MEEA Annual Conference
“EE is for Everyone, Everywhere”
Since our inception in 1996, MEEA has hosted an annual conference, rotating host sites each year between Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis. At this fall gathering educators and EE supporters learn from their colleagues in the field, engage in hands-on workshops to put theory into practice, and network with people from across our state.
In 2021, we will host another virtual conference in collaboration with our western neighbors, the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education. Sessions will be held in the afternoons Wednesday through Friday, with regional in-person meetups on Saturday!
More info below about attending, becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, and joining the silent auction. You don’t have to attend to participate in the auction!
Sustainability Institute for Educators
The Joy of Nature
June 20 & 21, 2022
We are grateful for the technology that has kept us all connected during this time of social distancing and precaution, but it is now time to get outside together to appreciate the joy and experience the healing power of nature. The hands-on, experiential nature of Sustainability Education inspires and motivates us. The 2022 SIE returns to our roots with multiple onsite engagements to spark a renewed exploration of our region’s bountiful and diverse outdoor education opportunities. Join us for a two-day outdoor adventure, connect and reconnect to your sustainability colleagues and resources, and be inspired (maybe even get your hands dirty).
The Sustainability Institute for Educators challenges participants to help learners build awareness, recognize responsibility, and take action as global citizens working to build a sustainable world. Held annually in June, the institute is designed for K-12 and informal educators from all roles and environments.
MEEA became an SIE co-host in 2019, joining in the collaboration with Webster University, School of Education; EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden; St. Louis County Public Health Department; US Green Building Council–Missouri Gateway Chapter; Saint Louis Zoo, Education Division; and Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School.
|Opening Keynote||Closing Keynote|
|Kathy Ambrosini (she/her)||CJ Goulding (he/him)|
Title: Creating Accessibility for ALL Students: What Should we be Doing?
It’s exciting! Our collective DEI efforts are beginning to move the dial in new and positive directions, yet have we left something out? If you’ve looked, you know it’s difficult to find a workshop or webinar that gives more than a simple nod to the “I” of inclusion, and the dearth of practical resources leaves us as environmental educators to fend for ourselves. Inclusion is often forgotten in the DEI movement, but when it comes to accessibility for our students, there’s much we can do to become change-makers for good!
Bio: Kathy Ambrosini (she/her)
Kathy is the Director of Education at the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, N.Y. and has 30 years of experience in the field of environmental education. She earned her Bachelors in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and a Masters in Outdoor Teacher Education from Northern Illinois University. Kathy administers an array of programs including an award-winning 7-year School Field Study program, outreach programs, summer camps, an adult lecture series and programs for the general public. Kathy is a Certified Inclusivity Assessor for the New York Inclusive Recreation Resource Center.
Kathy is the originator of the NatureAccess® program at Mohonk Preserve, begun in 1994 to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in outdoor activities and programming. Her trainings and speaking engagements target outdoor professionals from coast to coast and include the Teton Science School, National Interpreters Workshop, New York City Greenbelt, North American Association for Environmental Education, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Northeast YMCA Camp Conference, The Nature Conservancy and many others. Kathy is the recipient of the Beyond the Letter of the Law award for her pioneering work in this field and long-term commitment in providing access to environmental education and the outdoors from the Resource Center for Accessible Living. Additionally, she received the Outdoor Educator Award (2002), Service Award (2003) and Leadership Award (2008) from the New York State Outdoor Education Association, and in 2019 was recognized with their highest honor – the Harlan “Gold” Metcalf Award.
Title: Jordans in the Great Outdoors and How We Build the Future of EE
The systemic structures of access, of culture, and separation of nature from people have created a gap in the relationship between communities and traditional environmental education. In the essay Why I Wear My Jordans in the Great Outdoors, CJ talks about the power cultural relevance holds in breaking down the barriers of awareness and gear in connecting to the outdoors. Using metaphor, storytelling, and creative frameworks, the group will imagine how we move beyond inclusivity and expand the future of EE to be reflective of the different communities and backgrounds that make society rich and diverse.
Bio: CJ Goulding (he/him)
CJ is a weaver, a facilitator, a community builder, an organizer, and a storyteller who invests in the growth of people, the growth of connection between people, and the growth of communities. I believe in liberation for people of color that is not based on the context of White supremacy, and am committed to organizing and redistributing power and resources in order to achieve equity and justice.
His work involves connecting, investing in, and supporting leaders who are creating that change in their communities, and shaping new narratives about our connection to community and the outdoors, like “Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors.”
He currently serves as a consultant and as a partner with The Avarna Group, a firm that creates pathways, provides resources and innovating strategies that support the outdoor and environmental sector in their evolution toward justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). This all grows out of the soil of professional experience in the fields of conservation and outdoor education, youth leadership development, and DEI with public land agencies, nonprofits, and for profit organizations.
Saturday, Nov. 6 Regional Meetups
Silent Auction - Donate an Item! Bid Now!
Become an exhibitor and showcase your organization or program