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Congratulations to our 2016 Award Winners
The Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 MAEE Awards Program:

2016 Non-formal Environmental Educator of the Year —Josh Leonard from Belwin Outdoor Science Center, Saint Paul Public Schools, MN
This award is presented for exhibiting innovative and exemplary effort in providing environmental education opportunities for general audiences.

2016 Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Education —Larry Dolphin from Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, Austin, MN
The Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Education award is presented for long-term, outstanding service and contribution to the field of environmental education in Minnesota. It is intended to recognize the efforts of those people who have had a large-scale, long-term impact in the field. 

2016 Formal Environmental Educator of the Year —Anna Dutke from Jeffers Pond Elementary, Prior Lake, MN
This award is presented for outstanding, ongoing efforts in infusing environmental education into the school's’ curriculum. 
Welcome New Board Members
We are so thankful for MAEE's new board members: Mike Mesch, Abby Moore, Courtney Dowell & Katelyn Bocklund! New bios for Katelyn, Mike, Abby, and Courtney will be on our website in the new year. Thank you for your commitment to EE in MN. And thank you to everyone who ran for board positions this year! 
Save the Date:
25th Anniversary MAEE Conference

We are excited to announce the date and location of our 2017, 25th Anniversary Conference. Stay tuned for more details and mark your calendars! We look forward to seeing you all in July at Wolf Ridge ELC. 

Volunteer with MAEE
If you've been looking for a way to get more involved in MAEE, here's your chance! We are looking for volunteers to dedicate a little bit of time each month to join the following working committees and help us increase our impact as an organization.

  • Advocacy/Equity 
  • Fundraising 
  • Events/Professional Development 
  • Communications 
  • Awards/Scholarships 
  • Regional Advocate

Read more about each committee here. If you are interested, please contact to learn more.


NAAEE Conference Reflection
By: Jennifer Elsen
I attended the North American Association for Environmental Education conference in Madison, Wisconsin, October 19th-October 21st. It was held at the beautiful waterfront convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on Lake Monona. When I arrived early morning at the center, I was first drawn to the sunlight coming over the lake and the view of people rowing canoes across the calm waters. Click here to continue reading.

Every month guest bloggers share their stories, resources, and insights into the world of environmental education. Read the blog here. Do you have a story to share? Send in a short entry for the MAEE blog! Share stories from the field, highlight an organization or educator that has influenced you, or feature a resource that's been helpful. Contact the MAEE Board with ideas.

News and Events

Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. We Are Water MN, a companion exhibit that was developed with statewide partners, tells the Minnesota water story using interactive story telling. The exhibit includes stories from people reflecting on the meaning and experience of water in Minnesota, stories from local people from each host site community, and space for exhibit visitors to add their own stories and images. Check out the story maps created for each of the three cities where the exhibit has been: New London-Spicer, St. Peter, and Red Wing
Check out the Water/Ways website for more exhibit locations and dates, including its next stop at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, starting November 19. 

Click here to see and sign up for upcoming events at Ney Nature Center. 

Wood Carving Club
November 27, 1 to 3 pm
Participants receive hands on lessons regarding the fundamentals of carving wood from the amazingly talented Ollie Heitkamp. Participants are responsible for bringing their own basic supplies.

Bird ID Class
December 11, 1 to 3 pm
Have you ever looked outside your window in the winter at the birds grazing at your bird feeders and wished you could identify it?  Well, you’re in luck as we have just the class for you!  Our Bird ID Class will instruct you on what to look for when observing birds, the basics of using a bird field guide, information on common birds seen in the winter, and feeding techniques for winter birds.  

Christmas Bird Count
December 17, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Join us for our 20th annual Christmas Bird Count! Families, professional birders, or ‘newbies,’ armed with bird guides and checklists, observe their bird feeding stations or explore select areas within a 7.5 mile radius of the Ney Nature Center. Free to attend! Click here for more information about the event.

