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New! Missouri Green Schools Program

Earth Quest: A game of Environmental Literacy

earth quest gameboard

Environmental Quizzes

K-2 biodiversity quiz

Coloring Sheets

channel catfish coloring sheet

Green Holidays Calendar

MELAB - Leadership Development and Career Exploration

Notes from Previous Meetings

March 2012 (Founding MELAB Meeting)

Participating Organizations: Audubon Missouri, Boeing, Girl Scouts of NE KS & NW MO, Kansas City Environmental Education Network (KCEEN), Lincoln University, Missouri Botanical Garden Earthways, Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA), Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF), MO Project WET, Missouri Recycling Association (MORA), Missouri River Relief (MRR), Missouri Votes Conservation (MVC), National Park Service (NPS), City of Springfield, St. Louis County Health Department, University of Missouri Sustainability, U.S. Forest Service (USFS),Washington University Inst for School Partnership.

Deciding on Workgroups
Participants listed issues of concern for their groups.  The issues were grouped under 6 more general headings:

  1. Messaging (issues 1, 4)
  2. Using Outdoors (issues 7 to 19)
  3. Education and Assessment (issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 12, 18)
  4. Value of Landscapes/Stewardship (issues 8, 10, 13, 15, 16)  
  5. Knowledge/Awareness of Human Impact (14, 17)
  6. Careers 

Workgroups were started for #1, #3, #4 and #5 together and #6 based on preferences expressed by participants. Workgroups were re-numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4

November 2012

Combined with the Green Schools Group – no distinctive Careers steps emerged

March 2013

Direct Student model:
Natural Resources Career exploration
            Students gain confidence.  “I can do this.”

            Criteria to meet objectives:

Nobody can do it alone—need collaboration.
Internship program
Important to start natural resource awareness in middle
Student choice & through schools – transparent access for all students

Current Programs:

There is a need for more connections with scientists.
Proficiency awards


Content through teachers
Lincoln → env. educ. Workshop—3 day intensive workshop for K-12 educators, teachers follow-up with implementation Plan to receive credits
Schools have Ag content requirement, now have research component
MO trying to get into career pathways model

Next Actions:
Still need to match career exploration piece to formal school accreditation
Biology clearing house – Amber
Also statewide email for counselors
Build list of existing quality career education
Create network b/n educators & science professionals
Valuable to private foundations to know criteria & entities
Develop frame-work ; info reorg of existing info;
Nominate students to Conservation Leadership Corp.


November 2013

Goal: Begin Developing a Marketing Plan for Leadership & Career Exploration

As you are able and as time permits, go register on Smart Chart at
Smart Chart is an interactive on-line platform for non-profits to help them develop marketing plans. It requires step-by-step planning so that marketing decisions are based on a well-thought out foundation –
1. Program Decisions – Broad Goal, Objective (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound), Decision Maker
2. Context – Internal Scan, External Scan, Defining Organization’s Position
3. Strategic Choices – Audience Target, Audience Readiness, Core Concerns, Theme, Message, Messengers
4. Communications Activities – Tactics, Timeline, Assignments, Budget
5. Measurements of Success – Outputs, Outcomes
6. Reality Check

HOMEWORK: It will be helpful if you pick a small marketing project for your organization and begin working through the program. It might take 1 or 2 hours depending on your background knowledge. This “homework” would enable you to make more headway when we get together as a group. The benefit for you is it might help you generate new ideas for your own organization, agency or business.

MEETING WORK: At the meeting, members of the career exploration group should agree on a SINGLE specific leadership and career exploration activity and begin developing a plan for reaching a SINGLE specific audience. It will be helpful if at least one person in the group has a laptop on which to work, but I will provide a hard copy worksheet as well. It is unlikely that the group will finish its planning at this meeting, but it should be able to identify some productive ways to proceed.  The group should work for about 90 to 110 minutes, than be ready t0 report out and identify assignments (if any) group members are willing to complete before the next meeting. Please provide a list of these to Jan!

In the course of developing a marketing plan, you will need to think more specifically about what you are offering, either as an individual group or as part of MELAB. So this process will also firm up characteristics and needs for the “product”



March 2014
goal 1  – engage youth in meaningful service 
objective – involve youth in various outdoor service programs throughout Missouri
decision makers – youth, parents and other caregivers, school counselors
internal assets – some funds, some interest in the organization 
internal challenges – not the organization’s main focus, it is no one’s number one job
external assets – network of organizations for spreading the word
external challenges – network is not that strong
audience - 17 to 23 year olds in rural areas (to start)
audience readiness level - sharing
core concerns of audience – make a commitment, reap the benefits, beauty, making friends
messaging – we need you, work that matters
messengers – alums of programs, alum advisory board or network
social media is a challenge 
alum involvement, more active, ambassadors
connecting with parents and caregivers
outputs – social media
outcomes – filling positions!
goal 2 - career pipeline 
need to decide where to house the information
messaging - healthy environments, nature-based
audiences - State-wide, parents, students

December 2014

Action Item 1: collect items for the 2015 MO Nature Playbook, should there be regional versions? 

