Professional Development Opportunities

Numerous organizations offer professional development opportunities for Earth and Space science educators throughout the year. The list below provides information about a number of these opportunities. The descriptions below come from the programs' websites so be sure to click on the URL for all the details concerning application deadlines and a more in-depth program description.

If you have a professional development opportunity that you would like to have listed here, please post the opportunity.

Design your own professional development opportunity at the first annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous (July 13-17, 2015). Capitalize on the experience of your colleagues in a wide range of fields at a variety of workshops, present and discuss your own findings, and network with others engaged in improving undergraduate Earth education. Events will include workshops, oral and poster sessions, plenary talks, and working groups. The meeting will bring together activities that support faculty in improving their courses, departments or programs; in increasing their overall impact of Earth education; and in building a collective capacity to use and conduct education research.

The NJ Earth Science Teachers Association Annual Conference will take place at Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, NJ on Saturday May 23, 2015. The day will be filled with speakers and field experiences. A detailed program will be posted on the website in the near future.

Spring 2015 registration is now open for the American Meteorological Society DataStreme online courses in Atmosphere, Oceans, and Climate. Each course is an innovative Internet-based distance-learning course directed towards middle-school teachers, but open to all K-12 teachers. These courses are offered FREE of charge to K-12 teachers. Upon completion of any one course, teachers are awarded 3 graduate-level science credits through the State University of New York. In addition, two summer workshops are also available for pre-college teachers: 1.) Atmospheric Science Topics (July 12-24, 2015 in Kansas City, MO) and 2.) Oceanographic Topics (July 12-24, 2015 in Annapolis, MD).

Contact a LIT leader in your state .

or contact John Moore

This free 4-part web seminar series starts on April 30, 2015 and runs through May 12, 2015. The series focuses on the ocean's trace elements and what they can tell us about geochemical processes, the carbon cycle, and climate. Nine scientists will share their work with the participants. The link will take you to the registration page.

NESTA and Windows to the Universe offer a set of nine web seminars that cover a number of space science topics. Windows to the Universe members can also access a PowerPoint presentation for each seminar.

The SSEATs Academies provide teachers with an opportunity to take part in a week-long professional development course behind-the-scenes at Smithsonian museums and other world class research facilities throughout the greater Washington, DC area. The academies help to bridge the gap between the formal science education programs of the SSEC and the informal science education that exists throughout the Smithsonian, and combine training in science pedagogy with content presented by scientists and researchers who are experts in their fields
See the announcement for information about tuition and other details.

The 31st Annual NJESTA Conference: Exploring New Jersey's Geology & Energy Future will take place on Saturday May 23rd at Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, NJ. We have a wonderful day planned for you which includes a morning on NJ’s Energy Future led by our State Geologist Karl Muessig. The afternoon includes an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the mine at Sterling Hill and an optional field trip to NJ’s stromatolite haven to explore NJ’s deep geologic past. As usual there will be plenty of give-aways and PD hours! Come to the conference and celebrate NJESTA’s new affiliation with Sterling Hill Mining Museum. For more information go to:

Location: Colorado Mountain College - Leadville, CO April 17-19, 20151: $70 (Teacher enhancement credit available) and Western State Colorado University - Gunnison, CO April 24-26, 2015: $135 for 1 TE Graduate Credit
Get ready to move! Immerse yourself in the study of astronomy and the practice of sky watching with inquiry-based lessons (including Kinesthetic Astronomy) and evening sky watching. Content includes sky motions of the Sun, planets, stars; seasons; phases of the Moon. Teaching materials will be provided.

Soil is a three-dimensional living-body that you can consider as the skin covering the earth's surface. Soils play critical roles in many of the environmental challenges facing the world. Soils are essential for life on earth. People may not realize it, but they are becoming ever more dependent on the ecological functions of soil:

  1. Supporting plant growth
  2. Controlling the flow of water through the hydrologic cycle
  3. Recycling waste products of society and nature
  4. Providing habitat for an enormous diversity of organisms
  5. Functioning in built environments as construction material and support for building foundations

This series of eight live webinars is designed to introduce you to the field of soil science. Details about each webinar are available at

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05/23/2015 - 9:00am
05/23/2015 - 9:00am

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