Environmental Education 
Association of Indiana

Schedule and Program Highlights

(all times EST)

Friday, November 6

1:00 pm Kickoff and Welcome

2:15 pm Concurrent Sessions 1

3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions 2

4:30 pm Panel Session: Administration

5:30 pm New Members/Students Welcome

6:30 pm Awards/Board Election Results

7:00 pm David Sobel Keynote

8:30 pm EEAI Has Talent Showcase

Saturday, November 7

8:00 am Personal Time Outside

9:00 am Concurrent Sessions 3

10:15 am  Concurrent Sessions 4

11:30 am Panel Session: Informal Educators

1:00 pm Workshop with Rachel Larimore

5:30 pm Panel Session: K-12 Educators

6:45 pm Rachel Larimore Keynote

8:30 pm Virtual Social Hour

Sunday, November 8

8:00 am Personal Time Outside

9:00 am Concurrent Sessions 5

10:30 am Concurrent Sessions 6

12:30 pm Panel Session: NBECE/ECEE

2:00 pm Field Trip Options

4:30 pm Closing Remarks

Track Highlights

Nature Based Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Environmental Education

Go Wild with Children’s Literature!, Taryn Hassler, Noblesville Schools

Explore new and classic picture books that will bring the outdoors into your classroom. We will group books into themes and discuss activities and lessons that correspond. Be ready to share your ideas and walk away with new lessons to try!

Branching Out: Childhood Tree Climbing and Risky Play

Dr. Carla Gull, University of Phoenix, Loose Parts Nature Play

Due to fears around injury, liability, and judgment, some childhood activities are being limited, such as tree climbing. Explore the benefits, as well as the risks, of tree climbing in this nostalgic and informative session on risky play, tree climbing, and allowing children the freedom to explore the great outdoors.

The Sky Above and the Mud Below: Lessons from Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens, David Sobel, Antioch University, emeritus

Learn basics around the nitty-gritty facts of running a nature-based
program, with diverse examples from David’s new book with the same
title. From searching for pirate gold to big animal drills to singing in the rain to

literacy and math outdoors, David will share innovative ideas

for outdoors learning from early childhood programs across the country.

Special 3 Hour Session:

The Devil is in the Details: Considering the Logistics of a Nature-based or Forest Preschool

Rachel Larimore, Samara Early Learning

Nature-based and forest preschools involve a unique approach to teaching which brings with it administrative and pedagogical challenges not typical in more traditional settings. This session will help early childhood providers, no matter their situation, consider the principles fundamental to a nature-based early childhood education (NbECE) approach and integrate those principles into administration and teaching. These high-quality practices don’t happen overnight, but rather occur through daily programmatic and teaching decisions. Using a continuum of NbECE as the overarching framework, Rachel will provide the group with concrete ways to better integrate nature into your program structure, physical environment (inside and outside), and teacher-child interactions. Attendees will leave the session with tangible ideas that can be implemented immediately as well as some ideas can be worked toward into the future. There will also be time for attendees to ask questions of Rachel and the other attendees.


• K-12 Formal Education

Nature Programming for Homeschoolers

Sarah Wolf, Hendricks County Parks and Recreation

We are all trying to reach diverse audiences in our programming. Reaching and teaching homeschoolers can be challenging. Learn tips and tricks from a park naturalist who was homeschooled!

Habitat Projects in Educational Settings, Vincent Gresham, Cardno Native Plant Nursery

The presentation will offer guidance on many aspects of an educational prairie garden project, including: selecting a site, designing the prairie for optimum student engagement, building staff/community support, involving students in the planning and installation process, securing funding, and more. The presentation will also introduce participants to a variety of educational resources that are available to support and inspire learning in native prairie gardens.

Have Seeds, Will Travel, Dawn Hammon, Center for Inquiry School 84

Participants will learn about different types of seeds, the seed parts, and how they travel. We will collect seeds and sort by methods of travel. How can you do this in your classroom or with a group of children K-12? How can this be integrated into other subject areas?

From Joy to Action: Sense of Place Curriculum for Goshen

Paul D Steury, Steury Eco Consulting

I was asked to create a curriculum based on Sense of Place, Stewardship, Issue Investigation and Climate Change by a partnership initiated by the Mayor of Goshen (after I whispered in his ear).

Demonstrating and Facilitating Concepts of Soil Health for Secondary Education

Seth Harden (The Nature Conservancy), Joe Rorick (Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative), and Stephanie McLain (USDA-NRCS)

This workshop will enable participants to demonstrate and facilitate lab and field experiments for measuring the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of soil health. Participants will be provided the knowledge and tools to enlighten students on the importance of conserving our soil resources.

Middle School Students in the River . . . . Literally!, Erin Wagner, Northridge Middle School

Learn how Middlebury Community Schools partners with our local parks department and Hoosier River Watch to get our 350+ 8th grade students to our local park to help analyze the health of the Little Elkhart River. We analyze the chemical aspects, flow rate, and habitat. Macro invertebrates are also identified as part of this field trip experience for the students.

• Non Formal Environmental Education

Eco-Inspire, Zach Garcia, Wesselman Woods

As we fret over real issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and environmental and ecological injustice, inspiration through nature is key to getting children out of a depressive ecological mindset and into a leap of environmental stewardship.

Environmental Education the SWCD Way, Jenna Wait, Elkhart County SWCD

In this workshop, learn how to create an effective educational tool or event. Hand on learning activities will be showcased in the virtual format. Even adults can have fun learning! This session will feature the Augmented Reality Sandbox and educational kits created by the Elkhart County SWCD.

Telemetry for Outdoor Education: Infusing Inquiry Practices into Learning Activities

Tom J. McConnell, Ph.D., and Erica Forstater, Ball State University

Radio telemetry is a method used by many wildlife researchers that you can do at your site! Join us online as we demonstrate this tried and tested simulation activity to help learners practice and understand authentic science processes.


Just Answer the Question: How to Write Winning Proposals!

Alison Zajdel, Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation

Learn tips and processes that make grant proposal writing organized and successful! From developing relationships with funders to ensuring you answered their questions, this session will help prepare your organization for that next big opportunity!

Free Online Tools to Increase Efficiency at Work

Sarah Wolf, Hendricks County Parks and Recreation

Using free online tools can increase your efficiency at work. Have you used Sign Up Genius for volunteer sign-ups? Google forms can be used for school field trip and workshop registrations. These tools can decrease back-and-forth emails and phone calls.

Job Searches and Interview Tips & Tricks

Jen Smith, Camp El Tesoro—Texas Outdoor Center

Interested in EE as a career, but not sure where to find a job? We’ll explore a variety of places that regularly post EE related jobs. Once you have an interview, learn some tips and tricks and questions to ask.

Cultivate a Following: Building a Volunteer Program that Sticks

Caitin Yoder, Lily Center for Lakes & Streams

This presentation will take participants through the steps we took to create a comprehensive volunteer program. The focus is creating meaningful positions, being strategic with recruitment, and using your volunteer pool to help further your mission.

Program Evaluation, Dr. Carla Gull, University of Phoenix/Loose Parts Nature Play

Evaluation often gets put on the backburner as we focus on other needed things, like personnel, programs, and our natural spaces. Learn about why and how you might create and put a plan into action to jump start program evaluation in your organization.

*Subject to change/Additional sessions being confirmed for 6 sessions in each track.

© Environmental Education Association of Indiana
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software