California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 7 (Central Valley) E-News   
Spring 2017

 Time is "JUST RIGHT" 
    for Environmental Literacy   

I've been in the field of environmental education for over twenty five years and never have I seen California's educational climate so united in the push to promote Environmental Literacy. The current mix of conditions seem to have fallen in line, to successfully bring the goal of Environmental Literacy to each of the 6.2 million K-12 students and to instill a compelling model for other states to follow. However, the educational climate has not always been so inclusive.

Beginning with the 2003 Environmental Education Initiative (EEI) legislation authored by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley's (D), the first ever Environmental Education (EEI) Curriculum was mandated, to ensure that all California's students would become environmentally literate to help sustain our world. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 2010 that the State Board of Education actually approved the curriculum, but with recessional budgets and funding shortfalls implementation was slow and not widespread. 
With the publication of the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy (EL) in 2015, Environmental Education got a boost. Even though the law had contained environmental education requirements the Blueprint's Environmental Literacy Task Force noted that the time was right to elevate environmental literacy and outlined the need for leadership, partnerships, collaborations and funding to create an environmentally literate student body, with current 21st Century skills. With that momentum, the State Board of Education then voted to integrate the five key Environmental Principles and Concepts
(EP&Cs) in both the Science and History Social Science Curriculum Frameworks last year-even though the EP&C's had been mandated since the early 2000's. With these Frameworks, Environmental Education could now be properly promoted, as the context for teaching multiple subjects. It could now be broadly implemented into schools' standards and future text book adoptions, to help students to realize the complex relationship between themselves and the natural world.
Recently, Will Parish, Founder and President of Ten Strands, the nonprofit organization supporting California's efforts to achieve statewide penetration of high-quality environment-based education into schools, coined this unique convergence of efforts The 'Goldilocks Moment' for Environmental Literacy in his article for Ten Strands. In addition, Dr. Gerald Lieberman, a consultant who worked on developing the Environmental Principles and Concepts and is Director of the State Education and Environment Roundtable , explains the unique opportunity we currently have for EL in his Ten Strands article, Watershed Moment for Environmental Literacy for all K-12 California Education.
Regardless of what its called, the time seems to be "Just Right" to bring forth a big shift in how and what we teach about the world around us. It is hoped that with these new NGSS standards and the supporting Frameworks, students will understand how they can contribute to a sustainable environment and equitable California, through integrated learning and active informed citizenship.
If you would like a presentation on the current EL updates contact your CREEC Coordinator. For multiple Environmental Literacy Opportunities in your area look below.

- Jody Bertolucci, CREEC Coordinator, Region 7
More News and Events

Grants are available for field trips to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. For field trip application s click here . For transportation grants contact Ranger John Arebalo by clicking here  or calling the Park at 559-565-4211. 
Join us for 60+ environmental education workshops, keynote address, music, entertainment, exhibitors, job fair, and networking! Registration includes the conference, five meals and lodging or camping. Day use rates also available.
For more information  click here .

Teachers from select schools in the Central Valley are encouraged to apply for these Wonderful Education grants. In partnership with, the Wonderful Company has made the application process simple and awards thinking and innovative ways to educate and aspire students.The funds can even support EE supplies or field trips! To see if your school is eligible click here or for details click here

The California Farm to School and Garden Conference will be held March 27 - 29, 2017 at the Modesto Centre Plaza. The conference will offer a series of workshops, panels and discussions that will be of significant educational and networking value to attendees who will represent all facets of the farm to school movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, and food program administrators. For registration click here.

Applications are being accepted for Golden State Farm Credit's scholarship program, which benefits upcoming high school graduates pursing an education in agriculture as well as college upperclassmen that are looking to begin a career in the agriculture or food industry. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship or need an application, click here. For more information, contact Shelley Macdonald at 530-527-1941 or email her here.
Fresno County Office of Education will offer this workshop to create a classroom of engineers. Your primary grade students can be presented with exciting challenges that offer the experience of perseverance and problem solving. Registration deadline is two weeks prior to the workshop date you choose. For registration and or 
questions, contact Phouvanh Chaimontree.
On August 21, 2017, the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun, a phenomenon viewable throughout the country! In this workshop, learn how you can take advantage of this spectacular teachable moment, and engage your class and community in investigating and experiencing the eclipse. Workshop sessions will actively engage participants in an NGSS storyline approach to understanding the how and why of both solar and lunar eclipses. For information  click here .

