Workshop Descriptions/Presenter Bios

note: schedule subject to change, additional workshops may be added

Workshop Block 1 - Saturday 9:15 - 10:15 AM

BEETLES: HELPING STUDENTS ENGAGE WITH NATURE USING A SCIENTIFIC MINDSET    
(DOUBLE SESSION)
Kevin Beals

The best thing outdoor science instructors can do is empower students with tools to directly engage with nature, forming an ongoing relationship that continues after they leave a program. This workshop will include student activities designed to accomplish this. It will also include a professional learning segment designed to get instructors to think about and improve their own questioning and discussion-leading strategies, and their use of questions that incite student curiosity and wonder, a foundation to feeling connected to nature.

Kevin is director of B.E.E.T.L.E.S. & has authored more than 90 published curriculum guides, children’s books, and professional development videos. He has conducted more than 250 professional development workshops, institutes and keynote addresses locally, nationally and internationally. He has recorded 2 science music albums. He has taught UC Berkeley science education courses for 14 years. He has 26 years experience at Lawrence Hall of Science in teaching, curriculum design and professional development. He loves slowing down, getting down, and looking around in nature.


Advancing EE in California
Reed Schneider

Join the leadership from California Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) to discuss how to advance our field. Come learn how AEOE is growing and evolving to meet the needs of the EE community in CA, and bring your own examples of success in advancing Environmental Education.

Reed Schneider is the President of AEOE and the Director of Education for NatureBridge Yosemite. He has been active in this field for more than a decade and lives in the foothills of the Sierra with his wife Brenda and son Finn.


How an Outdoor School Can Become Invaluable to a School District's Mission
JOhnny GANNAW & Roberta McFarland

Waskowitz Outdoor School, owned and operated by the Highline School District in North Bend, WA celebrates 70 years of quality outdoor environmental education. Programs include: Outdoor Education, Living History, High School Credit Recovery (Lit Camp), Teambuilding and Development (ROOTS), as well as a serviced high school program (WELS). These programs have become a pathway for nearly every student in our district 4th-12th grade.  Learn about these programs and the collaboration between center and district. 

Dr. Roberta McFarland, Principal for Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service (WELS). Dr. McFarland serves as the Director/Principal of Outdoor Environmental Education for Waskowitz Outdoor Programs since 1997. An innovator and educational entrepreneur she leads her staff in developing programs that motivate students to find the ‘magic’ by engaging on a diversity journey of people and nature. In addition to developing the traditional outdoor education program, Dr. McFarland has also expanded the WELS program through partnering with Puget Sound High School.  Through doing this, the WELS program has now become a three year track for students!

Johnny Gannaw serves as the Assistant Director/Residential Program Manager at Waskowitz.  In his eight years, Johnny has found innovative ways to provide programming primarily focused on high school students focusing on the idea of GRIT. His management of high school programs consist of high school leader program, freshmen success challenge course, as well as the credit retrieval “Lit Camp.” Through doing these partner programs with our district, Waskowitz has become a successful pathway for many high school students.

 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 2 - SATURDAY 10:30 AM - NOON

BEETLES: HELPING STUDENTS ENGAGE WITH NATURE USING A SCIENTIFIC MINDSET    
(part 2 of DOUBLE SESSION)

See Block 1


Bat Ecology & Threats (and real live bats)
Kim Briones & CORKY QUIRK

Kim will talk about general bat ecology and some of the factors that are threatening the health of bats - both on an individual and species-wide scale. Corky will have three live bats - a Big Brown Bat, Mexican Free-tail and Pallid Bat. She will discuss adaptations of bats and give participants an opportunity to see these amazing animals close up.

Kim Briones is a senior ecologist at the Ecological Consulting firm, H. T. Harvey & Associates. With more than 10 years of experience in wildlife ecology, she has a particular interest in bat and avian ecology. Kim has a background in survey methodologies for numerous taxa and special status species including, bats, small mammals, insects, burrowing owl, Hawaiian palila, California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, mission blue butterfly, and callippe silverspot butterfly.

Corky Quirk is the founder of NorCal Bats, an organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of bats throughout Northern California. They have a focus on public education regarding the environmental benefits of bats and dispelling fears and myths that lead to the death of roosts and colonies.


All in One Training (Learn Through Playing)
Katie Miesle

SEL, 21st Century Skills, Character Education- no matter the name, it’s what we do. BUT... we only have so much time to train our student leaders (counselors, volunteers, staff). This workshop isn't typical team building. It’s training and a tool! First, improve your own life skills: awareness, communication, problem solving, cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution, and staying calm when none of it works. Then, use the same activities to train your leaders, who then use them with their students. You'll leave this workshop a better leader, prepared to create better leaders!

