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NEEF Announces New Environmental Literacy Report
Banding BatCam Bats At N.J. Home
EE at EPA: Awards, New Partnership Announced
July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
Science Update: Catbird Secrets Revealed
GreenSchools! July Update
eNews: Help Us Test a New All About Birds Website
Earth Science Summertime compilation
CWF - July 2015: Be Terrapin Aware!
ICYMI: NJ's favorite beaches
E-NEWS: Grants, CEP rebates, Monmouth Hub, Mayor Ondish spotlight and more . .
Great Places: Beautiful Beach Preserves You Can Visit
Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for July
Survey: Help Grow Urban Green Spaces
Cloud Institute: What is Education for Sustainability? Plus Summer and Fall Programs
Sustainable Jersey July Sustainability Hero Announced
Raritan Headwaters Association July News - Yay, Summer's Here!
July Littoral News
Water Pages eNewsletter
EE at EPA: Community partnerships, pollinator awareness and climate education.
New Jersey Farm to School Network News: Summer 2015
Soil Health Resources for Districts and Partners
Science Update: Big News for Bats
Identify Your Bird with Computer Vision--Try It Out!
National Wildlife Federation's NJ Eco-Schools Action Newsletter
Map Them and Zap Them!
2015 Sleepaway Camps at PEEC
NWF wants you and your students to take the #Campout2015 pledge!
The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Success Saving Bats
June Littoral News
Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for June
Updates from the Cool Green Science Blog
EE at EPA: Historic Clean Water Rule Finalized
3 Ways to Enjoy Nature This Summer
NAAEE: EE News for May 22, 2015
Green Knight newsletter -- May 2015 -- News of Environmental Issues and Events in New Jersey
Duke Farms News: The Agriculture Issue, Featuring Will Allen!
May 2015 Earth Science Sites of the Week
Raritan Headwaters Association May News - Splash into Spring
Building STEM skills through EE.
May 8, 2015 Earth Science Sites of the Week
Spring 2015 Coastodian
EE at EPA: Thank a Teacher, Campus RainWorks, New Video and Blog
May Sustainability Hero Announced
Water Pages eNewsletter
NEEF Announces New Environmental Literacy Report             (Posted: 7-28-15)

To view and download the report, visit

Banding BatCam Bats At N.J. Home             (Posted: 7-27-15)

A home where a colony of Big Brown Bats have been roosting in a bedroom window was recently visited by biologists with the NJDEP Div. of Fish and Wildlife and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. The bats were tagged and data was collected to assist in learning more about them and their behavior. A 'batcam' has been streaming online from the window several years.

For an account and photos of the visit, as well as a link to the BatCam, visit

EE at EPA: Awards, New Partnership Announced             (Posted: 7-27-15)

Click HERE.

July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)             (Posted: 7-23-15)

July Brings Sensational STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
Greetings from GSGSC! The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Our primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. 
As always, this newsletter is for you as members of the Collaborative. It can serve as a forum to promote events and to highlight the good work that you all do, so please let me know what is going on so we can include your program in upcoming issues.
In this issue:
  • Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite with Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)
  • The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto 
  • Video Contest: Tell your STEM story by 8/1
  • How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself 
  • PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ by 8/14
  • Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM
  • Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings 
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool! 
  • Join The Connectory
  • Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality
  • Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects
P.S. If you're interested in additional articles, research and resources, feel free to reach out to me directly.
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
Senate Passes ESEA Rewrite w/ Big Bipartisan Backing (includes STEM amendment)

For the first time since 2001, the U.S. Senate Thursday passed a sweeping overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the country's federal K-12 law, which if enacted would significantly roll back the role of the federal government in public education and give states more flexibility in the process.

The legislation, the Every Child Achieves Act, proved a rare example of bipartisan politicking, with co-authors Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., carefully ushering the measure through the amendment process and floor debate with little to no drama. In the end, they held their caucuses together to pass the bill, which would overhaul the law now known as the No Child Left Behind Act, with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle, 81-17.

"Consensus among experts is not easy, but consensus is necessary in the U.S. Senate if we're going to deal with a complex problem like this, and that's exactly what we did," Alexander said. "We found a consensus not only on the urgent need to fix the law, but also on how to fix No Child Left Behind."

Murray relayed similar sentiments. "I've been very glad to work with Chairman Alexander on our bipartisan bill," she said. "It gives states more flexibility while also including federal guardrails to make sure all students have access to a quality education."

The legislation's passage in the Senate marks a crucial step in getting a bill to the president's desk. With the U.S. House of Representatives already having passed its Republican-backed ESEA rewrite last week, the two chambers can now begin working on conferencing their dueling reauthorization bills.

And dueling it will be, as the two proposals contain some stark policy differences.

Alexander said he's had "numerous" conversations with Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee and author of that chamber's bill.

"We're on parallel paths," Alexander said. "We know better than to try to make our institutions do exactly the same thing, but ... our bills are not that different."

The Senate PASSED the following amendment via voice vote:
  • An amendment from Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., that would allow schools to partner with current and recently retired STEM professionals and tailor educational resources to engage students and teachers in STEM.
Click here to read more.
The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto

When Fran Bagenal began her career working on NASA's Voyager mission to the outer planets, she was among just a handful of women on the team. But that didn't phase her. "That's just how it was," she explains, adding that she was focused on particles and plasma. "Space physics was just my way of exploring the solar system." Now, as the particles and plasma science team leader on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, her response to the relative abundance of women on the team is met mostly with a shrug. "This isn't remarkable-it's just how it is." 

Bagenal's attitude regarding the strong female presence on the New Horizons mission is mostly echoed by colleagues who were informally surveyed. "I've never really thought about it," says Kim Ennico, a deputy project scientist on New Horizons who calibrates instruments on the spacecraft and monitors their status. "I'm really only conscious of it when there are only women in a meeting room."

In preparation for New Horizons' Pluto flyby-the mission phase between July 7 and July 16-Ennico works with Leslie Young, another deputy project scientist who is also the encounter planning leader on the science team. Young is tasked with fitting all of New Horizons' science goals into the precious few days the spacecraft will be in the near vicinity of Pluto. "I figure out the spacecraft's priorities," she says, describing the process as, "a job that means scheduling observations that can run simultaneously to gather the most data in a limited time."

Young's flyby playbook for New Horizons is turned into spacecraft commands by the science operation team managed by Tiffany Finley, who calls the gender balance on the New Horizons team "refreshing." 

Spacecraft commands are passed on to the mission operations team, managed by Alice Bowman. She personally reads every line of code before it's sent on a four-and-a-half hour journey to New Horizons. "I'm the last one who signs off on everything we send to the spacecraft," she explains. "I want to make sure it's perfect." 

Of course, the flyby science couldn't happen without the spacecraft arriving at its target, a major challenge that falls to Yanping Guo. As the mission design leader, Guo configured the entire mission trajectory, including the Jupiter and Pluto flybys. In short, "My job is to get New Horizons to Pluto." 

The dozens of women who are powering New Horizons to a history-making July 14 flyby of Pluto look forward to the day when the conversation about gender becomes irrelevant. "Girls will be inspired to be scientists and boys will grow up to be 'gender blind,' seeing women in science as the norm," says Young.

For deputy project scientist Cathy Olkin, it's simple. "New Horizons is about a group of talented, smart people who are passionate about the mission. That's what makes New Horizons awesome."

At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 New Horizons will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet.

Follow the path of the spacecraft in coming days in real time with a visualization of the actual trajectory data, using NASA's online Eyes on Pluto.

Stay in touch with the New Horizons mission with #PlutoFlyby and on Facebook at:

Click here to read more.

A video competition for kids learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics outside of school. In three minutes, tell us how you are engaged in STEM learning and dream of a STEM future!

STEM learning opportunities are like charging stations that power up kids' learning. Afterschool programs, summer camps, libraries, museums and science centers all provide "charging stations" with hands-on activities, deep-learning experiences and opportunities to explore.

Young people get the charge with the support of afterschool professionals to see themselves as scientists, engineers, technology gurus and mathematicians - both now and in the future.

Kids are always told to dream big - afterschool programs allow them to do just that. Uncover the work of your program and students, and tell us what really happens in STEM afterschool.


Click here to read more.
Click here to watch Julia's presentation.

