February 13, 2017

Environmental education conference set for March 10-12

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is hosting the Student Experiential Environmental Education Conference (SEEEC) March 10-12 to give students, professional teachers and informal educators a unique and practical environmental education experience.  

The keynote speaker is Michelle Nichols, master educator at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She will highlight the environmental education components of the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse. SIU is located very near the point of the longest duration for the eclipse and also sits at the solar eclipse crossroads since the centerlines of totality for the 2017 and April 8, 2024, eclipses intersect over Carbondale’s Cedar Lake. SIU is partnering with NASA Eclipse 2017 and the Adler Planetarium to present a variety of events, including a public viewing of the eclipse, at Saluki Stadium on Aug. 21. The eclipse will be the focus of several of the workshops and programs at the SEEEC conference.

Those participating in the conference will also enjoy opportunities to participate in a guided paddle through the Cypress Creek National Wildlife refuge, learn about leading water-themed interpretive programs, get certified in the new Project Learning Tree climate change module, or enhance their knowledge about birds while completing a “Flying Wild” certification.

Throughout the three-day event the participating students, teachers, professors and others involved in teaching or working with children will learn from experienced professionals about how to integrate environmental education into classroom lessons and other activities. Presenters from the Adler Planetarium, Morton Arboretum, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, U.S. Forest Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois and more will speak. The conference will include a variety of workshops, concurrent presentations, field trips and certification options.

The cost is $100 for the entire three-day workshop. The price includes access to all sessions and meals. The field trips and certificates are available at an additional cost, with a discounted rate offered for the certificates. In addition, lodging is available at Touch of Nature at a discounted price with options ranging from $20 to $75 per person, per night. The deadline to register for the SEEEC conference is March 3. Find additional information and online registration at www.ton.siu.edu/events/seeec.php.  Or, call 618/453-1121 or email tonec@siu.edu to learn more.