Champlain Basin Education Initiative
The Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) is a consortium of environmental and place-based education groups throughout the Lake Champlain Basin. CBEI holds workshops on teaching about the Lake Champlain Basin for K-12 educators, and interested citizens. The workshops feature diverse and exciting presentations by local experts on topics such as climate change, water quality, cultural heritage, and natural resources. CBEI is dedicated to offering rich learning opportunities to teachers so that they might be better qualified to offer them to their students.
Since 1992, more than 650 educators have participated in CBEI workshops and forums.
World Water Day Celebration and Contest
March 24, 2016
Watershed For Every Classroom 2014-2015
Agenda for July through May sessions >>
View our Facebook photo gallery of the summer 2014 session >>
Teaching PLACE: Using technology and professional wisdom to uncover the interrelationships between natural and built systems
January 24, 2015
The twenty-five educators who participated in this conference used a variety of technologies to investigate human interactions with built and natural landscapes. Teachers collected data on the Burlington waterfront, created blogs and maps to tell stories of the natural and cultural history of the area, and collected weather and climate data. Download the agenda >>
See workshop resources and contacts >>
Engaging Young Scientists! Educator Workshop Grades 6-12
Download the Agenda >>
Celebrate World Water Day! - 2014
Download the flyer >>
World Water Day Contest! - 2014
Contest and World Water Day program information
Tracking With Sue Morse
January 24, 2014 at Wolfrun, Jericho, VT
Join other Watershed for Every Classroom alumni and interested participants in a day of tracking with Sue Morse, nationally recognized wildlife ecologist and professional tracker. Together, we will explore the fundamentals of tracking and reading the landscape while spending the day exploring Wolfrun. Come prepared for the weather and somewhat strenuous hiking. To register for this program, please contact Christie Nold at ChNold@shelburnefarms.org or (802)985-0319. A limited number of spots are available! Flyer
Bridging Disciplines: Exploring the Stories of Our Place
May 31, 2013 at Fort Ticonderoga, New York
Participants joined the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) partners as place-based learning across disciplines was explored, incorporating the Common Core standards as well as the newly issued Next Generation Science Standards. We discussed the foundational principles of place-based practices, examined primary documents, and engaged in historical and scientific investigations. View the final agenda with links to resources and materials from the workshop.
Change Over Time: Exploring the Interwoven Stories of the Burlington Waterfront
February 3, 2013, Main Street Landing, Burlington, VT
Participants joined the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) partners in examining the dynamic and interrelated stories of the Burlington waterfront. The day was led by Walter Poleman, UVM ecologist, PLACE Program Director and Ellen Marsden, UVM Professor of Fisheries. They explored the questions: What is the story of the Burlington waterfront? How has it changed over time? Using the unique lens of each of their disciplines, Walter and Ellen shared ways to observe and understand evidence of changes in the terresterial and aquatic environments. View the final agenda.
2012-2013 WEC Professional Development Program
Watershed for Every Classroom is a year-long, 11-day professional development experience for K-12 teachers. In a supportive, collaborative, and fun environment, we explore the many different ecological and cultural stories of the Lake Champlain Basin. Teachers experience testing for water quality, visiting farms, paddling on boats, looking out over mountaintops, and much more as they consider the many issues that face our watershed and ways to design curriculum that engages their students in these issues. See the 2012-2013 Program Agenda. Visit the Curriculum Library to see the work completed by WEC teachers, including those who participated in the 2012-13 program.
Climate Change Workshop for Teachers
March 10, 2012 at Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT
The goal of this event was to share resources and tools for teaching about climate change. It was a stimulating day of new information, dialogue, and classroom applications in an innovative format of presentations, lab work, and computer time. The day's events are summarized in more detail at the WatershED Matters blog.
In addition, the following resources from the workshop are available.
- Detailed agenda.
- Kenote Address by Richard Kujawa: “Climate Change, Water and People: A Geographer’s View”
- Lab Exercise: “Amped Up: How feedback loops may amplify climate change.” Facilitated by Kara Lenorovitz.
- Presentation: “Climate and Climate Change 101: Tools and understanding for integrating the atmosphere into the K-12 curriculum.” Facilitated by Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux.
- Google Earth Resources and Tips from the UVM Center for Teaching & Learning.
A "Watershed for Every Classroom" Workshops, 2007-2009
Ten New York, Vermont and Quebec educators completed the 11-day "Watershed for Every Classroom" teacher training program hosted by the Champlain Basin Education Initiative (CBEI) in 2008-2009. In 2007, 17 teachers participated. In the past two years alone, participating educators have helped students design and implement the following types of projects:
- Introduce no idling policies for school busses to improve air quality;
- observe and report new amphibian sitings which are now included in the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas;
- develop and plant rain gardens to filter stormwater runoff;
- and develop a wetlands interpretation trail on public land.
Hard copies of the curriculum units completed by recent CBEI particpants are available for review at the LCBP Resource Room (top floor of ECHO at Leahy Center for Lake Champlain). Outlines of units and specifc exemplars are in the Curriculum Library.
CBEI One-Day Summits
In May 2006, 75 educators attended Summit 2006: Who's Taking Care of Lake Champlain? Building Stewardship for the 21st Century at Shelburne Farms. Workshops were held in four areas: Watershed Ecology 101; Humanities, Literacy & More; Current Events & Ecosystem Research; and Technology & Geology. In May 2002, about 70 educators attended Summit 2002: Explore the Diversity of the Lake Champlain Basin - Linking Students to Their Watershed at Shelburne Farms. A dozen workshops covered topics such as animal tracking, nuisance species, seining for fish, identifying aquatic invertebrates, and wildflower walks. In 2000, CBEI offered a similar full-day Summit at Basin Harbor, which was attended by more than 75 educators.
