SEEK Bulletin - March 1, 2013

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Greetings from SEEK!

March brings us the official beginning of Spring and the announcements of many summer EE workshops, camps, and events. The SEEK Jobs and Internships pages continue to be full of great EE positions.

Don't forget to check out SEEK's Calendar to learn more about upcoming EE events.

In this issue:

Welcome New Partner

CLASS 5 Energy

CLASS5 Energy

CLASS 5 Energy is a consulting firm that is passionate about energy efficiency and has spent the last 10 years working with organizations to reduce their energy use and costs. Our goal is to help organizations create a long-lasting culture of energy efficiency using a behavior-based approach that engages people and inspires changes in attitudes, actions and decision-making.

Because we started in K-12 schools, we have extensive experience in helping districts educate staff and students, identify opportunities for saving energy, engage staff and students, measure and track their progress and communicate successfully both internally and externally.

We tailor our support to each organization's needs by first evaluating the extent and impact of an organization's current energy efficiency efforts in 10 keys areas. This allows us to identify areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement. Whether you want support in just one or two of the areas, or all 10, CLASS 5 Energy can provide resources, tools and materials that meet your budget and move you toward your energy goal.


EE News

MAEE Conference

Call for Presentations for the 2013 Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE) Conference 
MAEE is proud to announce the 2013 Annual Conference, Exploring our Communities, at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington on June 14-15. We invite you to submit a proposal for a session that provides helpful information, program models and/or resources for helping participants, organizations and audiences in a way that is relevant to the conference theme. Through concurrent sessions, and a keynote presentation, the conference will engage and inspire environmental education professionals.
Deadline: March 4th

Announcing the 2013 Hamline Rivers Institutes - FREE for Educators
Join us as Hamline University presents its acclaimed Rivers Institute, a three day field-based professional development opportunity that inspires, educates, and prepares 3rd-8th grade teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through hands-on, inquiry-based investigations at local watersheds. Two institutes will be held -- one on the St. Croix River June 24-26th, and one on the Mississippi River July 29-31st. All institutes include, at no cost to teachers, three full days of experiential instruction and lunches, the Waters to the Sea multimedia tool, CEUs, a $100 mini grant, and the option to purchase two graduate credits at a reduced rate.

Registration Open for the Will Steger Foundation's Two Summer Institutes
Registration is now open for the Will Steger Foundation's Two summer professional development opportunities. The Summer Institute for Energy Education will be held at the Audubon Center of the North Woods from June 16-18th and the Summer Institute on Minnesota's Changing Climate will be held at Fort Snelling State Park from August 6-7th. Register for one or both. Scholarships available.

Week-Long Workshops Offered on Energy for Middle and High School Teachers
Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy is a cooperative effort involving the Center for Renewable Energy Education and Demonstration (CREED) Project, Hamline University's Center for Global Environmental Education and the Laurentian Environmental Center, designed for high and middle school teachers who wish to bring their knowledge about the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy industry in Minnesota up-to-date and thereby be able to encourage their students to choose a future career in this field. The workshops will be held June 16-21st and July 21-26th.

Children's Water Festival

Registration Open for 4th Grade Classes to Attend the 2013 Metro Area Children's Water Festival
Attention metro area fourth grade teachers: You and your 4th grade class are invited to register for the 2013 Metro Area Children's Water Festival lottery drawing. Six classes will be selected from each of the seven metropolitan counties to attend the Festival on Sept 25, 2013. The purpose of the festival is to educate fourth-grade students about our water resources and to present ways they can help ensure a future where both the quantity and quality of water resources are protected and managed wisely.
Application Deadline: April 1st

Nat'l EE Week

Registration Open to Participate in the 2013 National EE Week - April 14-20th
National Environmental Education Week is the nation's largest celebration of environmental education held each year the week before Earth Day and inspires environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students. The 2013 theme, Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors, will explore how technology can enhance environmental learning both inside and outside the classroom. Registration is free and once registered, you'll receive certificates of participation, free online resources, information on professional development and funding opportunities, and access to discounts on educational materials from our partners.

Aldo Leopold Foundation Takes on Leopold Education Project (LEP)
The Leopold Education Project is an innovative, interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education curriculum based on the essays in A Sand County Almanac. The original curriculum was recently expanded to include new activities, incorporate new technologies such as GPS, and facilitate teaching in non-formal educational settings, like nature centers and zoos. Previously housed with Pheasants Forever, beginning January 1, 2013, LEP found a new home with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. The Foundation welcomed the more than twenty state coordinators and countless LEP educators into our fold. We look forward to this program's continued growth!

