Environmental Educators Roundtable
The Ocean County Soil Conservation District has been effectively and successfully coordinating the Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable for since 1997. A primary task of the Steering Committee, a group representing nearly twenty area groups and agencies, is to assist local educators in enhancing the inclusion of Barnegat Bay watershed-specific information and materials into their lessons, activities and programs. The Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable provides a mechanism for environmental educators to share resources and information related to the watershed. The enthusiasm instilled in teachers is carried back to their schools and colleagues and helps to promote environmental education opportunities within the watershed. It is the perfect venue to provide teacher-training opportunities and continue the promotion of the Discovering Barnegat Bay activity guide. The program and itinerary for the Roundtable varies and improves each year, with additional partners and customized programs adding to the appeal for teachers to attend.
“Excellent workshops I will use in my own class & will share with other teachers in our school! Thank you!!”
The Roundtable has a proven success rate with Ocean County educators as indicated by the evaluation summaries from the past. Continued promotion of the Discovering Barnegat Bay activity guide, as well as the educational programs and opportunities available form all participating agencies, organizations and groups, allows a comprehensive approach to watershed education and provides teachers with a “one-stop-shopping” approach. It is well known that teachers are more likely to present and teach topics with which they are familiar and comfortable. The main goal and objective of the Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable is to provide this opportunity and to ultimately, improve the health of the bay and its watershed.
2013: 16th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable
The 2013, 16th Annual Environmental Educators Roundtable was hosted on April 24, 2013 by the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. As with previous years, the 2013 Roundtable included a variety of hands-on workshops where teachers gained free valuable activities and knowledge to bring back into their classrooms. In addition to the workshops, participants had access to free resources and the opportunity to take home educational door prizes.
The 2013 Roundtable hosted fun and creative workshops along with a great perofrmance from NJ folk singer Heide Winzinger. For more information about Heide Winzinger, please click on the following link:
Please also explore some of the presentations from this year’s workshops, along with information about presenters:
Terry O’Leary of Cedar Hollow and Bob Birdsall of Birsall Nature Photography presented a “Virtual tour of the Great Bay Blvd. Peninsula in Tuckerton, NJ“. This tour explored diverse habitats as well as the rich history of the land along this peninsula.
Joanna Marino and Danielle Donkersloot of the NJ AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador Program hosted a hands-on workshop, “Volunteer Water Monitoring Training – Collecting Real Data to Protect our Rivers and Streams“, training teachers how to become a Stream Monitor. This workshop gave teachers the skills to identify living creatures in NJ’s freshwater streams, as well as determine the health of a stream by simply looking at it. Now teachers can bring their classes into the field and have their students become hands on scientists!
John Wnek, from the M.A.T.E.S. Academy in Manahawkin, NJ hosted a workshop called “Lessons from a Storm: the Effects of Sandy and How to Incorporate Storm Related Lessons in the Classroom” which gave teachers new perspective on how to include topics such as Superstorm Sandy in their lessons. Please click here to download a PDF of Dr. Wnek’s presentation.
Joel Mott of the NJ Pinelands Commission presented “Pinelands Overview: a Synopsis of New Jersey’s Pinelands”, a workshop to designed to give teachers the impression that they are taking a hike through the Pinelands. This presentation gave insight to some of the native vegetation, secret locations, and the history of the Pines. Teachers who attended this presentation gained the skills to not only teach about the Pinelands, but also to take their classes outside and use their investigative skills to identify new plants and animals.
Claire Antonucci and Diana Burich of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium hosted a fun, hands on workshop “Understanding Sea Level Rise and How It Will Affect New Jersey’s Shorelines” which explored different techniques for teaching sea level rise in a classroom of all ages. Teachers not only learned the connection between sea level rise and climate change, but learned exciting new hands on activities to help them convey these messages to their students. Please click here for a PDF copy of their exciting presentation.
Becky Laboy of Island Beach State Park hosted “Shells on the Shore of Island Beach State Park” which took a look at how shells are made, who lives in shells, and why they are on the beach.