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North American Association for Environmental Education

North American Association for Environmental Education


The North American Association for Environmental Education, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit network for professionals and students working in the field of environmental education. It claims to be the world's largest association of environmental educators, with members in the United States and more than 55 countries. The organization's stated mission is to "go beyond consciousness-raising about these issues. [It] must prepare people to think together about the difficult decisions they have to make concerning environmental stewardship, and to work together to improve and try to solve environmental problems." It advocates a cooperative and nonconfrontational approach to environmental education.

NAAEE conducts an annual conference and produces publications, including a member newsletter, the Environmental Communicator, and a Directory of Environmental Educators.It also operates a Skills Bank and numerous programs. Several of these programs focus on community-based activities. The VINE (Volunteer-led Investigations of Neighborhood Ecology) Network promotes programs using volunteers to lead children in explorations of the ecology of their urban neighborhoods. The Urban Leadership Collaboratives Program aims to develop collaborative environmental education programs in cities. The Environmental Issues Forums (EIF) Program assists students and adults in working with controversial environmental issues in their communities and nationally.

Other NAAEE programs have a wider focus. The NAAEE Training and Professional Development Institute offers workshops and training events on such topics as fundraising and long-range planning, as well as courses for educators from developing countries in cooperation with United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) and the Smithsonian Institute. The Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP), under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, coordinates a consortium of 18 environmental education organizations that promote training. The NAAEE Policy Institute aims to develop standards for environmental education. Additional NAAEE activities include writing reports to the United States Congress on environmental education issues, reviewing proposals submitted for funding under the National Environmental Education Act of 1990, and testifying to support environmental education legislation and innovative programs. Internationally, the organization has helped to establish environmental education centers in Moscow and Kiev and a program in Thailand, and has assisted with developing educational materials in Sri Lanka.

NAAEE maintains four member sections that represent different contexts of environmental education and conduct individual activities: Conservation Education Section, Elementary and Secondary Education Section, Environmental Studies Section, and Nonformal Section (for members working outside of formal school settings).

In 1996, the Conservation Education Association was incorporated into NAAEE.

[Carol Steinfeld ]


RESOURCES

ORGANIZATIONS

North American Association for Environmental Education, 410 Tarvin Road, Rock Spring, GA USA 30739 (706) 764-2926, Fax: (706) 764-2094, Email: [email protected], <http://www.naaee.org>

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