WEEKLY eNEWS: LEEC EE Symposium! Plus, Educational Opportunities, Seminars, Contests/Awards, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana 

On 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. Early Bird Registration is $35 until February 10, 2012. (Registrations sent after February 10th increase to $50.) We are celebrating 15 years of professional development (lots of CLUs here) and want YOU to join in the fun!!
          Friday, March 9th: Optional Short Course sessions will be offered at locations in and around Lafayette. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into coastal restoration efforts and talk one-on-one with the scientists involved! Or take a canoe trip down the Vermilion River to learn about watershed issues and the variety of habitats along the way. You’ll then return to Vermilionville for some great watershed lesson activities. Or get ideas on how to “Green Ribbon” your school through the schoolyard garden tour with the “Get Your ROOTS on” session. Lastly, you can choose to participate in a fun-filled day at Acadiana Nature Station. The staff there can’t wait for you to experience their take-home ideas on using the outdoors for THE BEST kind of classroom experience! Go to our website for more information & registration forms for these workshops/tours.
          Saturday, March 10th: Sit back and enjoy some quality networking while we serve up a continental breakfast to start your day. We’ll then offer breakout sessions and plenty of exhibit hall time. Prepare to be entertained with a WOW keynote address during our banquet style lunch! Then it’s back to the final sessions before we break and go home. We’ve designated 2012 as the Year of Outdoor Teaching so many sessions will focus on how to use the outdoors to enhance the classroom experience!
We do offer lodging assistance (1/2 the hotel fee for 1 night) to those with significant drive times while funding is available so apply now! Lodging assistance forms can be found on our website.

All Symposium registration, exhibitor, and presenter forms and related information can be found on our website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec. For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov, www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec


Spring 2012 Online Course: Environmental Education in Urban Communities
Apply: December 15, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Course Dates: February 6, 2012 – April 29, 2012

Cornell University’s Civic Ecology Lab announces an online course offered through EECapacity, the EPA-funded national environmental education program. This 12-week, non-credit professional development course will cover novel practices and conceptual frameworks of urban environmental education. Limited to 20 participants. For more information: www.civicecology.org/course-uee.php

Exciting Summer Program for High School Juniors (June 24-August 4)
The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsors of the Research Science Institute (RSI) are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Interested students should apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 24 to August 4, 2012. They will meet some of the world’s most talented students and have an opportunity to conduct research in amazing labs! Visit www.cee.org for RSI application materials and more information about the program or contact Maite Ballestero, Vice President, Programs, maite@cee.org. The Center for Excellence in Education can also be found on Facebook.


Oil Spill Professional Development Video conference (January 28)
Through a grant supported by the NOAA Office of Education professional development as a video conference will be offered to teachers at ten locations with an opportunity to earn a $100 stipend on January 28, 2012 in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Formal and informal educators who teach middle to high school grades or professionals who work with the K-12 community are invited to participate in a three hour training session on topics related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The session will be on Saturday, January 28, 2012 9 a.m. to 12 noon (sign in at 8:30 a.m.) at three locations in Louisiana: LSU Baton Rouge; Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans; Bossier Instructional Technology Center, Bossier City.
For more information contact Dianne Lindstedt at Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU at lsged@lsu.edu or (225) 578-1558. To register: https://fs9.formsite.com/louisianaseagrant/oilspillpd/secure_index.html
See attachments below for more information.

Call for Proposals: Dedicated Sessions, Presentations, and Posters (Deadline: February 1)
Restore America’s Estuaries 6th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration
Restoring Ecosystems, Strengthening Communities
October 20-24, 2012, Tampa, Florida, USA
To Submit a Proposal: program.estuaries.org  
The Conference focuses attention on the challenges and opportunities facing the coastal habitat restoration community. Join the restoration practitioners, civic and community leaders, consultants, scientists, educators, planners, engineers, students, volunteers, philanthropists, program managers, field staff, contractors, regulators, and others at this must-attend event.
For additional information about the Conference, please contact:
Sponsorship: Harvey Potts (hpotts@estuaries.org)
Exhibitor and Scholarship Opportunities: Meg Beiter (mbeiter@estuaries.org)
General Conference Information: Elsa Carlisle (conference@estuaries.org)
Conference Program/Call for Proposals: Suzanne Giles Simon (program@estuaries.org)


Schools Eligible to win $5,000 Awards To Help Save America’s Wetland
Annual ‘Keep Your Eye on the Prize’ Contest (Deadline January 15)

