EE Conference

Environmental & Outdoor Education Conference

shape of Arkansas with butterfly and plant, conference title, and conference dates

Plan on joining AEEA in 2024 for hands-on workshops, breakout sessions, and field experiences. The conference is a great learning and networking opportunity for classroom teachers, non-formal educators, college students, naturalists, and conservation professionals from across the state.

About the Conference

AEEA’s Environmental and Outdoor Education Conference is a gathering that brings together classroom teachers, non-formal educators, higher education students, Master Naturalists, and conservation professionals from around Arkansas. This professional learning event consists of hands-on workshops, field experiences, concurrent presentations, and networking opportunities.

In addition to hands-on learning, exhibitors feature available resources and programs, and the silent auction showcases Arkansas-made goods, education resources, and sustainability-focused products. The silent auction funds the AEEA mini-grant program. The conference brings together diverse attendees in some of the most beautiful locations that Arkansas has to offer.

If you have never attended an AEEA conference, you can view highlights from the 2023 conference which was co-hosted with the Arkansas Master Naturalists in Eureka Springs. Links are below.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ~ FELLOWSHIP ~ FUN

Audience

AEEA’s conference draws attendees from across the state and occasionally neighboring regions. Most attendees are educators, either in classrooms or non-formal education settings. The conference also draws conservation professionals, naturalists, researchers, education administrators, professors, and college students. Attendees range in their knowledge and practice of environmental education (EE). Some are looking for beginning steps to incorporate EE while others are more seasoned and are looking for new ways to expand their programming. All attendees are interested in acquiring resources and tools to increase their effectiveness in EE and connecting with others to expand the network of EE across The Natural State.

Venues and Schedule Overview

 

U of A – Pulaski Tech College

 

Pulaski Tech Campus Center

Tuesday, June 11 – Optional pre-conference workshops & field tour

Wednesday, June 12 – Main conference day
Keynote Address
Concurrent Sessions
Awards Luncheon

 

 

St. Joseph Center of Arkansas

 

Entrance arch to St. Joseph Center of Arkansas

Tuesday, June 11 – Evening dinner and social time at the historical St. Joseph’s Center

Schedule and Session Details

We are very excited to share the lineup of workshops, a field tour, the keynote address, and concurrent sessions. Sessions cover a variety of topics including civics and environmental education, art and environmental education, Arkansas native plants and animals, leadership development, teaching in the outdoors, and community engagement. See the Conference Information Packet for full session descriptions, target audience, and schedule.

This year’s keynote speakers, highlighting civic engagement in Arkansas, are Shana Chaplin and Kimberly Bolin from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. Following the keynote they will lead a roundtable discussion on civic engagement and youth involvement.

Optional pre-conference activities
  – Guided tour of Fourche Creek
  – Project WET workshop
  – Adaptive Leadership workshop
  – Art as Environmental Education workshop

So many great professional learning options! View the Conference Information Packet for details of all the exciting sessions.

Registration

Conference attendance requires pre-registration. Registration will close a few weeks prior to the conference, and no on-site registration will be available. Note that AEEA members receive a discounted registration fee. Membership to AEEA is open to all. If you are not yet a member, you may become an AEEA member first and then register for the conference. You are also welcome to register as general public.

What is included in conference registration?

  • Tuesday Evening Social at St. Joseph Center of Arkansas – a casual outdoor dinner and one drink ticket included
  • All day Wednesday – conference sessions including the Awards Luncheon

What additional options are available with registration?

Exhibitor space, a field trip, a workshop, and guest tickets can be added to your registration. Each of the options below has an additional fee. See the registration form for prices.

Exhibitor registrationExhibitor registration includes general conference registration for one individual plus exhibit space.

Tuesday field trip and workshopsThree exciting workshops and one field tour are offered.

  • Step 1 – See the details on workshops and field tour for descriptions of Tuesday’s session
  • Step 2 – Use the registration button below and include the Tuesday sessions you would like to attend

Guest Tickets – Bring a guest to the Tuesday Evening Social or the Wednesday Awards Luncheon. 