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about - and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch - but more important, listen - to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. "Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], 'How I could change myself?'" says Takata, a student in the TED-Ed Club at the Punahou Summer School in Honolulu, Hawaii. "What I didn't realize was: I was letting someone who barely knew me tell me who I was."

Takata sees a connection between this experience and eating disorders, which she thinks of as "your mind having a competition with your body." "It's a constant battle between being skinny and being well-nourished. During this battle, your body is really taking a beating," she says. "All of this to achieve what society often portrays as beautiful."

"But you don't have to be skinny to be beautiful," she says. "To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."

Click here to watch Julia's presentation.
PSEG to Award $250,000 in Grants to Further STEM Education in NJ - apply by 8/14!
Click here to learn more and apply

The PSEG Foundation is accepting applications from afterschool, summer and youth development programs to develop new or enhance existing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational opportunities for students.  A total of up to $250,000 in grants will be awarded by the Foundation through its PSEG Science SPARK Partners funding program.


The PSEG Foundation will consider applications from our New Jersey service territory, as well as Salem and Cumberland counties, and our service/operation territories in Long Island and Albany, NY, and Bridgeport and New Haven, CT.


The number of recipients and their award amount will be decided based on the strength of the proposals received, at the discretion of Foundation staff.  Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, August 14 at 5 p.m. EST.  All applicants will receive notification about funding decisions in late September.


Applicants may apply directly through PSEG's online application under the PSEG Science SPARK Partners link. Visit to apply.


About the PSEG Foundation
The PSEG Foundation (501c3) is the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).  The Foundation generally supports and invests in programs in three areas: community and the environment, education and safety. The Foundation provides grants to organizations in communities served by PSEG and its subsidiaries.

Click here to learn more and apply by 8/14!
Fostering a Growth Mindset Is Key to Teaching STEM & STEM Education

Written by David Miller

Sure, STEM can be hard, but telling kids "not everyone can do it" may make both boys and girls less inclined to try.

We're used to reassuring our kids: "It's OK - not everyone can do difficult math."

But believing such messages may deter both boys and girls from choosing to pursue degrees in physical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to a new national, longitudinal study published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Instead, the key to piquing their interest in STEM may be telling them it's OK if they find the subjects hard to master. "Students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal," argued Lara Perez-Felkner, a coauthor of the study and assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State University.

The study used data from 4,450 students in the United States who later entered college to probe why some students shun math-intensive fields. The researchers' reasoning: If a student thinks math is too difficult, they become reluctant to try it.

"Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends," said Samantha Nix, lead author and doctoral student at Florida State University. "But fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.'"

High school students who believed they could master the toughest math concepts were more likely to major in math-intensive fields at the college level. Similar results were found for students who believed "most people can learn to be good at math" - something psychologists call a "growth mindset."

Beliefs still mattered even after statistically correcting for some other factors such as demographics and science coursework. However, these controls were somewhat limited. Math grades were omitted, for instance.

Performance on a difficult math test was used as a control. But students had "almost no probability" of correctly answering the test's problems. This fact limits how well the test can measure individual differences in math performance, since everyone was bound to bomb it.

Nevertheless, the encouraging results echo experiments in actual classrooms that better control for prior mathematics background.

Gender gaps in beliefs were modest. In 12th grade, boys rated their math abilities higher than girls did by 0.2 points on a 4-point scale, for instance. 

Despite the mostly gender-neutral findings, popular press ran with a story about girls lacking math confidence. "Misperception discourages girls from studying math-intensive science," proclaimed the study's press release. "Why do girls doubt their maths ability in the first place?" asked another outlet.

Some gender gaps in STEM are large. Men outnumber women 3-to-1 among college graduates in math-intensive STEM majors. But accounting for gaps in confidence did not explain the much larger gaps in majors, the study found.

Advancing inaccurate clichés like "women don't pursue science because of lack of confidence" does little to address the low numbers of women in STEM.

Nevertheless, related studies suggest beliefs concerning hard work may still affect boys and girls differently in some contexts. Messages about how the mind grows with hard work especially improved middle school girls' performance on a high-stakes math test, according to a prior experiment.

Professors prizing innate "genius" may also discourage women more than men, warned Andrei Cimpian, associate professor of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Women's personal growth mindsets - although undoubtedly beneficial - may not be sufficient to buffer them against an environment that cherishes innate talent," he says.

Across 30 academic fields, philosophy and math professors were the most likely to say that success in their fields depends on innate talent, according to a recent study Cimpian helped lead. Fewer women were found in fields that idolized "brilliance" over hard work. This remained true even after statistically correcting for other factors such as the math performance of graduate school applicants.

"It is crucial to look not just at what's in people's heads but also at the ability beliefs that are 'in the air,'" Cimpian concluded. Teachers who believe that math intelligence is fixed can both comfort and demotivate students with messages such as "It's OK- not everyone can be good at math."

Encouraging students to work their way through difficult math problems may actually help them change their mindset - and improve their outcomes. Struggling students' grades improve when they hear that intelligence can grow with hard work, according to a new study on "mindset interventions" involving 1,594 students in 13 high schools in the United States. Students spent roughly 45 minutes reading and then doing two writing exercises related to an article about the brain's ability to grow.

Improvement in grades was roughly one-tenth of a letter grade - a modest, but still impressive, improvement considering the intervention lasted less than an hour.

My research has looked at how opportunities such as sketching engineering designs shape basic spatial skills such as mentally rotating objects. These skills are important to success in math-intensive careers, yet often neglected in education.

"Oh, but you can't teach those skills," teachers often say when I've discussed my research with them. Contrary to such beliefs, I found that 12 hours of spatial instruction improved students' spatial skills and grades in a challenging calculus-based physics course. In fact, a quantitative review of 217 related studies found training spatial skills was "effective, durable, and transferable."

Teachers who continue to believe that "your basic intelligence can't change" - despite evidence to the contrary - may rob students of opportunities to learn and grow. Computer science and math instructors who endorse such beliefs, for instance, report being more likely to advise struggling undergraduates to drop their classes.

We need to abandon dangerous ideas that some people just can't do math. Neuroscience and educational research flatly contradict such beliefs. As the new study suggests, valuing hard work over innate "genius" might even spur students to tackle new challenges.

Click here to read more.
Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings
Click here to read more

The NRC's Board on Science Education recently released a report to help education leaders, policy makers, and funders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community. The report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings and illustrates how interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. It provides guidance on evaluating and sustaining programs.

Click here to download a free PDF of the report, read the report online, or order print copies.
 Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool!
Click here to get started

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM. Please note that programs that do not currently offer STEM are encouraged to complete the survey as well. We'd like to hear from all of you!

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!
Join The Connectory
Click here to begin

Use The Connectory to collaborate with STEM programs and promote your upcoming STEM opportunities to families. Programs are organizations providing STEM opportunities. Opportunities are time-bound STEM events such as summer camps, one-day events, workshops, career fairs, and competitions, and are automatically promoted to visitors based on their location.

Add your opportunities now so they will be available to the families across the country accessing The Connectory!
  • Join: Make an account profile
  • Create: Add your organization/program
  • Approval: Your program listing will be approved so it can be searched for by program providers
  • Add: Add all your STEM opportunities
  • Approval: Your time-bound opportunities will be approved so they can be searched for by families
  • Discover: Search for other programs providers to connect with
  • Opportunities are visible publicly to families. Programs are visible to other STEM providers.
The National Girls Collaborative Project Program Directory is now The Connectory.

SEATTLE (AP) - The Girl Scouts of Western Washington said it has returned a $100,000 donation because it came with the provision that the money couldn't be used to support transgender girls.

The group said it sent back the money in late May after the donor had asked that the gift be returned unless the group guaranteed it would not be used to benefit transgender girls.

"Girl Scouts is for every girl, and that is every girl regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion. Every girl is every girl," Megan Ferland, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said in an interview Tuesday. "It was a sad decision, but it was not a difficult decision. There was no way I would be put in a situation of refusing a girl participating because of a gift. It was really that quick."

The local council has transgender girls participating in the Girl Scouts, said Kate Dabe, the council's vice president of marketing and communications. To preserve their privacy, Dabe declined to say how many or provide other details about them.