Growing Green Hearts Teacher Trainings
When: Tuesday, Nov 29th and Monday, Dec 5th

Springbrook Nature Center and Growing Green Hearts have teamed up for 2 teacher trainings taught by Heidi Ferris. Springbrook’s new state of the art facility was completed in 2016 and is now welcoming visitors and field trips. Check out the exhibits, stay for the training. ParentAware approved courses lead teachers through playful, standards-based activities and practices for Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (eSTEM). Sign up and learn more about these great opportunities. 

Green Partners networking meeting
Environmental education extravaganza — learning trunks and activity guides
Date: Tuesday, November 29 from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Sumner Library, Minneapolis. 
Participate in environmental education learning trunk activities and learn more about Hennepin County’s environmental education tools and resources. 
RSVP to Patience Caso at To learn more about the trunks and other education resources, visit

Professional Development

STEM at the Zoo
When: April 24-26, 2017
Where: Minnesota Zoo
Join the MN Zoo this spring for a three-day workshop. This professional development opportunity is offered to informal educators from zoos and aquariums that are looking to expand their institution’s STEM programming and implement the ZOOMS model, a zoo-based integrated STEM program. You will explore the role of zoos and aquariums in providing high-quality STEM education, give examples of the programming they offer through ZOOMS, and provide tools and resources that you can take back to your home institution. Learn more here. 

Climate Change Institutes
Climate Generation has been hosting Summer Institutes for Climate Change Education since 2006. Each Institute has a unique focus within climate change education and has included prestigious keynote speakers such as Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Frank Niepold and Bill McKibben. Join Climate Generation this year as they host two institutes: one for non-formal educators and one for formal educators. Check out both Institutes here to see dates, locations, and to sign up. 


The Promise of EJ 2020
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the EJ 2020 Action Agenda (EJ 2020) EPA’s strategic plan for environmental justice for 2016 through 2020. EJ 2020 will strengthen the EPA's relationships with key partners – from federal, state, tribal and local governments, to community-based organizations and industry – to ensure environmental justice is integrated into the decisions they make as they work to ensure that every American in every community enjoys the benefits of living in a cleaner and healthier country. To find out more, visit:

Natural Start Alliance 
The Natural Start Alliance is a coalition of educators, parents, organizations, and others who want to help young children connect with nature and care for the environment. Natural Start is a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education. Natural Start connects the people who teach young children—whether they are professionals or parents—with the tools they need to create great educational experiences that help young children explore the natural world, understand their environment, and build lifelong skills that will help keep them active and engaged in their communities.

Grants, Awards, & Scholarships

Bruce Vento Science Educator Professional Development Grant
The Bruce Vento Science Educator Professional Development Grant supports educators who teach science as part of their day and want to acquire and share new skills and knowledge. Congressman Vento believed in supporting students and teachers and highly valued his role as an educator in shaping his worldview. You may request up to $1,500. Deadline is December 9th. 

Hennepin County School Recycling Grants
Hennepin County has funding, free container signage, and technical assistance available to help schools start or improve recycling programs.


Welcome to our new Regional Advocate in the Central Region
"Hi, my name is Shelli-Kae Foster. I am very interested in MAEE because of the good work it is doing across the state to promote environmental education and because I was on the founding board! Currently I work with the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program as their Program Manager. YES! is a state wide, award winning program that engages youth in grades 7 to 12 to do sustainable action projects in over 50 communities in Minnesota. Previous to joining YES! I worked at Twin Cities Public Television.  I live in Alexandria with my husband and 16 year old son and have 1 son at Augsburg and another at SJU. I look forward to keeping you up to date on what is happening in EE in central MN."

News and Events
Professional Development
Grants, Awards, & Scholarships

Our Mission
MAEE seeks to strengthen the role of environmental education as a solution to our environmental and societal challenges.
We serve environmental education professionals, students, and K-12 educators in Minnesota through:
1. Coordinating professional development and networking opportunities through conferences and other events
2. acknowledging successful EE programs and professionals
3. supporting legislation that advances EE at the state and federal level
4. sharing resources for our members.

Visit SEEK for jobs, internships, resources, and more!

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Minnesota Association for Environmental Education · 3815 American Blvd E · Bloomington, MN 55425 · USA

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