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New! Missouri Green Schools Program

Earth Quest: A game of Environmental Literacy

earth quest gameboard

Environmental Quizzes

K-2 biodiversity quiz

Coloring Sheets

channel catfish coloring sheet

Green Holidays Calendar

Missouri Environmental Education News
November 2018

Table of Contents: Feature: NAAEE Conference, MO Green Schools and EE Conference, Kudos!, Things to Look Out for in November, MEEA News, Grants, Contests and Awards, Conferences, Workshops, Jobs, Teaching and Learning: Visual Literacy and EE

North American Association
for Environmental Education Conference

As part of my work for MEEA, I attended the 2018 NAAEE meeting in Spokane Washington. My goal is to bring back information and resources that educators in Missouri can use.


I check out the posters and photograph the ones I think are useful. This year's crop included a citizen science project (caterpillars), a causality framework (chain reaction, chicken and egg, reciprocal patterns), protocols for involving special education students in EE, learning modules based on iNaturalist, the importance of role models, a module to engage students in the topic of urban environments and examples of multisensory activities for exploring the environment. The NAAEE Posters page has high resolution photos of 28 posters. Select one you are interested in, drag it to your desktop and enlarge to read the details.


One of the hot tickets was "What Leads to Better Outcomes in Interpretation". Researchers Mark Stern and Robert B. Powell reported on a pilot study of the effect of Instructor and Program Characteristics on Behavioral Intentions of students attending a day-long interpretive program.

Better Outcomes Talk Even arriving early, the only place left to sit was on the floor.

Stern and Powell have been researching this topic for a long time and expectations were high. Below is a summary from my notes.

Characteristics that have a positive impact on behavioral change


Last but not least, a conference is a chance to catch up with folks in the field. In this case it was Kate Delehunt and Lara Isch from KC Water (small world!) I also met up with my counterparts from Kansas and Iowa. In the past we have worked together on EPA Region 7 grants, something we hope to do again.

Kate Delehunt (KC Water), Jan Weaver (MEEA), Lara Isch (KC Water).
MEEA Board Member Dr. Christine (Jie) Li also presented at the NAAEE Conference.


MO Green Schools and EE Conference
November 2 & 3

Taking Learning Outdoors Logo


Join us for your own chance to learn something new, connect with place, catch up with old friends and make some new ones!

 Register for the Conference


Kudos to MEEA and MELAB Members!

St. Louis Zoo wins "Best Zoo" in USA Today's Readers' Choice Awards

Did you get a promotion? Take on a new job? Win an award? Receive a Grant? Let us know so we can share the news with your peers!


Things to Look for (or Look Out for) in November

What to Look for Right Now - MDC's list of What's Out There in November!


Back to Table of Contents

Coming Up in the Next Two Months

Unsure about how to go after or write a grant proposal? There's a hands-on workshop for that at the MOGSEE Conference!

(These count for Environmental Educator Certification categories 1, 2 or 3. Visit the EE Certification page here)

EE Jobs details here


Teaching and Learning: Visual Literacy and EE

Presentation at the 2018 NAAEE Conference

While learning about nature directly from nature is critically important to developing attachment, particular understandings, and the skills and willingness to act, some things can't be learned if all students do is go outside for an hour or two.

For example, in the image below, the color photos are all things students might see exploring a patch of goldenrod - butterflies, wasps, bees, even a spider eating a bee. However, they can't learn about the fly that forms the galls on goldenrod stems, the life cycle of the golden rod, its range in North America, how it dominates prairies, or the extent of its root system just from going outside.

High quality visuals add scale, time, relationships, and context to an outdoor experience. They are important tools for getting the most out of an outdoor experience before and after it happens.

Below is a simple model of things that should be considered when choosing or creating a visual for exploring nature in detail. (I used emojis in order to keep the focus on the model and not the art - design engages, but content rules).

  1. Intention - the feeling, understanding, or willingness to act that you want to inspire
  2. Content - the data, facts, and images used to inspire a change
  3. Audience - the specific age, developmental stage, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. of the people you are trying to influence
  4. Channel - the way your visual will be provided to your audience (as part of a lecture, in print, online, social media, etc.)
  5. Design - the style (realistic, abstract, fanciful), color palette, font, and organization of your content

Check out the powerpoint of the presentation for more details, to see how it aligns with NAAEE standards for learning materials, and to practice analyzing some examples of visual materials.

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