January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2


Posted: Saturday, October 30th, 2010

by Paul Ferreira

The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, heralded the beginning of the popular environmental movement.  Today, forty years later, it has become the premier event focusing attention on environmental and environmental education issues all over the world.  But back then, it passed me right by as I concentrated my energy on graduating college as a biology major that spring.

How could this happen, you think?  Well, there was a lot on my mind at that time.  We were still involved in the Vietnam War, I was engaged to be married, I was wondering what I was going to do for a job and where was I going to live.  So I hope I can be excused for being oblivious to this infant movement that was slowly bringing attention to the needs of the environment.  It wasn’t even on my radar.

My first job with a local park and recreation district eventually led to a 40-plus-year career in parks, recreation, interpretation, and environmental education, but it wasn’t until a job change in 1972 that I attended my first Earth Day event.  I was now an aspiring interpreter/environmental educator, but I was working in isolation, devoid of stimulation and oblivious to the larger picture of where the environmental movement was headed, who was involved, and the potential for activism in its many forms.  The BAEER Fair changed all that for me.

I attended my first Bay Area Environmental Education Resources Fair (BAAER Fair) in 1979.  The following year I was invited to join the BAEER Fair planning committee.  In the ensuing thirty years, my awareness of environmental issues, how I could become involved in helping to address them, and who was out there doing the work of education, conservation, and activism, all came about to a great degree because of the BAEER Fair.

The BAEER Fair opened doors for me and provided opportunities to meet others involved in the profession and learn about other organizations doing environmental and outdoor education.  And the BAEER Fair can do this for you too.  As a supervising naturalist with the East Bay Regional Park District, I was able to support, participate in, and benefit from the BAEER Fair in a number of valuable ways.  Working on the planning committee, I was able to help guide the direction of the fair.  This also provided me with opportunities to promote the fair among my co-workers and professional colleagues.

At the same time, I was also the lead staff member responsible for the park district’s information table at the fair.  The park district saw the BAEER Fair as a valuable marketing and outreach tool where we could reach many hundreds of teachers and educators throughout the nine Bay Area counties each year that may be new to environmental education and unaware of the services and programs our agency had to offer.  This of course is the underlying value of the Fair as a whole—an invaluable resource for classroom teachers needing resources, activities, and curriculum to help them teach about the environment.

The BAEER Fair also allowed our agency to advertise for job vacancies through its job board, where, along with many other organizations and agencies, we could post job descriptions for current and future job opportunities.

Additionally I found the BAEER Fair instrumental in helping me to establish and maintain my contacts in the environmental education field.  The annual Fair made it possible for me to reconnect with long-time friends and make new friends working in the profession.

I also saw the BAEER Fair as a means to train staff.  With the 12 to 16 breakout sessions offered each year, there are ample opportunities to learn about the latest curriculum and resources available.

The BAEER Fair offers us a bridge between the teaching community and educational resources throughout the region.  It’s a great place to get connected!

BAEER Fair #34 will be held on January 22, 2011.  The event takes place at The Marin Center in San Rafael.  Full details are available on their website www.baeerfair.org.

Paul Ferreira is supervising naturalist (retired) with the East Bay Regional Park District.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

2 Responses

  1. Great article!
    I worked with Paul at the EBRPD for over 20 years and would love to get in contact with him.
    If there is a way that you can forward my information to him, I would greatly appreciate that.
    (I assume you can see the email address above.)
    Thank you, Tony Smith

  2. Dear Tony,

    I will forward him your email. Thank you for reading!

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Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.



MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Find Your Reason to Engage

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Jill Grace

I was recently reflecting on events in the news and remembered that several years ago, National Public Radio had a story about a man named Stéphane Hessel, a World War II French resistance fighter, Nazi concentration camp survivor, and contributor to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story focused on a book he had published, Time for Outrage (2010).

In it, Hessel makes the argument that the worst attitude is indifference:

“Who is in charge; who are the decision makers? It’s not always easy to discern. We’re not dealing with a small elite anymore, whose actions we can clearly identify. We are dealing with a vast, interdependent world that is interconnected in unprecedented ways. But there are unbearable things all around us. You have to look for them; search carefully. Open your eyes and you will see. This is what I tell young people: If you spend a little time searching, you will find your reasons to engage. The worst attitude is indifference. ‘There’s nothing I can do; I get by’ – adopting this mindset will deprive you of one of the fundamental qualities of being human: outrage.  Our capacity for protest is indispensable, as is our freedom to engage.”

His words make me take pause when I think of the status of science in the United States. A general “mistrust” of science is increasingly pervasive, as outlined in a New Yorker article from the summer of 2016. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.