Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grants, Awards and Scholarships Page

Are you looking for funding to integrate more Environmental Education into your teaching?

Are you interested in engaging your students in environmental projects?

Are you an educator that already uses Environmental Education methods, but could use some additional funding to expand or continue your program?

Check out the "Grants" page above for websites and organizations that provide funding for Environmental Education nationwide!

Know of any other grants that we should be aware of? Leave us a comment!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Aka'ula School Benefit May 8 at Pacific Aviation Museum on Oahu - food, entertainment, and a good cause!

What: Fundraiser for Aka'ula School on Moloka'i - A 1940's themed night of food, live entertainment, silent auction and more!
When: May 8, 2010, 6-10 PM
Where: Pacific Aviation Museum, Oahu

Why: All proceeds and gifts will directly benefit the school’s financial aid program. 
More information: Aka'ula website.

Please see below for a letter from Victoria Newberry, Head of Aka'ula School:

"Each year Aka`ula School families raise money to fund the school’s financial aid program by hosting signature events on Moloka`i, Maui and Oahu. This year "Moloka`i Calls Oahu" will be held at the Pacific Aviation Museum on May 8, 2010, from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. The evening will include heavy pupu, entertainment, silent auction, movies in the museum theater, a chance to try your hand at a flight simulator, and more. Above all, we promise it will be Molokai style.

We invite you to join us for a night of 1940s inspired fun while supporting educational choice and a quality-learning environment for an ethnically and economically diverse Molokai student population in grades five through eight.

There are several ways you may help.
  • Purchase an “Enlisted” man’s seat for $50 each.
  • Purchase an “Enlisted” table of eight for $400. We’ll hold the table with a reserved sign for your party.
  • Purchase a reserved “Officers” seat for $100. Your ticket will include two drink coupons and a Molokai “goodie” bag.
  • Purchase a reserved “Officers” table of eight for $800. This will give you and your party reserved VIP seating as well as two drink coupons and a Molokai “goodie” bag for each person at your table.
  • Make a cash donation.
  • Donate to either the live or silent auction. The donation can be an item such as a set of dishes, an MP3 player, or a work of art. It can also be a certificate for a service such as a hotel stay, surf lesson, dinner, or haircut. 

All proceeds and gifts will directly benefit the school’s financial aid program and they will be listed in the event program. Aka`ula School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all donations are therefore tax deductable. We are now able to take on line reservations at our school web site or you may complete the attached form and return it to Aka`ula School by May 1. Tickets will not be sold at the door as everyone attending must be pre-registered with base security. 

We know there are many worthy causes deserving of your support. On behalf of the entire Aka`ula `Ohana, thank you for considering ours. We look forward to seeing you on May 8."

Victoria J. Newberry
Head of School

Friday, April 23, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 4th week in April - 'Alae ke'oke'o

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 4th week in April:

Though nests may be found at any time of year, April and May seem to be the peak nesting season for 'alae ke'oke'o, the Hawaiian coot (Fulica americana alai). This native subspecies of the American coot is still seen on all the main islands except Lana'i. On O'ahu and Kaua'i, it shares its pond and marsh habitats with a distant relative - 'alae 'ula, the Hawaiian moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis).
Seen swimming, the two waterbirds can easily be distinguished by the colors of their foreheads, the coot's being white (ke'oke'o) and the moorhen's bright red ('ula). On land, coots may be recognized also by the partial webbing on their toes.

The Hawaiian Coot is dark slate gray with a white bill and a large frontal shield (patch on top of head). The frontal shield is usually white but can vary from bluish white to yellow to dark blood red. They have white undertail feathers that are seen when swimming or during their courtship displays. Male and female coots look alike. This endemic bird of Hawai`i is smaller than its mainland relatives, measuring 15 inches in length. 

For breeding, 'alae ke'oke'o builds a floating nest platform roughly two feet across that sometimes includes a kind of porch for entries and exits. Usually anchored near the edge of a pond, this platform contains a nest cup that rides several inches above water level and, at this time of year, is apt to hold five or six eggs.

Text from "Hawai'i: A Calendar of Natural Events" 
published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989
and, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species website

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Advice FROM Educators, FOR Educators

Here's some advice from educators, for educators interested in incorporating the environment in their teachings.
  • Look for real-life connections that students can relate to.
  • Don’t brainwash students, let them reach their own understanding based on facts.
  • Get the whole school involved. A holistic approach that incorporates the environment in more than just science classes.
  • As the teacher, you need to get out in the field. Try a summer project with the Nature Conservancy or a university professor.
  • Talk about science careers.
  • Connect with a local university so that you can bring a scientist into your classroom as a guest speaker.
  • Show school administrators that you’ve done your homework and have a workable plan if you want to sell them on a class project that takes the kids outside the classroom.
  • Learn how to write and apply for grants.

