What USEE Means to Kristen Bonner

This month, we're sharing what we've heard from our environmental education community when we asked, "What does USEE mean to you?" We hope you'll find these responses as inspiring as we do! We also hope that they motivate you to contribute to USEE to support our mission of promoting excellence in environmental education and community engagement to connect all Utahns to their natural world. 

Today we're hearing from Kristen Bonner, Teacher at Indian Hills Elementary and recipient of the 2021 Vern A. Fridley Environmental Educator of the Year Award. 

Great Salty Phenomena

As a kindergarten through 6th grade science lab teacher in a public elementary school in Salt Lake City, I see the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE) as a truly priceless resource.

USEE provides quality environmental education resources such as environmental education lesson plans and school visits that fit perfectly with Utah Science with Engineering Education Standards. Therefore, the resources USEE provides both support and reinforce what is being learned in our traditional classroom setting. 

Additionally, USEE provides guidance on how to incorporate environmental education into existing curricula, including strategies for getting students outside for valuable learning and professional development opportunities. 

USEE also provides opportunities for connecting to the larger community, such as email introductions, webinars, as well as their annual conference. These community connections allow for conversations that encourage growth in educational practice.

Through USEE’s Green Schools Program our school is able to monitor our efforts and set new goals towards sustainability - providing an accessible, important perspective on the environment and our responsibility toward it for students and faculty alike. 

Finally, I appreciate USEE’s voice in advocating for environmental education and responsible environmental education policy. I believe their advocacy increases the standard of environmental education in Utah and beyond.