Additional Conference Details

Session Format

All sessions will be in person. Tuesday sessions will be field experiences or interactive workshops that last 2-3 hours. Wednesday sessions will be concurrent conference sessions that are 60 minutes. For details of sessions and schedule, see the Conference Information Packet. Additional details will continue to be added.

Lodging

A block of rooms are being held at the Best Western Plus in North Little Rock at a rate of $107/night. Conference attendees are responsible for securing their own lodging. Rooms can be reserved by calling the number below and mentioning our group name and ID or using this link.

Best Western Plus JFK Inn & Suites
2500 Main Street
North Little Rock, AR 72114
501.246.3300

Group name: Arkansas Environmental Education Association
Group ID: 1597

Conference Attire

Curious what to wear to an environmental education and outdoor education conference? This is a professional, yet casual event. Wear what is appropriate for your organization in the summer. For some organizations, shorts are allowed, for others it is khakis, jeans, or capris. As with most conference centers, we will have little, if any, control over the temperature.

We planned the conference in June hoping for nice outside weather, and we will have opportunities to enjoy fresh air.

For those registering for the field trip, we will send specific information when the event is closer.

Sched - app for program schedule, details, and communication

Sched is an event management app for mobile devices and computers. Attendees can see session descriptions, presenter bios, and event sponors. They can also plan out their own schedule in advance of the event and easily share contact information with other participants.

This app is free to use. It facilitates communication between our planning team and attendees and as well as between attendees.

We will be adding details to our event page in Sched and sharing that soon. Check back often.

Sched Quick Reference Guide

Stewardship

Stewardship is one of the values uniting the Arkansas Master Naturalists and the Arkansas Environmental Education Association. Help bring this to life at our conference.

Low Waste Event –

Waste Stations will be set up in the Campus Center Building to collect recycling, compostables, and landfill waste. Please look for the waste stations and ask one of our Waste Station Monitors if you have any questions. You can also help make this a low waste event by bringing your own water bottle and using the Share Table.

Sched –

We have transitioned from printed programs to using a mobile app and our website for the conference details. We have a limited number of conference programs printed by request. This helps us reduce paper use and printing costs.

Share Table –

See tab on Share Table

Carpool –

We encourage people to carpool to the event and to St. Joseph Center for Tuesday evening

 

Share Table

We all end up with extra resources, posters, books, and materials we no longer need, but they are still in good condition. We have an answer – bring these items to the conference and add them to the Share Table! This could be office supplies, reference books, posters, etc. Organizational branded materials go on your exhibit table (if you have one). This is for other materials and resources you no longer want. The Share Table will be with the Exhibitor area. This is an opportunity to reduce and reuse – take what you need and use what you take.

Sponsors

The success of this event depends on our sponsors. We greatly appreciate our 2024 conference sponsors. If you are interested in supporting this event, view the 2024 Sponsor Packet below, which describes the different levels of sponsorship and the benefits involved with each level, and become a sponsor today.

image of Arkansas with star in center and corners different colors
Arkansas Forestry Association logo
Girl riding horse with a lasso rope
Boston Mountain Solid Waste District logo
red square with capital G for Garver Engineering
red square with capital G for Garver Engineering
Recycling Saline logo
Boston Mountain Solid Waste District logo
Boston Mountain Solid Waste District logo

2023 Exhibitors 

  • Arkansas Audubon Society: What’s Good for Birds Is Good For People
  • Arkansas Department of Agriculture
  • Arkansas Environmental Education Association & Project WET
  • Arkansas Forestry Association Education Foundation: Project Learning Tree
  • Arkansas Master Naturalists
  • Beaver Water District
  • Boston Mountain Solid Waste District
  • The Diana Project: Saving Arkansas’s State Butterfly
  • Entegrity
  • H2Ozarks: Cleaner Water Together! – Striving to protect the Upper White River Basin lakes and watershed through monitoring, research, public policy, outreach, and education
  • ORE Recovered Materials: Educating Communities About Plastic Recycling
  • Pollinator Partnership: Gardening for Pollinators – Programs, Partnerships, and Resources
  • Summit Utilities
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