The America’s WETLAND Foundation’s annual Keep Your Eye on the Prize will award $5,000 to the schools of 10 Louisiana students who are challenged to use their creative skills to illustrate what they feel is the significance of Louisiana’s coastal land loss. The Keep Your Eye on the Prize program is designed to encourage students across the state to consider the significance of Louisiana's coastal wetlands to their own lives by writing essays, creating artwork or taking photographs on the topic. The subject of the 2012 contest essay entries will be “How can Louisiana adapt to coastal land loss and what changes should be made?” The subject of the 2012 contest art/photo entries will be, “Why should the area known as “America’s WETLAND be saved?”
Students may submit entries online at www.americaswetland.com under the “Get Involved” tab through January 15, 2012. Two winners will be awarded in each age category and two overall winners will be named. Winning students’ classes will be awarded a $5000 grant from the America’s WETLAND Conservation Corps to be used for a wetland planting project along with a school visit by The Estuarians, the nine action hero mascots of the Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana.
The LSU AgCenter, the LSU Coastal Roots Program, Louisiana Science Teachers Association and Youth Wetlands Week support the Keep Your Eye on the Prize contest.
Complete contest guidelines available at www.americaswetland.com.

Go Bananas! Challenge (Deadline: January 27)
Take the Go Bananas Challenge! – a competition that challenges schools and scout groups across the country 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. Contest ends January 27, 2012, and the winning group will be announced February 1, 2012. For more information: www.cincinnatizoo.org/savingspecies

Like A Drop of Water Essay Contest
This writing contest encourages youth ages 8-17 to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. Like drops of water that make up the oceans, millions of people of all ages, can lead the way to creating the positive changes needed to have a sustainable planet. No deadline. Six awards of $50-$100 per month are granted through June 2015.
For more information: http://www.likeadropofwater.org/

Now Accepting Nominations for Coastal Stewardship Awards (Deadline: February 3)
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana will host the 17th annual Coastal Stewardship Awards Program on Friday, April 13, 2011 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Coastal Stewardship Awards recognize the contributions of individuals and groups who demonstrate outstanding commitment to preserving and restoring Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. CRCL is proud to honor these leaders in coastal restoration, who share our vision of a sustainable coast for future generations. Nominations are now being accepted for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Distinguished Achievement Award and the Coastal Stewardship Award.  Please consider nominating an individual or group who has made an exceptional contribution to protecting and restoring Louisiana’s wetlands. To nominate a person or organization for a Coastal Stewardship Award, visit www.CRCL.org. For more information, contact CRCL at 1-888-LACOAST (1-888-522-6278). All nominations must be received by February 3, 2012.

Announcing the Sustainable Energy Award (Deadline: February 10)
NEEF and Samsung are partnering to celebrate those innovative schools from across the country that have used energy efficiency to enhance education, reduce environmental impacts and generate cost savings. The $10,000 Sustainable Energy Award will be presented to each of the top three high schools that can demonstrate how they have engaged students and teachers in school-wide energy savings through the creative and innovative use of technology. Their achievement will be showcased as models for other schools looking to take on this challenge. The national Sustainable Energy Award is made possible through the generous support of Samsung Electronics America. Applications are due February 10, 2012. For more information: http://neefusa.org/energyaward.htm

We Can Change the World Challenge (Deadline: March 15)
The Siemens "We Can Change the World Challenge" involves student teams along with teacher/mentors to solve environmental problems. This collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board, gives students the use of scientific investigation and Web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education to create a replicable green solution. Teachers and mentors should register their teams and begin formulating their projects online. For more information: www.wecanchange.com


CWPPRA Goes Live on Facebook and YouTube
The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Public Outreach Committee is pleased to announce the public opening of the new CWPPRA Facebook and YouTube Pages. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the LaCoast homepage and click on the “f” icon near the top of the page. This will bring users to the CWPPRA Facebook Page. Once there, please, “Like” us on Facebook. Please invite your friends to also “Like” us on Facebook.
Also, now available is our new YouTube site. Our YouTube site has all of our CWPPRA videos in one location in the realm of social media. The advantage to this is that YouTube is partnered with Google which will add a great search resource for the public to find our informative videos on our coastal restoration efforts.
To directly access these new sites from this page, click on the link: www.facebook.com/CWPPRA and http://www.youtube.com/user/CWPPRAclips?feature=watch

Energy Hog
Energy Hog is an online game developed by the Alliance to Save Energy that allows students to identify and get rid of hogs that pig out on energy, in the process discovering how to use energy wisely. Access the game at http://www.energyhog.org/childrens.htm.

Survival: An Endangered Animal Game
This newly developed free mobile app from ARKive engages students in a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world's most endangered animals. Access the app at http://www.arkive.org/apps/survival.


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