But $100,000 is a lot of money, the group noted, representing about one-quarter of what it raises each year to provide financial help for girls to go to camp and participate in other activities.

So leaders of the local nonprofit, one of 112 independent local councils across the country and that serves more than 25,000 girls in western Washington, talked about how to they could communicate their needs to the community.

On Monday, the group set up a crowdfunding campaign asking for help to fill the gap. "Help us raise back the $100,000 a donor asked us to return because we welcome transgender girls," it said on its fundraising page on

By Tuesday afternoon, thousands had given more than $185,000.

"We are astounded," Dabe said. "We were prepared for a 30-day campaign. We raised our goal in a day."

Dabe declined to share details about the donor, citing privacy concerns.

Ferland said the donor gave the money a few months back. But in the midst of a national discussion about the Girl Scouts USA being an inclusive organization and discussions about Bruce Jenner's transgender journey, the donor wrote back with the catch, Ferland said.

In an emailed statement Tuesday, Girl Scouts USA said that the group, "as a movement, has always been committed to inclusivity and supporting all girls." It said it works with local councils, which are responsible for their own fundraising. "Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority," the group added.

In Washington state, the local council has heard from both sides on the issue, but the overwhelming majority of comments have been positive, Ferland said.

"I understand that people have different views. We stand by the fact that Girl Scouts is for every girl. We knew going in that not everyone would share that view," Ferland said.

But plenty of supporters, including current and former Girl Scouts, praised the move on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to read more.
Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality: Women Fueling Science & Technology
Click here to learn more

Global Fund for Women created IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology in order to dig more deeply into an issue that we know affects women and girls around the world. IGNITE has highlighted unheard stories about women and girls in technology, shown the impact of equal access to technology for women and girls, and made the case for using technology as a tool to build a more equal world.

Here are five lessons we've learned about how technology can build gender equality.
  1. Get women and girls involved in the global technology revolution. Technology is a women's human rights issue. Read this call to action from our CEO Musimbi Kanyoro, and then join us as we imagine a future where women are given equal access to - and control of - technology.
  2. Change the story - celebrate women in leadership. Women are already leading the way when it comes to scientific and technological progress-you can meet dozens of them, past and present, in our #BetheSpark Gallery
  3. Get girls started early.  In our International Girls Hackathon #HackGirlsRights, we met girls who use their skills and imaginations to create technology solutions to issues that matter most to them. These girls know tech and aren't afraid to use it to build a better future.
  4. Get everyone involved. Throughout IGNITE, we partnered with incredible organizations around the globe, including UN Women on our #BetheSpark petition to end the gender technology gap.  With signatures from 182 countries around the world, we met--and exceeded--our goal of 20,000 people supporting greater access to and control over technology for the world's women and delivered this message to the leaders at the UN.  
  5. Find and support Changemakers.  The good news is, there are so many women and organizations already using technology as a tool to reach gender equality. We've highlighted the work of incredible organizations around the world who are creating change on the ground, from the Argentinian group ACCT that is tracking disappeared women and girls who fall victim to human trafficking, and Liga-Inan in Timor-Leste that uses SMS-text messaging to improve maternal and child health in rural communities.
We asked you to imagine a future where women and girls have equal access to and control over technology. Right now, we believe that that future is closer than ever before. The stories and experiences included in IGNITE have catalyzed Global Fund for Women to redouble our own commitment to increasing women and girls' access to and control of technology. We have created a Technology Fund, aimed to help women around the world use technology as a tool to build power and drive action, increase women's access to and control of technology, and help grassroots organizations use technology to advance women's and girls' human rights. We hope you will join us in making sure technology access is not a privilege of a few, but a right held by all.
 Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects

Written by Kristin Magaldi

As the rate of women enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects is still fairly low relative to their male counterparts, researchers are wondering what it is about the realm of math and science that is keeping women away. They know it is not that women are incapable; in fact, women have proved themselves capable time and time again, especially in the UK, where women taking two-year vocational courses in science and mathematics are outpacing their fellow male students. Yet today, women only hold 27 percent of all computer science jobs, while only 20 percent of women graduate with a related computer science degree. Researchers from Florida State University who have sought to study just that, believe it all boils down to a matter of perceptions.

According to their new study published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology, there is a pervasive misconception that starts when American girls are in high school, and prevents them from continuing on to physics, engineering, mathematics, or computer science (PEMC) careers later on. This belief comes from the misunderstanding that "difficult" mathematics is something you either can or cannot do, and that there is no room to learn. Researchers hope that now that they have isolated this way of thinking, they can change it with more positive enforcement for girls coming from school, home, and government policy.

"Our results indicate the potential for more women to move into PEMC if they perceive their mathematics ability as strong, and open to growth," said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State in a recent press release.

Perez-Felkner worked with doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas to see how perceptions of gender potentially affect perceptions of ability, which may ultimately skew college major choices. Compiling records from the Educational Longitudinal Study of the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, researchers were able to analyze 4,450 students from 750 high schools across the United States between the years 2002 to 2012.

The results revealed what researchers had previously believed: it is all a matter of mindset. Self-perceived mathematics ability highly dictated whether or not women pursued math in the future. Researchers found that high school boys tended to overrate their mathematical abilities, while girls tended to underrate them; however, 12th grade girls who told researchers they could successfully complete the most challenging mathematical problems were 3.3 times more likely to choose a PEMC major for college. This proved to be the case across the board, regardless of science courses taken, ethnicity, college entrance exam scores, or college selection.

Researchers found that the "growth mindset," or believing that mathematical ability can be fostered through learning, added to the amount of girls entering into PEMC subjects. Girls who displayed the "growth mindset" were 2.3 times more likely to pursue a PEMC major than those who reported the opposite belief.

Overall, researchers discovered that girls were 3.7 times less likely to pursue a PEMC major than boys, but were 3.8 times more likely to pursue a major in health science than the boys. When both girls and boys completed both high school courses physics 1 and chemistry 1, they were 1.9 times more likely to major in a PEMC subject than the entire body of their peers. This increased to 2.5 times more likely for both boys and girls if they also completed physics 2 and chemistry 2.

"By focusing on students' perceived ability under challenge, we are getting closer to the 'real' world context, where mathematics anxiety may operate," said doctoral student Samantha Nix. "Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends, but fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as 'difficult.' Here we show that this belief can influence the decision to specialize in mathematics-intensive fields, for both women and men."

The key to changing the gender gap, researchers believe, is to shift widespread perceptions over to the "growth mindset." If this is done, the chances that women will enter a mathematical field will increase, and women's underrepresentation in PEMC fields, as reported by the OECD and the U.S. National Science Foundation, will be a thing of the past. As of right now, researchers note, this gender gap is not advantageous to anyone; by sequestering women to other fields, both science and society lose out on potential innovation, while women also miss out on higher-than-average income jobs. Research also shows that women who learn to code often feel empowered by their jobs, and that is something that can benefit everyone.

"It is important for the U.S. and other nations to continue to invest in interventions to end gender segregation in PEMC science," Perez-Felkner said. "For instance, students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal, and does not say anything about ability to become a successful scientist. In addition, instructors may want to ask themselves if they are giving the same feedback to young women and men who deal successfully with a difficult mathematics problem in class."

With this shift in attitude, we can expect to welcome a lot more women into the world of science and mathematics than ever before. Needless to say, if this change would have been made when I was in high school, I might have reconsidered the path I decided to take.

Sources: Nix S, Perez-Felkner L, Thomas K. Perceived mathematical ability under challenge: a longitudinal perspective on sex segregation among STEM degree fields. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015.

Click here to read more.
Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative 

Science Update: Catbird Secrets Revealed             (Posted: 7-23-15)

Click HERE.

GreenSchools! July Update             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Project Learning Tree

GreenSchools! Update
PLT's GreenSchools! program inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home, and in their community

As you relax and hopefully enjoy the great outdoors this summer, here are some ideas to engage families in learning about nature together and ways to be more green. 

