What's Happening in the States
As states continue developing ways to get kids outside, the North American Association for Environmental Education has created a document entitled "Developing a State Environmental Literacy Plan" (pdf). This will help facilitate the creation of established state plans.
- See below for how each state is working towards environmental literacy.
- Review an alphabetical list of coalition members by state.
While the NCLI Coalition is focused on federal policy, many of our affiliated members are working hard in state capitals around the country to encourage state leaders to improve environmental education offerings.
A key focus in several states is enactment of state "environmental literacy" plans. Such a plan, developed locally, spells out how a state will deliver high-quality instruction to ensure that students have a basic understanding of their natural world. Such plans vary from state to state, but policy experts have concluded that a well crafted state environmental literacy plan will ensure that:
- environmental education activities are aligned with and support state curriculum content, benchmarks, standards and graduation requirements.
- environmental education activities are carefully planned and are integral to state education goals.
- environmental content is consistent, accurate and of high quality.
- all communities, including those with limited resources, receive environmental education in schools.
- the focus of environmental education training and curriculum development is on both students and teachers.
- environmental education is fully integrated into formal education systems.
- non-formal environmental education providers (such as nature centers or aquariums), state natural resource agencies, community organizations and other partners are involved appropriately and effectively in environmental education activities in the schools.
Environmental Literacy Plans by State
Below is a summary of the standing of environmental education in each state, including its place in state law and state educational standards. These are critical steps to ensuring that all students gain the critical knowledge of the environment that they will need. Unfortunately, due to the unintentional narrowing of the curriculum caused by NCLB's current format, some of the best laid plans of states have been brushed aside in the race to meet AYP.
Environmental Education Association of Alabama
A state-wide organization of classroom teachers, non-formal educators from museums, zoos, and nature centers, state agency personnel, educational institutions, industry representatives, and anyone else interested in promoting teaching about the environment in the state of Alabama.
Statutory Requirement: Al. St. Sec. 16-6B-2
Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education Association (ANROE)
ANROE collaborates with organizations, agencies, and school districts to provide education resources, training, and networking opportunities about Alaska natural resources. Through its newsletter, mailing list, and forums, ANROE members share information about environmental education tools, techniques, employment, and professional development opportunities. ANROE is funded by memberships and sponsors.
Statute or Bylaw: AS 14.30.380
Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE)
AAEE is a nonprofit organization working to enhance the scope, quality, and effectiveness of EE in Arizona and to advance professionalism among all who are involved with EE. AAEE fosters strength and diversity in the Arizona EE community.
Arkansas Environmental Education Association
Statute or Bylaw: Department of Education Standards for accreditation.
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE)
California-based AEOE is dedicated to the education of children and to helping them increase their awareness and understanding of their natural environment.
Statute or Bylaw: Assembly Bill 1548, Chapter 665, Statutes of 2003
State Standards: Education and the Environment state plan document
Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE)
CAEE serves all sectors of the Colorado community by increasing the effectiveness of EE. CAEE is dedicated to supporting and promoting quality EE opportunities by facilitating communication, coordination, and professional development among the varied EE programs in the state. During the last 15 years, the Alliance has grown to include more than 600 members, 100 active volunteers, and several well established projects.
Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association (COEEA)
COEEA supports naturalists, classroom teachers, youth group leaders, and other educators as they promote responsible environmental stewardship. It offers a newsletter, workshops, and conferences and collaborates with the New England EE Alliance and NAAEE.
Assessments that include EE: Yes
The University of Delaware coordinates teacher professional development in environmental sciences through The Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, a NSF funded program.
State Standards: The Delaware Student Testing Program's science test measures students' knowledge and understanding in four areas: Inquiry, Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science.
League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF)
LEEF is an organization designed to inform and educate teachers and the general public about environmental issues in Florida. Web site features include a calendar of events, grant and job listings, and LEEF conference information.
Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia (EEA)
As an affiliate of the North American Association for Environmental Education, EEA works to promote EE by providing opportunities for member organizations, schools, and the general public to interact and learn through the annual EEA conference, the member newsletter and its initiatives.
Idaho Environmental Education Association (IdEEA)
IdEEA supports and promotes learning about the world around us—through a network of model schools, an annual conference, recognizing exemplary teaching and an on-line database.
Environmental Education Association of Illinois
A group of concerned citizens who are interested in educating people of all ages about the importance of understanding and protecting the environment.
Statute or Bylaw: School Code amended by P.A. 86-229, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1990
State Standards: Illinois State Board of Education Illinois Learning Standards and Green Standards
Assessments that include EE: One-third of the science questions of the state assessment are related to EE.
Environmental Education Association of Indiana (EEAI)
The mission of EEAI is to work cooperatively to promote opportunities that will educate, motivate, and inspire citizens of Indiana to conserve natural resources and meet the needs of our society while maintaining a healthy environment now and in the future.
Iowa Conservation Education Council
Statutory Requirements: IAC 11/19/97 12.5(3)d, 12.5(4)d, and 12.5(5)d.(required under "Science")
State Standards: Each district must have its own standards showing how the Iowa Admin Code is met.
Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE)
A non-profit organization promoting quality, non-biased, and science-based environmental education for all Kansans. The materials sponsored by KACEE can assist schools in meeting the Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA) and state standards requirements mandated by the Kansas State Board of Education. Hosts annual EE conference.
Statute or Bylaws: House Resolution
State Standards: DoE has non-tested EE standards/objectives/outcomes
Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE)
KAEE represents teachers, government, industry, parents, students—people who understand that each citizen should be able to make wise decisions concerning the environment, and to do that, they must be environmentally educated.
Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA)
MEEA helps organizations, schools, groups, educational programs, and individuals promote and expand environmental education in Maine.
Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE)
The mission of MAEOE is to encourage, train, and support Maryland educators to build a citizenry that understands and is responsibly engaged in promoting sustainability, addressing human needs, and conserving the Earth's natural resources.
Statutory Requirements: MSDE Environmental Education Bylaw
State Standards: Yes
Massachusetts Environmental Education Society
The Massachusetts Environmental Education Society is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and improvement of EE in the state and region.
State Standards: Benchmarks On the Way to Environmental Literacy K-12
Michigan Alliance for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE)
MAEOE is a professional association supporting and advancing environmental education in a variety of settings, including (but not limited to): K-12 classrooms, nature centers, camps, youth programs, government agencies, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE)
The mission of MAEE is to support and advance environmental education throughout the state of Minnesota.
Statute or Bylaws: http://www.seek.state.mn.us/eemn_g.cfm
Mississippi Environmental Education Alliance (MEEA)
Statutory Requirements: Waste Minimization Act of 1990 or 1991
Missouri Environmental Education Association
A broad-based membership organization made up of teachers, students, youth group leaders, volunteers, interpreters, and others engaged in EE.
Montana Environmental Education Association
The Montana Environmental Education Association promotes and celebrates an environmentally responsible citizenry through education and the support of a statewide network of professionals, students, and volunteers.
Nebraska Alliance for Conservation and Environmental Education (NACEE)
NACEE is a coalition of Nebraska organizations and individuals with an interest in conservation and environment education.
Nevada Natural Resource Education Council (NNREC)
The goal of NNREC is "to develop and promote natural resource education in Nevada." NNREC offers PLT, PWILD and Project WET workshops and links to other EE resources in Nevada.
Assessment that includes EE: Science Criteria Reference Test includes significant reference to Environmental Science
New Hampshire Environmental Educators (NHEE)
As the state professional EE organization, NHEE's mission is to advocate for high quality EE in New Hampshire, and to provide environmental educators with a forum for networking and professional development.
Statute or Bylaws: NH Frameworks for Science Literacy
Assessment that included EE: Yes, included in Science Frameworks
Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE)
ANJEE was established in 1985 to provide a networking forum for New Jersey's environmental educators. Site includes upcoming events, information about ANJEE, and membership information.
State Standards: NJ's science and social studies core K-12 curriculum content standards include an environmental studies standard in science and a geography/environmental standard in social studies
Assessments that include EE: Environmental science questions included in DoE state tests for 4th, 8th and 11th grades.
Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM)
EEANM is a non-profit organization which provides, promotes, and enhances quality environmental education by offering New Mexicans opportunities for professional development, communication, and partnership.
State Standards: Science Content Standards include Environmental Science, not other aspects
New York State Outdoor Education Association
Established in 1968, the New York State Outdoor Education Association is the leading professional group supporting outdoor education, EE, and interpretive services in New York State.
Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC)
The premier non-profit professional organization for Environmental Education Professionals in North Carolina. Since October 1990, EENC has been enhancing the work of individuals by establishing a powerful network of environmental educators across the state.
Statutory Requirements: Earth/Environmental Science HS requirement
State Standards: NC Standard Course of Study
Assessments that include EE: Only within the standards
Coalition for Conservation and Environmental Education (C2E2)
The C2E2 facilitates communication, cooperation, collaboration, and coordination among the varied EE programs in the state. Participants share a common and compelling vision of "developing a public that is knowledgeable, committed, and motivated to take a balanced, active approach for a quality environment.
Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO)
EECO is a non-profit organization for educators and others who are concerned about the environment. EECO sponsors meetings and workshops, and has a series of EE related publications. NAAEE Affiliate liaison: Brenda Metcalf. EECO regional system provides professional throughout the state and annual and regional conferences, and the Projects and the state organizations such as ODNR Soil and Water, Div. of Wildlife, Water, Forestry and Recycling and Litter Prevention, Ohio Energy Project, Environmental Education Fund office and other local programs such as parks and nature centers; a number of Universities are willing to provide college credits for these EE trainings and workshops.
State Standards: No specific EE standards; EE related indictors embedded in Science, Social Studies, Technology, English, language arts, and math academic standards.
Assessments that include EE: New state standards have EE related questions that are included in state proficiency tests and the new state achievement tests.
Oklahoma Association for Environmental Education (OKAEE)
The mission of OKAEE is to support Oklahoma educators and promote, in both formal and informal settings, environmental literacy through communication, resource sharing, skill building, and recognition of excellence.