An outdoor educator and camp professional since 1994, Katie has found teaching life skills to be the most lasting & meaningful work anyone can do. The connections provided in her innovative leadership program give people a greater sense of confidence, ownership, and motivation. She now does staff development work nationally, helping organizations foster community, mentor leaders, & empower staff to change people’s lives through camping and outdoor education.
 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 3 - SATURDAY 1:00 - 2:00 PM

BEETLES: Focused Nature Exploration 
(DOUBLE SESSION)
Kevin Beals

We’ll model an activity sequenced to help learners engage with practices, a topic and concept, while becoming deeply engaged with exploring and figuring out an intriguing corner of nature. Lessons that are highly effective tend to follow a pattern, and in this session we identify that “learning cycle” pattern, that’s based on what we know about how people learn, so instructors can use it to make thoughtful instructional decisions with this and other activities they use. Come “fall in love” with an intriguing aspect of nature, while pondering how to create similar experiences for learners. 

Kevin is director of B.E.E.T.L.E.S. & has authored more than 90 published curriculum guides, children’s books, and professional development videos. He has conducted more than 250 professional development workshops, institutes and keynote addresses locally, nationally and internationally. He has recorded 2 science music albums. He has taught UC Berkeley science education courses for 14 years. He has 26 years experience at Lawrence Hall of Science in teaching, curriculum design and professional development. He loves slowing down, getting down, and looking around in nature.

Supporting Social and Emotional Learning in Residential EE
Lauryn Smith demyanovich

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a hot topic in education, with several states and districts adopting SEL standards. While EE has long provided supportive learning spaces where participants practice social and emotional skills, there are ways the field can be more intentional about this aspect of programming. NatureBridge is in the midst of an effort to better support students’ social and emotional development. In this workshop, we will share what we have learned about SEL, strategies for supporting SEL, and tools that you can bring back to your organization.

Lauryn Smith Demyanovich is a Mentor Teacher at NatureBridge, where she has been working since 2007, at the Yosemite and Golden Gate campuses. She studied Education and Art at CSU Monterey Bay, holds a Child Development Master Teacher permit, and is trained in yoga instruction for children and adults. Lauryn’s teaching background blends over 10 years of outdoor environmental education with experience in classrooms and enrichment programs. Lauryn enjoys arts and crafts, hiking, cuddling with her dog, and sharing her love of Nature with children (and everyone else!)


Walden West: Nature Lab
Francine Davis and Libby wilmot

Join two of the Walden West staff for an hour getting to know some of our not-so-furry friends (snakes, turtle, tarantula) in the Walden West Nature Lab. You'll have the opportunity to touch/hold some of the animals if you want and to hear about how we teach about - and with - the animals.

 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 4 - SATURDAY 2:30 - 3:30 PM

BEETLES: FOCUSED NATURE EXPLORATION    
(PART 2 OF DOUBLE SESSION)

See Block 3


Empowering Youth through Gender Equality
Mary Hanrahan

Learn about the history of gender in western, Anglo-Saxon society, gain an understanding of gender bias and discuss techniques to achieve a nonbiased approach to education.


Raptors rule: History of Falconry and harris hawk demonstration
Rikki shackleford

I will share information about raptors and the history of falconry in the United States. I will have two Harris Hawks with me and may have the opportunity to fly one during the workshop.

 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 5 - SUNDAY 9:15 - 10:15 AM

Trends & Opportunities for Fiscal Sustainability & Fundraising for OEE
Randy widera

As residential outdoor school managers, directors and principals you have a myriad of day to day and year to year responsibilities, challenges and emergencies that keep you focused on running a tight ship and staying the course as you keep your program true to its mission and your talented staff engaged so that students can have a safe and powerful experience that they will remember for a lifetime.  We will spend an hour breaking free from all these “have-to-dos” and envision the next level of resources and relationships that would allow your program to be more fiscally sustainable and have greater impact. We will review the trends in funding and how to position your program for sustained funding and what it takes to take on a major capital project/campaign.

Randy Widera’s passion for Outdoor & Environmental Education began 40 years ago as a Cabin Leader for the Santa Cruz County Outdoor School.  In 1989 he founded the Web Of Life Field School, which grew to serve over 4,000 students a year, and then in 1999 Randy was recruited to lead the Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, where he over 10 million in funding in support of education and stewardship in California State Parks. For the past seven years, Randy has worked throughout the country with park agencies, museums, non-profit organizations, and schools in developing sustainable business strategies, and effective fundraising campaigns.


My Yellow Book: Reflecting on 25 years of Outdoor School
LArry chambers

 “I didn’t learn anything instead I remembered who I was.”
This is why I show up at Sargent. I show up to see what students are going to write in My Yellow Book!
"Sargent taught me my fears have limits, but I don't."
My Yellow Book workshop is designed to give outdoor professionals, of all ages, a detailed look at the foundation and guiding principles of the Sargent Center program. Like my students, I’ve evolved into a new Outdoor School Director through My Yellow Book. Come to The Yellow Book workshop to discover what’s hidden between the lines and possibly discover your WHY! 