Green Tips of the MonthGreen Tips

  • Lose the Plastics – An easy thing that you can do to go green is to use biodegradable plates, cups, and cutlery. The price is comparable and the overall impact is significant. 
  • Switch on the Solar Lights – A great way to add ambiance without increasing your electricity bill is solar lights. Simply set them out in the sun for a day and when dusk falls you will have the perfect setting.
  • Use Green Cleaners & Avoid Pesticides – Household cleaners, bug killers, and air fresheners can irritate the lungs, especially for those with asthma. Investigate less toxic alternatives.
  • Reduce Charcoal or Wood Grilling – Use gas, propane, or electric grills, which burn more efficiently and cleaner than charcoal or wood.
James Riley McGirt
Manager of Education Programs
Project Learning Tree
Engaging Parents in Children's Learning Engaging Parents in Children's Learning

Involving parents in their child’s education can help foster a lifetime of learning in students. PLT activities are great for parents and their children to do together because they arefun and hands-on, and involve team work. Here are 3 ideas to try at school next year.

Family Nature Activities PLT's Family Activity Pages

School's out and summer weather means it's time to get out and play — as a family. If you're looking for outdoor activities for kids, we've got you covered. Suitable for children ages 3 to 15, PLT has expanded its collection of easy-to-do activities for families.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree
2000 M St NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20036

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eNews: Help Us Test a New All About Birds Website             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

Earth Science Summertime compilation             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Below are a number of resources you may be interested in for yourself or your colleagues.


Rock donation:

From John Delaney - 15 boxes of rocks for someone who is interested. Four boxes of igneous, three sedimentary, couple metamorphic, couple fossils, one weathering, one ores,.......

The rocks are currently in Rm 408 Hopewell Valley HS.  If you are interested, contact Karen Lucci at


ES Week Toolkits:

Once again, NJGWS has secured approximately 50 Earth Science Week Toolkits for FREE distribution to earth science teachers across the State.  Priority are the public schools, but they are not exclusive.  They are available from us on a first come, first served basis? 


Email requests for toolkits should be sent to Kathleen Vandegrift and include the teacher's name, school name and address.


Earth Science Week (ESW) is the second full week in October.  This year's theme is ""Visualizing Earth Systems".  Check out the ESW website at for events and details.


Websites of the Week:

Mark has again compiled all of those wonderful websites of the week for us.  The Word doc can be found here:


NGSS Summer Institute: Creating NGSS Lessons and Units:

Over the past year, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Office of Secondary Education has facilitated regional consortia of science educators, from across the state, to work on translating the Model Science Curriculum [frameworks] into local curriculum for grades 6 through 12.  The educators focused on developing Units of Study which included pacing guides, Student Learning Objectives (SLO), foundations of the SLOs, connections to English language arts and mathematics, benchmark assessments, lists of core instructional materials, and modifications for special populations.

The next step is to translate this work into classroom instruction. North Plainfield School District and the Office of Secondary Education at the NJDOE have partnered to host the NGSS Institute: Creating NGSS Lessons and Units. The institute will kick-off at the Harrison School (12 Harrison Avenue, North Plainfield, NJ 07060) on August 11 and 12, 2015. Follow-up sessions will be held on November 13, 2015, February 12, 2016 and May 27, 2016. Educators will be encouraged to "think locally" and determine how they will support their students in meeting the Student Learning Objectives in collaborative and creative ways.  They will then test the lessons and meet to offer suggestions for future implementation.

Participants must have a strong understanding of the Frameworks for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards. Questions about the Institute and follow-up sessions should be directed to:

 If you are interested in participating, please register here:  

Required Resources:

Participants will need print or digital copies of the following documents in order to fully participate in the workshop. Wi-Fi is NOT available at the training site so it is essential that you bring the resources with you.

¨  A Framework for K-12 Science Education:  Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. National Research Council. (2012).Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved:

¨  Next Generation Science Standards. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Retrieved:

¨  NGSS Appendix E: Disciplinary Core Ideas. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:

¨  NGSS Appendix F: Science and Engineering Practices. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:

¨  NGSS Appendix G: Crosscutting Concepts.  Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:

¨  NGSS Appendix L: Connections to the CCSS- Mathematics. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved: 

¨  NGSS Appendix M: Connections to the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects. Lead States. (2013). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:

¨  EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units: Science:  Lead States. (2015). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved:

o   Download both forms of the rubric: (Fillable PDF) and (Word) 


Other Summer Workshops:

Looking for a summer workshop?  Try Duke Farms’ offerings:

CWF - July 2015: Be Terrapin Aware!             (Posted: 7-16-15)

July 2015
An e-newsletter to connect you to New Jersey's incredible wildlife.

Be Terrapin Aware!
You can help at-risk diamondback terrapins with some steps during the 2015 nesting season! Driving more cautiously on coastal roads through mid-July is a simple way to help terrapins. Nesting peaks during the full and new moon cycles and they're more active during the high tide (less distance to travel on land to nest sites).  
Learn more.
2015 Delaware Bay Shorebird Project Comes to a Close
red knots feeding
According to Dr. Larry Niles, "all our efforts to help shorebirds on Delaware Bay this year couldn't have been better rewarded - nearly every red knot left the bay in good condition and in one of the earliest departures in the 19 years of the Project." 

Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest Gets Interactive
The talented winners of our 2015 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest are showcased in a new Story Map! Viewers can see the winners' schools, their gorgeous artwork, and their inspiring essays. 

Check out our blog post for more information and to engage with our new Story Map.

Researching Beach Nesting Birds at Forsythe NWR
Plover Chick- Horiz crop
Did you know barrier island beach makes up approximately 2% of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge? This area is the most productive for beach nesting birds.

Learn how CWF is partnering with Forsythe to collect data on these birds!

Nesting Ospreys Fared Well from June 23 Storm on Barnegat Bay
Osprey Chicks
At this time of year almost all osprey nests have young. They range in age from only hatchlings to 4 week old nestlings. 

Some can be easily blown from shallow or weakly built nests and can be easily blown from the top of nesting platforms. 

Read more about our June 23 osprey survey to learn how these imperiled birds fared during the dangerous early-summer storm. 

ICYMI: NJ's favorite beaches             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

E-NEWS: Grants, CEP rebates, Monmouth Hub, Mayor Ondish spotlight and more . .             (Posted: 7-16-15)

Click HERE.

Great Places: Beautiful Beach Preserves You Can Visit             (Posted: 7-13-15)

Click HERE.

Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for July             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Survey: Help Grow Urban Green Spaces             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Assist with Connecting Children to Nature

You're invited to participate in a nationwide survey to help understand and improve urban green spaces.

Our friends from Children & Nature Network (C&NN) and National League of Cities (NLC) are partnering on a new three-year initiative, Cities Promoting Access to Nature. Their goal is to ensure that all children have the opportunity to play, learn and grow in outdoor green spaces.

As a key element of the initiative, the partners--along with Yale University Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)--are conducting a nationwide assessment. This survey will help provide information on the range of strategies, policies and programs that cities nationwide have to promote access to nature. 

Please consider sharing what your city does to engage youth in the outdoors. Click to begin the surveyThis will be open until noon on Friday, July 10. 

This survey constitutes the first phase of a multi-year strategy to stimulate and support city leadership in this area. As a follow-up to the survey and subsequent steps in the initiative, cities will receive an invitation this summer to apply to participate in one of two upcoming leadership academies. The leadership academies will provide opportunities to learn about best practices and innovations to connect children to nature, meet experts in the field and receive technical assistance to develop plans for their city. 

If you have any questions about the survey or the initiative, please contact Paxton Barnes.

Thank you for your efforts to support Cites Promoting Access to Nature.  

NEEF is the nation's leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.

To accomplish this, NEEF provides knowledge to trusted professionals and other leaders who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve every day environmental problems. NEEF sees a future where by 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the well-being of the earth and its people.


Learn more at

Cloud Institute: What is Education for Sustainability? Plus Summer and Fall Programs             (Posted: 7-7-15)

What is Education for Sustainability?

Education for Sustainability (EfS) as a transformative learning process that equips students, teachers, and school systems with the new knowledge and ways of thinking we need to achieve economic prosperity and responsible citizenship while restoring the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend. EfS has multiple, positive effects on student achievement, school culture, community vitality, and ecological integrity. Read a brief history of Education for Sustainability.


The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education prepares K-12 school systems and their communities to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.


NEW! Blog Post - Is this Education for Sustainability? - Jaimie P. Cloud
The questions I ask faculty and administrators to consider when I am invited to a school to audit their sustainability education program are:


1. Have you chosen a set of EfS benchmarks for the faculty to design, teach and assess with?  

2. Do you document and map the curriculum?  If so, is it a living document that is continually improved and innovated over time?

