Educators at the Stroud Water Research Center.

A team of environmental education professionals from across Pennsylvania, including one from Millersville University, has been recognized with the prestigious 2020 Outstanding Environmental Education Program Award. Offered annually by the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE), the award recognizes an exemplary or innovative environmental education program that serves as a model of excellence throughout the Commonwealth.

Working to cultivate a culture of sustainability and watershed stewardship in k-12 education in Pennsylvania.

This year’s honor goes to the Pennsylvania Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Ambassador Training Program, a key initiative of the Pennsylvania Watershed Education Task Force funded by a 2017-2020 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bay Watershed Education and Training (NOAA B-WET) grant.

Millersville’s Dr. Nanette Marcum-Dietrich, professor of Educational Foundations, is a member of the leadership board and actively involved in the group’s work throughout PA.  “Educating k-12 teachers and students about watershed stewardship is the core mission of Millersville University’s Watershed Education Institute (WETi) and we are honored to work with all of the partners of the PA MWEE Ambassador Training Program.”

Dr. Steve Kerlin, Stroud Water Research Center director of education and principal investigator for the grant, spoke about the award, “While working to advance statewide environmental literacy and meaningful watershed education for K-12 students and educators, this training program has engaged nearly 500 non-formal educators, in-service classroom teachers, pre-service teachers/college students, and school administrators in over 20 professional development workshops across Pennsylvania.”

Together, the group of professionals, including Dietrich, delivered free, high-quality trainings tailored to four target audiences: non-formal environmental educators, classroom teachers, school administrators, and pre-service teachers. In addition to offering Act 48 professional education hours to teachers and certifying participants as PA MWEE Ambassadors, the trainings included advanced watershed education skill-building in topics like macroinvertebrate bioassessment, water chemistry, and stormwater management. Each workshop also presented an innovative opportunity for educators to forge connections with regional partners, explore new watershed education resources, and invigorate their confidence in teaching MWEEs.

This momentum for MWEEs continues with a second NOAA B-WET grant awarded to the PA Watershed Education Task Force for 2020-2022. The new grant funds an additional two years of professional development for educators new to the MWEE framework, as well as advanced support for veteran MWEE Ambassadors and other capacity-building initiatives.

“Millersville University’s WETi is excited to continue this important work,” says Dietrich.  “With the new grant, we hope to cultivate a culture of sustainability and watershed stewardship in k-12 education in Pennsylvania.”

 

 

Leave a comment