Professional Development Opportunities

Watershed Webs

Two spots are now available due to participant cancellation:

Watershed Webs is a 4-day workshop for teachers of students grades 5-12 that focuses on the dynamics of watersheds, water quality, trash, and our new WET tracker app.  Teachers in the coastal parishes/counties of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are eligible to participate. Participating teachers will qualify for a student field experience during the school year.  Go to for a list of qualifying parishes and counties.

Download the flyer and registration form.


July 26-29, 2016: The workshop will be held at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium facility in Chauvin, Louisiana, about 85 miles southwest of New Orleans. It is situated in the heart of the estuarine wetland complex of the Mississippi River deltaic plain, between two active distributaries - the Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi itself. Visit for more details.


Participants at either workshop will take part in lessons and activities on a stretch of remote coastal beach and activities will include collecting quantitative data and debris for analysis. Participants will learn to track the path of debris within watersheds, become trained in basic water quality assessment, participate in a beach elevation profile measuring activity, and other, habitat-specific activities. They will be trained in the use of the WET Tracker app and practice related standards-based lesson activities. Closing discussion topics will include societal demands, trash reduction techniques, and stewardship in the classroom.


2016-2017 School Year: Funding is available for up to 8 participating 5th through 12th grade school teachers to lead student field expeditions with financial assistance and co-facilitation provided by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC)/Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.



Both workshops will be held in very remote areas of the state and all participants will stay at these research facilities. Meals and lodging are included at no cost to the participants.  

Rockefeller Refuge

Dormitories are in the background, to the right.

This facility is mainly used by research scientists working in the area. It is simple but very doable and has been remodeled within the last year. Accommodations are somewhat dormitory-style, with 4 single beds per room. The facility is ~10 feet off of the ground and there is no elevator.

Rockefeller is in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the U.S. and has played a crucial role in the delisting of several species, including the American alligator, brown pelican, and bald eagle: Biologists there are currently working to reestablish the whooping crane population in Louisiana.

As a side note, we plan to take participants on a tour of the alligator research area.


Observation tower at LUMCON

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium is primarily a research facility but also commonly hosts teacher and student groups. It is a large, modern facility and accommodations are arranged in small group settings. It is at least 10 feet off of the ground but there is an elevator.

Scientists at LUMCON play a critical role in the Gulf’s “dead zone” research, as well as coastal erosion and oil spill research.

We will take boats (see the Acadiana on the LUMCON website) to a barrier island in order to access debris for data analysis.  


Facilitators include:

  • Dinah Maygarden, University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences Coastal Education Program education Specialists
  • Dianne Lindstedt, Louisiana State University Sea Grant College Program Coordinator
  • Venise Ortego & Thomas Gresham, LA Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Environmental Education Program


Participants who complete this workshop will receive:

  • Handheld GPS unit, dissolved oxygen kit, Secchi tube, pH test kit, thermometer, flash drive, & lessons
  • Up to 32 hours of professional development
  • Up to $700 in stipends paid; dependent upon participation level
    • Tier 1: $100 for in-state attendees, $300 for out-of-state attendees
    • Tier 2: $100 for proof of lesson plan implementation in the classroom
    • Tier 3: $200 for conducting an approved field experience with students
    • Tier  4: $100 for presenting a related session at an approved conference
  • Student bus transportation and stipends for bus drivers for related field experiences


REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00 [This fee will be refunded upon completion of the workshop.]

  • Checks payable to: Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation 
    Mail to: Venise Ortego, LDWF, 5652 Highway 182, Opelousas, LA 70570
  • Participants must stay for the full workshop and complete the evaluation to receive the stipend & classroom materials.