44th Annual NAAEE Conference

Building a Stronger and More Inclusive Movement!

October 15–18, 2015, San Diego, California

The deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting proposals.

This is the Call for the general NAAEE Conference. Click here for the Call for Presentations for the NAAEE Research Symposium, October 14–15, 2015.

NAAEE seeks compelling proposals that inform environmental educators about proven practices, push the leading edge of the profession, and motivate the pursuit of excellence.

Conference Theme:
Building a Stronger and More Inclusive Movement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are primary drivers of NAAEE’s new Strategic Framework, and they are critical success factors for everyone working in the field of environmental education. This year's conference will explore ways to enrich and expand our work and workforce, along with other strategies for strengthening our field and achieving greater collective impact.

Conference Strands & Keywords
Presentation proposals must be submitted under one of six thematic strands that characterize this year’s conference. Each strand explores a different aspect of the environmental education profession.

In an effort to broaden the base for environmental education, we strive to dedicate at least 15 percent of our concurrent sessions within each strand to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in EE. These sessions will explore ways to strengthen our field through strategies and programs that, among others, help diversify our audiences as well as our workforce, build cultural competence, support environmental justice, engage with new audiences, forge new and lasting partnerships, honor traditional knowledge, and increase our reach and relevance throughout society.

The focus points listed indicate the priority topics we are emphasizing this year. Use these to guide your submissions and choose the one strand that most closely aligns with your proposal. Please do not submit identical or nearly identical proposals under more than one strand.

Keywords: Program listings on NAAEE's mobile app are searchable by keywords. You can tag your proposal with up to three keywords selected from the word bank on the proposal submission form.

Strand #1: Conservation and Education
Achieving conservation goals through education, communication, social marketing, and ecotourism strategies, including public participation in scientific research (PPSR) and place-based community action

  • Innovative practices, including environmental communication, social marketing, civic tourism, grassroots community building, and media education
  • Building bridges between conservation educators and conservation practitioners in rural, suburban, or urban environments
  • Education programs in related areas (science education, faith-based education) that focus on achieving conservation goals
  • Current research and case studies on behavior change as related to conservation education
  • Successful tools, approaches, and educator preparation for bringing PPSR into the classroom or community improvement projects

Strand #2: Environmental Education in Urban Settings
Resources, strategies, and dialogue about effective environmental education in urban settings

  • Strategies for working with urban communities, building strong cross-cultural relationships and reaching across socio-economic divides
  • Exploring similarities and differences in designing and implementing EE programs in urban, suburban, and rural settings
  • Connecting urban populations to nature
  • Healthy habitats, food systems, and forestry in urban settings
  • Providing career pathways that promote diverse EE workforces

Strand #3: Inspiring Connections to the Outdoors
Cultivating partnerships and providing outdoor educational experiences that connect people of all ages to nature

  • Early childhood environmental education
  • Partnerships that increase connections to nature
  • Place-based education
  • Overcoming challenges associated with getting students and young children outside
  • Outdoor programs that promote physical or spiritual health and wellness

Strand #4: Research-Based Practice in EE
Using research to inform how we design, develop, refine, and promote environmental education programs, including methods to engage new and underrepresented audiences

  • New and innovative research that all environmental educators should know about
  • Linking research and practice: successfully applying what we know to what we do
  • Strategies for evaluating environmental education programs
  • Using research results to influence decision makers about the value of EE
  • Research and case studies about the benefits and challenges of learning and teaching in outdoor settings

Strand #5: Teaching About Environmental Issues and Systems Thinking
Educating for informed participation in addressing environmental challenges with a systems-thinking approach

  • Integrating all three components of sustainability into our work: society, economy, and environment
  • Education strategies for addressing specific issues such as climate change, energy, water, and food systems
  • Incorporating indigenous knowledge and developing a sense of stewardship
  • Methods of handling controversial issues and finding common ground
  • Characteristics of successful community action projects

Strand #6: Greening PreK–12, Higher Education, and Vocational Training
Using environmental education to enhance student achievement, conserve resources on campus, support national education trends, and prepare educators to integrate environmental concepts into their curriculum

  • Advancing national education trends (E-STEM, NGSS, Common Core, Green Schools) through environmental education
  • Effective approaches to integrating EE into early childhood education
  • EE in preservice teacher preparation
  • Interdisciplinary instruction
  • Preparing a workforce with trade skills for green careers

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Session Formats
Please read the following session format descriptions carefully and select the most appropriate format for your proposed session. The approximate number of sessions of each format type to be selected per strand is indicated in parentheses and generally reflects likelihood of acceptance.

We are listening to your feedback! To help ensure higher attendance at individual sessions, we will be offering fewer simultaneous sessions at this year’s conference. While this means there may be fewer opportunities to present longer sessions, we have made other formats more substantive. We continue to make every effort to include as many people as possible on the conference program.

Bright Spots
(10 minutes) Bright spots are succinct talks that celebrate specific triumphs and showcase things that work! These 10-minute presentations highlight successful and innovative family programs, school programs, community partnerships, conservation achievements, expanded audiences, research findings, civic engagement, and more. Three related sessions on pre-selected themes are presented back-to-back during one 40-minute time block, followed by a short discussion. A/V equipment is provided. (9–12 per strand)
TAKE NOTEBased on responses to NAAEE's recent survey about conference strands, we are seeking proposals on some pre-selected topics that are of particular interest to members. Click here to see the selected topics for each strand.