Join local teachers, administrators, and teacher educators for the first in a series of programs designed to introduce California's History-Social Science Framework. These interactive and engaging one-day conferences across California offer time to collaborate with other educators, as well as state, regional, and local HSS leaders. Participants will leave with classroom-ready instructional materials, and a full-day examination of the instructional shifts, updated and expanded content, aligning HSS with the ELA/ELD Framework, and inquiry-based instruction across grade levels. For registration information, click here. 

June 11-17: Plumas County; June 18-24: Tuolumne County; July 2-8: Shasta County; July 9-15: Humboldt County.
The Forestry Institute for Teachers is high-quality professional development that provides cross-curriculum training that emphasizes and models, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards- while examining current forestry issues.The goal of FIT is to provide K-12 teachers with knowledge, skills and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest resource management practices,to gain a deeper understanding of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources.
$200 Stipend for Water Resources and Ecosystems of the Central Valley Flood Plains Institute June 12 to 15, 2016 
The Floodplain Ecology Institute will be 4 days and include science and environmental science content focused on Central Valley floodplain, Delta, riparian, and watershed ecology.  Also included is 6 hour Project WET Certification Course, plus c urriculum for the classroom or after school program with NGSS aligned lessons.  For details or to register  click here.   
Model My Watershed - June 14, 2017 to June 17, 2017
Receive a $1000 stipend upon completion of this summer institute and course work. This NSF funded institute is a systems approach to solving watershed issues through modeling and hands-on activities for middle and high school students.  On line support course will take place through the school year, as will one additional day. Receive a set of Bluetooth watershed trackers and NGSS curriculum for your classroom. For information contact Dr. Jerry Valadez.

Explore the Sierra Nevada with scientists and K-12 educators during this 4-day investigation into the water cycle and the impacts of drought on biodiversity. We will start with the three dimensions of NGSS and then take a deeper dive into two cross-cutting concepts: cause and effect and systems and system models. Educators will learn how to analyze the impacts of drought on biodiversity and how to engage in the scientific practices of field investigation and data analysis. They will leave with an NGSS-aligned unit created with their peers. For registration click here .

Join Brian Brown, Project WET Education Director and the Department of Water Resources Scientists, as they explore regional climate change with real stream data and snow pack values.This is the first time Merced County will host this workshop. Receive Project WET certification and free Curriculum. For details and registration click here .
 Valley Students Sweep the California 
Sequoia Forestry Challenge      

Reedley High Students Win First Place!    
Towards the end of last year, five students from Reedley High School participated in the Sequoia Forestry Challenge, as one group of a total of 57 high school students, from 7 California schools.  The Reedley team won first place out of a total of thirteen teams!
One of the highlights for the students was making an inventory of live trees around the Camp's buildings and infrastructure. Students collected data on trees not already marked for removal and classified them by species and size. They evaluated the health of these trees to predict the need for another hazard tree removal project in the future. During the Challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.
"Fabulous hands-on experience," said Reedley High School teacher Kathryn Connolly. Jonah Chapa, a junior at Reedley High School, summed it up as follows: "I never knew I could have so much fun working so hard."
Three other South Valley team rounded out the top four spots, with Coalinga High School in second place, and Monache High School taking both third and fourth places. Congratulations to all the teams for a job well done!  
The Forestry Challenge is an academic event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry topics. Since its inception in 2003, the program has grown from one event to five.There is a possibility that the program will expand outside of California this year.
For more information about how you or your class can participate, go to  the Forestry Challenge website   or contact Diane Dealey Neill , Founder and Coordinato.


Sources for teachers and providers

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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.

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

Region 7 CREEC is housed and supported by the Fresno County Office of Education,
Jody Bertolucci,
Sonya Force,

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