3. Does the faculty use the benchmarks to assess for evidence of EfS?

4. Do they explicitly communicate quality EfS performance criteria to their students?

5. Do you have student work as evidence of the enduring understandings, knowledge, skills and attitudes of EfS?


If the answer is “no” to all the above, then my next question is,

6. Is there a shared understanding within the school community of what Education for sustainability is?

If the answer is “no”, then my next question is,

7. What can I see?  Where can I look for evidence of EfS in the Curriculum?  I learned a long time ago that even if the answers to all my questions are “no”, it doesn’t mean people are not educating for sustainability.  It simply means we have to ask the next question, which is “how can we know?”

The way The Lovett School in Atlanta Georgia addressed my last question was to provide me with an extensive list of Stage 3 (UbD) curricular activities that the K-12 faculty was asked to prepare so that I could help them determine to what extent they were, indeed, educating for sustainability. read more


Related Blog Posts

- Useful Steps to Embedding EfS Standards into your Core Curriculum using Backwards Design (UbD)

- How our Teaching Changes our Thinking, and How our Thinking Changes the World
- Educating for Sustainability with the Brain in Mind


Professional Development Opportunities

Cloud Institute Summer Design Institute | New York, NY - July 26th - July 31st

Summer Design Studio Ideal for curricula and community program designers, SDS offers structured time, space, coaching and peer reviews to develop units and protocols that educate for sustainability. Participants gain access to expertise, resources and tools required to develop curricula, protocols or action plans designed to implement EfS change initiatives in schools and communities. The Intro to EfS Workshop is included in the cost of the Summer Design Studio.



Sustainable Jersey for Schools - Earn Points with The Cloud Institute
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education is a Task Force Member, Advisor and Service Provider to Sustainable Jersey for Schools, and we can assist you. We have selected the actions required that best suit our expertise and we stand ready to serve the NJ schools and districts seeking certification. We can help you earn up to 205 points towards your certification and more importantly, we will help prepare your administrators and teachers to educate for a sustainable future by inspiring educators and engaging students through meaningful content and learner-centered instruction.

The actions that we can assist with include: Student Learning, Learning Environment, Leadership & Planning and Innovation Projects. The full list of actions are available here. If we can be of service in any one of these four areas, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with Jaimie Cloud to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Learn more about the Cloud Institute's program for Sustainable Jersey Registered Schools and Districts:

Stay connected - meet us online!


Sustainable Jersey July Sustainability Hero Announced             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Raritan Headwaters Association July News - Yay, Summer's Here!             (Posted: 7-7-15)

The Numbers Are In! 


Over 1,000 volunteers helped RHA Staff and Trustees remove 9.6 tons of litter from 40 sites in 29 towns across Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris Counties during our 25th Annual Stream
Cleanup event this spring. Our volunteers are amazing!


Raritan Headwaters Association is on a mission to protect clean water in the north and south branch of the Raritan River. Join Us!
   VISIT US ONLINE          |         JOIN          |      DONATE


It's Stream Monitoring Season


This year, volunteers and staff are monitoring 63 sites along the north and south branches of the Raritan River and their tributaries. We added six new sites this year, which supports our goal to include at least one stream monitoring site in each of our 52 subwatersheds.


Learn more, and check out our Facebook photo album to see what our "citizen scientists" are finding.

Watershed Watchdog Update

In recent months, Bill Kibler, RHA's Director of

Policy, has testified before the State Senate Legislative Oversight Committee regarding NJ's lack of a current Water Supply Master Plan; the Highlands Council presenting our stream monitoring results for the poor health of the headwaters around the Fenimore Dump in Roxbury Twp; and the State Senate Environmental Committee on the disastrous "budget gimmick" known as the "Exxon Deal," ...just to name a few.

These issues and more are on RHA's watch list -- stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for more updates!


Water and Wildlife Speaker Series: The Silent Majority--Moths of NJ

Blaine Rothauser, owner of BR Environmental LLC, will come to Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve on July 16 at 7pm to share his incredible knowledge about NJ's moths, our "nighttime jewels." 


Register today! 

Take a Hike!
RHA has unveiled a self-guided Nature Poetry Walk along our Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve's White Trail, which can be enjoyed throughout the summer free of charge. Inspirational poems are located along the trail for hikers to enjoy along with the beautiful landscape.



RHA is proud to welcome Danielle Wolfrum

to our staff as Development Associate. Prior to joining RHA, Danielle held development positions at several local non-profits, including The Morris Museum and The Center for Contemporary Art. She enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, kayaking, and gardening.


Water Wisely...
Using water wisely saves money on your utility bill, nurtures green spaces that deliver real environmental benefits and protects your community's water supply for generations to come.



All Summer - Self-Guided Nature Poetry Walk, White Trail at Fairview Farm


July 6 - August 7 - RHA Nature Day Camps


July 16 - Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: The Silent Majority--Moths of NJ, with Blaine Rothauser at Fairview Farm


August - rARiTan Art Month at Fairview Farm: Plen Aire Workshop with Andrea Gianchiglia (8/8), Caitlin Albright (8/15), Lena Shiffman (8/22)


August 22 - Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: Edible Weeds Hike at Fairview Farm with Rachel Mackow from Wild Ridge Plants


October 4 - Old Fashioned Country Fair at Fairview Farm

GrayLike us on Facebook    

July Littoral News             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

Water Pages eNewsletter             (Posted: 7-7-15)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: Community partnerships, pollinator awareness and climate education.             (Posted: 6-25-15)

Click HERE.

New Jersey Farm to School Network News: Summer 2015             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Soil Health Resources for Districts and Partners             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Science Update: Big News for Bats             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

Identify Your Bird with Computer Vision--Try It Out!             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

National Wildlife Federation's NJ Eco-Schools Action Newsletter             (Posted: 6-24-15)

June Newsletter


A partnership between National Wildlife Federation and New Jersey Audubon


2015 Year End Summary and Upcoming Opportunities - May 2015

School-communities have an unprecedented amount of organizational, curricular and economic support from multiple organizations and agencies to help implement student-led sustainability initiatives. New Jersey’s Eco-Schools USA program provides resources, professional development and direct support for teachers and school teams to support student learning and take appropriate sustainability actions.  Join the growing network of 165 Eco-Schools in New Jersey and over 50,000 Eco-Schools worldwide.  APPLY FOR AN AWARD and get your school recognized for your efforts.  Share your story and your data with others.  


  • Milltown Public Schools initiated a “Green Professional Learning Community” that consisted of a multi-disciplinary team of teachers, grades Pre-K to 8, to address the Waste and Consumption Pathway and earned an Eco-Schools USA Bronze Award. This initiative was supported by Milltown’s Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Brown. The initial training was attended by 26 stakeholders including the business administrator, local watershed employees, grounds and maintenance staff, and more. “Working to raise student awareness in [reducing] waste and consumption has been a key factor in fostering a growing culture of environmental responsibility at our schools.” Dr.Stephanie Brown.
  • The Statewide Professional Learning Community webinars sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation brought together over 100 registrants to learn about a variety of school sustainability projects and give feedback to 6 school team leaders as they shared information on how they created favorable conditions for effective sustainability initiatives and how the process impacted their students.  Click here for the webinar recordings on Sustainable Foods and Energy. Each webinar was crafted to highlight school actions and ways to integrated arts education and creative thinking to support and celebrate student learning. Susan Haig from NJ ARTS News shared how to use succinct “storytelling” as an art form and how short news videos can be effective tools to raise understanding of sustainability actions in the school and community. Kari and Drew Lloyd from OASIS (Organizing Action Sustainability in Schools) in Mercer County worked to include all students in the “buzz” around making solar cars.  While some students designed the cars, others designed infomercials to elicit support and excitement about the project.
  • Eleven New Jersey schools participated in a yearlong sister-school program with 11 schools in Taiwan.  22 school teams shared their project-based learning initiatives around common environmental issues with local solutions. “Participating with a sister school in Taiwan has added so much to the learning experience for my students. It has opened their eyes to the idea that the world is a small place...The experience highlighted the interconnectedness we all share with the Earth...Seeing the the smiling faces of the [Taiwanese] students and their sense of wonder come across the Skype screen was truly priceless. What a fantastic experience!” Erika Parke, Elementary teacher, Mendham.
  • A strength of the New Jersey Eco-Schools USA program is the on-the-ground support that school teams receive through professional development. Over 1,100 people attended workshops, seminars and other professional development to take participants through a process that helps them design coordinated place-based learning opportunities for their students. Here is what one teacher had to say: “Our time with [New Jersey Audubon and the Eco-Schools team]  has been helpful because it’s opening up a different way to teach about sustainability and energy use.”- 4th grade teacher, Trenton.


