Save the Date: 2017 NM Environmental Literacy Summit on November 9 and 10

As we brace for the spring winds and teeter between warm days that draw us out to the garden and chilly days with snow dustings, we at EEANM are gearing up for a season full of opportunities designed to inspire.

Please mark your calendars for New Mexico’s Statewide Environmental Literacy Summit on November 9 and 10, 2017. Continue Reading →

2016 Becker Award Winners

Is environmental education for the birds? Ask this year’s Becker Award honorees and you’ll hear a confident yes! It’s for the birds and the water, soil, forests, people…

The Dr. Richard W. Becker Award honors outstanding educators in New Mexico who are influencing students through environmental education and service learning. Our 2016 honorees are Steve Glass, CNM biology instructor and retired public works program manager, and Siobhan Niklasson, Education Programs Director at Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Continue Reading →

EE Certification Candidates and Advisors Answer FAQs

ee-cert-qa-graphicEEANM hosted a live Q&A on Facebook October 17-21. Our advisors, candidates, and newly certified educators shared their thoughts about EE Certification. We’ve pulled the questions and their answers together in this blog post. If you’re considering an application or just want to learn more, we invite you to read their discussion. Continue Reading →

Thank you to the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story

Recently, we received a package from the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story with a copy of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story along with a generous donation to EEANM (which we so very much appreciated and will put to good use!). You can see Albuquerque’s Environmental Story by clicking on this link: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED170118 The first edition was printed in 1978 with the latest edition coming out in 1996; however, there is a plethora of information that is still relevant today. The stories shared are for a variety of audiences, young and old, city dwellers and nature lovers, historians and environmentalists. This guide offers activities for students, a lot of interesting history, and many issues to consider that can still be addressed. Although this is focused on Albuquerque, there are many pieces of interest to all New Mexicans throughout this book. We at EEANM are looking at ways to scan Albuquerque’s Environmental Story in an accessible, user-friendly format so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I hope all of us in central New Mexico can keep contributing to Albuquerque’s environmental story in our ways. Thank you once again to the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story!

Memorial Recognizes the Importance of Environmental Education

Current Status

Updated: 2/18/16

House Joint Memorial 3 has passed with unanimous “Yes” votes in both the House and Senate!


Everett, Sanchez and Garrity

Current and former EEANM Executive Directors, Eileen Everett and Barbara Garrity, with Senator Sanchez, co-sponsor of the EE Memorial.

If you are on our EcoEd listserv, you saw the flurry of activity around the Joint Memorial for Environmental Education (HJM3), which passed on February 18, 2016!

Thank you to our sponsors, Rep. Kelly Fajardo and Sen. Michael Sanchez. And thank you to everyone who helped support the memorial with calls, emails, and your presence at the Roundhouse! We were pleased to have lobbying help from fantastic partners and student ambassadors, including fourth grade students from Katherine Gallegos Elementary School in Los Lunas and Youth Ambassadors from MRG E3.
In a nutshell, the joint memorial recognizes the importance of environmental education, highlights the 300+ educators who developed NM’s environmental literacy plan, and asks for four things:

  1. celebrateThe legislature to affirm the importance of environmental education
  2. The governor to declare an “Environmental Education Week” in April, encourage all K-12 teachers and state agencies to celebrate environmental education by spending at least one hour of learning time outdoors
  3. NM Game & Fish & Dept. of Agriculture to lead a study on the feasibility of an EE grant program (in cooperation with State Parks, State Forestry, State Land Office, Dept. of Health, Public Education, CYFD, Environment Dept., and Cultural Affairs)
  4. Public Education Department to link to the environmental literacy plan as a resource for teachers

You can read the entire memorial here.

 

To the Roundhouse and Beyond

A Letter from EEANM’s Executive Director

NM-legislature-flowering-650p

Greetings!

2016 marks the 20th anniversary for the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico! For the last two decades, dedicated EEANM Board Members, volunteers, members, contractors, and staff have been supporting the environmental education (EE) community with professional development opportunities, partnerships, and education of our community about what environmental education actually is.

This year is shaping up to be another exciting year for EEANM. Currently, we are working with a variety of partners on the passage of House Joint Memorial 3/Senate Joint Memorial 4 which acknowledges the importance of EE, as well as supporting more EE through state agencies and spreading the word about the Environmental Literacy Plan. (See below for details.) Additionally, we will continue to explore opportunities for Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and other training opportunities.

We are excited that our pilot group of EE Certification candidates are busily working on their self-assessments and professional development plans. We hope to have seven new Certified Environmental Educators in our state this fall!

We have also expanded the EE Certification Program to include an EE Certification Mentorship Program, which will better enable us to reach new leaders in traditionally underserved communities. There is so much promise in this new program to bring more credibility to those working in EE and the field in general.

And of course, we will continue to find ways to gather more support for the Environmental Literacy Plan, with the long-term goal of having an environmentally literate citizenry. Lastly, we will continue to strengthen our support for current partnerships and collaborations while reaching out to build new ones.

