WAEE Members & Friends
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Timothy Egan - MEEC Keynote Speaker 

In partnership with the UW Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the MEEC is proud to announce Timothy Egan as the conference keynote speaker.
Egan is the author of seven books, one of which, The Big Burn, relays the story of the nation’s biggest wildfire and the creation of the US Forest Service. The Big Burn is the basis for a newly released PBS film featured on American Experience.

A lifelong journalist, Mr. Egan now writes an online opinion column for The New York Times.  His appearance at the MEEC is a part of the Nelson Institute’s Jordahl Public Lands Lecture Series.


Moving Forward

As best told in this video by these Wisconsin 5th graders, every child has the inalienable right to hike a trail, sleep under the stars, hunt and fish with a mentor...

Here's the latest update: The resolution has been renamed. It is now know as "Wisconsin Children's
Outdoor Heritage Resolution." It was introduced as Assembly Joint Resolution 27 on April 15th, 2015  by C.Taylor and 25 others and cosponsored by Senator Hansen and 6 others. It was read and referred to the Committee on Rules on that same day. Stay posted on next steps and ways you can help make this resolution a reality. 

The next meeting of the Committee on Rules is not yet set, but rest assured WAEE will keep you informed and give you the information you need to be an informed and active member and citizen. Sign up for updates and become a supporter of this resolution on the EEinWisconsin page or follow WAEE on Facebook or Twitter for any call to action or new updates. 
Get Involved


Supporting Leader

Scott Ashmann, Associate Professor of Education at UW-Green Bay was honored with the Administrator of the Year Award in 2014. The award is presented for exhibiting innovative and exemplary effort in providing ongoing support and active involvement in EE in his/her facility.
As Chair of the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB), Scott helped the WEEB to better understand its role in EE leadership, networking, and strategic planning. He led critical research about EE in pre-service teacher preparation programs, and helped to develop a network to connect pre-service teacher educators (TENFEE II). Check out the website for award descriptions and past winners

Join us for a wonderful evening to honor and celebrate the outstanding examples of excellence in EE. Watch for your invitation in the mail and the opening of online registration.

Become a Sponsor


Time to Register

The long-awaited Midwest Environmental Education Conference is set for October 21-24 in Madison Wisconsin. The list of speakers, events and networking opportunities will not disappoint. Focused on the theme of "Promoting Access to Environmental Education Experiences" (see Wisconsin Plan for Environmentally Literate & Sustainable Communities) the MEEC tracks of Education on Climate Change, Education on Sustainable Foods, Reaching Under-Served Audiences, and Celebrating EE Successes, touch on the most timely and important issues of our time. Hear from peers and experts on how we can best teach to these topics and reach new audiences. With two and a half days of presenters, roundtable discussions, and EE Talks (styled after the popular TED Talks), there is certainly something for everyone in the field of EE and related occupations. Continue reading...see "Give Me More MEEC" section below.

Register Now

Give Me More MEEC!

The Wednesday prior to the traditional conference format will focus on workshops and field trips. Whether you're interested in improving your organization's marketing and branding or spending the day walking the hallowed grounds of the Leopold Shack, the MEEC pre-conference options are worth the add-on day. Don't miss the bicycle tour of Madison's top notch EE sites or the opportunity to hone your GIS skills vis-a-vis student engagement. 

Friday's schedule includes a special focus for researchers with a "Birds of a Feather" networking lunch and research-focused sessions and talks. There's also a Teacher Educator Network for EE (TENFEE) Workshop and meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday with grant funds available for registration. 

See the MEEC website for details on the amazing speakers lined up for the conference, including author and New York Times columnist Timothy Egan, undeniable character and farmer Joel Salatin, and witty, tale-weaver George Archibald, founder of the International Crane Foundation. Also, you will not want to miss the panel discussion seated by women who are making great things happen in their communities related to EE and reaching traditionally underserved audiences. 

Did we mention there will be Voyageur Canoe races? And Bucky Badger? And Ice Cream from UW's Babcock Hall? And we have our very own beer from the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company? And there's a gala event at Madison Children's Museum? And there will be raptors and homing pigeons (though, not at the same time, of course)? And that you don't want to miss it? And that the MEEC won't be back in Wisconsin until 2023? 

Member Highlight

Mequon Nature Preserve
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Riveredge Nature Center
Urban Ecology Center

Citizens are invited to experience the wonders of the natural world during a day of free access to these site in greater Milwaukee that advance education, conservation, adventure and ecology.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is celebrating 100 years of service in 2015 by providing the public with unique experiences that showcase the people, places and opportunities that make this community special. A new Gift to the Community will be announced each month, emphasizing access and demonstrating appreciation for the remarkable resources greater Milwaukee has to offer.The August Gift to the Community will offer free entry and an array of special programming at these nature centers.  Read more about Gifts to the Community and the exciting highlights at each site on Saturday August 22.