- Summit 2006: View the Agenda and Registration (303 KB PDF)
- Summit 2002: View the Agenda and Registration (275 KB PDF)
Meet our Partners!
Amy Picotte, Environmental Analyst
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Water Quality Division, 103 S. Main St.
Waterbury, VT 05671
- How’s my lake doing, and what fish live there? Check out the Vermont Lake Score Card >>Go
- Find Vermont deer habit, drilled wells, landfills, etc. at the VT ANR Atlas >>Go
- Learn about water quality monitoring from the Vermont Lay Monitoring Program >>Go
- Project WET educational resources, including lake activities and watershed models >>Go
- Read or write about Vermont rivers, lakes, and wetlands in “Out of the Blue,” an ANR newsletter >>Go
- Free introductory classroom presentations on Lake Champlain issues: 20-45 minute program accompanied by a hands-on watershed model demonstration using the Enviroscape watershed model. >>Go
- LCBP’s on-line atlas (includes contacts to local watershed groups in NY, VT and Quebec) >>Go, and the State of the Lake report. >>Go
- Lake Champlain fact sheets, posters, invasive species rebuses and other classroom materials >>Go
- Visit the LCBP Resource Room at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, VT: LCBP staff on-site 7days/week for teacher and student assistance, resources for student watershed projects. >>Go
- Check out our Lake Champlain Bibliography >>Go
- Developed at Shelburne Farms, Project Seasons is a collection of hands-on education activities for discovering the wonders of the world. Classroom educators, pre-school & after-school teachers, camp instructors and parents will find it invaluable in cultivating an awareness and appreciation of agriculture and natural resources. >>Go
- The Healthy Neighborhood/Healthy Kids project engages youth in community planning and revitalization activities by encouraging them to draw connections between the design and condition of their communities and impacts on their health. Through evaluating the health and safety of their neighborhood and initiating service-learning projects that address their findings, youth play key roles in developing solutions to community issues. Involving youth in community decision-making benefits everyone: youth, adults, and the community. >>Go
- A Guide for Farm to School Community Action Planning is a starter “how to” for organizing a school committee to develop a Farm to School program. It’s perfect for any school food service staff, parent, teacher, principal, student, or community member seeking to make changes in their school food environment. It is published by Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day, a partnership of Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), and Shelburne Farms. >>Go
- The Education for Sustainability Guide is a primer on the ins and outs of EFS and takes educators through a step-by-step curriculum development process. The Sustainable Schools Project approach is highlighted as an effective means to transform schools and service-learning is one of the promising practices. Free download. The Sustainable Schools Starter Kit can also be found on-line as a free download. The Starter Kit is a series of professional development modules for schools on EFS and the Healthy Neighborhoods/Healthy Kids project. >>Go
- Community Works’ Connecting Service Learning to the Curriculum: A Workbook for Teachers and Administrators was created by teachers for teachers and is a key resource for service-learning. The resource coherently integrates service-learning and sustainability as well as tools and strategies from implementing school/campus wide. It is designed for K-16 and community educators.
- Want your students to know about the health of a local stream? Build their knowledge and skills through the Stream Monitoring & Stewardship Program. >>Go
- Download a copy of the Stream Monitoring and Stewardship Teacher Handbook for curriculum and water quality monitoring tools. >>Go
- Explore Lake Champlain out on the University of Vermont’s R/V Melosira. Book your field trip for Spring, Summer or Fall. >>Go
Watch Conservation Correspondent Bridget Butler's report on the Floating Laboratory. >>Go
- Visit our Related Links page and discover resources and national programs on watershed education, stream ecology, water quality standards and much more. >>Go
ECHO focuses in on stewardship with weekly environmental segments on NewsChannel 5, interactive demos at ECHO on local conservation issues and through a contributory exhibit called Voices for the Lake that uses personal stories to make conservation connections in the Lake Champlain Basin.
Lori Fisher, Executive Director
Lake Champlain Committee
208 Flynn Avenue Building 3, Studio 3F
Burlington, VT 05401
- LCC’s award-winning book Lake Champlain: A Natural History offers comprehensive lessons on the lake offered in bite-sized pieces.
- Monthly updates on Lake Champlain through our Enews and Lake Look columns.
- Pamphlet on how to distinguish blue-green algae from other floating phenomena
- Bi-lingual (English/French) guide to boating on Lake Champlain and lake protection tips for boaters.
- Simple steps every person can take to help the lake encapsulated in LCC’s Lake Protection Pledge.
- Recreation guide for canoers and kayakers in our Paddlers’ Trail Guide Book
Our Curriculum Matters, Curriculum Coach
Saint Michael's College, Adjunct Professor
- Our Curriculum Matters - Explore your local place, the learning opportunities it offers, and connections to your curriculum. OCM provides support for designing standard-based authentic assessment in alignment with Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities (Vermont), National Standards, and Common Core.
- Our Curriculum Matters online provides strategies, teacher stories, curriculum planning tools, and resources to support teachers' efforts to integrate their local environment—including cityscapes, neighborhoods, back schoolyards, and old buildings as well as natural components—into their curriculum. >>Go
- Watershed Education – The WatershED Matters Blog provides information on the latest resources and developments in curriculum planning and strategies. If you want to share your ideas or profile the work you and your students are doing, please contact us.
- This Lake Alive! An Interdisciplinary Handbook about Teaching and Learning about the Lake Champlain Basin includes chapters based on traditional subject areas that tell the stories of the Lake Champlain watershed. Download sections or whole chapters to make reading sets for your students.