Action Item 2: identify gaps in the pipeline - what programs should be created?

Action Item 3: use smart chart to develop marketing strategies for different audiences, especially minorities

Action Item 4: how does this connect to the other three work groups?

connection to Stewardship through any environmental careers, especially environmental justice


May 2015

Goal 1. Raise awareness of existing environmentally related career pathways/programs
Objective 1: Audit programs about their target audiences (focus on 6th grade through college)
Who: MELAB/MEEA/Green Chamber directors, boards, networks who share and respond to survey

Name of Program
Contact Info
Host Organization or Institution
Participant Target Age
Brief Description of Program
Paid Experience
Duration of Commitment
Residential (like a camp of some sort)
Time of year

Give examples, tech program, college majors, internships

mid May to mid June – Pathway Ideas Jan will send a list of made up programs for group to play with in thinking about what a pathway would look like on a web page - a map, a timeline, a network diagram, some combination, be creative!

mid May to mid June – group will send info about any programs they are aware of anywhere in the state to Jan along with a contact email if they have it.

mid May to mid July – Jan will draft electronic survey, send it to participants in this group to fill out. She will send the compiled info back to group for any changes

December 2015
Action Item 1: collect items for the 2015 MO Nature Playbook, should there be regional versions? 
made additions to lists of programs in the 2014 playbook (gave to Jan)
do not yet see a need for regional versions, like all MO resources in one place right now
would like to see an adult section
DONE see here 
Action Item 2: identify gaps in the pipeline - what programs should be created?

Action Item 3: use smart chart to develop marketing strategies for different audiences, especially minorities

Action Item 4: how does this connect to the other three work groups?

May 2016

Everyone worked on Green Schools

December 2016

1st part of the workgroup meeting we reviewed the meeting notes from previous years. Thank you Amber for preparing the binder and the copies. 
2nd part of the meeting we worked on the Goal and Logic Model (Jan Provided as a worksheet) for Career Pathways Group.
Goal: more students choose conservation or environment career and more job opportunities present  


We focused our discussion on the first three items.
Short term Action Items:

Long term Action Items:

Lead: Christine and Jen
May 2017

3 Areas of Work/Discussion:
I. Job/career shadow opportunities with MELAB organizations We suggest that MELAB organizations offer shadowing opportunities to young people and that these be advertised on the MEEA website. This would simply be an email contact for each organization and then any requests would be handled internally between the org and the young person. This seems like an easy way for MELAB members to take action in support of environmental career exploration.
We came up with the following suggested minimum requirements for a shadowing opportunity:

It is important to make sure your organization is aware that you are offering shadowing opportunities so they know to contact you if they receive a request.
A next step is for a communication to go out to MELAB member organization representatives to find out who is willing to participate.
II. Survey to construct database of MO environmental career exploration programs We identified a couple of text edits for the survey introduction. Susan will add the sentence “We anticipate making the database available through the MEEA website.” and add a parenthetical descriptor for the word youth “(children through young adults)”.
We will pilot test the survey within our work group over two weeks. Each of us will enter our program(s) and then Susan will export the data in a couple of different formats and send out to the group. Email discussion will focus on whether the pilot survey data will fit our plans for a database and how we will visually present the data on the MEEA website. It is important that there will be minimal maintenance of the database and that Jan can easily drop the visual presentation of the data into a webpage. 
We would like to move forward to a 6 month period of survey distribution to MEEA members, MELAB organizations, and MELAB organization distribution lists.
We need to reach out to Shannon to see if we still have the option of some sort of GIS interface/portal for the database and whether the exported data from the survey will be compatible.
III. Economic data in support of environmental careers in MO Carol did some data gathering but was not entirely satisfied with what she was able to find. We want to show economic gains for MO from environmental jobs and how environmental and conservation activities might be economic drivers. We need to look at Carol’s compiled data and decide how to put it into a case statement or fact sheet that could potentially be presented by MEEA to MO legislators. (MELAB should not take an advocacy position, but MEEA can.)


December 2017

1) touch base with a national group on the survey questions 2) complete survey and gather feedback on its form 3) work on survey name and email pitch(for webpage) 4) distribute survey 5) meet in May 2018


May 10, 2018

  1. Kerry Stevison –
  2. Deah Seiford –
  3. Melvin Johnson –
  4. Jen Sampsell –
  5. Carol Davit –


  1. survey is finalized – Jen will get ok from Susan, Amber, Kristina
  2. send out survey to MELAB list – Susan
  3. upload database to website – next meeting
  4. who to send database to when it is loaded – next meeting
  5. evaluate glitches, responses – next meeting
  6. announce in this meeting for members to do survey – Kerry
  7. see if Susan can track hits on the database – next meeting
  8. post links on websites of other groups – Melvin
  9. send out a yearly email asking if each group is still active – Jan ? (her 10 hours) and update database on website 2x per year.