Southwestern Utah Mini-Summit for Environmental Education

asilomar group photo

ASILOMAR, CA, January 2018–The USEE Leadership Team participated in a week-long workshop of NAAEE State Affiliates. This was a gathering of 10 affiliate state teams, who have been working for a year to help support and strengthen the efforts in each of their states, as well as 22 other state representatives. The efforts of the 10 teams is intended to cross over to those 22 other affiliates, as well as the other states who weren't represented at this meeting. NAAEE allowed the time and space to collaborate, brainstorm and truly support each and every state who is a part of the affiliate network. Looking forward to a very productive 2018!

Please RSVP using this Southwestern Utah Utah Mini-Summit Registration Form. Snacks will be provided, so please include any dietary restrictions you may have. 

Please complete the RSVP even if you are unable to attend if you would like to share your contact information and current projects with other participants, or if you would like to be removed from any future correspondence regarding this project. You may also share any additional input under "Comments or Questions".
What: Southwestern Utah Mini-Summit for Environmental Education (3rd of 5 throughout state of Utah)
When: August 25, 2018, 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.

Southern Utah University
Emma Eccles Jones Education Building, Room 206
Also commonly known as the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development Building
Cedar City, UT
The Education building is right in the middle of campus.  It has pick stained glass windows.

We are hoping to leverage the expertise in and enthusiasm for environmental literacy and a sustainable future that exists in your region to help us best structure the remaining summits and our Strategic Planning process. You are a big part of shaping the future of EE in Utah!
USEE's Interim Director, Alex Porpora, will give a brief overview of USEE, current status of and future plans for EE in Utah, and our role as the state affiliate for the North American Association for Environmental Education.
Please be prepared to discuss the following as they relate to EE and your experiences:
  • Challenges & successes–What are the big picture problems/issues/challenges in environmental education in Cache Valley/Utah we exist to solve? What worked?
  • Needs–What can USEE do to better serve you and/or your organization/school/agency?
  • EE Defined–Shared goals, strengths, support for one another, networking 
We will also be breaking out into small working groups to help meet our specific goals of prioritizing areas of focus and developing strategies to achieve those goals.

Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE)

Our mission is promoting excellence in environmental education by providing support, resources, and networking opportunities to Utah’s community of educators.

Our vision is an environmentally literate society committed to a sustainable future.

The Utah Society of for Environmental Education (USEE). USEE is a 501(c)(3) and has been a statewide leader in promoting EE in Utah since 1981.

USEE is built on a strong foundation of 37 years providing resources, support, and networking opportunities to Utah’s community of teachers and administrators, faculty, environmental educators, and community officials and outreach specialists. 

We are currently in the process of updating our Strategic Plan, and making great strides to modernize the organization to best meet the needs of the community we aim to serve. Part of that work is to conduct 5 mini-summits throughout the state, with the 5th and final one to culminate at a Utah EE Workshop during our 2018 EE Conference in Salt Lake City, September 14-15, 2018.
We have received funding from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), of which we are a state affiliate, to support our strategic planning process and conduct these 5 mini-summits.
Other than the overall goal to increase capacity for EE in Utah, the specific goals for the summits are:
  • Learn how USEE can better promote EE in the respective regions
  • Identify overarching statewide priorities and goals for the field of EE
  • Develop strategies and networking opportunities to support the Utah EE community (networking/partnership building)
  • Identify challenges and successes in respective regions 

Southwestern Utah Mini-Summit Participant Information to Date:


NameSusan Baldwin

OrganizationSalt Lake Community College



Phone: 435-834-4740

Ryan Christiansen

Washington County School District

Science Coordinator



Kathleen Gonder

Organization: Bryce Canyon National Park

Position: Chief of Interpretation


Phone: 435-834-4740

Jacqualine Grant

Organization: Southern Utah University

Position: Associate Professor, Biology; Director, Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History; Provost Faculty Fellow for Parks and Partnerships


Phone: 435-865-8549

Current Projects: (1) Annual science-art museum educational programming in conjunction with Southern Utah Museum of Art that reaches >50% of all K-6 students in Iron County. (2) Integration of course-based undergraduate research experience into genetics lab for college students. Students learn genetics techniques by working on real problems for regional agencies. For example, this year students are using next generation sequencing to identify important dietary components from greater sage-grouse and desert tortoise scat. The information will be used to help inform habitat management decisions in southern Utah. (3) Construction of gardens focused on culturally significant plants in conjunction with the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah. We are also developing interpretive exhibits and a small publication about important plants and their use by the Paiute people.

Jackie Lowry

OrganizationUtah Society for Environmental Education

PositionPrograms Manager


Phone: 970-389-0743

Current Projects2018 Utah Environmental Education Conference, Regional Utah EE Mini-Summits, Utah Green Schools, Utah EE Certification, Professional Development Workshops, Facilitator Training & Network, Clean Air School Kit, Beehive 5 Under 25 Youth Recognition Program

Alex Porpora

Organization: Utah Society for Environmental Education

Position: Interim Director


Phone: 801-328-1549

NameRandall Violett

OrganizationSouthern Utah University

Position: Assistant Professor of Agriculture


Phone: 435-586-1923

Current Projects: Aspen tree restoration, Ponderosa pine common garden trial, Glenn Canyon vegetation monitoring.

Peggy Wittwer

Organization: Southern Utah University

Position: Assistant Professor, Teacher Education


Phone: 435-586-7809


*Unable to attend, but please share my information with the group. 

What is USEE?

The Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, has been a statewide leader in promoting high quality environmental education in Utah since 1981. USEE encourages environmental literacy by teaching Utahans how to think, not what to think, about the environment.

What is USEE >>

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