Not registered?  It’s easy and free.  Click
here to find out more.

  • Registered Eco-Schools can apply for a $500 mini-grant to implement project-based learning using the Eco-Schools framework in one of the 10 Eco-Schools Pathways (Biodiversity, Climate Change, Consumption & Waste, Energy, Healthy Living, Healthy Schools, School Grounds, Sustainable Food, Transportation, Water).  Fill out this interest form to learn more. 
  • Give your students the opportunity to present their Eco-Schools sustainability project to an audience of their peers and professionals.  The New Jersey Eco-Schools Student Exchange in May 2016 will provide a venue for sharing and learning. Fill out this interest form to learn more.
  • Learn how to receive free, in-house professional development for your school’s green learning team to initiate organized project-based learning around a vision for local sustainability using the Eco-Schools pathways and framework. Fill out this interest form to learn more. 
  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Department of Health through its Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant is providing $120,000 to support a cycle of the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program for health and wellness initiatives in schools serving students grades 6 through 12.  For this cycle, thirty $4,000 grants will be awarded. Application Deadline: Friday, June 26, 2015, at Midnight.

Jennifer Dowd, Ed.S.
Eco-Schools USA – New Jersey Coordinator
New Jersey Audubon
Plainsboro Preserve
80 Scotts Corner Road - PO Box 446
Cranbury, NJ 08512
NJ Audubon's Facebook

**Making New Jersey a better place for people and wildlife since 1897.
Facebook For more information about New Jersey Audubon activities, visit us on our web siteon Facebook, or on Twitter, 
New Jersey Audubon Society 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ  07924

Map Them and Zap Them!             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Click HERE.

2015 Sleepaway Camps at PEEC             (Posted: 6-24-15)

Pocono Environmental Education Center | 538 | Emery Road - Lehman Township | Dingmans Ferry | PA | 18301

NWF wants you and your students to take the #Campout2015 pledge!             (Posted: 6-4-15)

Click HERE.

The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Success Saving Bats             (Posted: 6-4-15)

Click HERE.

June Littoral News             (Posted: 6-1-15)

June Littoral News
- JUNE 13

- Barnegat Bay Festival
- World Ocean Month

Workshops, Lectures, Meetings
- Pirate Hunters
Calling All Volunteers
Summer Camps

Field Trips
Name that Bird!
What bird is this??
Submit your answer to us at All correct submissions will be entered for a chance to win a Littoral Society t-shirt. 
Stay tuned for next month's 
Name That Bird
Congratulations to last month's winner Garry Annibal, who answered Semipalmated Plover!
Horseshoe Crab Walk

June 2
Parking Lot B
Sandy Hook
Free, registration required

Get up close and personal with a living fossil. Take an evening walk at Plum Island on Sandy Hook to look for spawning horseshoe crabs. Learn about an animal that has survived virtually unchanged for 450 million years. Wear foot gear that can get wet. 
Registration is required, call (732) 291-0055 to reserve. 
Montauk Spring Weekend

June 5-7
Montauk Manor House

Spend an extended weekend at the luxurious Manor. Hike the "Walking Dunes", Lighthouse Beach, Montauk Bluffs, and Shadmoor State Park.

Includes 2 nights lodging (double occupancy), 5 meals, 5 guided hikes, 2 evening programs and a star watch.

View the full itinerary and purchase tickets Click Here. For more information call (718) 474-0896 or

Summer Solstice Walk on Fathers' Day
Sunday, June 21
Building 18
Sandy Hook
6 pm
Free, registration required
Join us on the longest day of the year. Meet us for a stroll on the Hook to look for different flora and fauna. You can also bring a picnic dinner and sit on our porch before the walk. 
To register, email or call (732) 291-0055.
Canoeing in the
Pine Barrens
Friday, June 26
3107 County Road 563
Chatsworth, NJ 08019
9:30 am
$50 member registration
$60 non-member registration required,
Space is limited

Join our staff naturalists for a canoe trip down the tea colored waters of the Wading River where we will explore the world-renowned Pine Barrens. Discover the biodiversity of the Pine Barrens as your guides point out the native flora and fauna that can only be found in this unique habitat. Pack a lunch and bring extra clothes in a dry bag in case your canoe flips over (which is unlikely). Canoes, kayaks, and life vests provided. Great for ages 5 and up.
to register or call
(732) 291-0055
to make your reservation.
Fluke Tagging Trip
Saturday, July 25
Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina
Mi-Jo II Boat
2 Simon Lake Drive
Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
$75 per person
Bring your friends and family and come sail with us off the coast of New Jersey. Join Jeff Dement, Fish Tagging Director for the American Littoral Society, for a fun and educational day of fishing. Become a citizen scientist by helping us tag fish safely and responsibly. 
Now in it's 50th Year, the American Littoral Society fish tagging program is the world's largest all-volunteer program. The data collected is sent annually to the National Marine Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, MA, where it helps inform fisheries scientists about the health and status of coastal fish species. 
Ticket price includes hot coffee, boat, bait, tackle, fish tags and fresh fish for your fridge. Feel free to bring your own bait and tackle. Space is limited. For additional questions, contact or call (732) 291-0055

CLICK HERE to RESERVE your spot today!
Saturday, June 13
noon - 4 pm
Building 18
Sandy Hook
Free for members, $20 per non-member guest

Please join the American Littoral Society for a day of celebration and to thank YOU, our members.

Activities include guided walks along the bay, beach, and marsh, a BBQ and an election of Trustees.

Three Walks departing at 12:15 p.m., include Birding, Seining, and Tree/Plant discovery

Things to keep in mind...

* Event is rain or shine so dress for the weather and comfort
* Bring chairs or blankets for a picnic style lunch
* Upon arrival, check-in and sign up for your walk of choice
* To avoid parking fee, notify rangers at the entrance booth that you are coming to the American Littoral Society
* Public transportation from NYC to Sandy Hook is available by Sea Streak Ferry. Visit to see the schedule.
We encourage our members to bring non-member guests to introduce them to the work of the American
Littoral Society!

Please email Megan at or call (732) 291-0055 to make your reservation by June 10
Best-Selling Author Robert Kurson in Conversation with Tim Dillingham
Wednesday, June 17
Nauvoo Grill
121 Fair Haven Road
Fair Haven, NJ
The American Littoral Society will partner with River Road Books in Fair Haven to host 
New York Times bestselling author Robert Kurson, writer of the popular Shadow Divers, as he unveils his newest book 
Pirate Hunters; Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. Mr. Kurson will participate in a conversation with the American Littoral Society Executive Director, Tim Dillingham, to discuss the book. This will be Mr. Kurson's only appearance in New Jersey for his book tour. Tickets are the cost of the hardcover book, $30. Reservations should be made by calling (732) 747-9455.
Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet 
President Obama has declared JUNE as National Ocean Month. Learn more about how the American Littoral Society's work ties to ocean health by visiting
Barnegat Bay Festival
Sunday, June 7
Wanamaker Complex
Island Heights, NJ
10 am - 4 pm (rain or shine)

Stop by the Littoral Society table to say "hi" at the Barnegat Bay Festival, the Barnegat Bay Partnership's signature event. This free day of family fun educates visitors about Barnegat Bay, celebrates its resources, and encourages visitors to engage in interactive programs that stress the importance of the ecosystem. 

For more information, click here.
Hopewell Township

Friday, June 5

Barrett's Run Grassland

Hopewell Township, NJ

10 am



Volunteers are needed to plant 2,000 plugs in an effort to create a native plant pollinator garden in our 7.5 acre grassland/outdoor classroom in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County. The plants will provide enhanced habitat for all manners of critters using the grassland, but more importantly it will be creating new habitat for the Monarch Butterfly.


