Association for Environmental & Outdoor education

August Update: Fall Programming & New Website

27 Aug 2020 2:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear environmental and outdoor education community,

We hope you and your families are safe. With more than 550 fires burning throughout the state of California, and air quality forcing us inside when we wish to seek solace in the natural world, the challenges can feel overwhelming. Our hearts are heavy as we see images of treasured forests burning, learn about lives and homes lost, and hear about historic parks and landmarks being destroyed by the blazes. We know that many of your program sites are near or in direct danger and we are watching closely and hoping for your safety. 

Climate change has been named publicly in most leading news sources as a primary cause in the current devastation. We are reminded that our work as environmental and outdoor educators is vital. And our community is more important than ever. 

We are grateful for you, our network of dedicated educators and program providers across the state. While many of us will not be returning to programming as usual this fall, we know you are still working to help young people connect to the natural world in whatever you can, whether that be through delivering virtual programs, offering small family programs, or as classroom teachers doing your best to support your students through a screen. Know that we continue to advocate for outdoor learning as part of the plan to reopen schools, and are here for you to provide support. Please reach out if there are ways we can help you or your organizations. 

Take care,

Your friends at AEOE

Check out our new website!

AEOE has a new website! Visit us at While it has a brand new look and feel, most of the content was transferred over from our previous site. Please let us know if you are having trouble finding anything. One hiccup is that you will have to create a new password when you first log in. We appreciate your understanding and hope that this new site will better allow us to communicate with you. 

One adjustment that we’ve made is to rename our “institutional membership” category as “organizational membership.” This better reflects you, our members, as the term “institute” is not as widely used these days as it once was. One additional bonus of being an organizational member is that your site will be featured on a rotating basis on our home page!

Upcoming events

Fall webinar series AEOE is hosting a fall webinar series on a range of topics! They should be live and open for registration next week on our programs and events page. Topics include early childhood education, social and emotional learning, mental health, and sustainability at home. Join us for one, or all! And don’t miss the free virtual campfire on Saturday, December 12th! This fun event will include an open-mic style program combined with interactive games and conversations. 

AEOE will not be holding a fall conference this year due to COVID-19, but we hope to have strong representation from California at NAAEE’s virtual conference held October 13-16. Registration will be opening soon! We remain hopeful that we will be able to come together in person in the spring.

EECP AEOE launches inaugural pilot of California’s EE certification program! This fall, approximately 30 participants will join the first cohort of candidates for EE certification. The applicants have experience within a range of EE program settings, including residential outdoor science school, community-based programs, government agencies, nature centers, K-12 classrooms, and nature-based preschool. Each candidate will be conducting a final action project in their community, which we look forward to sharing with you next spring!

Recommended resources & learning opportunities

From Youth Outside and Lawrence Hall of Science: “Racial Equity in Outdoor Science and Environmental Education: Re-Establishing the Field with Intention” | COVID-19 has been devastating to environmental education, but leaders are seeking to rebuild and transform the field with racial equity and justice as its guiding principles. This is a must-read for white-led organizations, with important lessons for all of us. 

Best practices in online programming

Are you interested in designing or improving your online programming? To date, we know very little about the best approaches to enhance student learning outcomes in online EE programs. You are invited to participate in an evidence-based learning network focused on EE distance learning, which would provide you with feedback about your online programs and a chance to collaborate with others on program design and improvement. Learn more here.

Supporting our community through these challenging times

For those of you who are un(der)employed, our hearts are with you. We all know how important outdoor and environmental education is for young people, and for their (and your sake) we hope that more in-person experiences will be available soon. If you are looking for work, please be sure to check our job board for current postings.


Mailing Address: 2066 N. Capitol Ave., Suite 3028, San Jose, CA 95132

AEOE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 

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