Resources for Educators
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is committed to enhancing the natural resources stewardship ethic of all Maryland citizens. That is why we offer a variety of services for K-12 students, teachers, and other Maryland residents.
- Our professional development opportunities for teachers provide them with cutting-edge scientific information and teacher-tested lesson plans.
- Many of the educator materials and services are free or low-cost.
- Educational literature and workshops for adults help all Maryland citizens improve the environment in which they live.
- Our summer camps and special events teach youth about the environment and what they can do to protect it.
For the LOVE of Environmental Education
April was Environmental Education (EE) month in Maryland. April hosts Earth Day (4/22) and Arbor Day (4/9) -- both celebrations of our collective efforts toward understanding and stewarding where we live. These formal recognitions, though, are really a celebration of love. Theodore Roosevelt compelled our nation’s people to love their land and the romance this land inspires when he said, “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
And speaking of romance, environmental education (EE) has much in common with that form of love. Both come from the heart, are often strengthened by fear of what might be lost, can be messy and uncomfortable (in EE, think sweaty, muddy, bug-bitten, blissful students and teachers), are provocative (as great teaching/learning should be), attempt to simplify the complex, are compelling and forgiving, and can be poignant and bittersweet--to be effective, EE must be able to take heartbreaking issues and illuminate the hopeful possibilities within them.
Environmental education IS a labor of love. To work in this field is to commit to a life that is underfunded but worth every gratifying “A ha!” moment captured on each field trip. Environmental educators work long hours outdoors; have safety and skills training beyond most education occupations; fund positions and programs (often run on a shoestring budget) through grants, memberships, donations, and program fees. They need to be able to teach concepts across multiple academic disciplines, understand how education standards are being met in the process, and ensure that the programs can attract students.
We are fortunate that today, in Maryland, EE is recognized as more than just a field trip – it is a means to academic achievement, to stewardship practices, to healthy living, to a citizenry who understands and is actively engaged in promoting sustainability. As a national leader in environmental literacy efforts, Maryland takes EE seriously with State, Federal and local partners advancing EE opportunities by leveraging assets through the Partnership for Children in Nature, and the MD No Child Left Inside Coalition. By training teachers to use the environment as an integrated context for learning and by rewarding schools who are rigorous in their commitment to the environment with a Maryland Green Schools award, Maryland will be the first state to graduate environmentally literate citizens from its schools. Environmentally literate citizens are those who have the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and to take appropriate action to maintain, restore or improve the health of those systems. These citizens demonstrate a long-term, personal commitment to living sustainably. Environmental literacy is the goal of environmental education.
But it all comes back to love. “People protect what they love.”--Jacques Cousteau. And...like loving someone, you’ve got to get to know and understand them. So, get to know your world and to understand its complexities. Start in your backyard. Go to our state parks, county parks, national parks, community parks. Learn to fall in love with where you live. Love it enough to want to nurture it. April is a great month to celebrate love.
- Junior Hunter Field Day Events set in June
Events in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Queen Anne's and Somerset counties.
Youth with an interest in hunting, shooting sports and wildlife management are invited to participate in a regional summer Junior Hunter Field Day event.
- Growing Up WILD Educators Workshop scheduled for June 29 at the National Aquarium
Growing Up WILD is an interdisciplinary early childhood education program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature, inviting them to explore wildlife and the world around them.
- Data and the Estuary
This 5 day program provides teachers with the resources, knowledge and experience to integrate estuaries and related topics into their classroom. Teachers will participate in hands-on, field based investigations. Two programs will be held: Western Shore Course (June 24-28, 2013) & Eastern Shore Course (August 5-9, 2013). For more information, contact: Coreen Weilminster, firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 410-260-8828
- Aquatic Resource Education
- ARE Grants
- Project Wet
- TEAM DNR
- Raising Horseshoe Crabs
in the Classroom
- Sunfish and Students
Raising Bluegills in the Classroom
- Trout in the Classroom
- Green Eggs & Sand
- Healthy Water,
- Hooked on Fishing
- Storm Drain Stenciling
- "Be a Part of Something BIG!"
- Full List of Programs
- Upcoming Events & Workshops
- Education Homepage
- Indicates that the program is now aligned with Marylandís new Environmental Literacy Standards!
- Cindy Etgen
Aquatic Resources Education Section Chief - Chesapeake and Coastal Services
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401