DSCN2441How can you help? Let me know what you like about EEANM. What is important to you? What should EEANM be doing that it is not? How can we, as your organization, support your efforts toward great environmental education around the state? I will be reaching out to you this year to help build upon what EEANM is doing well, and to grow and improve the organization.

But, don’t wait for me to ask you! My virtual office door is open to you, please feel free to e-mail me at director@eeanm.org or call me at 505-859-3366.

Yours in support of quality environmental education in New Mexico,
Eileen Everett
Executive Director, EEANM

2015 Becker Award Winners

From a South Valley farm to a southern NM trail race, our 2015 award winners have taken environmental education and run with it!

Garcia and Haan-AmatoThe Dr. Richard W. Becker Award honors New Mexico’s outstanding educators who are influencing students through environmental education and service learning. For 2015, we recognize two amazing individuals: Joe Garcia, Farm Education Director at La Plazita Institute, and Stephanie Haan-Amato, Science Education Specialist at the Asombro Institute for Science Education in Las Cruces.

Joe Garcia

Crops at Sanchez Farm

A garden bed at Sanchez Farm. Photo courtesy of Bernalillo County.

Joe Garcia is the Farm Education Director at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque’s South Valley. He has worked with the County Parks and Recreation office in California, La Plazita Institute as the Garden Manager and Educator, at UNM teaching classes, and working on numerous boards and committees.

During his time as Farm Education Director for La Plazita at Sanchez Farm Open Space, Joe worked with groups from Peanut Butter and Jelly preschoolers to college students to professionals at the Farm.  He has engaged numerous groups in service learning projects that include habitat restoration and garden-related activities, emphasizing the importance of service learning projects in the context of our larger environment and local community. He inspires people to deeply reflect on the incredible planet we live on, and see the magic all around us. Currently, he is working with college students as he facilitates the Garden Wisdom Program for transformative learning.

Joe has continued his own graduate education, now pursuing a Doctorate in Transformative Learning and Holistic Education. He keeps up-to-date on environmental literacy and philosophies of education that result in civic action and personal growth. Joe has partnered with EEANM through several projects, bringing a depth of experience and perspective.

Joe has been described as “the consummate conservation education professional who is passionate, hard-working and knowledgeable in natural history, environmental education and natural resource interpretation. Moreover, Mr. Garcia has a keen ability to relate to varied stakeholders and engage nontraditional audiences all the while being an effective environmental educator.”

Stephanie Haan-Amato

5KArroyo-Desert-Dash-Asombro

Runners enjoying the Chihuahuan Desert during the Desert Dash. Photo courtesy of Asombro Institute.

Stephanie Haan-Amato is the Science Education Specialist at the Asombro Institute for Science Education in Las Cruces. She previously worked as a biologist and a high school biology teacher. Stephanie’s focus has been on three programs that highlight her talent for engaging participants in environmental education through stewardship and collaboration: (1) Earth Squad citizen action program, (2) Climate Hub curriculum development, and (3) Desert Dash Trail Races.

Stephanie created the Earth Squad citizen action program in spring 2013 to give youth a sense of power and personal investment when they implement solutions to environmental issues. Students worked with Stephanie over 11 weeks, learning about greenhouse gases and how to find reliable, online scientific resources about climate change. Equipped with this new knowledge of climate change science, students brainstormed potential actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and then formed 3 committees to implement their plans: (a) a school recycling plan involving students, staff, and parents, (b) a campaign and contest to reduce energy used at school by turning off unused lights and appliances, (c) a “no- idling zone” in the parent pick-up area to reduce carbon emissions from idling cars.

USDA’s Southwest Regional Climate Hub delivers climate-smart information and technologies for agriculture and land management. Stephanie is developing five, inquiry-based education modules for middle and high school students who will become the next farmers, ranchers, land managers, and informed citizens. Stephanie developed the first module on the impact of global climate change on the water cycle in the southwest U.S. The unit includes nine hands-on activities to help students understand causes and consequences of predicted climate change on the Southwest’s water cycle through innovative experiments, games, critical readings, and data interpretation and presentation.                          

The Desert Dash Trail Races are now an annual event at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park. The event brings people out to enjoy getting active and supporting Asombro’s programming.

 

Update on Environmental Literacy Plan

ELP page samplesA team of environmental educators (Barbara Garrity, Selena Connealy, Dr. Stephanie Bestelmeyer, and Dr. Pedro Chavarria) took the NM Environmental Literacy Plan to the NM Public Education Department leadership in early August. Continue Reading →

The Path Forward from the Environmental Literacy Summit

Judy Braus and a porcupine

NAAEE Executive Director Judy Braus spotted her first porcupine while hiking in the Rio Grande bosque before the Summit.

On March 10, 2015, EEANM hosted the second Environmental Literacy Summit at the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque.

Keynote speaker, Judy Braus, Executive Director of the North American Association for Environmental Education, spoke about national efforts to support environmental education by creating evidence-based research and documentation. (Judy also spotted her first porcupine while visiting New Mexico!) Continue Reading →