Discovery Hall Programs hosted the annual meeting of the Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA) at the end of February. EEAA is a non-profit group made up of classroom teachers and informal educators involved in teaching about the environment, and is a regional affiliate of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).
The annual EEAA meeting is a chance for environmental educators across the state to share new teaching ideas, deepen their knowledge, renew relationships and make new connections. Attendees included classroom teachers, and informal educators from nature centers, state parks, and similar teaching settings.
The 2018 meeting hosted individuals from across the state including Cheaha State Park, Gulf State Park, Camp McDowell, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, International Crane Foundation, Cahaba Environmental Center, several middle and high schools, a number of universities around the state, and, of course, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Participants heard about the red snapper population issue from the plenary speaker Dr. Bob Shipp, attended field trips and presentations, and enjoyed a beautiful weekend in coastal Alabama.
Presentations included Alabama’s invasive species, outdoor applications of technology, the microfauna in lichens, the story of the Cahaba River ‘dam’, Alabama’s freshwater mussel fauna, and environmental mystery books for young readers.
Meetings such as EEAA bring individuals dedicated to increasing environmental literacy for Alabama’s students and citizens together to improve skills, learn new things, and renew our collective enthusiasm. Although definitions vary, environmental literacy is the ability of individuals to understand the environment and have the skills and motivation to make responsible decisions that consider their relationship to natural systems, communities and future generations.