    *This list is part of the article
    "Teachers and schools embrace green curricula" by Harriet Blake for KABC TV - Los Angeles.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Earth Day - 40th Anniversary

8 Ways to Get Outside, Reduce Your Waste and Have Fun!

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22nd). It’s a time to support the environment and this year’s theme of “a billion acts of green.” You don’t have to be an eco-guru to care about nature. Start with a few simple “green” activities, including spending more time outdoors to jump start your spring!

Get Outside
1. Help to get 100,000 kids outside – Join the Be Out There™ movement and sign the pledge to spend time outside with the kids in your life. Get started with the activities listed below and then find more at the Be Out There website.

2. Cultivate your child’s green thumb – Garden with your children and encourage them to lead upkeep of the plants.

3. Play good old-fashioned games – Get nostalgic with these 8 outdoor games you’ll love.

4. Watch for feathered friends in your yard – Then share your sightings and stories online.
Reduce Your Waste
5. Talk to your kids about climate change – Help your children understand global warming and build a foundation of skills that will allow them to appreciate nature. You can calculate your carbon footprint together.

6. Conserve energy at home – Turn off lights when you’re not using them, air dry your clothes, and use small appliances over larger ones.

7. Compost your kitchen scraps – It reduces waste and makes “liquid gold” nourishment for your garden or potted plants.

8. Walk, ride your bike or carpool to school or work – Consider alternative transportation to get where you need to go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Calling all artists! HEEA needs a new logo... you could win $220!

SummaryHEEA logo
Advertisement TypeLogo Design
Brand NameHawai'i Environmental Education Alliance
IndustryEnvironmental Education
What we doThe Hawai‘i Environmental Education Alliance strives to improve networking, communication and professionalism among environmental educators throughout Hawai'i.
DetailsWe seek a new logo for the reincarnation of the Hawai‘i Environmental Education Alliance (formerly known as Hawai‘i Environmental Education Association). The logo will be used on the internet, television, and printed materials. Because our name is long, a logo with just the initials HEEA may be used. But we would like to see various options. If the word Hawai‘i is spelled out, we need to include the diacritical mark (the thing that looks like a backwards apostrophe).
Technical DetailsLogo in various formats: JPG, TIFF, GIF
GoalBy branding and, in turn, promoting the HEEA, we hope to augment our organization and meet our goal of increased collaboration and communication.
Another goal is to heighten public awareness of the need for and value of environmental education in Hawai‘i.
Target Audienceenvironmental educators (in school and in other settings), policy makers, potential funders, general public (in that order)
Unique Selling PropositionWe're the only group in Hawai‘i doing this type of work, however we are part of a larger nation-wide network of environmental education groups.
Message to communicateSustainability, nature, Hawaiian culture, collaboration, communication, environmental literacy. HEEA supports quality environmental education so that Hawaii’s environment is protected, preserved, and utilized with sustainability in mind.
Feelings to communicateIt is imperative that the design is respectful of the indigenous culture of Hawai‘i and in harmony with nature. A connection to Hawaii’s native plants and animals is desired. Examples of native plants and wildlife important to the culture of Hawai‘i may be found at the following website: (look for posters button)
Customer motivationOur customers are looking for opportunities for collaboration, communication, professional development and coordinated knowledge sharing (grants, education materials, etc) to maximize outcomes.
Colors I likecool, inviting, natural
Likesclean, evokes human-nature connection, easy to reproduce
Dislikestoo busy or cluttered, too colorful, too formal, coconut trees, surfboards or anything that evokes cliche Hawai‘i


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Get 'em Outside video

The No Child Left Inside Coalition has put together a video about the importance of getting students outside to learn. The video is also about celebrating environmental education and its impact on children's learning, health and leadership.

Visit to increase environmental education opportunities at your school.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Week in Nature - The 3rd week in April - 'Akala

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 3rd Week in April:
'Ākala, a Hawaiian relative of the raspberry, (Rubus hawaiensis) is coming into fruit and may be found until July at elevations above 4000 feet. 'Ākala plants may have prickles but lack the sharp thorns that protect most mainland berries from their predators. Don't confuse it with the blackberry, a thorny foreign competitor that may also be found during summer months.

'Ākala bush

Like other native plants and animals, 'ākala was linked by its name both with its own principal traits and with its uses. Thus 'ākala means "pink" and also signifies kapa (tapa) of this color and dye made from the juice of the berries.

