Free Workshops for Natural Resource Educators in Oregon

Outdoor Education by RangelandStudentsThe Oregon Natural Resources Education Program (ONREP) has been a leader in providing professional development programs for K – 16 educators since its inception in the mid-1980s. ONREP programming has contributed to building thousands of educators’ understanding of Oregon’s diverse natural resources and ecosystems by providing strategies, information, and resources that instill confidence and increase capacity to engage learners at all levels. Each year 800 to 1,000 classroom, pre-service, and non-formal educators attend programs offered throughout the state. Foundational to our program offerings is the integration of natural resource concepts into the curriculum. Through hands-on, interactive, and investigative strategies that foster how to think, not what to think teachers learn how to meet state and national learning standards while engaging students in relevant, meaningful, and place-based learning. Through the use of balanced, non-biased curricula teachers involve students in lessons that promote the development of the critical thinkers and creative problem solvers of the future, who are prepared for life and work in the 21st Century.

All workshops are offered at no cost to Oregon educators and substitute reimbursement is available for the day(s) of the workshop, CEU will be available.For further details & to register please visit the ONREP website: http://onrep.forestry.oregonstate.edu/workshops.  Email: ONREP@oregonstate.edu, Phone: (541)737-9121.

Winter 2015:
Metro Region:
Title:    Students for Stewardship
Date: January 17th, 2015, 9 am-3 pm
Audience: 3rd-5th grade educators
Facilitators:  Jenna Mendenhall and Rachel Miller
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide*
Location:  Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR 97140
Description: Discover the sights and sounds of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge while exploring the Environmental Education Activity Guide Project Learning Tree. Educators will obtain resources that engage students in activities that make connections to the natural world through interactive lessons and stewardship projects. At the end of this workshop educators will be able to identify stewardship projects for students, feel more comfortable taking their students outside, and have a plan with potential lessons and projects that they will be able to use at their school or education site. Educators will also gain access to the refuge curricula: Rhythms of the Refuge, and learn about the educational opportunities the refuge has to offer. Please be prepared to be outside, and be sure to bring your enthusiasm and questions!

Title:    Sense your WILD Surroundings
Date: February 23, 2015, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Audience: Pre- Kindergarten-1st grade educator
Facilitators:  Deborah Hill, Denise Berkshire, and Lane Poncy
Curricula: PLT* Environmental Experiences and Growing Up WILD
Location:  Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland, OR 97219
Description: This full day early learner Project Learning Tree and Project WILD workshop will focus on the Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade educator. Learn how to incorporate natural sciences and multi-sensory activities into your early learner curriculum. We will focus on how to teach using multiple learning styles, enjoy classroom activities and field experiences alike.

Tri-County Region:
Title:    Discovering Nature’s Treasure Box: A First Look at Project Learning Tree and Project WILD
Date: February 4th, 2015 9 am-3 pm
Audience:  1st-4th grade educators
Facilitators: Julie Woodward and Alix Brant, Oregon Forest Resources Institute
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project WILD**
Location:  Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR 97381
Description: You and your colleagues will spend the day at the beautiful Oregon Garden being introduced (or re-introduced!) to two award winning activity guides that are Common Core and NGSS correlated and  ready for you to use in our amazing Rediscovery Forest, in your classroom, and on your school grounds.

Central Region:
Title:    Exploring Environmental Issues through Inquiry
Date: February 6th, 2015, 9 am-3 pm
Audience: Kindergarten-8th grade educators
Facilitators: Christina Cid and Carolyn Nesbitt
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project WILD**
Location:  High Desert Museum, Bend
Description: This training will engage K-8th grade teachers using hands-on, inquiry-based methods to investigate issues impacting the people, wildlife and environment in our region. Participants will receive Project WILD and Project Learning Tree, two award-winning environmental education curriculum guides, and will learn how to integrate the NGSS and the Common Core State Standards into their science curriculum.

Title:    To Be Announced-Inquiry
Registration opens December 19th, 2014
Date: February 27th, 2015
Audience: 6th-8th grade educators
Facilitators:  Katie Chipko, Karen Gentry
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide*
Location:  Skyliner Lodge, Bend

