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Earn your Environmental Educator Certification in Earth WELLNESS Training

Wisconsin Environmental Literacy and Leadership for Naturalists, Educators, Students and Society

Free Environmental Educator Training 

The Earth WELLNESS Program

Wisconsin Environmental Literacy & Leadership for Naturalists, Educators, Students & Society
By the Sustainability Institute of Regional Transformations and the College of Education and Human Services
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
August 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 2022

Leadership training to connect, explore, and engage in the natural world.

This professional development opportunity is for naturalists, elementary to secondary level teachers, and pre-service teachers alike; anyone who takes interest in teaching about the natural world.  In addition to increasing your knowledge and gaining new approaches to teaching, you will gain hands-on experience in outdoor inquiry activities and citizen science.  

Emphasizing the “outdoor classroom”, we will cover the plants and animals of Wisconsin, ecosystem interconnections, the geological landscape, habitat assessments, the values of biodiversity, and the threats to biodiversity including habitat destruction, invasive species, air and water pollution, overexploitation, and climate change.  In response to these issues, we’ll also explore energy efficiency, environmental activism, confronting science denial, ecological grief, and much more.  The 2018 Wisconsin Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability are the foundation of this program.

Workshop Fee: Free!!
Lodging: Dormitory housing is available at UW Oshkosh for a nominal fee
Where: Based at UW Oshkosh with free bussing provided for field trips to nearby nature areas.
When: August 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 2022.  Daily 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Physical exertion: Field trips may require hiking several miles on rough or uneven ground. Appropriate outdoor gear suitable for a variety of outdoor conditions is strongly recommended.
Undergraduate credit (free tuition – contact Mike Beeth): Elem Ed 120 (1 credit)
Graduate credit (free tuition – contact Mike Beeth):  Srv Crs 622 Contemporary Issues in Education (2 credits)

Contact: (920) 420-7426 or 

This program is funded by UW Oshkosh’s Innovative Grants in the College of Education and Human Services and Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations (SIRT).  Upon completion of this 40-hour program you will receive an Environmental Educator Certificate in the Earth WELLNESS Program.*

Sign up by June 7th!  This workshop is limited to 25 participants.  Sign up using this Google form:  

*Environmental Education statutory requirement PI 34.022(2): Completing the WELLNESS Workshop may satisfy the Department of Public Instruction requirement for “Environmental education, including the conservation of natural resources, for licenses in early childhood regular education, elementary and middle school regular education, science, and social studies.”


Day 1: “Teaching with purpose”  (UWO – Oshkosh campus)
The importance of connecting with nature, cultural lenses, Wisconsin Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability, outdoor inquiry framework, campus sustainability showcase 

Day 2: “The Land Ethic and Natural Resource Management” (Waukau Creek)
Threats to and values of biodiversity, web of life, trophic levels,  basics of entomology and values of insects

Day 3: “Geology and the ecology of Wisconsin’s plant communities” (High Cliff State Park)
Wisconsin’s Plant Communities, plant form and function, dichotomous keys, worm survey 

Day 4: “Wetlands, wonderlands and water quality initiatives” (Terrell’s Island)
water quality and citizen science options  coexistence – wildlife management, conservation ethics 

Day 5: “The climate emergency and working towards solutions” (UWO – Oshkosh campus)
Sustainable food production, soils, infusing concepts of climate change into your lessons, eco-grief and activism, funding sources, closing conversation. 

Leader Biographies

Dr. Michael Beeth
Dr. Beeth’s research interests are in conceptual change teaching and learning, the nature and history of science, and in facilitating action research conducted with practicing science teachers. He previously directed the Alternative Careers in Teaching program (ACT). ACT is a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program leading to licensure in secondary (grades 6-12) English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and/or Technology. and Engineering Education He has taught/co-taught undergraduate courses in K-3 Science Teaching Methods, 4-8 Science Teaching Methods and Secondary Science Teaching Methods, and graduate level courses in Conceptual Change Teaching and Learning and seminars for science education doctoral students. He has directed research projects for graduate students in M.Ed., M.S.Ed., MA and Ph.D. programs in curriculum and instruction.

Dr. Shannon Davis-Foust
Shannon has over 15 years experience teaching environmental topics.  She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, a Land Ethic Leader through the Aldo Leopold Foundation, a field trip leader for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, a mentor for the Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter, a Wisconsin Master Naturalist and also volunteers for several nature programs in the Oshkosh area. She is presently conducting research on the influence of education on environmental responsible behavior.  A hobby farmer and wildlife watcher, Shannon has a Ph.D. in Ecology from UW Milwaukee.

Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations


UW Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Contact Info:

(920) 424-0440
SIRT Office: 4483 Sage Hall