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Earth Tracks Newsletter June 2024


Elementary Environmental Educator of the Year: Kelly Brown. Kelly teaches 6th grade at Mountain View Elementary School in Boise, ID, where she helped to craft the Boise District Climate and Weather Unit for 6th grade. Kelly’s passion project was to lead her students in the Boise River Rewild Project. They serviced a large plot of land beyond Barber Park, where they removed invasive weeds, replanted, and stewarded habitat restoration. Her students gained a strong sense of community and were proud to make things better for their own future children and generations to come. 

Secondary Environmental Educator of the Year: Travis Phillips. Travis teaches 11th and 12th grades at Madison High School in Rexburg, ID. He is also the Program Director and a co-instructor for Environmental Solutions, a robust science experience that provides 50 students with a trimester-long, science-based field experience.  Travis takes teams of students to the Teton Watershed where they conduct biological, physical, and chemical assessments on streams and learn ecological concepts. Each student assesses twelve major and two desert streams. Student scientists also access other field experiences including visits to related locations in the region such as dams, wastewater and hydrology plants, wind farms, the Idaho National Laboratory, and local fisheries. His impact on shaping students into the environmental scientists of tomorrow is truly invaluable.

Non-Formal Environmental Educator of the Year: Chrissy Hoefgen. Chrissy is the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute in Moscow, ID. She manages an after-school program for children aged 6-12 called Nature Explorers. The program encourages children to learn, explore, and play outdoors and sparks their curiosity and wonder, fostering a respect for the natural world and developing a sense of stewardship. Chrissy engages students in an exploratory learning curriculum with activities that facilitate a deep connection to nature. She continually shares her love of nature and her enthusiasm and passion for the outdoors are contagious. Chrissy’s program has made an impact on the greater community through her work with water cycle and pollution awareness. 

Volunteer Environmental Educator of the Year: Isabelle Reis. Isabelle is a volunteer with the City of Boise and is a co-chair for the Youth Climate Action Council. She was instrumental in planning and preparing for this year’s Youth Climate Summit. Over 100 students from the Treasure Valley attended the summit at the JUMP Center in Boise. Students were able to learn from climate professionals about solutions in tech, justice, and education. Without Isabelle's work, this summit would not have happened. She is also active at community events representing the Youth Climate Action Council. 

The summer Reading Wildly book selection is Playing with Fire by Laura Pritchett. When a wildfire threatens a mountain community, residents gather for safety. "Playing with Fire" explores how fire affects the human psyche and life, offering new hope for rethinking how humans inhabit a burning planet. Enjoy this great read, then join us for lively conversation with other readers and author Laura Pritchett on Sunday, July 14, at Foothills Learning Center in Boise, from 3-4 PM. Register at for this free event.

The City of Boise’s call for Youth Climate Action Fund project proposals is open until June 30. They are looking for applicants ages 15-24 to submit project proposals that align with Boise Climate Action Roadmap priorities. Successful projects will have a budget of $1000-$5000, display a significant impact in Boise, and be completed September-December 2024. They are specifically interested in projects involving urban ecosystem restoration, climate art, and climate education. Please see for more information.

Professional Workshops

Interdisciplinary Instruction for Sustainability: Teacher Training for Climate Change Education, by Jiwon Kim is available from the International Workshop on Environment, Sustainability, & Education. The Workshop is hosted and organized by the Center for Sustainable Futures at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Israeli Institute of Education for Sustainability at Kibbutzim College. The recording of this presentation as well as previous sessions are available free here and on their  YouTube channel.

You are invited to join E3 Washington’s Pacific Northwest Allied Network (PNW-AN) 2024 workshop series for the final two sessions of the year. PNW-AN is for leaders of environmental, sustainability, and/or outdoor education networks who are interested in building relationships with and learning alongside colleagues from WA, OR, ID, AK, MT and BC, Canada. Register for the Thursday, September 12, 2024 and Thursday, December 12, 2024 sessions. 

Museum of Idaho Educator Summer Camps. Come earn professional credit while learning from experts through these place based experiences in Eastern Idaho. Course titles for this summer include 3, 2, 1, Lift Off! Expedition Yellowstone, Grand Teton Geology, Wasden Archaeology, and Harriman Adventure. Checkout the museum’s PD website and get ready for opening day of registration, coming soon. These courses fill up quickly! 

Professional development from Take Me Outside and The Outdoor Learning Store. This comprehensive 30 hour online course will certify K-12 educators in integrating outdoor learning into their teaching practice. This certification program provides the foundations of outdoor, environmental and place-based pedagogies with practical and tangible resources at the ready.

Resources & Grants

Indigenous Learning from the Outdoor Learning School & Store. Check out their list of resources vetted by Indigenous advisors and meet their new Director of Indigenous Learning. You can watch a short video from Jenn Jesek, as well as from their Indigenous Learning Facilitator, Alyson McMullen. In addition, they are offering free Facilitating from the Heart Capacity Building Sessions to to support EE leaders in developing skills to host regional/state/provincial sharing & reflection circles to support 4 Seasons of Indigenous Learning participants ground their learning to local people & place in your geographic area. Sign up for Facilitating from the Heart sessions. See more about the 4 Seasons project online.

The Idaho STEM Action Center will reimburse travel associated with attending STEM conferencing!  See their travel reimbursement application and travel reimbursement guidelines

EPA’s Community Change Grants are open to (1) A partnership between two community-based non-profit organizations (CBOs); or (2) A partnership between a CBO and one of the following: a Federally-Recognized Tribe, a local government, or an institution of higher education. There is technical assistance available specifically to help folks apply for Community Change Grants at

The EPA has officially opened a National Environmental Museum and Education Center in Washington, D.C. This is a space that narrates that agency’s history of resilience, perseverance and unwavering commitment to protecting public health and the environment.


Upcoming Events

July 14: Reading Wildly. Join author Laura Pritchett in person at Foothills Learning Center in Boise.

IdEEA Updates

Become an IdEEA member and support EE in Idaho! If you have an interest in supporting our mission more fully but don’t have the capacity to be on the board, join one of our committees! Any active members are eligible to meet with a committee to help with specific events and projects. Let us know you’re interested by emailing under the subject “Committees” and we’ll connect you to the correct Committee Chair. Become a member today! Stay current with all our updates! Subscribe to this newsletter and follow our blog at

About this newsletter - We bring you the latest Environmental Education resources, events, and opportunities from around Idaho, now once per month. You can be a part of this process by sharing resources, events, jobs, etc. with under the subject “Newsletter.” Grow our reach by sharing this message with your contacts and having them subscribe to our mailing list at If this message has reached you in error and you’d like to be removed, you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this message.


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