'Ākala berries

In addition, the name contains the verb kala, meaning "to free or loosen," and kahuna lā'au lapa'au, practitioners of herbal medicine, prescribed raspberries and two linguistically related plants - pua kala (the prickly poppy, Argemone glauca) and limu kala (a brown seaweed) -  to relieve pain, ceremonially drive away illness, or obtain forgiveness. 

Prickly poppy (pua kala)

Text and image from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Fun Theory

What's the best way to change people's behavior? Make it fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

"The Story of Stuff"

This video has been circulating around the internet for quite some time, but it is especially appropriate this month; Earth Month.  

Learn about where "stuff" comes from and where it goes after we throw it out... it's a lot more complicated than it seems.

Check it out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Online EE Courses Available This Summer and Fall

Online Environmental Education Courses offered through the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point offer four online courses for students and professionals in the field of environmental education.  

Registration deadline for Summer 2010 courses is  May 1st. For registration details, including tuition rates, visit:

Making EE Relevant for Culturally Diverse Audiences
This course is designed to provide participants with the basic knowledge and skills needed to make EE relevant to culturally diverse audiences. Through this course you will broaden your perspective of EE to encompass interests and issues of concern to culturally diverse audiences, assess barriers to participation among these audiences, and appraise the role and significance of building relationships and partnerships with members of an audience you intend to work with in the future. As part of this course you will adapt a component of your program to make it more relevant for a culturally diverse audience of your choice. 

Leadership Development in Natural Resources: Strategic Planning and Implementation
Learn how to develop successful strategic planning and implementation models, processes and techniques. Emphasis will be placed on managing the strategic planning process to build the capacity of organizations to provide effective environmental education programs. Course participants will also have an opportunity for individual consultation time with the course instructor to discuss specific issues/questions they might have regarding strategic planning. This new course has been designed for environmental educators, natural resource professionals and graduate students who are currently involved in a strategic planning process or may become involved in one in the future.

Fundamentals of Environmental Education
Gain a foundational knowledge of environmental education and learn how to incorporate quality EE into your instruction. Participants discuss the history and goals of EE, develop an understanding of the professional roles and instructional methods of environmental educators, and interact with other educators from across the country.

Applied Environmental Education Program Evaluation
Learn to evaluate environmental education and outreach programs by designing evaluation tools such as questionnaires, observation forms, and interview and focus group guides. This course was designed for environmental educators, natural resource professionals, and graduate students who can apply the tools they develop to a specific
education program or research study.

The Fundamentals of EE and the Applied EE Program Evaluation online courses have been designed to address the competencies for professional environmental educators identified by the North American Association for Environmental Education. To find out more information about how these courses can provide the professional development needed by those seeking certification, click here.

Course Structure 
All of EETAP's online courses are semi-synchronous. Semi-synchronous refers to the course structure, as each course is offered 100% online. Students start, end and progress through the course together.  However, there are no designated times that students must be logged into the course. There are specific deadlines on assignments within each section, but students are able to work on the assignments any time before the due dates.  

To register for summer 2010 courses please contact Jessica Tomaszewski: or 715-346-3854.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There™ movement

“Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play 
is essential to children’s physical and mental health.”
~American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008

National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There™ movement is connecting American families to the outdoors to raise happier, healthier children with a life-long love of nature.

National Wildlife Federation has just launched an ambitious campaign to get 100,000 pledges by year-end for our innovative Be Out There™ initiative. 

By taking the Be Out There Pledge, you’ll be joining the movement to ensure all American children reap the benefits of outdoor time – simply by promising to start with your own family.

Engaging in regular outdoor play helps your children by:
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving health
  • Increasing performance in school
When you take the Be Out There™ Pledge, you’ll get helpful tips and fun, interactive tools to help your family get the most education and enjoyment out of the great outdoors.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Celebrate Environmental Education Week April 11-17 2010

Environmental Education Week is April 11-17 this year, and there are lots of ways to celebrate!

Calculate your carbon footprint and then try to reduce your daily impact during EE week and beyond! There is also a carbon footprint calculator made just for youth!

Make a nature journal to record your observations about your surroundings.

Take photographs of your local environment and the plants and animals that live there.

If you are a teacher, integrate some environmental lessons into your classes. Create posters about the importance of taking care of our local environment, do a nature craft like leaf rubbings, or research local plants and animals. Photo: Maui teachers engaged in a hands-on EE lessonIf you are a parent, take your kids outside to explore! Observe your backyard or a nearby park, create an experiment, go on a nature scavenger hunt, or sit outside and read a book about nature. There are so many ways to learn about the environment!

Visit for more ideas and ways to connect with other people

What are YOU going to do to celebrate Environmental Education Week this year?