North Coast Region:
Title:    Forest Wildfire & Watershed Educator Workshop
Date: March 11, 2015, 8 am- 5 pm
Audience: 6th-8th grade educators
Facilitators:  Norie Dimeo-Ediger, Denise Berkshire, Deborah Hill
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project Aquatic WILD**
Location:  Tillamook Forest Center, Tillamook, OR 97141
Description: The Tillamook State Forest, our backyard coastal rain forest, is home to a rich variety of habitats, ecosystems and wildlife. Explore the role of fire in the forest and the interconnected nature of the Wilson River watershed. Workshop participants will also discover field trip options at the Tillamook Forest Center.
Spring 2015:
Metro Region:
Title:    Teaching for Strong Communities and Sustainable Forests
Date: Saturday, April 11, 2014
Audience: 6th- 8th grade educators
Facilitators:  Susan Duncan, LeeAnn Mikkelson and Rick Zenn
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide*and Secondary PLT: Places We Live
Location:  Metro Region, TBA
Description: It just makes sense to envision our communities and their future with middle school students who read about imaginary societies in the Hunger Games and unconsciously apply mathematical patterns to conquer the latest electronic game. They are adept at living in imaginary worlds! Guided by lesson plans from the Project Learning Tree’s K-8 Guide and The Place We Live, educators will see how math, science, humanities, visual and language arts can help middle school students transfer their skills to the places they actually live. Together, we’ll spend the morning exploring interconnections in a local area, describing issues and proposing possible actions. Time for planning how to use similar activities with students in our local communities will be available in the afternoon. Our goal is to supporting students in using their skills to make informed decisions, exhibit responsible behavior, and take constructive actions that ensure a sustainable future.

Title:    Humans and the Web of Life
Date:  April 17th, 2015 8:30 am-5 pm
Audience: 5th grade educators
Facilitators:  Alison Heimowitz, Sheilagh Diez
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project WILD**
Location: Oregon Zoo, Portland and Scouters Mountain Nature Park, Happy Valley
Description:  Use Project Learning Tree and Project WILD to explore the topic of food webs through the fascinating lens of the area’s most notable scavengers – the California Condor and Turkey Vulture. Discover how humans have impacted these magnificent birds and why their protection is important to ecosystem health. Guest presenters from the zoo’s animal care staff and live animals will reinforce important concepts. In addition, you will learn how to integrate the Oregon Zoo and Metro natural areas into your classroom curriculum; collaborate with other teachers; and learn about the Metro resources available to schools and teachers. Workshop will specifically address 5th grade Next Generation Life Science Standards, however other grades are encouraged to attend.

Siskiyou Region:
Title:    Exploring Trees and Forests While Addressing Standards
Date: April 14th, 2015, 8:30 am-4:00 pm
Audience:  Kindergarten-2nd grade educators
Facilitators:  Sue Smith and Linda Mullens
Curricula: PLT* Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood
Location:  Medford/Grants Pass Area
Description:  K-2 teachers with resources to teach about forests and address CCSS and NGSS requirements.  Emphasis will be on activities that are transferable to a variety of sites and utilize multiple learning modalities.  Participants should bring a sack lunch, beverage, and dress for outdoor activities (rain or shine).   If you have copies of standards, please bring them.

Title:    Roots in the Water with Project Learning Tree
Date:  April 25th, 2015, 9 am – 3 pm
Audience: Kindergarten-8th grade educators
Facilitators:  Rachel Werling
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide*
Location:  OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, Central Point
Description: Whether you are a formal or non-formal educator, with a class in the city or country, join us to explore the wetter aspects of the PLT. Hone your skills with some great activities to bring the world of water to your students through science, math and writing.  Then take home all 96 PLT activities, as well as information about other community water-related education resources! We will discover how these activities help you meet the common core, Next Generation Science Standards and the Oregon Environmental Literacy Program strands.

Klamath Region:
Title:    Habitats in your Backyard: Exploring Wildlife and Ecosystems with PLT and Project WILD
Registration opens February 11th, 2015
Date: Spring 2015
Audience: Kindergarten-5th grade educators
Facilitators:  Susan Sahnow and Norie Dimeo-Ediger
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project Wild**
Location:  Klamath Falls Area
Description: Getting students outside to learn about nature can be as close as a school ground or a neighborhood park.   We will explore activities from Project Learning Tree and Project WILD that increase the awareness and understanding of the environment in local neighborhoods and school grounds and help students become more engaged in learning through outdoor experiences. Classroom activities and field activities will be incorporated and will focus on native plants and habitats.

Title:    Fire in the Oregon’s Forests: A Burning Issue
Registration opens February 11th, 2015
Date: Spring 2015
Audience: 6-8 grade educators
Facilitators:  Norie Dimeo-Ediger and Susan Sahnow
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project WILD**
Location:  Klamath Falls Area
Description: Wildfire hit Oregon hard last summer. The fires may be out, but the relevancy of wildfire to those that live in Oregon remains.  Understanding and teaching students about the ecology of forests and fire, the issues surrounding wildfire, and prevention methods can be complex and challenging.  Participants will learn about wildfires in Oregon: How and why they occur, the effects that fire can have on the land, what strategies can be used to reduce the negative effects of wildfires and obstacles to implementing solutions.

