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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.

See below for more information and application

Upcoming Events

World Water Day 2021
March 23, 2021

View the 2021 entries



Click here for Contest Information page

Past Events

World Water Day
March 25, 2020

  • Photo gallery of contest entries

  • Flyer

    Click here for Contest Information page
    Teacher Workshop - event cancelled
    April 4, 2020


    Watershed for Every Classroom 2020-2021!
    New cohort begins July 2020

    for more details.

    World Water Day
    March 24, 2019


    Click here for Contest Information page

    Celebrating Art and Water

    Watershed for Every Classroom 2018-2019!
    New cohort began July 2018

    for more details.

    Lake Champlain Live
    The Lake Champlain Basin Program and Lake Champlain Sea Grant invite K-12 teachers to join them aboard the UVM R/V Melosira to learn about water quality in Lake Champlain. This event is FREE!
    May 21, 2018

    for more details.

    Spring Workshops!
    Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences: Exploring Places in the Lake Champlain Basin
    May 17, 2018 at Ausable Chasm, NY
    June 7, 2018 at Valcour Bay, Peru, NY

    for more details.

    World Water Day 2018
    March 20, 2018

    for more details

    Click here for Contest Information page

    Digital Storytelling & Place-based Learning:
    Discover St. Alban's Diverse Stories

    February 8, 2018
    RSVP to Stephanie Larkin

    Flyer for more details


    Exploration Workshop
    August 17, 2017 from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM
    Draft session descriptions


    World Water Day Celebration and Contest (click here for more info)
    March 22, 2017 4:30 - 6:30 PM
    ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
    Contest Rules
    A sampling of entries from 2016

    Watershed for Every Classroom 2016-2017
    (Five Graduate Credits optional through St Michaels College)
    Summer Session/5 days: July 11- 15, 2016
    Fall Session/2 days: October 14-15, 2016
    Winter Session/2 days: January 2017 (TBA) March 2017 (TBA)
    Spring Session/2 days: May 12-13, 2017
    (11 days total)

    Informational Flyer

    Click here to see how WEC participants spent their 11 days with the Champlain Basin Education Initiative!

    World Water Day Celebration and Contest
    March 22, 2016 4:30 - 6:30 PM
    Location: Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center

    A sampling of entries from 2015

    CBEI Workshop January 21, 2016
    State of the Lake: Issues and Student Action
    Location: ECHO at the Leahy Center

    Telling STORIES of the Saranac River
    October 23, 2015 at SUNY Plattsburgh. 8:30 - 3:30.

    Watershed For Every Classroom 2014-2015
    Agenda for July through May sessions >>
    View our Facebook photo gallery of the summer 2014 session >>

    Celebrate World Water Day! - 2015
    Download the flyer >>

    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 >>

    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 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.

    A "Watershed for Every Classroom" Workshops, 2007-2009

    CBEI workshop particpant learning to use a secchi disk.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:

    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
    Fun with other educators and experts!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.