New members appointed to Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources - the body that makes project funding recommendations to the state legislature on expenditures from Minnesota's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the state's first constitutionally dedicated funding source for protection of its unique natural resources - has received its new appointments. The legislative appointees for calendar years 2013-2014 include five members from the House and five members from the Senate and three new appointments of non-legislative members by Governor Dayton.

EPA Appoints 11 New Members to the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC) 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has appointed 11 environmental education professionals to serve on the agency's NEEAC. NEEAC is comprised of representatives from organizations outside the federal government who provide EPA with advice and recommendations on environmental education. The council provides EPA with a better understanding of the needs of schools, universities, state departments of education and natural resources.


Healthivores Video Game Contest for K-12 Students
Green Ribbon Schools invites K-12 students to participate in the Healthivores Video Game Contest. Teachers receive a step-by-step Lesson Plan and Toolkit designed to hand hold those with zero game design experience, through the process of teaching your students how to design simple video games. We promise that you will have your students completing their video games around fitness and nutrition, technology, science, or math in fewer than four weeks. Prizes include notebook computers for winning students and teachers.
Deadline: March 31st

Feeling SAD? How Sunlight Affects Health, Find out why it's important to light up your life during the winter months
When the days grow shorter and darker, do you find yourself feeling blue? You're not alone - and there are scientific reasons for that negative frame of mind. Studies show exposure to natural daylight can positively affect your mood, your alertness, and your overall health. During the winter, some people feel depressed because they suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) brought on, in part, by less sunlight exposure. In this article, find out more about sunlight and how to get more of it (safely) this winter!

$1000 Professional Development Scholarships for Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest and Machu Picchu
Join us in Peru from July 2-11 for a professional development experience like no other. This Educator Academy is a cross-curricular professional development workshop for K-12 formal and informal educators. PLT Certification and PD Hours included; Graduate Credit, and Scholarships available! Land cost is $1985, plus air. Land cost is $985 for scholarship winners. Open registration through April if space is available.
Scholarship Application Deadline: March 8th

Community-Based Research Program
The U of M's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs has a Community-Based Research Program that provides graduate or undergraduate student assistance for community-based applied research projects, program planning and development, program evaluation, and other short-term projects. Student assistantships are generally 200 hrs (10 hrs/wk) during spring or fall and 260 hrs (20 hrs/wk) during summer.
Application Deadline: March 15th

Join the Young Reporters for the Environment Competition
The Young Reporters for the Environment competition engages middle and high school students in environmental journalism. Youth between the ages of 13-18 investigate an environmental issue and report on it in via a written article, photo or video for a chance to win great prizes plus national and international recognition. Youth may enter as individuals or as part of a class or group. Entries must be relevant to participants' local community, connect to a global perspective, include possible solutions, and be disseminated to an appropriate target audience.
Deadline: March 15th

Prairie Enthusiasts Conference to be held at Minnesota State University, Mankato on March 16
The 2013 Prairie Enthusiasts Annual Conference theme is Pollinators: Future of our Food & Native Plant Communities and will open with DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr speaking on "The State of the State of Minnesota Prairies and Grasslands." Keynote speaker Eric Mader, will address how native pollinators play a critical role in both prairie ecology and agriculture. Concurrent sessions will focus on a diverse selection of topics including wildlife, prairie restoration and maintenance, grassland birds, dragonflies, orchids, reptiles and amphibians, and befriending bumble bees.

EPA & National Science Foundation Support Research for Safer Chemical Design
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the National Science Foundation announced two funding opportunities for up to ten grants totaling up to $32 million for research on the design of safer chemicals. The grants focus on sustainable chemical design and assessment of the life cycle impacts of chemicals from production to disposal and will support research to create chemicals that are safer for people and the environment. This research has the potential to provide tools to characterize and predict these health and environmental effects.
Application Deadline: March 18th

National Wildlife Week is March 18 - 24 and 2013 is all about Trees!
National Wildlife Week is an education program designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife. The 2013 theme is Branching out for Wildlife. Learn about the parts of a tree, the role of trees, and how other wildlife depend on trees for survival. We've developed lesson plans, posters, trading cards and other curriculum and activities perfect for classrooms, youth groups and families to explore "tree"-mendous wildlife species.