Monday, April 5, 2010

This Week in Nature - The 2nd Week in April - Alala

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 2nd Week in April:

Chicks of 'alalā, the native crow, (Corvus hawaiiensis) would traditionally start hatching in the wild at this time. Unfortunately, there are no longer any 'alalā living in the wild.

'Alalā are endemic to the island of Hawaii, where they were once numerous and widespread. The last remaining wild birds in recent history were found only in the Kona Forest Unit of Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge. Check out this video to see what kind of work is being done to restore habitat for native species at Hakalau:

The Hawaiian Crow has been legally protected by the state of Hawaii since 1931 and was listed as an Endangered Species in 1967. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepared a Recovery Plan for the species in 1989, but to date, efforts to increase the wild population through the release of captive-reared birds have been unsuccessful.  A Revised Recovery Plan was released in 2009.

The small wild population decreased dramatically, declining from 11 or 12 birds in 1992 to just two individuals as of April 2002. In 2005, the Keauhou and Maui Bird Conservation Centers housed the world’s entire ‘alalā population: 55 individuals. Currently the 'Alala population stands at 67 individuals. 52 are at the Kilauea Bird Conservation Center on Hawai'i, 14 at the Maui Bird Conservation Center, and one at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Visit the San Diego Zoo blog to read the story " 'Alala Takes Extraordinary Flight" about a Hawaiian Crow named Kinohi and his recent "flight" across the Pacific.

Check out this video for more about the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center and to see some adorable baby Puaiohi birds being hand-fed. Alala makes a debut in the video at about minute 2:55.

Like other crows, ‘alalā are raucous, gregarious and vocal; young, captive-raised birds often engage in tug-of-war with sticks. Like many corvids, ‘alalā are long-lived and have a life span of 20 or more years. The species’ diet primarily consists of native and introduced fruits, invertebrates, and eggs and nestlings of other forest birds, as well as nectar, flowers and carrion.
A Hawaiian proverb identifies the 'alalā as "a loud-voiced bird," and its name imitates its call. Used as a verb, "'alalā" means to bawl, cry, caw, or scream. All this implies no lack of respect, however. 'Alalā served as 'aumākua of many families on the island of Hawaii.

Click here to hear the call of the 'alala.

To learn more about 'Alalā, visit the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy 'Alalā fact sheet here. Also, see the US Fish and Wildlife Service's webpage about the Hawaiian Crow here.

*The above information was gathered from: the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, the Audubon Watchlist and "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events," published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989. The above image is also from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events." 

The videos in the post were found on YouTube. The second video was posted as part of the Huaka'i Aina Hooilina series posted by Kamehameha Schools. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Attention Full-time Teachers- Travel to the Galapagos Islands with the Toyota International Teacher Program!

Toyota International Teacher Program

The Toyota International Teacher Program, administered by the Institute of International Education, is offering U.S. secondary school educators a unique opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands from November 20 through December 4, 2010.

The program aims to advance environmental stewardship and global connectedness in U.S. schools and communities through creative, interdisciplinary, and solution-based teaching methods.
Full-time grade 6-12 teachers and teacher librarians in the U.S. who have at least three years of teaching experience are encouraged to apply. While in the country, participants will meet with biologists and conservationists, explore the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands, and work on interdisciplinary lesson plans together with educators from the Galapagos Islands.

The application deadline is May 26, 2010. Visit the program’s website to learn more about this opportunity and submit an online application. There are quite a few steps involved in the application process, so if you are interested, check out the website as soon as possible!

Visit for more details.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Week in Nature - The 1st Week in April - Welo/Pueo

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 1st Week in April:

Welo ka huelo ku.
The standing tails sway.

Welo means "moving with the wind" and is also a Hawaiian name for April. This month's breezes shake the new shoots put forth by vines, making them look so lively that the Hawaiian short-eared owl, pueo, (Asio flammeus sandwichensis) is said to sometimes attack in the mistaken belief that they are the huelo (tails) of rats. Besides recording a biological phenomenon, this proverb involves a play on words between "welo" and "huelo." 

Pueo; Hawaiian Short-eared owl
Photo: C. Tucker
While rats came to Hawaii with the first settlers, pueo are true natives and are revered by some families as 'aumākua, or guardian ancestors. Perhaps because they soar high in the sky yet nest on the ground, pueo are particularly associated with a Hawaiian saying that describes 'aumākua as 'ano lani, 'ano honua - of the heavens and of the earth.

Pueo in flight
Photo(and top photo): Forest and Kim Starr

Pueo figure prominently in Hawaiian myths, including one from Maui in which the owl god Pueo-nui-akea carries wandering souls back to life.

To learn more about the Pueo, visit the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy webpage and the Pueo fact sheet by clicking here.

Text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989.