California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Central Coast Region 8 Newsletter 
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Kern
September 2016  

New Website (coming soon!)      

We are turning over a new leaf!

You may have noticed that our CREEC website is in transition. Thank you for your patience as we revitalize the website to better provide you with information. The Event Calendar and Resource Directory are undergoing significant upgrades and will be available later this academic year. In the meantime, I will do my best to inform you of opportunities via this newsletter. Always feel free to reach out to me via email. I will do my best to help you and your students with environmental education resources. 

Scroll down below to find resources and events in Region 8.
Here are some marine and ocean educational resources for you as well...
Marine Education Resources 

- Teresa Tree Lees, CREEC Coordinator, Region 8
What's New in Region 8 

Greening Our Schools - Green Ribbon School  Application for 2017 now available

The California Department of Education (CDE) is pleased to announce application availability for the fourth cycle of our California Green Ribbon Schools (CA-GRS) Recognition Program. The purpose of this program is to honor excellence in whole-school sustainability while spotlighting replicable best practices.
Green and sustainable schools are efficient, innovative, resourceful, and inspiring. They conserve and protect our natural resources, prioritize health and wellness, and use sustainability and the environment as the context for interdisciplinary learning.

Lesley Taylor from the CDE Green Ribbon Schools program will be coming to Region 8 to train teachers and administrators how to apply for the Green Ribbon School award. Please come:

Oak Park Green Ribbon School training on Sept. 28 at Oak Park High School in Oak Park USD - Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

1551 17th Street in Oceano

Please RSVP by September 21st by emailing Lesley Taylor at  

PG&E FIRST Robotics Grant Program

The PG&E FIRSTĀ® Robotics program provides students with the opportunity to design and build fully functioning robots and participate in robotics competitions. Students learn how to build a robot that will compete with robots from other teams and schools. PG&E and Playing at Learning are partnering to offer this opportunity to youth within PG&E's service area. Schools are invited to apply now as grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Grants will provide school and community-based student teams with funding to build robots and take part in competitions.

To learn more about the program, visit
For Questions email Barry Scott at

Professional Development Series for SoCAL Sustainability Educators: Green Ambassadors Institute 2016-17: 'Research in Action'

Dates: Oct 3, 2016 // Feb 25, 2017 // May 6, 2017 Environmental Charter Schools invites educators and community leaders to the Green Ambassadors Institute, a 3-part professional development series on incorporating real-world environmental sustainability issues in your curriculum. Using Los Angeles as a learning lab, connect to research being conducted by LA's leading environmental organizations, get localized content knowledge you can use in any K-12 subject and leave with tools to help your students drive relevant solutions of their own. Participants are eligible for $300 minigrants to implement an environmental service learning project with students. Sub costs reimbursed for classroom teachers. Register and get more information.

Local Events
Location: Channel Island Marine Museum -  3900 Bluefin Circle
Sail across the centuries and be part of history as the full-scale replica of the first European vessel to explore California's coastline makes her maiden voyage. This fall Cabrillo's San Salvador: The Pacific Heritage Tour  will make multi-port stops along the West Coast, offering a variety of onshore exhibits and seagoing adventures for all ages. The tour will be in Oxnard, CA, September 15-18 in the Channel Islands Harbor.
Location: various locations throughout California
Largest annual volunteer event. California Coastal Cleanup Day takes place on the third Saturday of each September, along more than 2,000 miles of coastal and inland shoreline. 

This free event has education activities and fun for the entire family with refreshments provided . Come explore our Watershed Education Center both inside and out with an interactive watershed model built by STEAM Trunk, fossil dig, scavenger hunt, and more! Come face-to-face with live Rainbow trout, discover our creekside native plant garden, and experience a creek talk with our watershed expert. 

Expand your classroom into the National Parks with NatureBridge!
Since 1971, Nature Bridge has been a leader in environmental education, providing overnight programs for grades 4-12. 

Tuesday, September 27, from 3:30-6pm at the Ventura County Office of Education 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo, CA 93012; or

Tuesday, October 18, from 3:30 - 6pm at Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001

This free event includes: 
  • Food and refreshments
  • Lesson plans for your classroom
  • Meet staff from Nature Bridge's Santa Monica Mountains and Yosemite campuses
  • Information about scholarships and other funding opportunities
  • Raffle prizes including a National Parks Pass, Klean Kanteens, outdoor gear and more!
  • RSVP by September
Bio Center Open House in Thousand Oaks
Gold Coast Science Network (GCSN), the local chapter of the California Science Teachers Association (GCSN), has organized a "teacher field trip" to the Ventura BioCenter, a biotechnology incubator in Thousand Oaks. In addition to touring the center and learning about the field trip opportunities for students in which they get to try out some pretty cool stuff at the site, participants will get to do a hands-on training in gel electrophoresis, the technology used for DNA fingerprinting. This opportunity is FREE and open to anyone, but educators from formal and informal institutions have priority. 
Field trips to the Ventura BioCenter are appropriate for students in grades 4-12 and learning about biotechnology is appropriate for all teachers who are interested in seeing how science is used in "real life" careers. 
CA STEM Symposium
Location: Anaheim, CA
The California STEM Symposium brings together thousands of teachers, administrators, students, higher education representatives and others to engage them in STEM education by providing strategies and resources for program implementation. The Symposium has a special focus on increasing and supporting the participation of women and girls-as well as other underrepresented groups-in STEM fields. It also highlights leaders in classroom innovation from across the state and attract student teams to showcase critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork.
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education's Southern Section Fall Conference 2016
Location: Arrowhead Ranch Outdoor Science School, CA
AEOE's mission is to advance the impact of environmental and outdoor education in California. Join AEOE for its first conference of the year. Registration includes educational workshops, 1 meal (Saturday dinner), Saturday Night Campfire entertainment, and tent camping or dorm accommodations. Register by September 24 to take advantage of the $40 early registration fee.
10/14 -15
Location: Ventura County - Fremont Middle School in Oxnard
Share how your farm-to-school program is transforming teaching people about their food, working with local farms, or creating delicious nutritious menus. Visit garden, food service and farm education programs; attend break-out sessions and meals that engage participants in farm-to-school best practices.

CSTA's California Science Education Conference
Location: Palm Springs, CA
For more than 20 years the conference has been providing up-to-the-minute educational programs for California's science educators. The conference features the perfect mix of hands-on, one-hour workshops, engaging lectures from professional scientists and university-level educators, in-depth three- and six-hour courses, one-of-a-kind field course experiences, and quality networking opportunities that are only possible when meeting face-to-face.
10/21 - 23/2016
Deep Ecology Collaboratory at Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School
Location: Rancho El Chorro, San Luis Obispo, CA
A fusion of "collaboration " and "laboratory ", a collaboratory  is an open creative process where a group of people work together to generate solutions to complex problems. Participants will address the biodiversity crisis, overpopulation, and globalization through the lens of Deep Ecology principles, which recognizes the inherent value of all living creatures.
Save the Date! National NSTA Conference
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, CA
Attend the National Science Teachers Conference and join thousands of science educators and leaders from throughout the nation as we continue to improve science education for ALL students!
Volunteer Opportunity! Work 8 hrs. and receive a 50% reduction in registration. Work 16 hrs. and received a waived registration. Indicate your interest in volunteering.

CREEC Facebook Page

Please "Like" our CREEC Facebook page to keep up-to-date with statewide opportunities and resources.  
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.
In Region 8, CREEC is housed and supported by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Teresa Tree Lees,

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact
STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

STAY CONNECTED WITH US Like us on Facebook