Northeast Region:
Title:    Habitats in your Backyard: Exploring Wildlife and Ecosystems with PLT and Project WILD
Registration opens February 11th, 2015
Date: Spring 2015
Audience: Kindergarten-8th grade educators
Facilitators:  Susan Sahnow and Norie Dimeo-Ediger
Curricula: Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide* and Project Wild**
Location:  North East Region
Description: Getting students outside to learn about nature can be as close as a school ground or a neighborhood park.   We will explore activities from Project Learning Tree and Project WILD that increase the awareness and understanding of the environment in local neighborhoods and school grounds and help students become more engaged in learning through outdoor experiences. Classroom activities and field activities will be incorporated and will focus on native plants and habitats.

Willamette Valley Region:
Title:    Citizen Science: Exploring How Students contribute through Investigating Nature
Date: April 17th, 2015
Audience: 6th-12th grade educators
Facilitators:  Kari O’Connell, Jody Einerson
Curricula: Secondary PLT* Forest Ecology
Location:  Corvallis Area
Description: Come explore citizen science and how it can be used to provide students with a sense of contributing to a broader impact in their world through the investigation of the environment. We will share several different programs that are easily utilized within and outside the classroom, connecting students to real world researchers.  Workshop will give you time to collaborate and plan with fellow colleagues to utilize these resources.

Summer Workshops- Details Coming Soon:
Title:    Field Investigation and the NEW Project Aquatic WILD
Date: June 2015
Audience: 3rd- 8th grade educators
Curricula: The NEW Aquatic WILD** and Project Learning Tree K-8 Guide*

Title:    Impacts of Forest Fire:  Ecology, Economy and Society
Date: June 2015
Audience: 8th-12th grade educators
Facilitators:  Norie Dimeo-Ediger, Mike Cloughesy
Curricula: Secondary PLT* Forest Ecology and the NEW OFRI High School Forestry Curriculum
Location:  Medford

Title:    Field Investigations and Stewardship for High School
Date: August 11th & August 12th, 2015
Audience: 9th-12th grade educators
Facilitators:  Kirin Stryker, Katie Chipko
Curricula: Secondary PLT* Global Connections: Forests of the World
Location:  Skyliner Lodge, Bend

Other Opportunities

Oregon Forests High School Student Summit

We are partnering with the College of Forestry at Oregon State University (OSU) and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute to present the first Oregon Forests High School Student Summit on March 3rd and 5th, 2014 in Corvallis on the OSU campus. The goal of the Oregon Forests High School Student Summit is for high school students to increase their understanding about forests, to explore the breadth of opportunities in forestry careers, and to give them an opportunity to envision themselves attending college.

We will collaborate with high school teachers to select a diverse, academically high achieving, and interested group of students (10-20 per teacher) to participate in the Student Summit, and to implement a pre- and post- student assessment. High school students will spend a day participating in engaging presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on activities related to forests that are compatible with state standards.

Spots MAY still be available – please email Kari O’Connell at kari.oconnell@oregonstate.edu if you would like to be added to the email list for more information. High school teachers who have taken an ONREP workshop in the last two years and who are already teaching about forests, natural resources and/or the environment will be given first priority in bringing a group of students to the summit. 

James E. Brown Forest Education Grant

Thanks to the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, an annual grant is now available to help teachers, interpreters, community groups or others involved in education projects and activities relating to the Tillamook State Forest.

  • What is it for?

Helping people better understand and appreciate the Tillamook State Forest through educational and interpretive experiences and tools.

  • Who is Eligible?

Teachers, schools, school districts, ESDs, extension agents, or other government agencies that will be developing programs and activities primarily related to learning about the Tillamook State Forest; non-profit organizations (certified by the IRS as 501(c)(3) tax deductible charitable organizations) which provide interpretation or education services or resources related to learning about the Tillamook State Forest.

  • Process and Timing

Grant applications are due to the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust by Friday, January 23, 2015 at 5:00 pm. Electronic submissions only. Send applications to ross.holloway@oregon.gov.

The Board of Trustees and a review committee reviews all grant proposals. A final determination on grant awards will be made by April 1, 2015.

The Trust will feature the selected project(s) during Arbor Week 2015.

For more information, contact Ross Holloway, Executive Director, Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, at (503) 812-4056 or by email at ross.holloway@oregon.gov.

Application Materials

2015 James E. Brown Forest Education Grant Background

2015 James E. Brown Forest Education Grant Application Form

*Project Learning Tree (PLT) uses the forest as a “window” to study the natural and built environment. PLT’s PreK-8 Activity Guide includes over 90 learner-centered interdisciplinary activities with authentic assessments, instructional enhancements, and reading and technology connections. Secondary modules focus on Forest ecology, issues, places we live, and world forests.

**Project WILD & Project Aquatic WILD are based on the premise that students and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. Over 150 K-12 interdisciplinary activities emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based, and cooperative learning.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to Oregon Natural Resources Education Program, LeeAnn Mikkelson, 1(541)737-9121 at least one month prior to the scheduled workshop you are interested in attending.

Information via Oregon Natural Resource Education Program.