects and facilitate funding totaling up to $1.25 million in support of habitat restoration on frequently flooded agricultural lands within the delta of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Interested organizations and agencies should carefully review the grant guidelines outlined in the attached RFP. The deadline for proposal submittal is April 15, 2012.


Weekend release of the movie "Big Miracle" and NOAA's Involvement
The follow link chronicles an interview with NOAA Fisheries Marine Biologist, Dave Withrow, who was part of the two-week “Operation Breakthrough” the real-life rescue of three gray whales that inspired the movie Big Miracle which is in theatres now. The interview will provide students with an insight into the science and the unifying of efforts from companies around the country to support the engineering necessary to accomplish the rescue. If you make plans to see this new movie, please make sure you read this interview from a NOAA scientist on the scene and share this interview with your students: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2012/02/2_1_2012_bigmiracle.html

“It's time to bring in the cavalry for rescue of the wetlands”
By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune
This article discusses the dryness of the prairie nesting grounds and how the regulations and conservation programs that have protected this habitat for decades remain under a withering attack in Congress.

Insightful Infographic--STEM & Our Planet
View the attached STEM & Our Planet infographic which was launched to coincide with the White House Science Fair and provide a visual insight on future Green career growth. Find out more: www.eeweek.org

Cool the Earth
Free, fun, and empowering climate change program for K-8 students and their families that inspires them to take simple actions to reduce their carbon emissions. Includes action coupons kids earn and a banner the school can post to show how their actions are adding up to make a difference.

School Compost Programs: Pathways to Success
By Kary Schumpert and Cyndra Dietz, Eco-Cycle
This article describes how composting can help schools achieve zero waste and provides the how, why, and steps to follow.

EPA Offers Climate Change Toolkit for Middle School
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a free collection of resources to enhance middle school students’ understanding of climate change impacts on the United States’ wildlife and ecosystems. “Climate Change, Wildlife, and Wildlands: A Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators” contains case studies, activities, and videos based on climate science, environmental education, and stewardship information. The toolkit is available online at www.globalchange.gov/resources/educators/toolkit. For more information: www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/CCWKit.html


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