Hands-on Presentation

(90 minutes) Hands-on sessions provide participants with an opportunity to engage in teaching activities and interactive discussions about a particular topic. Hands-on sessions specifically geared to K–12 classroom teachers will be highlighted on Friday and Saturday. A/V equipment is provided. (2 per strand)

Poster Presentation

(40 minutes) ) Posters are 4-foot x 4-foot two-dimensional printed presentations illustrating research studies, programs, or other work. Posters are fixed to portable bulletin boards and are available for viewing at leisure throughout the conference. There is also one time block during which all presenters stand near and share their posters with conference participants. No A/V equipment or electricity is provided but presenters may use their own laptops or tablets at low volume. (12–15 per strand)

Roundtable Discussion
(40 minutes) Roundtable discussions emphasize spirited discussion between the presenter(s) and session attendees about a central question. Presenters briefly introduce the baseline idea or issue they wish to explore, and then open the discussion for input and exchange of ideas among participants. Examples and interactive materials are welcome; formal presentations such as PowerPoints are discouraged. Roundtable discussions are held throughout the conference and there will be about six tables in the same large room. No A/V equipment or electricity is provided but presenters may use their own laptops or tablets at low volume. (12 per strand)

(90 minutes) Symposia are panel discussions presenting different perspectives on a topic or question related to one of the focus points for each strand. Panels must include a moderator and a minimum of three panelists representing different organizations, ideas, or experiences. To enhance the richness of discussion, criteria for selecting symposia include the diversity of presenters and viewpoints. A/V equipment is provided. (1 or 2 per strand)

Traditional Presentations
(40 minutes) Traditional presentations focus on a single topic or program, typically including a talk or media presentation followed by a short discussion. A/V equipment is provided. (12 per strand)

(Full day [7 hours] or half day [3½ hours]) Workshops are in-depth sessions that actively develop specific professional competencies and have widespread potential for implementation. All workshops are held on Thursday, October 15, prior to the start of the formal conference. Most workshops will be held at the Sheraton San Diego, but NAAEE will consider offsite locations if visiting resources specific to the area is essential to the educational value of the workshop. All workshops are supported solely by participant fees and are subject to cancellation due to insufficient enrollment. Workshop proposals must include a budget for expenses (included in online submission process). (1 per strand)

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Audio-Visual Equipment
Rooms for all presentations except roundtable discussions and poster sessions are equipped with a PC laptop (with Office Suite loaded), LCD projector, and screen. We do not provide audio-visual equipment for roundtable discussions and posters, but presenters in these sessions may use their own battery-powered laptops or tablets.

NAAEE strongly recommends bringing PowerPoint and other audio-visual materials on portable drives and using the equipment provided.

Internet access is available in all meeting rooms. A limited number of flip charts and markers are available upon request on a first come, first served basis.

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Preparing Successful Proposals
Using the criteria listed below, a team of peer reviewers evaluates and rates all concurrent session proposals within each strand. Strand leaders conduct a final review. The strongest proposals address these points in the session descriptions, providing enough detail for reviewers to fully understand what the session will entail. Note that proposal titles are limited to 10 words, proposal summaries are limited to 50 words, and proposal descriptions are limited to 350 words.

A team from NAAEE's Diversity and Inclusion Special Interest Group will conduct an additional review of proposals identified during the proposal submission process as advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in EE.

All proposals must be received by 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2015. Proposals must be submitted online.

Review Criteria

  • Proposal clearly identifies what will occur in the session in the format and time allotted
  • Proposal describes how the session will effectively engage the audience in innovative thinking about new or proven ideas and approaches
  • Proposal explains how the session will inform environmental educators about proven practices, push the leading edge of the profession, and/or motivate the pursuit excellence
  • Proposal raises important questions or delivers positive, solution-oriented outcomes supported by research and/or program evaluation
  • Proposal demonstrates how the session fits the strand description and one or more focus points

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How to Submit a Proposal
Proposals must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2015. You may find it helpful to download this blank form and use it to draft your proposal. Save the form on your computer, and then transfer (cut and paste) the information to the online submission system.

To help maximize the number and diversity of presenters and perspectives, each individual or team of individuals is limited to three proposal submissions. Reviewers will consider only your first three completed proposals determined by time of submission.

  1. You must have an NAAEE account and be logged in on the NAAEE website before you can submit a proposal. Note: Each individual associated with your proposal needs to have an NAAEE account before you can add his or her name to your online proposal.

    Already have an NAAEE account? Login >>

    Need an NAAEE account? Create a new account >> 

    Not sure or need help with login? Email or call 202-419-0412. Creating multiple accounts can cause problems with your ability to submit and edit your proposal(s). If you're not sure whether you have an existing account or whether your account email address is current, we're happy to assist. To avoid confusion, we encourage you contact NAAEE to check on your account status.

  2. After login, click on the "Submit/Edit Proposals" link to connect to All Academic, our online conference proposal management system.
  3. Select “conference” and follow the directions for online submission. Click on the “Accept and Continue” button on each page until you reach the final confirmation page.
  4. When your proposal is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation message at the email address in your NAAEE profile.
  5. You can edit any of the information in your proposal until the March 24 submission deadline: (1) Login to your NAAEE account and (2) click on 'Submit/Edit Proposals' link under Quick Links or Conference.

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Important Notes
All presenters and co-presenters are required to register and pay published conference fees. NAAEE depends on registration fees to cover conference expenses and cannot provide waivers or discounts to presenters.

Fees are not yet finalized, but the early bird, full conference registration for current NAAEE members is expected to be about $430 for a professional and $280 for a student. Nonmember and daily rates will also be offered. Nonmember rates include a one-year NAAEE membership. There is a separate registration fee for the Research Symposium.

All presenters must confirm their conference participation by registering for the conference by the July 15, 2015 presenter deadline.

If your proposal is accepted, you will have an additional opportunity to finalize session information after you receive your acceptance notice.

Contact NAAEE at with questions about submitting or reviewing proposals.

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