Professional Learning

Opportunities offered by Santa Cruz County Office of Education

See Santa Cruz County Office of Education's Professional Development Calendar for environmental literacy and a range of PD topics.

The goal of this teacher leadership institute is to increase TK-12 teacher capacity for integrating environmental sustainability with classroom curriculum in any content area and leading students in sustainability efforts at school and in their communities. Apply now here.

Project WET: Watersheds to the Sea

K-12 educators will gain knowledge about our local watershed and its connection to the Pacific Ocean as they explore Project WET lessons aligned to NGSS and CCSS and local resources. COMING IN 2022!

This network convenes the third Friday of each month 4-5pm for an uplifting walk in nature and networking time for educators to share ideas about their teaching practice and ways to increase environmental connections for students.

The Teacher Leadership Institute and County Science Collaborative follow up support is funded in part by the Budget Act of 2017 allocation for the CREEC Network.

Conferences, networks and more training opportunities

Logo for Green Technology, strategy and leadership for clean and sustainable communities

Green Technology hosts two facilities-focused events, the Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit and Exposition in Pasadena in Fall and the one-day Sustainable Facilities Forum in Sacramento in Spring

Logo for Green Schools Conference & Expo

Green Schools Conference & Expo is a national event that brings together all green schools stakeholders: people who lead, operate, build and teach in U.S. schools.

Logo for the North American Associate for Environmental Education (NAAEE)

NAAEE Conference NAAEE serves as the professional association and backbone organization for the field of environmental education, working with a diverse group of educators in the United States, Canada, and Mexico to advance environmental education.

Logo for Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE)

AEOE Conference The Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, California's NAAEE affiliate organization, serves outdoor and environmental educators, including hosting annual conferences for outdoor education.

Logo CA Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI)

EEI (CA Education and the Environment Initiative) is a statewide effort to make environmental literacy an integral part of K-12 instruction. EEI provides educators with professional learning and instructional materials for blending the environment into traditional academic subjects like science, history, and English language arts.

Logo for Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Program

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers): Project WET activities are designed to engage students of all ages – in formal and non-formal education settings – in the study of water through interactive simulations, use of models and reality-based scenarios. The award-winning, NSTA-recommended Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0 includes 64 activities studying water science, as well as water challenges from multiple viewpoints.

Logo Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree: Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

Logo for Kiss the Ground

Kiss the Ground Middle School Curriculum: Created by Kiss the Ground and Life Lab, this free curriculum focuses on the vital role of soil. The 5-lesson curriculum, written to support Next Generation Science Standards, teaches about the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, soil science, various agricultural practices, and concludes with a regenerative soil-based project. Webinar training video is archived here.

Outreach table with a friendly woman and a sign for the California Regional Environmental Education Community.

Monterey Bay Environmental Educators (MBEE) Network

Monterey Bay Environmental Educators (MBEE) is a regional network of organizations providing educational resources for the Monterey Bay Region's communities and schools to increase understanding of and appreciation for nature and its resources. MBEE field programs' connections to NGSS can be found in the Santa Cruz County Quick Reference Guide to NGSS and Environmental Education.

Mission: MBEE members collaborate and leverage resources in order to inspire students, teachers and families to actively explore and care for the environment.

For more information, contact Amity Sandage at

Large groups of teachers standing inside and around a huge whale skeleton.

Santa Cruz County Science Collaborative

Teacher Leaders and Emerging Teacher Leaders from SCCOE's Teacher Leadership Institute are the county's backbone of support for science and environmental literacy. Our goal is to have two science and environmental literacy leaders at every school site in the county, and we are getting close!

Teachers deepen their understanding of NGSS and collaborate with environmental organization partners to develop NGSS-based lesson sequences connecting field-based learning to the classroom.

2018 recruitment is closed. Contact Amity Sandage, Environmental Literacy Coordinator for SCCOE, at for more information.