Come and go as your schedule allows.To access the grassland take the farm lane along the hedgerow located a quarter mile west of Hopewell Crest School.


Google map to the farm lane (follow the lane all the way back): 


Please contact Shane Godshall if you plan to attend - or 856-825-2174.

Sandy Hook is our coastal classroom, rich with ecology, miles of beaches and dunes and abundant wildlife. Sitting at a PC or turning the pages of a book might help children become interested in the coast, but standing in the surf with the wind in their faces and a horseshoe crab in their hands develops a passion. 
Let the American Littoral Society ignite your child's desire to learn about the coast and the science that reveals its wonders, and the stewardship needed to protect and preserve it for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Marine and Environmental Day Camps 
on Sandy Hook

One-Day Camp July 17, July 31, August 21 
Children entering grades 1-3 9am - 1:30pm 
18 Hartshorne Drive, Sandy Hook 
$40 for members $50 for non-members

Join Society educators for a day of seining and shell collecting. Ideal for children interested in learning more about the marine world, this hands-on, feet-wet program will delight your child. After outdoor activities we return to Building 18 for coastal art and crafts.

August 3 - 7
Children entering grades 6, 7, 8

August 10 - 14
Children entering grades 4, 5, 6

9am - 2pm
18 Hartshorne Drive
Sandy Hook
$250 per camper per week

Coast camps are a week of educational fun at Sandy Hook that includes seining, marine life identification, fishing,
crabbing, birding, shelling, field journaling, plankton discovery, coastal botany, and understanding nature through art.
Small group size. Sessions are limited to 15 students. Admission is on first-come, first-serve basis. Space is secured once payment is received.

No refunds after July 1.

For more information or to register, visit, email
or call (732) 291-0055

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18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite 1
Highlands, NJ 07732

Green Knight Newsletter - News and Events for June             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Click HERE.

Updates from the Cool Green Science Blog             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: Historic Clean Water Rule Finalized             (Posted: 6-1-15)

Clear Protection for Clean Water

Today, in an historic step for the protection of clean water, EPA and the U.S. Army finalized a rule under the Clean Water Act to more clearly protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

Clean water and water ecology are topics of special interest to many environmental educators. Students of all ages understand the importance of clean water in their own lives. Local watersheds provide opportunities to connect students to nature. 

Learn more about protecting clean water with these resources.Image of coastal wetlands.

Visit the website.

Use social media, new videos and graphics to spark your students' interest.

Explore an interactive map on local drinking water.

Find more water education resources for your classroom.

We encourage you to share our Environmental Education eNewsletter with your colleagues.  To subscribe, visit:

Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education
Office of the Administrator / U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

3 Ways to Enjoy Nature This Summer             (Posted: 5-26-15)

Click HERE.

NAAEE: EE News for May 22, 2015             (Posted: 5-26-15)

NAAEE Announcements


Conference Registration Opens Soon
Registration opens in early June for one of NAAEE’s most anticipated conferences ever! Watch for information about our stimulating keynotes, workshops, and concurrent sessions—along with opportunities specific to the San Diego area such as a Research Symposium workshop at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, amazing field trips that include one binational excursion, and the new members’ marketplace.

The conference registration packet, which will contain everything you need to know about participating in the San Diego conference is coming soon.

In the meantime, check the conference FAQ for answers to many common questions, including costs, hotels, and information for potential presenters.

Proposal Review Results
If you submitted a proposal for the 2015 conference, watch for email notification of the review results in early June. These messages are sent from; please make sure you can receive email from this address.

News from Natural Start

Travel to the heart of New York City for forest school, learn about a grant program connecting families to nature through zoos and aquariums, find out how to register for the Nature-Based Preschool National Conference (and who will be keynoting!), and more!

EEResearch Seminars

Do your programs reflect the most current research in environmental education? EECapacity offers several short videos summarizing research articles you can apply to your work. Learn more at EEResesarch Seminars.

Awards, Grants, Contests

KAB National Youth Advisory Council

Deadline: May 31, 2015
The Keep America Beautiful National Youth Advisory Council, supported of the Wrigley Co. Foundation, is an opportunity for ten high school students (15–18 years old) from diverse backgrounds to participate in a service-learning and leadership development program. Current member Rachel Pohl, "I am so thankful for the opportunity that Wrigley has provided for me to be a part of such a unique group focused on making an impact in our individual communities". YAC members will participate in the KAB 2016 National Conference in Orlando, FL. (pending funding). Visit KAB website for more details. Application must be submitted online by May 31, 2015 5:00 pm HST.

Diversity and Environmental Justice Highlights

EPA Seeking Public Comments on Draft EJ 2020 Action Agenda Framework

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for public comment on the draft EJ 2020 Action Agenda (EJ 2020) framework, the EPA's next overarching strategic plan for environmental justice. EJ 2020 is a strategy to advance environmental justice through EPA's programs, policies and activities, and will support the cross-agency strategy on making a visible difference in environmentally overburdened, underserved, and economically-distressed communities. Stakeholders and the general public can review the framework and submit comments, starting today through June 15, 2015.

Presentations and Publishing Opportunities

Inviting Submissions to Geosphere Themed Issue: Human Dimensions in the Geosciences

Deadline: June 1, 2015
Geosphere, a journal of the Geological Society of America, periodically runs theme-specific issues. This special issue will provide a venue for researchers investigating human dimensions in geoscience to share research findings with each other and the broader geoscience community. To submit a paper for this issue, go to and note on your cover letter that this submission is for the "Human Dimensions in Geoscience" issue.

Sustainability and Education Policy Network National Survey

How are Canadian schools creating a sustainable future? How can we do better? Have your voice heard by taking the Sustainability and Education Policy Network's (SEPN) National Survey about the relationship between sustainability policy and practice in Canadian formal education. Participants will be entered to win one of 80 pre-loaded $40 VISA gift cards and other prizes. Contact SEPN Project Manager, Nicola Chopin ( with questions.

Resources for Students and Educators

Living Schoolyard Month Activity Guide 2015

May is Living Schoolyard Month in California and International School Grounds Month. PreK–12 schools across the country and the globe are invited to celebrate their grounds year round. The Living Schoolyard Month Activity Guide was developed by Green Schoolyards America in collaboration with organizations across California who contributed a wide range of ideas to help schools bring students outside and use their school grounds.

Two New Bullfrog Films on Reducing Waste

A fiery octogenarian activist spearheads a grassroots campaign to ban the sale of single-serve plastic bottled water in Concord, Massachusetts in Divide in Concord. Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste is Bullfrog Film’s newest release that follows San Francisco's innovative efforts towards achieving zero waste, thereby dramatically reducing the city's carbon footprint.

Graduation Pledge

The Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA) is the international coordinating body for schools using the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility. The Pledge was established in 1987 at Humboldt State University in California by socially and environmentally committed students who were graduating, and since has been implemented at over 300 high schools, universities, and professional schools. The Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility states:

"I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."

Green Knight newsletter -- May 2015 -- News of Environmental Issues and Events in New Jersey             (Posted: 5-26-15)

Click HERE.

Duke Farms News: The Agriculture Issue, Featuring Will Allen!             (Posted: 5-18-15)

Click HERE.

May 2015 Earth Science Sites of the Week             (Posted: 5-18-15)

Geology and Geography
Exploring Geology Diagrams and Pictures
"Besides being a super-cool textbook, the chapter selections here have awesome pictures and diagrams straight from the pages of the book, and worksheets, too! Good stuff to show the kids!!"

Archival Photographs and Video of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
"THE DAMNEDEST, FINEST RUINS examines the 1906 earthquake and fire, which burned for three days. With restored silent film footage, rare archival photographs, and the remastered voice of Enrico Caruso, it challenges the official story of what happened on those terrible days."

Interactive Cloud Quiz
"Do you know your cumulus from your contrails and your stratus from your shelf clouds? Take our quiz and test your cloud acuity!"

Meet the Secret Army Of Meteorologists Who Keep Your Holiday Deliveries On Time
"At the FedEx global operations center in Memphis, corporate meteorologists examine the "war board," which shows the shipping company's flights and the weather systems that could disrupt them."

Is Sport Rocketry A Safe Activity? Absolutely!!
"Safety information about rocketry"

Tiny Satellites Show Us The Earth As It Changes In Near-Real-Time
"Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster - by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites - no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters - that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily."

