Annual Conference

MEEA’s Annual Conference 2022:

Playing Well With Others

The Power of Partnerships in Environmental Education

The Details

  • Date: September 16th – 18th, 2022
  • Format:
    • Friday: Professional Development Field Trips & Evening Keynote
    • Saturday: Sessions and early evening social
    • Sunday: Morning Send off Yoga, Birding, and Pastries
  • Location: The University of Montana in beautiful Missoula, MT
  • Registration: Register HERE.
  • Theme: The Power of Partnerships in Environmental Education

Registration

$50 for Students and AmeriCorps Members, $90 for Members, $150 for non-members. Become a member or renew your individual membership for $30 easily, all in one spot via the registration portal to take advantage of the Member rate. Looking to become an organizational member, or renew an existing membership? You can do that via the registration link above too! Did you know that having an organizational membership gets you one free conference registration and all other registrations at the member rate?

  • Not sure of your membership status? Email MEEA Board Treasurer Becca at meeasecretary@gmail.com.
  • Questions about the registration system? Email Conference Co-Chair Naomi at mtmeeatreasurer@gmail.com.
  • This year MEEA received funding to broaden our conference audience by providing financial support. If you would like financial support please email Emily at meeavicepresident@gmail.com prior to registering to receive your discount code.

Conference Structure

Friday 9/16

During the day Friday a series of professional development field trips will take place in the area between 9am and 3pm. Friday night will be our big networking and keynote speaker celebration evening at the University of Montana University Center Theater.

Saturday 9/17

We are excited to welcome everyone to the Todd Center at the University of Montana for a day amazing concurrent sessions and community building. The morning will feature 50 minute sessions and after lunch you’ll be able to choose from three 90 minute sessions. The day will end with a visit to the Missoula Public Library for more networking, a celebration of our annual educator award winners and a chance to learn about the amazing collaborations happening at newly built and award winning Missoula Public Library.

Sunday 9/18

We’ll wrap up the conference with an opportunity to have a light breakfast and do a little yoga or birding before hitting the road. We’ll meet at a local park and you’ll have the opportunity to go a guided birding walk or participate in some yoga before heading home, inspired by a great weekend.

Schedule & Sessions

Friday: Professional Development Field Trips

This year we are offering two Professional Development Field Trips on Friday 9/16. Both field trips will depart from the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) parking lot at 9:00 am and return there by 3:00 pm. Transportation is being provided by conference sponsor, MNHC. Feel free to park in the lot at MNHC so long as you avoid spots labeled “FVLT”. Street parking is also close and ample. These PD Field Trips are $40 and pre-registration is required. If you would like financial support please email Emily at meeavicepresident@gmail.com prior to registering.

Register for these Professional Development Field Trips on the main conference registration page as you register for the conference as a whole. Already registered for the conference? Never fear, you can add on Friday PD Field Trip by editing your registration. Still not sure how to make that happen? Drop Naomi an email at mtmeeatreasurer@gmail.com.

Option 1: Out on a Ledge with Big Horn Sheep
Visit the Petty Creek area outside Alberton with veteran educator, and Director of Project Based Learning for the Alberton School District, Nick Ehlers. This spring Nick and his 7th and 8th-grade STEM students worked created a 14 minute long documentary in partnership with MT FWP’s Region 2 Manager Liz Bradley to chronicle the resident Big Horn Sheep population at Petty Creek. Learn more about the project and the partnerships that made it possible while looking for these majestic mammals.

Option 2: Greenough Park Groundwater Explorations
Come along on a walk through the Park with Watershed Education Network (WEN)’s team to learn about groundwater and measure well elevations in the beautiful Greenough Park. The Montana Groundwater Academy (MGA) was developed in collaboration with UM, SpetrUM, and WEN for high school students to learn key groundwater concepts in an outdoor groundwater lab in Greenough Park (lower Rattlesnake valley). MGA includes physical models and field investigations to develop knowledge of groundwater system structure and processes. The MGA program exemplifies how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education can help prepare individuals to participate in citizen and professional activities related to managing our water resources.

Friday: Keynote Speaker
We are excited to be partnering with the Philip L Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana to create an exciting, educational, and inspiring evening at the UC Theater on the University of Montana Campus. Will there be specimens from the museum’s collection on hand? You bet! Will there be an amazing keynote speaker? Oh yes! Will you get to network with rock star educators and organizers within the MEEA network? Absolutely!

5:00 – 6:30: Registration, Networking, Specimens from the UMZM, Appetizers, Cash Bar, Social Hour
6:30: Presentation kicks off with a welcome from your conference hosts
7:45: Presentation wraps up

Saturday

An exact session schedule is coming soon. Check back for details.

Keynote Speaker: Emily Graslie

We are over the moon excited to share that Emily Graslie will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Annual Conference. Emily has deep ties to Missoula and we can’t wait to welcome her back to UM and to hear her keynote presentation about “The Power of Curiosity.”  

In a nod to this year’s conference theme, we’re partnering with Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum (UMZM) to bring this amazing keynote speaker to Missoula. This partnership allows us to host the keynote event at the UC Theater on UM’s campus and provides expanded networking opportunities for our conference attendees. Also – our friends at the UMZM will be bringing over a range of specimens to check out. Because who are we as a community if not lifelong learners ourselves?

Logistical details will be forthcoming but we hope you get excited about this amazing and inspirational keynote speaker.  

More About Emily
Emily Graslie is a science communicator and writer, video host, and educational media producer. She was the first-ever ‘Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum in Chicago, creating more than 200 episodes for the popular natural history-themed channel The Brain Scoop. She appeared on PBS’ original series Prehistoric Road Trip — and in PBS Digital Studios’ limited program In Our Nature. She independently produces the show ART LAB in partnership with the Described and Captioned Media Program. Graslie has received numerous accolades for her work, including the American Alliance of Museum’s Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Allegheny College, and in 2018 researchers at the Universities of Florida and Paraná named a new species of butterfly in recognition of her outreach efforts: Wahydra graslieae. 

Quotes from 2021 conference attendees:

“The MEEA conference is consistently one of the best professional development opportunities I participate in. Networking opportunities in Montana for environmental, outdoor, conservation, and place-based educators are few and far between, so the MEEA conference is critical to sustaining and advancing what we all do!”

“As a classroom teacher and nonprofit outdoor educator/ecologist, MEEA’s conference allows me to step back, reflect and put into focus what’s really important in my practice – the process of seeking to understand the people and places that I serve and call home.”

“So many amazing speakers, so much incredible information and resources, and such a great opportunity to connect and network!”

“The MEEA Conference is such a great way to connect with the Environmental Education network across Montana. I truly value the time spent learning new skills, increasing my awareness and meeting a diverse group of providers. You are my people!”

“I value the MEEA conference because it helps me be a continual learning. I really appreciated this year’s conference and how relevant all the presentations were. I enjoying connecting and hearing from experts in this field and related fields. Thanks for this opportunity!!!”