Professional Development ProgramS

EENC offers workshops, webinars, trainings, social events and more throughout the year!  Find upcoming events and register for specific opportunities on our calendar page.  Read on to learn more about the general types of professional development we offer.  Visit our conference page to learn about our largest event of the year. 

Almost every event we offer is open to everyone to register, regardless of your level of EE experience!  Pre-registration is generally required. Some events have a registration fee, while others are offered for free.  EENC members generally receive a discount for all our events! If you ever have a concern about the registration fee for an EENC event, please contact EENC's Executive Director.


The Guidelines for Excellence is a series of materials that helps environmental educators hone their practice and programs to national standards for high-quality environmental education programming.  Developed by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the Guidelines document the collective wisdom of hundreds of educators across our nation; these guides are updated periodically to reflect new research, changing best practices, and an increasing attention to equity and inclusion.

Workshops focus on one or more of the Guidelines publications:

  • K-12 Environmental Education

  • Professional Development of Environmental Educators

  • Environmental Education Materials

  • Nonformal Environmental Education Programs

  • Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs

  • Community Engagement

For those pursuing EE Certification in North Carolina managed by our partners at the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, these workshops qualify for Criteria I/continuing education credit.  You make take multiple Guidelines workshops for credit, so long as each workshop focuses on a different Guidelines publication.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Environmental Education

This new online course is designed to provide a strong foundation in the language, concepts and principles of equity work for environmental educators and environmental professionals.  It is meant to be an introductory course and spark interest in further learning around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). The main topics for the course include:

  • Foundations of communication for sensitive topics, including group agreements and nonviolent communication.

  • Developing a common language for discussing JEDI topics

  • Understanding historical intersections of the environmental movement with social justice topics, how those historical events might still be causing impacts today.

  • Understanding bias, stereotypes, and oppression

  • Reflecting on power and privilege that different identities afford, how that power and privilege manifests as microaggressions and how to use the power and privilege you had to develop a personal action plan.

This course was developed through a partnership between Center for Diversity and the EnvironmentEcoInclusiveJustice Outside, Environmental Educators of North Carolina, Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, and Kentucky Association for Environmental Education.  

Each cohort will have 8 weeks to complete the 10-15 hour asynchronous course.  Cohorts will begin quarterly. Course qualifies for Criteria I/continuing education credit for the NC Environmental Educator Certificate.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and challenging for all, rather than making modifications for individual students’ needs. This course will encourage you to reflect deeply on your practice to focus on how you plan and teach, not just the content you teach.  Whether you’re a classroom teacher or outdoor nonformal educator, are an experienced professional or just getting started in the field, and are new to inclusion or have been leading inclusive programming for years, we hope this course will inspire you to strengthen your pedagogical practices so they are more welcoming, inclusive and accessible for all learners. Focus areas include:
  • Understanding the principles of Universal Design for Learning
  • Describing terms, techniques, tools, and resources to promote inclusivity and access to better serve diverse populations, specifically those with learning differences, physical accessibility needs, and language barriers
  • Evaluating your current teaching practices/pedagogy and your setting to identify barriers to participation
  • Applying the principles of universal design for learning to your pedagogical practices to redesign a lesson, activity, or program

This course content was designed by Michelle Silvers of Silver’s Lining PLLC, Estrella Risinger with the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, Michelle Pearce and Lauren Pyle with the Environmental Educators of North Carolina, with contributions from Rebekah Jones and the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning.

a group of three people are learning down to look at a plant in the woods next to a paved path. one person is taking a picture and another holds a clipboard

The BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, and Expertise Sharing) learning sessions are active experiences crafted to encourage instructors to look at specific aspects of research-based science pedagogy and to inspire shifts in instructors’ thinking about their own teaching and learning. Developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science, these hands-on and interactive sessions promote a student-centered approach to help participants better engage with science and the natural world through inquiry.

Inquiry-Based Outdoor Learning workshops fully explore 2-4 of the eleven Professional Learning Sessions in their entirety during the 6-10 hours of the workshop: 

  • Adaptation & Evolution

  • Assessing for Learning

  • Constructing Understanding

  • Evidence & Explanations

  • Field Journaling with Students

  • Making Observations 

  • Matter & Energy in Ecosystems

  • Nature and Practices of Science

  • Promoting Discussion

  • Questioning Strategies

  • Teaching & Learning

Learn more about BEETLES at

For those pursuing EE Certification in North Carolina managed by our partners at the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, these workshops qualify for Criteria I/continuing education credit.  You make take multiple Inquiry-Based Outdoor Learning workshops for credit, so long as each workshop focuses on different BEETLES  learning sessions.

Don't Waste It!

Don’t Waste It! is an educator guide to waste management, recycling, composting, and waste reduction, which includes 11 lessons covering five themes: municipal solid waste, recycling, plastics, composting, and landfills.

Developed by Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling in North Carolina, Don’t Waste It! is expanding through the southeast.  SEEA has been awarded an environmental education grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create state-specific versions of the guide and then host in-person and virtual training opportunities for educators across the southeast to learn the curriculum. 

EENC currently co-coordinates in-person and online North Carolina workshops on this resource. For those pursuing EE Certification in North Carolina managed by our partners at the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, these workshops qualify for Criteria I/continuing education credit.


Throughout the year, EENC offers regional section events across the state.  These events vary greatly in length, topic and format - but their goal is the same: to bring local environmental educators together! 

Some events might be more recreational in nature, like kayaking or a group hike.  Others may be more social, like brewery/film screening meet-up or cookouts. Still others may be more content-driven, like a guided wildflower walk or teaching strategies seminar. We've also hosted book-clubs, behind-the-scenes tours, and family-friendly gatherings.

Find events in your region on our calendar page. Contact your Section Chair to learn more or to share an an idea for a local event.


North Carolina is a large state. EENC provides virtual opportunities so that educators from Murphy to Manteo to gather together, to learn with and from one another.

EENC currently hosts monthly webinars on the third Thursday of the month.   We invite presenters to share their expertise and experience about hot topics impacting our EE community.   If you are interested in presenting a webinar, contact the Program Coordinator. All webinars are free for participants.  Recordings are sent to all participants afterward.

Community calls are a great chance to share what you're thinking, listen to what others are planning, ask questions of one another, and feel a sense of community.   These drop-in interactive calls provide virtual opportunities to engage with your peers throughout the year. Some calls have specific themes for target audiences, while others are more general. We don't have the answers, but we're hoping that together, we can create solutions!  

Environmental Educators of North Carolina

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