“Larry Chambers, a cross between Santa Claus and a Southern Minister brings joy and passion to his work and others.” That’s how a classroom teacher recently described Larry. The School Program Director at Sargent Center, An educator, storyteller, blacksmith and a passionate outdoor enthusiast. Larry creates authentic and meaningful outdoor experiences that engage, educate, encourage and excite students of all ages.
 

Activity Potluck: Bring a Favorite to Share
everyone in attendance

Like any good potluck, you never know what you're going to get until you show up. This no-host workshop will be very organic - whoever comes will be able to share a favorite short activity, game, group challenge, discussion prompt, etc. - the possibilities are endless! Bring a notepad to jot down ideas and be ready to share as well as to learn. But you are not obligated to share - feel free to be a sponge as well.

 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 6 - SUNDAY 11:00 AM - NOON

NGSS & OEE: Perfect Partners
Katie Miesle

While creating curriculum for a ROEE program in WI, I realized the Next Generation Science Standards are OEE. They “shift the focus...to actually doing science- students spend more time posing questions and discovering the answers for themselves.” The process uses hands-on experiences (models- Salmon Game, Migration Headache), carrying out investigations (water quality & field surveys, soil compaction), analyzing & interpreting data (How Many Bears? Oh, Deer!) to evaluate a hypothesis. Come learn, get lesson plans, and be inspired to share your “cutting edge” work with your clients.

An outdoor educator and camp professional since 1994, Katie has found teaching life skills to be the most lasting & meaningful work anyone can do. The connections provided in her innovative leadership program give people a greater sense of confidence, ownership, and motivation. She now does staff development work nationally, helping organizations foster community, mentor leaders, & empower staff to change people’s lives through camping and outdoor education.
 

ROEE: The Next 35 Years
ROberta Mcfarland

All are welcome to this informal session to discuss who we are, where we've come from and where we want to be going. Learn about the 35 year history of ROEE and help plot the course for the next 35!

Dr. Roberta McFarland, Principal for Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service (WELS). Dr. McFarland serves as the Director/Principal of Outdoor Environmental Education for Waskowitz Outdoor Programs since 1997. An innovator and educational entrepreneur she leads her staff in developing programs that motivate students to find the ‘magic’ by engaging on a diversity journey of people and nature. 


Oregon's Outdoor school for all campaign: SUCCesses & lessons learned (a fireside chat)
kim silva & Brina Bolanz

Yes, Oregon passed Measure 99: Outdoor School for All in November 2016. Fabulous! But do you know the real story? Join Kim & Brina for a casual, off-the-record, nothing in writing, you won't find this on the internet, straight-forward chat about the realities of Outdoor Schools and our supporting foundations engaging in a campaign. Discover the lessons we've learned, explore the struggles we've managed, and understand the challenges we face now and into the future. 

Kim Silva, the executive director of Friends of Outdoor School since 2006, has been raising money since she was a six-year-old Blue Bird hawking Camp Fire candy to her neighbors. A refugee from the insurance and finance world, she began getting paid to raise money by hosting fabulous parties late into the night at Portland Center Stage. Being a morning person, Kim hung up her dancing shoes to lead the development department at Friends of Trees, then Hoyt Arboretum Friends. 

Brina has a broad, 17-year communications background encompassing marketing, public relations, editorial, advertising, social media, storytelling, event management, team management, research, and lecturing/teaching. Brina oversees all marketing, communications and database administration for Friends of Outdoor School and its nonprofit summer camp, Adventure WILD. Prior to joining Friends of Outdoor School, she owned a personal history and photo archiving business.

 

WORKSHOP BLOCK 7 - SUNDAY 1:20 - 2:50 PM


note: workshop 7 overlaps with the Big Basin/Camp Campbell excursion

The Quest
Jymn Meier

This workshop will give naturalists ideas on how to integrate self-esteem building and teambuilding into their field class in a residential outdoor school setting. Participants will receive lesson plans and a DVD to help map out ways to integrate challenges and other projects to help make their field class into a team. Be prepared to hear inspirational stories and share ideas to help strengthen the sometimes-neglected but very powerful social experience of outdoor ed.

Jymn "Scooby" Meier began his outdoor school career in 1990 after a life-changing experience as a 5th grade student at Foothill Horizons Outdoor School. He worked at Santa Cruz County Outdoor School, Web of Life Field School (WOLF) and Walden West. 


Allying With Students in a Hostile Political Landscape
Jeremy Leonard

In this group-discussion oriented workshop, we will focus on current political trends and the accompanying racial issues that our students face. We will explore ways that we as Residential Program staff can be better prepared to deal with racial issues that may come up during our programs. We will have an open and honest group discussion on some ways that we can promote racial justice within our residential programs, in an effort support students who may be experiencing racial bullying. 

Jeremy has worked in the field of Outdoor Education on and off since the early 1990s. He holds a degree in Adaptive Education, with a focus on Outdoor Education. He is currently a Program Director at the Web of Life Field School in Santa Cruz, CA