Department of Environmental Conservation

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Annual Teacher Institutes and Academies

Capital District: Living Environment Institute

Hosted by Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar, NY

August 16-18, 2016
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM daily, with light dinner Wednesday
Materials Fee: $45.00 for resources, refreshments, and transportation

This summer Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is offering a three-day Living Environment Institute (L.E.I.) to introduce the environment to teachers and educators as an ideal platform to teach STEM, in the classroom or outdoors. Meet scientist educators, review some of the incredible citizen science offerings that all incorporate STEM, and use some of the resources available to meet the K-12 Science and Common Core Learning standards. Close observation, problem solving, design, clear communication, and group tasks are all incorporated when engaging students in learning about the environment. L.E.I. participants will join in activities both indoors and outdoors, onsite and offsite. Participants will leave with a variety of resources ready to incorporate directly into their curriculum.

Please register by July 27, 2016 to guarantee a spot.

For more information, contact Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 or e-mail Five Rivers at

Four workers with a large net doing river sampling
sampling river macroinvertebrates

Western NY: Summer Teacher Institute

Hosted by Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center in Depew, NY

August 3 - 4, 2016
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM daily
Materials Fee: $40 (includes lunch on second day)

Educators of students in PreK to grade 12 will learn effective techniques to enhance their teaching in math, English language arts, science and other subject areas. Extensive information on environmental education resources available to Western New York teachers will be included in the program. Participants will receive written materials to enable them to transfer their new knowledge directly to the classroom. The two-day program provides 12 hours of instruction for which in-service or continuing education credit may be available.

Please mail in the Summer Teacher Institute registration form (PDF) (68KB) with the fee by July 20, 2016.

For more information, call 716-683-5959 or email Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve at

Bronx Summer Teacher Institute: Exploring Bronx Forests

Hosted by NYSDEC's NYC Education Program and Friends of Van Cortlandt Park

July 25-30, 2016
9:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily (*Saturday 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM)
Registration cost for 3 Credits through NYCDOE's ASPDP: $275
(includes $125 ASPDP fee)

Exploring Bronx Forests uses hands-on activities to bring NYC's local outdoor resources: forests, fields and gardens, into the classroom to enhance classroom learning. We will explore different aspects of nature (including wildlife, plant life, and ecosystems) and how these different aspects interact with each other and with humans. Materials covered include Project WILD, Flying WILD, Project Learning Tree, Compost Project, and more. The course also introduces teachers to local environmental organizations and resources that they can utilize in their classrooms. Teachers will be provided with new strategies for introducing environmental topics in connection with math, literacy, and art, fostering student leadership, and developing higher order thinking skills.

To register for the Institute, contact Sara Kempton at Friends of Van Cortlandt Park at or 718-601-1553. You MUST register with NYC Department of Education's After School Professional Development Program (ASPDP, link leaves DEC's website), a link to this site is also above and on the right. (Once on the ASPDP's website, use the link to the catalog of courses and search under provider using "Friends of Van Cortlandt Park" to find the actual course listing.)

For more information, contact Region 2 Education staff at 718-482-6404 or email Region 2 Education at

Corning Environmental Education Institute

Hosted by Corning Community College and NYSDEC's Central NY Environmental Education Program

July 11-15, 2016
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily
Course Fee: TBD (Corning Community College credit)

Over the course of 5 days, July 11-15, 2016, students will get certification in internationally acclaimed environmental education curriculums: Project WILD and Aquatic WILD; Project WET; Project Learning Tree preK-8th grade and Early Childhood Experiences. They will also receive training from local partners on how to do the field work necessary to support the curriculum and develop outstanding programs tied to state learning standards. Lastly, they will learn about the Department of Environmental Conservation's Naturalist Internship Program and opportunities with the Student Conservation Association in New York State.

Registration is through Corning Community College and information will be available soon. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Betsy Ukeritis via email at