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arizona association for Environmental Education

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The AAEE 2023 Annual Conference

The 2023 Annual In-Person Conference in Prescott, AZ

on September 8-9, 2023 at Yavapai College

The conference theme is Growing Forward: Reaching into the future


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 11, 2023 at 11:59 pm Arizona Time

Theme: Growing Forward: Reaching into the Future

AAEE is excited to bring together again the great minds working in the EE field in Arizona. We hope to capitalize on the momentum from hosting the NAAEE Conference in Arizona in October 2022. The theme is centered on our vision for building a network of educators who work together and support each other, help young EE professionals enter the field, promote equitable pay for those in our field, and expand the boundaries of what we consider environmental education to work toward equitable and sustainable solutions for all of our community members. 

We hope you will share with us the great work we KNOW is happening across Arizona! This is a peer-reviewed conference call for presentations, and is open to anyone who has ideas worth sharing. Please see the details below about conference strands. 

You may wish to use our Submission Form Template to draft your proposal and then cut and paste the information into the web submission form listed above. Here is the link to the Draft Submission Form.

Because AAEE is a non-profit organization and relies on conference fees to cover the expenses for the event we are unable to waive registration fees or provide deep discounts for presenters. We know it is a challenge to pay for conference registrations; we are all in the same boat. We want to provide a wonderful experience with as many fees and meals covered as we can, so please take a look at our scholarship information when we make that available during registration - don't let cost be a barrier. We will also provide information about carpooling, camping, and room sharing for this event. Please understand that we are also not making a bank on this event - for the most part, what we will charge for registration will cover the expense we incur for hosting. We appreciate your understanding. 

Want to help us review proposals for a $20 discount? Apply here! We need 10 people for this task. We need you to be available between June 12 and June 25 so we can finalize the schedule. Details and the reviewer rubric will be sent to all volunteers on June 12. If you cannot commit to helping us during those two weeks, we will have other opportunities for you to volunteer for a discount.

Conference registration will open on June 12, 2023

Conference Strands

View this on a Word Document here

Moving Research to Practice > Using data to inform your programs and curriculum. Sessions appropriate for this strand address topics such as:

  • Evaluation data
  • Program planning and action research
  • Assessment of learning or behavior change
  • Using research data to inform your program development
  • Moving from theory to practice

Leadership and mentoring the next generation > Tips for being a mentor, structuring mentorship programs, effective leadership and environmental impact, and community engagement. Sessions appropriate for this strand address topics such as:

  • Mentorship programs
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Intergenerational programs
  • Career development pathways

Building engaging and memorable presentations > Many people who educate people about the environment are not trained as educators! What tips and tricks can you share for building connections with your audience to ensure they are engaged and learning. Sessions appropriate for this strand address topics such as:

  • Hands on activities
  • Using facilitative discussions and techniques
  • Interpretation
  • Storytelling
  • Train-the-trainer opportunities for learning how to do better presentations
  • Successful collaborations between conservation educators, scientists, resource managers, and practitioners in all formal and nonformal education settings, from rural to suburban to urban, as well as wild spaces, public lands, and beyond

Enriching Accessibility in EE > Make your materials accessible to all learners and persons in your community, including multi-generational examples and cultural responsiveness. Sessions appropriate for this strand address topics such as:

  • Accessible outdoor programming
  • Modifications to materials to accommodate multiple needs
  • Research in accessibility

Navigating Challenging Conversations in the Field > Battling misconceptions and misinformation, teaching hard concepts and overcoming non-fact based understanding. Sessions appropriate for this strand address topics such as:

  • Using EE and Interpretation techniques to find common ground
  • Mediation
  • Overcoming communication challenges
  • Education strategies for addressing specific issues such as climate change, habitat loss, energy, water, ocean conservation, and food systems

Conservation and Environmental Education > Achieving conservation goals through education, communication, social marketing, and ecotourism strategies, including public participation in scientific research and place-based community action. Sessions appropriate to this strand address such topics as:

  • Integrating education strategies into the broader practice of conservation
  • Increasing equity and inclusion in the conservation movement
  • Current research and case studies on behavior change as it relates to conservation or environmental education

Presentations that address inclusive environmental education are encouraged. If your work addresses Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and/or Accessibly please be sure to address that in your proposal.

Is there something you want to present but doesn’t fit this category? Add it to the Conservation and Environmental Education Strand!


90 minute workshop

  • Presenters have the option of sharing content indoors or outdoors at the conference site - no off-site presentations will be allowable for this format given transportation and timing needs
  • If you do have an idea for a 3 hour workshop, contact and let us know what it is, we can discuss!

45 minute presentation (traditional or hands on presentation)

  • Presenters share content or topic in a PowerPoint/Slide Deck/Other Media format
  • Can include time for questions or short discussions

Lightning rounds - 8 minutes in quick succession

  • These are short talks that highlight a success, share a new idea, or encourage participants to take action
  • The should include a media presentation (e.g. video, Slide Deck, etc) which must be sent to our Conference Planning Team no later than August 27 at 11:59pm Arizona time. We will combine all of the slide decks for the lightning rounds into one file which we will play for you in order to ensure everyone stays within the 8 minute limit
  • There will be time for questions after everyone in the round has completed their presentations

Poster Session

  • Posters are images saved as PDF files that summarize programs, resources, research studies, or other work through text, images, and data. 
  • Posters are most often created using applications such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, and others. 
  • The poster session will be held during an open space time where people will be invited to do a gallery walk and meet the presenters

Review Criteria

Like NAAEE, proposals will be assessed and selected by how well they:

  • Describe in detail what will occur in the session
  • Demonstrate how the session fits the strand description and one or more focus points
  • Explain why the session is appropriate for the selected format 
  • Describe how the session will effectively engage the audience in innovative thinking about new or proven ideas and approaches
  • Raise important questions or deliver positive, solution-oriented outcomes supported by research and/or program evaluation
  • Explain how the session will inform environmental educators about proven practices, push the leading edge of the profession, and/or motivate the pursuit of excellence

We strive to dedicate at least 15 percent of our concurrent sessions within each strand to advancing justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in EE. These sessions explore ways to strengthen our field through strategies and programs that help diversify our audiences as well as our workforce, build cultural competence, support environmental justice, engage with new audiences, forge new and lasting partnerships, honor traditional knowledge, and increase our reach and relevance throughout society. To help us identify these sessions, reviewers will also assess proposals by how well they address any of these program criteria:

  • Incorporate culturally rooted practices and an understanding of how people from different backgrounds relate to, engage with, and care about the environment in urban, suburban, and rural communities
  • Affirm differences in skills, abilities, and perspectives as resources and opportunities to build stronger programs
  • Describe how curriculum design, participant recruitment, program leadership or administrative structure result in equitable environmental education opportunities
  • Contribute to a more just, equitable, diverse, inclusive, diverse, and accessible
If your proposal is accepted, you will have an additional opportunity to finalize session information after receiving your acceptance notice.


Volunteer to be a proposal reviewer - Want to help with the selection of the proposals?

Volunteer to review the submissions! Receive a $20 discount on your registration!

Have questions about any of this? Be in touch! Email


P.O. Box 42682

Tucson, AZ 85733

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