Open Courses

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Teachers sift through underwater grasses on a professional development trip.

CBF Staff

Join us for a five-day professional learning adventure on the Chesapeake Bay or one of its tributaries in summer 2020. CBF is offering more than 30 courses that will explore the mountains of Virginia, the rivers of Pennsylvania, the islands of the Bay, and many places in between. Learn how to integrate the environment into your classroom and to help your students achieve environmental literacy success. 

Courses Open to all Educators 

These courses are open to all educators throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed –
Educators from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Delaware are welcomed to participate and register for the following courses: 

June Courses | July Courses | August Courses

JUNE

June 22-26, 2020
Fish On! Exploring the Chesapeake Through Fishing 
What can fish tell us about the health of our waterways? How can investigations about fish and fishing engage your students in their local environment? Come spend five days and four nights exploring Virginia's waterways and the Bay.  These hands-on investigations will include the ecology of commercial and recreational fishing. Participants will work on ways to connect their students to fishing in and out of the classroom and how it relates to the health of the Bay. No previous fishing knowledge or experience required.   
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June 22-26, 2020
Mapping Climate Change in the Bay
How does climate change impact the Bay and how do we track and measure these changes over time? Get hands-on experience with one of the latest and most powerful technologies that is on the forefront of these advances—Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to answer these questions and more. We will explore locations on the eastern shore of Maryland as we look at the impacts of climate change. Participants will leave with knowledge of ways to incorporate GIS in watershed education and student MWEEs, how to access and use free interactive GIS resources for students and educators, and tackle seemingly complex learning objectives with more powerful observation tools with your students. 
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JULY

July 6-10, 2020
Exploring the Ecology of the Bay through Creating Art
How can we deepen our understanding of ecological issues through creating art? Throughout the course, we will use art as a tool to inform our scientific and cultural studies, as well as develop creative practices to foster environmental literacy in the classroom. Not only will teachers discover educational resources in their local area, but they will also have the unique opportunity to explore historic Tangier, Virginia. We will investigate the culture and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay watershed through 5 days and 4 nights of hands-on, inquiry-based field-based investigations.  Open to all educators, no previous art training required.   
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July 6-10, 2020
Baltimore to the Bay: Discover your Watershed and the Bay
How do our Baltimore communities impact the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay? How can your classroom be a part of the story of recovery in the Patapsco River? Investigate these and other questions as this course takes you to explore Baltimore by land and water and then out to spend two nights as at CBF's residential program, the Karen Noonan Center. Throughout this five-day course, teachers will be immersed in Chesapeake Bay ecology; hands-on, field-based investigations will cover core ecology and sustainability content as teachers gain a comprehensive understanding of the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience model. Designed for Baltimore area Educators. 
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July 6-10, 2020
Teachers on the Bay: Marine Ecology 
What is the current ecological status of the Rappahannock River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Tangier Sound environments with respect to natural resource value, water quality, habitat resiliency, and species diversity?  Investigate these questions in real-time and explore two remote, remarkable regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed during this five-day, on-water immersive course.  Participants will investigate the biodiversity and productivity of the Chesapeake Bay through studies on beaches, mudflats, fresh- and saltwater marshes, forests, and open waters of the Bay. Both biotic and abiotic factors will be examined daily while the effects of climate change and sea-level rise will be observed and discussed relative to inhabitants in and around the Bay watershed. 
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July 13-17, 2020
A Right to Nature in the City: The Importance of Urban Environmental Education 
While DC is full of green spaces, rivers, and streams, how many of our students get to experience them? Join us for a 5-day exploration from DC to the Chesapeake Bay, as we explore the relationship between human activities and environmental outcomes. Through immersion and reflection, course participants will develop an understanding of how environmental learning supports the whole child and is vital to prepare students for 21st-century challenges that are affecting their lives. This course is designed for K-12 educators seeking to integrate environmental topics into their teaching.  
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July 13-17, 2020
Exploring Placed-Based Watershed Education in the Charlottesville Region 
How does the Charlottesville area connect to the Chesapeake Bay? Teachers from the Charlottesville area will explore Charlottesville and the surrounding waters and land to understand its connections to the Chesapeake Bay. We will focus on place-based education for the week and participate in local opportunities for outdoor education including schoolyard investigations, canoeing and stream explorations. As we progress through the week, we will discuss and plan how to incorporate environmental stewardship into our classrooms through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs).  All five days will take place in the Charlottesville region, no overnight accommodations. 
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July 20-24, 2020
Exploring Place-Based Education in Independent Schools  
How can you use outdoor explorations to create excitement and ownership in your students? Independent school educators across the watershed are using the environment to initiate powerful learning experiences within their communities. Immerse yourself in the distinct sense of place that is the Chesapeake Bay while collaborating on innovative ways to use the local environment as a context for learning. This five-day professional learning course models field-based investigations that foster student environmental literacy.
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July 20-24, 2020
Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences in the RVA
How do educators across the RVA area use the local environment to initiate powerful learning experiences within their communities? This course open to all central Virginia teachers is an opportunity to learn from one another and investigate the history, ecology, and culture of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Join us for 5 days exploring ways to design and implement Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences using your local school campus and community as an integrated context for teaching and learning that increases student environmental literacy. 
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July 27-31, 2020
Teachers on the Estuary: Scientific Inquiry in the Field
How can we make the curriculum come alive with real-time data? Learn to integrate local and national environmental data into the classroom through cross-disciplinary, hands-on field activities from NOAA’s Chesapeake Exploration and Estuaries 101 curricula. During this dynamic five-day residential program, you will explore Dorchester County's coastal habitats and iconic communities by conducting field investigations with local scientists, community leaders, educators from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This course is designed to model a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience through participant-driven field experiences and authentic research. 
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July 27-31, 2020
Learning and Action: Environmental Education in Prince Georges County 
Are you ready to see the power of environmental learning in action? Join us for 5 days of hands-on learning in and around Prince George's county, as we explore how to deepen student understanding of environmental issues through experiential learning. Science, history and social issues will come to life as teachers use an environmental lens to investigate the relationships between human and natural systems. This course is designed to support interdisciplinary learning from K-12, as well as aspiring and renewing Green Schools! 
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AUGUST

August 3-7, 2020
A Bird's Eye View of the Bay
How does climate change and sea-level rise impact native Chesapeake Bay bird populations? How do humans impact our aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed? Join us to discover the complex answers to these questions and more over the course of a week on Virginia’s Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and Maryland’s Smith Island. Investigate the current environmental conditions to help understand how, why, and which birds are attracted to the varied habitats of the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed and islands and how these habitats have changed over time. We will observe the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on birds and other Bay inhabitants, and analyze the impacts on the utilization of resources, population dynamics, and migration trends. This course focus will expand beyond birds to include ecological investigations of marshes and beaches, underwater grass meadows, fisheries, oysters, and blue crabs using biotic and abiotic collection methods.
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August 11-12, 2020
Workboats, Tractors, Rivers, and Farms: Exploring History, Agriculture and Ecology in Southside Virginia  
In this 2-day workshop, teachers will investigate agriculture practices and the water quality of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. We will connect history, ecology and past and present farming practices of the area. Based out of Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry County, Virginia, and the surrounding area, teachers will explore the James River, local history and farms to learn to use the environment as an integrated context for learning in their classrooms.
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