Mequon Nature Preserve
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Riveredge Nature Center
Urban Ecology Center

State Budget Impacts
& WEEB Grant Opportunity

Now that Wisconsin's state budget has been signed, here is a summary of results for environmental education:
  • Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WCEE) mandate restored
  • Department of Public Instruction EE consultant position and authority restored
  • Alternative teacher licensure proposal failed - Wisconsin's EE mandate for pre-service teachers remains in effect.
  • Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) eliminated a year later than originally planned (June 30, 2017 now). WEEB is offering one more grant program for projects in 2016 
  • WDNR natural resources educator positions have been eliminated. Remaining programs and resources are being identified and may be moved to a new home. 
  • Specific cuts within UW-Extension (UWEX) are still being determined.  We do know this is the largest cut in UWEX history and estimates currently project an equivalent reduction of approximately 60-80 positions. 

We will continue to keep you informed about statewide EE impacts as we know more.  Without your great work, your voices, and your incredible success stories, we would not have been able to save as much as we did in this budget cycle. Read full article. 

More Opportunities

Teachers' Outdoor Environmental Education Fund

The Teachers’ Outdoor Fund provides matching grants of up to $1,000 to public school teachers for outdoor environmental education activities, designed to kids outside and learning about nature. More information is available on our website here:

Call for proposals deadline: September 1
From the Chair

Although there is more than a month until the equinox, many of us begin to turn our minds towards fall as August winds down.  And who can help it as we are reminded of the coming school year and football season even if you don't have kids or are interested in football!?

That said before your mind too turns to your fall plans, take a moment to register for the upcoming Midwest Environmental Education Conference at Monona Terrace in Madison in October.  This years conference promises so much, from formal educators to non-formal, nature centers to universities, we have a program that whatever your niche is, you will come away happy!  Plus, some unique events only to be found in Wisconsin will keep it lively!

And while you are in Madison, be sure to stay for the Awards Banquet held on October 24th.  Come and be inspired by the work our peers are doing in the state for Environmental Education!

So as summer winds down and you squeeze in a few more trips, remember to squeeze in a little time for WAEE and the upcoming MEEC and Awards Banquet!

Scott Reilly
WAEE Chair

Upcoming Events

Northeast Wisconsin Naturalist Association (NEWNA) Meeting
Friday August 28, 2015 (9am - 3pm) in Appleton
The day at 
Apple Creek YMCA and Bruce B. Purdy Nature Preserve will feature networking and professional development sessions for staff at nature centers, camps,parks and other environmental and outdoor education organizations in north east Wisconsin. Lunch will be provided. The agenda is being finalized but already includes sessions on green building technology, state-wide updates, idea sharing, and a tour. Additional information about regional networking and professional development events in all seven regions across the state can be found on the WAEE WI Nature Centers Collaborative website

Midwest Consortium of Philosophy and Outdoor Education - The Art of Spending a Day
September 11-13, 2015 in Trempealeau
Participant Registration No Later than August 21 for guaranteed place
It is an interdisciplinary event that brings together educational methods and content from the humanities (e.g., philosophy, literature) and outdoor/environmental education in order to facilitate novel learning experiences for instructors and students .  The weekend meeting is organized around a series of field experiences in natural settings.  Find out more

Please email me or Sam Cocks ( with questions.

Summer Natural History Workshops at UW Milwaukee Field Station
Spaces are still available in some of our summer workshops! Come out to the Field Station and participate in one of our workshops.  Our workshops offer an opportunity to study focused topics at college-level instruction under the guidance of experts.  We offer one-day, two-day and week-long workshops, and housing and meals are available at the Station. Enrollment is limited to 20, the atmosphere is informal and instruction is individualized. These 4 workshops still have openings.
  • Invasive Plant Management Techniques. September 19
  • Wetland Restoration. September 25-26
Find out more
NEW ONLINE FORMAT: Project Learning Tree PreK-8 Workshop
Have you always wanted a copy of PLT's award-winning curriculum, but have been too far away or time-constrained to attend a typical workshop?  You're in you have an online option!  This online workshop is specifically designed to help you engage your students in learning about the environment--both outside and indoors--while meeting your PD requirements on your own time, at your convenience.  Participants receive an online copy of PLT's Environmental Education Activity Guide after completing the 4-hour self-paced workshop.  Go to for details.  Cost $40  Registration deadline:  open

Register to become a Green & Healthy School – Play the Cool Choices game in fall 2015 
Engage your staff and/or students in an electronic game, Cool Choices, which will help you in completing the GHS application in a fun, easy, and social way. This game is only available to schools certified as Green & Healthy Schools! Sign up now to be included in a future game to launch in the fall of 2015! 


Click here to learn more

Would you like to list your event in the next newsletter? Contact us!

Visit EE in Wisconsin for more upcoming events. All Wisconsin EE organizations are encouraged to post a profile on the site and showcase their programs. There's a directory for schools with strong EE programs too! 

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