K-8 Students Invited to Participate in the SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites K-8 students to enter the SunWise with SHADE 2013 Poster Contest for great prizes! Entries are categorized by K-3rd grades and 4th-8th grades. The contest is a great opportunity to creatively engage students on the topics of sun safety, UV radiation, and ozone science. Prizes include a family trip to Disney World and a shade structure for his/her school.  Poster submissions must be original and hand-drawn and show five sun safety action steps.
Deadline: April 1st

Browse EE Resources

General Resources

Wahoo Adventures

Wahoo! Adventures
Wahoo! Adventures offers a variety of active travel and events to get you outside. We bring families, friends, couples, and coworkers together with a common interest in recreational activities, healthy lifestyles, camaraderie, and appreciation for healthy food. We ensure the experience will be fun, relaxing, and educational while promoting outdoor adventure for all fitness levels. Our events include everything you need.  We also partner with local community education and recreation groups to host events at nature centers, parks, and lakes in the Twin Cities for snowshoeing, hiking, geocaching, camping, kayaking, biking, and more!

Community Education Toolkit
This free toolkit was developed by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board and is intended for any community group in the Twin Cities wanting to educate others about the problems associated with producing too much trash and how to reduce, reuse and recycle. It will help you inspire, educate, and actively engage others to reduce trash and use less toxic products. It is designed for groups of any size, age, or composition. Whether you're organizing a group of volunteers, neighbors, or friends for a onetime event, leading a class or small group meeting, or working with a team of people in your organization, school, or neighborhood, this toolkit contains useful information for you.

Woolly School Gardens
A Woolly School Garden is everything a school needs to create an outdoor garden classroom and begin teaching gardening and nutrition. Woolly School Gardens use any sunny wall or fence to create a vertical edible garden, and the user-friendly curriculum allows teachers to easily teach their students how to grow their own food and make healthy food choices. Our Do-It-Yourself vertical gardening kit is $1,000 (we offer fundraising options) and includes everything you need to start an outdoor classroom. The kit comes complete with 50 Woolly Pockets, do-it-yourself hardware and instructions, premium soil, organic seeds, compost tea, a planting chart and gardening manual and Nutrition and Garden Curriculum Lessons.

Funding Resources

Recycling Bin Grants - Deadline: March 4th
The Coca-Cola Company and Keep America Beautiful, Inc. announced a call for entries the Recycling Bin Grant Program, a program designed to expand and support recycling in communities across America. Eligible grant recipients for the public space grant include government agencies, civic organizations, schools and non-profit groups. Colleges and universities will complete a different application for a grant dedicated to them.

The John Ball Zoo Society's Wildlife Conservation FundDeadline: March 4th
This Fund promotes understanding and enjoyment of rare, threatened and endangered animals and their habitats and supports zoological research that will directly benefit captive animal management. Many funded projects have been education based with an eye to helping communities learn about the wildlife around them. Grant amounts are generally in the range of $500 to $2500 per award.


Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge - Deadline: March 5th
This Challenge is the premier national environmental sustainability competition for grades K-12 students. Through project-based learning, students learn about science and conservation while creating solutions that impact their planet. Teams from across the country will be challenged to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements in their local communities. Classes win big by learning how to make an environmental impact, and they can also win amazing prizes like $5,000 school grants, assemblies with Discovery Channel talent, green prize packs, and more!

NOAA's Environmental Literacy Grants - Deadline: March 12th
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a request for projects designed to build the capacity of educators to use NOAA data to help K-12 students and/or the public understand and respond to global change. Projects must engage K-12 students and/or members of the public in a minimum of two U.S. states or territories. There are two priority categories: Priority 1 is collaborative teams of two or more U.S. institutions. Priority 2 is collaborative teams of two or more non-profit U.S. aquariums. Proposed projects must be between 1-5 years in duration and have combined federal requests of $500,000 - $1,000,000.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund - Environmental Initiative Program – Deadline: March 13th
This Fund's goal is to promote public use of open space that improves a community's quality of life and public health, while also ensuring the protection of healthy, viable and sustainable ecosystems by protecting or restoring habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species. The Fund assists public or not-for-profit entities with grants of up to $35,000. The Fund is likely to make a total of 4 - 6 grants this year.