Environmental Education Association of Oregon (EEAO)
EEAO is a professional organization dedicated to creating a more environmentally literate citizenry composed of people who have the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding natural resources, and to solve the complex environmental problems facing our society.
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE)
PAEE unites, supports, and inspires individuals to be stewards of the environment.
Statutory Requirements: State-wide standards for environment and ecology for K-12. It may be taught as a separate subject or integrated into existing curriculum.
State Standards: Environment and Ecology standards
Assessments that include EE: PDE has developed an EE student assessment in conjunction with science and technology for implementation in 2007.
Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA)
RIEEA is an affiliation of RI EE groups that offers networking opportunities for teachers and informal educators. It also sponsors an annual conference and teacher workshops. It is an organizational member of NEEEA.
Statute or Bylaws: Just passed new science mandate that encourages or requires teachers to teach hands-on education: The Rhode Island Statewide Curriculum; The NECAP Science Assessment GSE's in Science
Assessments that include EE: Not specific to EE
Environmental Education Association of South Carolina (EEASC)
EEASC provides a forum for educators, administrators, researchers, agency, industry personnel, and concerned citizens to exchange and share information, ideas, and resources pertaining to SC natural resources and EE initiatives.
Statute or Bylaws: No but efforts are in place
Environmental Education Connections of South Dakota (EECSD)
EECSD supports EE within South Dakota through networking, capacity development, outreach, and training.
State Standards: EE does not have a dedicated set of standards, but rather is included within the disciplines of science, geography, and health.
Assessments that include EE: Dakota State Testing of Educational Progress began testing in science in April 2007 in grades 5, 8, and 11.
Tennessee Environmental Education Association (TEEA)
TEEA assists in the development and coordination of EE programs and activities; assists in the development of leadership in the public schools of Tennessee to implement EE throughout the curriculum; and represents its membership in matters of mutual concern which involve EE programs and activities.
Texas Association for Environmental Education (TAEE)
TAEE is an organization of teachers, administrators, college and university faculty, natural resource managers, public agency employees, and private citizens who share a common interest in promoting EE in Texas. TAEE holds two conferences per year and is affiliated with the Science Teachers Assoc of Texas.
Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE)
USEE serves Utah as an umbrella organization that guides, informs, and represents state EE providers. To achieve this, USEE strives to foster environmental knowledge, skills, attitudes and actions through statewide leadership that serves to expand the quality, scope, and effectiveness of EE in Utah.
Vermont Statewide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP)
SWEEP is a coalition of dozens of individuals and more than 50 organizations promoting EE in Vermont. SWEEP's purpose is to foster environmental appreciation and understanding in order to enable Vermonters to make responsible decisions affecting the environment.
Statutory Requirements: Vermont Frameworks of Standards includes natural resources, agriculture, sustainability, and understanding place.
State Standards: Two education standards on sustainability.
Assessments that include EE: Yes, science assessments include sustainability.
Virginia Naturally, the Commonwealth's official EE initiative, is a "virtual" association of public and private agencies, schools, and individuals working together to deliver EE programs to Virginians of all ages. Virginia Naturally is a gateway to a myriad of resources and information about Virginia's environment. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VA DEQ) coordinates EE programs state wide, including Chesapeake Bay Foundation teacher professional development and student meaningful field experiences.
State Standards: Virginia State Department of Education's Standards of Learning include standards that specifically relate to the environment. The 6th Grade Science Standards Institutes are multi-day explorations of the new 6th Grade Science Standards and supporting curricula and resources.
Environmental Education Association of Washington (EEAW)
EEAW is the professional association serving all EE providers and stakeholders and ultimately the citizens in all sectors of Washington State. EEAW is comprised of community educators, pre-K through university educators and administrators, communications specialists, public agency and private business representatives, and others dedicated to providing and promoting quality EE programs and materials.
Statutory Requirements: Washington State Mandates: WAC 392-410-115 and RCW28A.230.020
State Standards: Pacific Education Institute Technical Report 1 and 2
Assessments that include EE: Pacific Education Institute; Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction: Washington State EE Needs Assessment (2001)
DC Environmental Education Consortium (DCEEC)
DCEEC represents over 30 environmental education organizations operating in the District of Columbia. Their mission is to bolster a network of environmental and conservation educators, increasing their capacity to provide meaningful environmental education for the residents of DC.
West Virginia Environmental Education Association
(Note: This is a new organization and is just getting off the ground)
State Standards: WV DoE Science Content Standards (look under CSOs ex. SC.3.4.3)
Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education (WAEE)
WAEE is the direct connection to EE in Wisconsin. It joins teachers, naturalists, youth leaders, natural resource professionals, and others dedicated to learning more and educating all persons about the natural and built environment.
Statutory Requirements: Statutes 121.02(1)(k)1,2, 3
State Standards: Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards for Environmental Education
Wyoming Association for Environmental Education (WAEE)
Established in the summer of 1998 to provide educators with a consolidated resource of information related to EE. The site contains the master plan for the WAEE, a calendar of events, and EE links.