#NAAEE2021 Sessions for Young and Emerging Professionals

We're so excited for the 2021 NAAEE Conference and Research Symposium! If you're looking to narrow down your options for the next two weeks, here are some YEP recommendations. Let us know in the comments below what you're looking forward to attending!

Research Symposium:

“Our NAAEE Research Symposium honors and values the participation of young and emerging professionals and graduate students. We are a community of scholars passionate about environmental educational research with an interest in the improvement of practice. This year’s theme, The Power of Connection, symbolizes our commitment to inclusion of all the constituencies along with our respect for diversity of ideas, traditions, and methodologies. 

We welcome one and all. To our young and emerging professionals and graduate students: As in the past, we are excited to gain from your perspectives as we all come together to support and strengthen our growing web of connections.”

–Dilafruz Williams, Chair, NAAEE’21 Research Symposium

Keynote Address: Designing High-Impact Research: How Your Research Can Change the World

Thursday October 7th, 1:30 - 2:45 PM EDT

How can Environmental Education researchers have real impacts on practice and policy? It doesn't take a huge research budget—small, doable "tweaks" in how we go about our work can lead to large, real-world impacts. We'll discuss tweaks at every stage of research, from choosing our variables to designing and analyzing, to presenting and sharing our work.

A Meeting of the Minds—Experienced Researchers' Advice for Early Career Folks

Thursday October 7th, 6:30 - 7:30 PM EDT

This session focuses on mentoring for early career researchers. We have found some of the standouts in our field to offer advice on topics on your mind as an early career researcher. Breakout rooms will include publishing, setting a research agenda, grant funding, writing, and working beyond the academy.

Alone Together: Building Grad Student Connections in a Virtual World

Friday October 8th, 10:00 - 11:00 AM EDT

Over the last year and a half, there have been limited opportunities for graduate students in the EE field to meet and learn from each other. This session will be a space for making new connections, reinvigorating old ones, and discussing grad student challenges in supportive small groups.

Speed-Dating for Side Projects: Expanding Our EE Research Collaborative Network

Friday October 8th, 4:15 - 5:15 PM EDT

By both necessity and habit, we researchers tend to operate within a limited set of interests, skills, theories, and collaborators. At this workshop, we will employ a speed-dating format to connect researchers based on shared interests and complimentary skills to encourage new projects and collaborations.


Exploring Self-Leadership in Support of Equity-Focused Systems Change

Wednesday October 13th, 11:00 - 11:40 AM EDT

Using a framework for inclusive leadership practices, participants will explore how to begin with self-leadership (i.e., active (un)learning, intentional action, and accountability) as foundational groundwork for their ability to support equity-focused systems change in environmental education.

NAAEE Fundraising Coaching

Wednesday October 13th, 2:30 - 3:10 PM EDT

How do I start conversations that lead to bigger gifts? How can I get my board members more engaged in fundraising? Is this project right for corporate or foundation support? Am I doing ANY of this right? Whether you're new to fundraising or a seasoned professional, bring your questions to NAAEE's fundraising roundtables.

Plenary Session: Saving Life on Earth—The Critical Role of Education

Wednesday October 13th, 3:30 - 5:00 PM EDT

Join us for this featured plenary session with Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, wildlife ecologist with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and the American Museum of Natural History, in conversation with NAAEE board member Jaime González, also with The Nature Conservancy.

Centering Equity in Professional Learning: Challenges, Successes, and Impact on Practice

Thursday October 14th, 11:00 - 11:40 AM EDT

At the onset of BEETLES, we believed equity was at the core of our work; yet conversations with partners and evaluators revealed gaps in how we were centering equity. Drawing from a five-year National Science Foundation study, we will share insights and invite discussion on how to center equity in professional learning.

2020 to 2040: Visions for the Future of Environmental Education

Thursday October 14th, 5:15 - 5:55 PM EDT

The results are in! Four hundred and fifty EE professionals provided their visions for EE. In this session we share, for the first time, your priorities for the field, crowdsourced strategies to achieve them, and shifting objectives in light of COVID-19 and the efforts to address racial injustice.

Stories That Resonate: Tailored Storytelling for Impact

Thursday October 14th, 6:15 - 6:55 PM EDT

Storytelling can be a powerful tool in any educator’s toolbox to help make deeper connections with their audiences. In this session, you’ll learn from three young leaders about how their communities shape the stories they tell and how to do this in your own practice.

Pivot! Creating Engaging Virtual Environmental Education Programming

Friday October 15th, 2:30 - 3:10 PM EDT

The education team at the San Antonio River Authority was challenged to transform its outdoor-based environmental education program into a virtual format that would be equally as engaging to students throughout the watershed. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned in creating new virtual programming.

What Emerging Leaders in EE Need to Lead

Friday October 15th, 3:30 - 4:10 PM EDT

A career pathways study conducted as part of ee360 revealed not only what the pathways through careers in EE look like, but also what educators wish they had known when they moved into leadership positions. This session will share key insights obtained through this study.

Plenary Session and Closing Ceremony: Fifty Years Forward

Friday October 15th, 5:30 - 7:00 PM EDT

Join NAAEE Board Member Diego Román and NAAEE Executive Director Judy Braus as we close out our 50th-anniversary conference with a fun look back at our two weeks together, complete with prizes and videos. We'll also look to the future with leaders in the field sharing insights on such issues as climate literacy and climate justice, access to nature, a new green learning agenda, and more. Finally, we'll hear from poet-author-conservationist Drew Lanham with one of his thoughtful and inspiring poems.