Blandin Foundation Community Grants - Deadline: March 15th
Blandin Foundation partners with community-focused organizations throughout rural Minnesota to build healthy rural communities. The Foundation awards four types of grants, depending on size of request and geographic impact. The grant awards range from $100 to $250,000. The Foundation's three areas of focus are Expand Opportunity, Itasca County Area Vitality, and Rural Community Leadership. Grant proposals greater than $50,000 should be received by March 15. Other grants may be submitted at any time.

Bush Fellowship Program - Deadline: March 22nd
The Bush Fellowship is an opportunity for individuals to increase their capacity for and improve their practice of leadership while working with others to solve tough problems in their communities. Bush Fellows have the opportunity to try different strategies intended to mobilize stakeholders to engage in creating change around the identified issue.  A Bush Fellowship is a two-year commitment.  Fellowship funds are paid out in equal monthly installments, and funding ranges from $30,000 to $80,000.

Get Ready

American Public Health Association's Get Ready Scholarship - Deadline: March 25th
The Get Ready Scholarship is designed to encourage high school and college students to focus on the importance of emergency preparedness, including pandemic flu, infectious disease, natural disasters and other emergencies. Applicants should write an essay between 350 - 700 words using one of the predetermined questions. Six scholarships of $500 each will be awarded: two for high school seniors; two for college undergraduates; and two for graduate students.

Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Award - Deadline: March 29th
This Award is given to a young person between the ages of 8 and 18 who displays an interest in the natural world to attend a week-long, summer outdoor educational adventure camp. The 2013 camp will be July 6-13 at the Family Nature Summit at Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Conference Center Bar Harbor, ME. The Fund provides travel, room and board and program fees for the award winner and an accompanying parent or guardian. Applicants must submit an original essay and application form.

Community POWER Grants Deadline: April 1st
The Community POWER (Partners on Waste Education and Reduction) grant program is looking for applicants to propose new and innovative ways to educate and actively engage residents in changing their purchasing, reusing, and hazardous waste disposal behaviors to reduce garbage. Non-profit organizations and schools are eligible to apply. Two types of grants are available in 2013: Mini Grants up to $5,000 and Traditional Grants up to $12,000.

National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program - Deadline: April 1st
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is requesting proposals from "Friends" groups for projects that assist organizations to be effective co-stewards of our Nation’s important natural resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Competitive seed grants ($1,500 - $5,000) are provided to creative and innovative proposals that seek to increase the number and effectiveness of organizations. Three types of grants will be given out: Start-up Grants, Capacity Building Grants, and Project Specific Grants.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) - Nomination Deadline: April 1st
The PAEMST are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The Awards recognize outstanding K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. The 2013 Awards will honor mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers working in grades 7-12. Teachers may nominate themselves. Nominated teachers will receive an invitation to begin the application process.

Water Quality Improvement Grants - Deadline: April 5th
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is offering Cost Share grants for efforts that protect and improve water and natural resources within the Nine Mile Creek Watershed. Funds may be used by public or private landowners implementing projects that support one or more of the following: 1. Improve water quality or increase the capacity of the watershed to store water 2. Preserve, protect, and restore native plant and wildlife habitats, with emphasis on lakes, rivers, and wetlands 3. Protect and preserve groundwater quality and quantity. The maximum grant amount is $3,000 for residential projects, $10,000 for lake and townhome associations and $25,000 for commercial and government projects. The minimum grant amount is $500.

Clean Air Choice Scholarship - Deadline: April 5th
The Minnesota Biodiesel Essay Contest provides an opportunity for MN high school seniors to gain an understanding of the benefits of using cleaner burning, renewable fuels like biodiesel by writing a 1,000 word essay. Two scholarships will be awarded - first place: $1,000 scholarship and second place: $500 scholarship.

Thacher Environmental Research Contest - Deadline: April 15th
The 2013 Thacher awards will be given to students in grades 9-12 who demonstrate the best use of satellites and other geospatial technologies or data to study Earth. The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data to study a problem related to Earth’s environment. Cash awards will be given to the top three projects: $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. Teachers of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place students/teams will receive a $200 gift card.

SEEK stands for Sharing Environmental Education Knowledge and is the online home of Minnesota's environmental education resources.

For further information visit SEEK or contact Colleen Schoenecker, SEEK Coordinator, at or 651.757.2700 or 800.657.3864.

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