WEEKLY eNEWS: Grants, Webinars/Workshops, Employment Opportunities, Awards, Challenges, Resources, Lagniappe

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana

Deadline Approaching – Call for Presenters…Call for Exhibitors!
On February 22-23, 2013, the LEEC and the LEEA will host the 16th Annual Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium – “Our Environment…Our Future” at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This year we are placing emphasis on the concept of sustainability – understanding, key practices, implementation, and more. The theme for this upcoming conference is “Build a Sustainable Future”!
Exhibitors: Our target audience will include classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, business and industry representatives, non-profit organizations, state and local officials, and non-formal educators.
Presenters: Do you have a hands-on workshop, lesson activities, or exemplary program that you would like to share with other educators? Particularly one that incorporates the concept of sustainability?! Consider presenting at the upcoming 2013 Louisiana EE Symposium! Help teachers by giving them the tools necessary to conduct quality environmental lessons! Also, teachers love presentations made by fellow teachers so if you are a classroom teacher with an innovative lesson, please consider using the symposium as a way to ultimately reach a larger audience of students!
Postmark deadline for exhibitor registrations and presenter proposals is December 20, 2012. Please see attached registration form, proposal form, and informational flyer below. For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator - 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov or Juliet Raffray, EE Assistant Coordinator - 225-765-0124 or jraffray@wlf.la.gov

 

GRANTS

Environmental Justice Small Grants –solicitation open now
Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program has awarded more than $23 million in funding to 1,253 community-based organizations, and local and tribal organizations working with communities facing environmental justice issues. The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The 2013 EJ Small Grant solicitation is now open and will close on January 7, 2013. Applicants must be incorporated non-profits, federally recognized tribal governments, or tribal organizations working to educate, empower and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. EPA will host pre-application teleconference calls on December 1, 2012 and December 13, 2012 to help applicants understand the requirements. For details, visit: http://1.usa.gov/QQosxZ.

 

WEBINARS/WORKSHOPS

Upcoming OneNOAA Science Seminars December 2012
Click on seminar title for location, abstract, remote access:
Tracking HAB Toxins: Advances in Underwater Robotic Sensors
Dive into the Data: A Virtual Intro to the Ocean and Great Lakes Economy
Building with Proteins: Nanotechnology the Way Nature Intended It
Using Mobile Tide-Gage Networks to Observe Storm Surge
Model Development and Analysis
Do Trophic Cascades Affect the Storage and Flux of Atmospheric Carbon? An Analysis of Sea Otters and Kelp Forests
Coupled Modeling: Principles Ad Reality from A MMAB Perspective
The Global Ocean Observing System
Impact of NPP Satellite Assimilation in U.S. Navy Global Modeling System
Dive into the Data: A Virtual Intro to the Ocean and Great Lakes Economy

Webcast on Planning for Sustainability
On December 13, 2012, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EST, EPA will host a webinar on how water and wastewater utilities can build sustainability considerations into alternatives analysis as they evaluate and select investments in infrastructure. The webinar is the third in a series of Agency webcasts built around the core elements of its 2012 handbook, "Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities." The webinar will feature presentations on how utilities in Beaverton, Oregon, and Carrboro, North Carolina, have addressed sustainability in their analysis of alternatives. For more information, contact Jim Horne at (202) 564-0571 or horne.james@epa.gov. Click here to register for the free webcast. Click here to view presentations from past webinars in the series or to download a copy of the handbook.

The Arts and Nature Workshop
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Louisiana
- Discover engaging art experiences inspired by nature that help children make deeper connections with the world around them.
- Practice the Look-Move-Build-Sketch planning tool that encourages multi-faceted arts exploration.
- Learn helpful strategies for supporting each child’s individual needs, especially children with sensory integration challenges.
- Earn professional development contact hours in science and art.
Register for the workshop at http://www.natureexplore.org/workshops/BossierCity.cfm

Green Strides Webinar Series Sessions by USDA, NOAA, DOI and NASA Geared Toward Educators
Session presenters are eager to connect schools with their many existing free resources and programs. Upcoming sessions focus on environmental education/STEM topics for educators as well as several facilities and health topics, which may appeal more to administrators and facilities managers at state, district, and school levels.
January 9, 2013, 3-4 p.m.: Using Remote Sensing to Quantify Changes over Time (NASA)
January 16, 2013, 4-5 p.m.: Food for Thought: Space Food and Nutrition (NASA)

Civic Ecology: Blending Theory and Practice ~ Online (Deadline: January 8, 2013)
This course, offered by the Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab, from February 4-April 29, 2013, is one of a series of online courses offered through EECapacity, EPA’s national environmental education training program. Civic Ecology: Blending Theory and Practice, is an online course designed for professionals, upper level undergraduates, and graduate students engaged in civic ecology practices. http://civicecology.org/doc/2013-course-ce.pdf

Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest & Machu Picchu Extension (July 2-11, 2013)
Educator Academy is a cross-curricular professional development workshop for formal and informal educators to learn and use innovative instructional approaches (5E lesson design, inquiry-based learning, STEM problem solving), protocols (PLT, GLOBE, Project Noah) and perspectives (sustainability, global education, service learning) while exploring one of the world's most important natural resources—the Amazon Rainforest. Experience a 1/4-mile Rainforest Canopy Walkway, research on Weather and Climate Change, interactions with Indigenous Yagua and Riberenos, a Village Service Project, ReNuPeru Ethnobotanical Garden, Monkey Island Conservation Project, and problem solving inspired by biomimicry. PD Hours available. Academic credit and Machu Picchu extension optional. Land cost is $1985, plus air. Win one of three $1000 scholarships drawn on March 8. Land cost is $985 for scholarship winners. Open registration through May if space is available. Questions: Contact christa@amazonworkshops.comor 800-431-3634. http://www.amazonworkshops.com/educators--naturalists.html

Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning (ETL)
The Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning (ETL) is designed for educators from private and public schools, museums, non-profit centers, environmental centers, and government organizations who want to deepen their understanding of ecology, sustainability, living systems, and ecological education and to apply their learning to their professional contexts. Teachers from across the disciplines—not just science teachers—complete this program. ETL is an 18-month accelerated program that includes two summer field experiences and distance learning in the fall and spring semesters. The first summer field experience is in a beautiful wild place and the second summer field experience is in a dynamic urban setting. http://lesley.edu/gsass/environmental_studies/etl/etl_index.html

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

National Wildlife Federation – Senior Policy Specialist,
Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, Washington D.C.
Link to job posting: http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH18/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=NWF&cws=1&rid=500
The Senior Policy Specialist will be responsible for National Wildlife Federation’s national portion of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign (MRDRC) to secure authorization and federal funding for restoring the Mississippi River delta, in concert with team members in Louisiana and nationwide, with NWF’s Gulf Coast Restoration team, and with our MRDRC partner organizations. This position will be responsible for working within NWF and with our partners on this campaign to advance efforts to restore the delta. Specifically, the Senior Policy Specialist will focus on national campaign planning, political strategy, policy analysis, lobbying, and some national media outreach.
Contact: David Muth, (504) 348-3518, muthd@nwf.org

 

AWARDS

EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Seeks Gulf Guardian Award Nominations for 2013 (Deadline: March 8, 2013)
The Gulf Guardian awards recognizes and honors the businesses, community groups, individuals, and organizations that are taking extraordinary steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. Recipients also exemplify innovative solutions to positively impact our quality of life and economic well being on the Gulf of Mexico. For the year 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Program will be awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for the following seven (7) categories: Business & Industry – Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity – Civic/Non-Profit Organizations – Partnerships – Youth Environmental Education – Individual – Bi-National Partnerships
To complete a nomination application for 2013, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program's web site at www.epa.gov/gmpo. Email nominations to gulf.guardian@epa.gov by March 8, 2013. For questions or further information or assistance, please contact The Gulf of Mexico Program Office at (228) 688-3726.

 

CHALLENGES

The KidWind Project Student Challenge
The KidWind Projec t is the recognized leader in renewable energy science education. For 10 years, they have been developing engaging renewable energy curriculum and hands-on experiment kits. The KidWind Challenge is an exciting STEM design competition for students. This challenge spans to over 15 states and a national competition in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) annual conference in Chicago, IL. There is also a web-based competition that is free and open to any student in the world to compete. To learn more and get involved with the KidWind Challenge, visit:http://learn.kidwind.org/challenge.

International Students Carbon Footprint Challenge
This project unites high school students worldwide as they calculate their individual footprints using an online “footprint calculator” (a series of questions) and post class data on a world map. They then enter discussions about their footprints and how to work toward solutions to globally shared environmental issues. The website includes instructions and lesson plans for introducing the footprint calculator to students and using the collected data in the classroom.

Go Bananas! Challenge (Deadline: April 8, 2013)
Take the Go Bananas! Challenge—a nationwide competition that challenges schools and scout groups to Answer the Call and create campaigns to collect and recycle cell phones to help save gorillas. Collect the most cell phones and win up to $5,000 for your school/scout group. Coltan, a mineral found in cell phones, is mined in gorilla habitat. By recycling old cell phones you reduce the demand. Join the challenge online and start thinking about a creative campaign. http://cincinnatizoo.org/savingspecies/

 

RESOURCES

EPA Releases Effective Utility Management and Lean Resource Guide for Water Sector Utilities 
EPA has developed a Resource Guide to Effective Utility Management and Lean based on input and examples from several utilities. The guide explains how utilities can use these two important and complementary approaches to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness. Effective utility management provides a common management framework to help water and wastewater systems build and sustain the technical, managerial and financial capacity needed to ensure sustainable operations. While the focus is on outcomes water sector utilities should strive to achieve, there is also a need to demonstrate how other well-accepted tools can help utilities achieve these outcomes by improving efficiency, reducing waste in their operations, and improving other areas of performance. One set of tools involves the use of Lean techniques. Lean is a business improvement approach focused on eliminating non-value added activity or "waste" using practical, implementation-based methods. Click here for more information.