Educational Resources: Search the CLEAN Collection
"Find and download scientifically and pedagogically reviewed digital resources for teaching about climate's influence on you and society and your influence on climate."

Spectacular Montage of Earth Images
"Clips of earth and the things surrounding it." These images would serve as a great ice breaker or intro. activity.

The Best Science Books of 2014
"On the heels of the year's most intelligent and imaginative children's books come the most stimulating science books published this annum."

Science of Candy and of Cooking and
"Making candy is a delicious and fun art! But it's also a fascinating and precise science. When you're making candy, whether you know it or not, you are a chemist-transforming matter from one state to another!"

Live Video Feed of Red Tailed Hawks
The Heron cam is not working, but the one for Hawks on campus definitely is. Here I caught the parent feeding two of the three babies. Great teaching tool!

Next Generation Science Standards Webinars
"We've compiled some dynamite resources to get you up to speed on NGSS.

Mobile Apps for Field Data Collection
"With the availability and affordability of new customized apps on smartphones and tablets, data collected in the field are becoming easier to input, store, and share."

Shocking Danger of Texting and Driving
"It doesn't take a horror movie to get audiences to jump from their seats. Sometimes, a clever ad will do the trick. Moviegoers in Hong Kong apparently didn't know what was in store when the lights went down and they began to watch a film in which a driver is cruising down a road. Watch the clip above to see what happened next."

Raritan Headwaters Association May News - Splash into Spring             (Posted: 5-14-15)

   VISIT US ONLINE          |         JOIN          |      DONATE
Working Together to Clean Our Streams 


As the numbers are tallied, this year's annual Stream Cleanup is looking to be even better than last year! So far, more than 1,000 volunteers collected 8.6 tons of trash across 40 sites in 29 towns. Well done everyone!

Official totals will be announced soon. In the meantime here are some fantastic pictures on Facebook your photos too!



Kathleen Shea has joined RHA as Director of Development. Kathleen comes to us with a strong background in nonprofit fundraising and communications. Reach out to Kathleen to discuss how you can help achieve our mission to protect clean water. Donation, membership, volunteering, event sponsorship, legacy gifts...Kathleen can help you make a difference! 



50 Acres of Watershed Lands Preserved

This important project preserved 50 acres of a beautiful natural area, critical fish and wildlife habitat, and a vital source of clean water in Ken Lockwood Gorge, the crown jewel of the Raritan. It is another great example of a successful collaboration.

Calling All Citizen Scientists!

Our dynamic duo - Water Quality Program Manager, Angela Gorczyca, and AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, Alexandra Walczak - trained our new citizen scientists to monitor the health of our streams.  


Interested in protecting clean water in your community? Become a Citizen Scientist with RHA! No prior experience required, all equipment provided, must be 15 years or older (12-14 if accompanied by an adult).


Training for experienced May 16, for beginners May 17.



Nature Day Camp Open House & Registration

Visit Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve, see our Nature Classroom and meet the Camp Director at our Nature Day Camp Open House on May 17 from 1-3pm.


Click for more information about summer camp sessions for children ages 3-16 and register in-person. Bring a picnic lunch and hiking shoes to explore our gorgeous 170 acre wildlife preserve!




Family Fun Series: Meet the
River at Natirar - May 31

Join RHA naturalists for a fun day out on the North Branch of the Raritan River. Activities will include searching for benthic macroinvertebrates and other stream life, fly fishing demonstrations, and water color painting.


A free, fun event for families, community groups, scouts, and individuals!



Ride for the River

RHA welcomed bikers from New Jersey and beyond who gathered on Saturday, May 9 for this year's 13th Annual Ride for the River Fundraiser. Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers, riders, and event sponsors like Chris Larkey, pictured (left) with 13-year veteran event coordinators Amy Greene and John Belle.



May 16 - Citizen Scientists: Stream Monitor Training for Experienced Volunteers

May 17 - Citizen Scientists: Stream Monitor Training for Beginners

May 17 - Nature Day Camp Open House at Fairview Farm

May 31 - Family Fun Series: Meet the River at Natirar

June 15 through 30 - Spring Stream Monitoring

June 18 - Water & Wildlife Speaker Series: Vernal Ponds, The Other Universe with Blaine Rothauser at Fairview Farm

Raritan Headwaters Association is on a mission to protect clean water in the north and south branch of the Raritan River. Join Us!

Building STEM skills through EE.             (Posted: 5-14-15)

Last summer, Laura Wilbanks was selected as a winner of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. This year her students received a President's Environmental Youth Award. In a new video, Laura shares her perspective on the importance of EE in building an interest in STEM and in local environmental issues. Be inspired to integrate EE into your school's STEM classrooms.
Click HERE.

May 8, 2015 Earth Science Sites of the Week             (Posted: 5-11-15)v

Geology and Geography
Video on the Science of Soil Health
"In the world of production agriculture our attention is only focused on what plants take out of the soil. But what if that's only half the story? Learn more about the complex relationship between soil and plants."

GeoInquiries: 15 Minute Activities Teaching Earth Science with ArcGIS Online
Earth Science GeoInquiries are a collection of 15 minute activities that teach select earth science concepts using ArcGIS Online. Earth Science GeoInquiries use the 5E instructional model and are tied to NGSS. The activities are free and require no software or login. Topics include: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Mountain building, Fresh water, Ocean features, Ground wind and temperature patterns, Weather, Storms, and Climate change.

Interactive Earth Science Concept Maps
Chapter 1 Introduction to Earth Science
Chapter 2 Earth as a System
Chapter 30 Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe
Designed for middle to high school level, these concept maps could be adapted for an older audience.

Thunderstorm supercell timelapse in Newcastle, Wyoming
"Base hunters, a storm chasing and photography team based in Oklahoma, captured footage of a thunderstorm supercell forming in Newcastle, Wyoming. The group's mission is to take the closest photographs and videos of extreme weather conditions on the planet."

Video: Variety of Time-Lapse Storm Footage
"High plains storms are some of the most beautiful and wild in the world. I spent May - September 2014 photographing all types of severe weather in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado. This time lapse project is a result of that effort. From rainbows to tornadoes, there is a little bit of everything in here."

Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from the ISS
"Explanation from NASA: Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth's thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes."

Interstellar, the Movie Educator Resources
"What you'll find on this page: -Interstellar experience app
- a study guide for teachers and facilitators
- three student science activities for grades 9 through college
- a classroom poster about the movie and program
- a digital trivia game for students"

Global Sustainability Lesson Plans
"Our hands-on sustainability lesson plans and standards-aligned textbooks equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future."

What Aliens Might Think about Earthlings - A Message From The Interstellar Safety Council
"A starship is entering an area of space near our solar system. The crew is being briefed on the strange species called 'humans.'"

This Physicist Has A Groundbreaking Idea About Why Life Exists
"Jeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life."

Create Animated Lesson Plans
"With PowToon you can create professional animated lesson plans, coursework and presentations that your students will applaud you for."

Movie Worksheet Database
"Movie Sheets contains one of the largest databases of classroom movie worksheets on the net. These worksheets are based on films that teachers have viewed then subsequently created film guides for."

Density of an Egg
"Have student's calculate the density of eggs, get some fresh ones and some that have been on the shelf a week or so. In great grandma's time eggs were put in a pan of water. Those that floated were discarded. This practice was the result of the fact that eggs loose water each day, decreasing their density. Since great grandma found eggs in unusual places it was in her best interest to always use the float test. Once the eggs are cracked the sniff test would work, but this could make the kitchen rather odoriferous."

Does Smartphone Use Promote Back Pain?
"Looking down at a mobile device may be harming you, a study says."

Check Out These Adorable Children With Their Big Dogs
"They may be large and powerful, but these huge dogs are gentle giants protecting these little babies"

Plastic Submarine Sandwich

Spring 2015 Coastodian             (Posted: 5-11-15)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: Thank a Teacher, Campus RainWorks, New Video and Blog             (Posted: 5-11-15)

Click HERE.

May Sustainability Hero Announced             (Posted: 5-11-15)

Click HERE.

Water Pages eNewsletter             (Posted: 5-11-15)

Click HERE.

Archived WEB-LINKS are available upon request throught the webmaster.