Collaboration Toolkit for Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices
The collaboration toolkit Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is now available online. The toolkit offers effective steps that source water protection professionals working at the state level can take to build partnerships with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to get more agricultural conservation practices on the ground to protect sources of drinking water. Developed by the Source Water Collaborative, a group composed of 23 organizations working together to protect sources of drinking water, with support from EPA and in consultation with NRCS, the toolkit includes insightful tips and highlights specific opportunities states can take advantage of immediately. In addition, the Source Water Collaborative is working with the National Association of Conservation Districts to develop a locally-focused supplement to the toolkit to provide a step-by-step process for collaborating with conservation districts. Click here to view the toolkit.

Updated Data Now Available through EPA's Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
EPA has added updated data in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT), a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. Specifically, the updates include the Facilities Likely to Discharge Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) to Water data layer, which now provides information on nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from 2010 facility monitoring reports with corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA's Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. Another other update is the Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P TMDLs data layers which now reflect data pulled from the Assessment TMDL Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS). These layers have been updated from information from 2008 and 2011, respectively. Click here for NPDAT and the updated data layers.

Teaching about Hurricane Sandy
The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) EcoSchools USA program has created new web pages and resources for schools and students to better understand Hurricane Sandy, climate change, and natural disasters. Education pages contain information, links, and resources for the following topics:
- What are hurricanes?
- What is the link to climate change?
- How can you help kids cope with natural disasters?
- How do you plan for natural disasters?

EPA Launches SepticSmart, Promoting Homeowner Care and Maintenance of Septic Systems
EPA has launched SepticSmart, a national program to promote proper septic system care and maintenance by homeowners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 25 percent of U.S. households-more than 26 million homes-and almost one-third of new developments are serviced by septic systems. When properly maintained and used, these systems serve to effectively treat and dispose of wastewater. Unfortunately, septic system back-ups and overflows can lead to costly homeowner repairs and can pollute local waterways, creating a risk to public health and the environment. SepticSmart aims to educate homeowners about proper daily system use and the need for periodic septic system maintenance. SepticSmart also provides industry practitioners, local governments and community organizations with tools and materials to educate their clients and residents. To learn more, visit: http://www.epa.gov/septicsmart

Fall is a great time for our Victory Garden Project
One of the goals of the Victory Garden Project at the Museum is to teach students how important community was during WWII and how those lessons of community are still relevant today. This project includes activities and curriculum for students near and far. The wonderful Victory Garden Field Trip teaches students about community on the Home Front during the War and combines lessons of civics, history, biology and earth science. Introducing elementary students to the lessons and history of WWII in the classroom can be complicated and The Classroom Victory Garden Project is a great place to start. Here you will find curriculum and projects, a WWII Timeline especially for kids, resources on starting a garden at your school (or in your community) and much more! Get a free Victory Garden Poster here.

Green Building Program Overview  
The Green Building Program educates K-12 students on green building attributes and benefits, and provides them with the strategies to take steps toward improving environmental inefficiencies within their own school building and homes. The program includes free: lessons (organized by grade level), auditscase studieskey green building concepts(explained)

Free K-8 Climate Change Program
Ready to inspire environmental action in your school community? The grassroots organization, Cool the Earth, is now enrolling K-8 schools for the 2012-13 school year to run their free climate change program that motivates students and their families to take carbon-saving actions. The ready-to-run program is implemented by a parent or teacher volunteer so step up and start making a change at your school! Get inspired and watch their video here. http://www.cooltheearth.org

 

LAGNIAPPE

Homework and Grades Study
A new study led by Indiana University found that there is little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades for math and science students, but a positive relationship between homework time and performance on standardized tests. When Is Homework Worth the time?: Evaluating the Association Between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math”

Environmental Awareness Student Art &Language Arts Contest - 2013 Calendars
Get FREE copies of the 2013 calendar “Louisiana Waters: Protect, Conserve, Enjoy!” featuring winning entries from our 2012 Environmental Awareness Student Art & Language Art Contest. This contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) through the generous support of the Alcoa Foundation. To request a calendar or to learn more about the contest contact Juliet Raffray at jraffray@wlf.la.govor 225-765-0124. Information about the 2013 contest can also be found on our website: www.wlf.la.gov/eec

 

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/


Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) – www.wlf.la.gov/eec
Venise Ortego, Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov