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November 2016

ICEC Winter Workshop

ICEC Winter Workshop 2017
Spreading our Wings with Science Standards Pollinators, Monarchs, and Conservation Education

February 3-4, 2017
Springbrook Conservation Education Center
Guthrie Center, Iowa

Whether you help landowners meet conservation goals, manage a natural area, or provide environmental education - this workshop is for you!

Our invitation is for all educators - classroom educators, naturalists, and other non-formal educators, but also to biologists, natural resource managers and topic specialists, and other environmental professionals to join us in learning how to utilize the new standards to promote the protection of natural resources (of monarchs and pollinators specifically) and to advance environmental education as a vital part of the K-12 Education!

Educators and natural resource professionals that work with adult and mixed-age audiences will benefit from the opportunity to develop their skills using the best methods for learning and teaching science (at any age). 

Why attend?

  • Classroom teachers can sit down with environmental educators to coordinate efforts to help Iowa students meet the new standards.
  • Environmental educators will understand how to tailor their message for K-12 groups.
  • Natural resources will now be part of the school curriculum and teachers will be looking for experts who know how to present effectively.
  • Conservation professionals will update presentation skills to increase learning and generate behavior change in adult audiences.

This is your opportunity to update your programs and delivery methods, no matter if your audience is one landowner, a classroom of 6th graders, or a mixed audience at a public event. Please join us for this professional development workshop!

Go here for more details!

Who is Beth Martin - Co-Chair of the ICEC Executive Board?
Beth Martin considers herself a native Iowan. Living in Iowa almost her entire life, Beth has deep roots in this rich Iowa soil. She is the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Ramon and Carla Runkel and granddaughter of one of Iowa’s first conservationist, Sylvan T. Runkel.

Beth watched and learned what it means to have a passion of the environment around us and just how precious our citizens, both human and green, are to preserve and nurture not only for our generation, but the generations that follow us. Her love of Nature and Education is a good addition to ICEC's board.

Beth is a graduate from Drake University and is also an Alumni of Iowa State University.  She has been employed with Des Moines Public Schools for 23 years, wearing many different hats.  With a Masters in Behavior Disorders, she started her educational career as a classroom teacher at Orchard Place. She then helped identify and support students and teachers as certified special educational consultant, working with many DSM schools. 

After getting her administration certification, she became the Dean of Students for Des Moines’ alternative schools and then for Smouse Elementary Special School Setting.
After much reflection, Beth decided return to the classroom, this time to work in a general education classroom, currently working at Jefferson Elementary as a fifth grade teacher and Co-Dean of Students.  This has allowed her to continue her education in the STEM field, involved with various programs such as: the RealWorld Externship for teachers in the summer, working with the DSM Public Works Dept., writing a manual for Des Moines’ Urban Forest; participated in ISU’s Trinect grant program involving collaboration with a graduate engineer and student teacher; was part of the Drake STEM Certification grant for DMPS teachers; attended ISU’s Biorenewable and Teaching in the Fast Lane workshops for elementary teachers summer programs; received Iowa’s grant for  Making STEM Connections for her school- an engineering on a cart full of materials for hands-on activities. Beth has also been asked to work on the DMPS science adoption committee, and is working on aligning instruction and curriculum to the New Generation Science Standards.   

ICEC Welcome's Alicia Vasto, our new Executive Director!

Alicia grew up in Adel, Iowa, attending ADM public schools and graduating as valedictorian in 2007. She received a Bachelor's in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2011. She then attained a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University in 2013, with a focus on land conservation and management. Following graduation, Alicia was a Wilderness Fellow with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Southeast and Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges. She then served as AmeriCorps Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator for The LandTrust for Central North Carolina. In February, she was hired as The LandTrust's Operations and Communications Director. In her free time, Alicia enjoys kayaking, traveling, and yoga.

From Alicia, "I am honored and thrilled to return to Iowa to promote conservation education as the Executive Director of ICEC. This topic is near and dear to my heart, and I hope to make a positive difference in the place I call home. I look forward to meeting everyone and getting started in this new role."

We look forward to her starting on December 12!  

ICEC Nominations for the Executive Committee

The Iowa Conservation Education Coalition Executive Committee (ExCom) is comprised of between seven and 13 individuals, each serving 3-year terms.  Executive Committee meets a minimum of four (4) times each year, many of the meetings are held via video conference in the early evening.
Each member brings his or her own diverse knowledge, skills, and talents to work together toward a common goal of ICEC’s purpose. Each year, nominations and elections are held to fill the Executive Committee.  In 2017, at minimum, two Executive Committee positions will be filled.  Election to the ICEC Executive Committee means you have the opportunity to use your talents to further the purpose of ICEC!

In December check your email for a ballot to vote!

Barb Gigar - Dept. of Natural Resources
Why be on ICEC board?
I am excited about the opportunities with conservation education related to the new Iowa science standards, as well as the ever increasing support to get children and adults outdoors and more connected with their local natural resources. I believe ICEC’s recent projects position it as a key player in getting more formal and non-formal educators engaged in conservation education.

Contribute to ICEC Board?
I have been involved in formal and non-formal education for more than 30 years, teaching all levels from PreK through adult. I have developed award-winning educational resources, managed statewide and local level programs, and written/managed a number of grants. I believe my experience in these areas can help as ICEC is presented new challenges and opportunities to further conservation education. I am passionate about getting youth outdoors to play in, learn from, and help sustain our natural resources.

Experienced Educator: 7-12 science teacher, community college instructor, 4-H leader and Extension Council member; Program coordinator: Develop and coordinate statewide conservation education and outdoor skills programs (materials development, partnerships, budget, program reports, grant writing and management, program delivery

Emily Klein -  Poweshiek County Conservation
Why you want to be part of ExCom
I would like to continue to be a part of the ICEC Executive Committee. I have served as an ExCom member for the past 3 years, and enjoyed networking with other educators and staying up to date on the latest information and developments happening in education in Iowa

What you can contribute to ICEC by being on the ExCom
Because of my previous years of experience, I feel that I have a good understanding of the mission and purpose of ICEC as we work towards improving the future. I can continue to provide leadership and support to the organization as we invest in our new executive director and work to grow the organization.
Your occupation/background, skills and accomplishments
I currently work as the Naturalist/Resource Manager for Poweshiek County Conservation. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education Science Communication option from Iowa State University and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University. I have worked as a non-formal educator for 15 years in various states and education centers across the country.

Lisa Ralls - Winnebago County Conservation 
Why you want to be part of ExCom
There is no doubt that if we are to confront the challenges that face our environment, we will need to find ways to reconnect people with the outdoors. We will need to help people realize not only how to protect our planet’s natural resources, but also why doing so is important--both physically and spiritually. And that means we need to reach people in both formal and non-formal educational settings. By being a part of ICEC, I hope I am helping to improve how we reach people through conservation education here in Iowa.

I received my BS Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and my MS Degree in Science Education from the University of Iowa. I have worked as a naturalist for Iowa’s County Conservation Board system for 31 years and have seen many changes over that time. Students have definitely changed, as has the technology we use to reach both them and the general public. In short, as values and attitudes change, so must the ways we teach; and I have always worked hard to adapt to the ever-changing educational landscape.

To try to keep up with the most effective environmental education concepts, I try to regularly attend statewide Iowa Association of Naturalists meetings, as well as our district Iowa Association of County Conservation Board meetings. In addition, I have held IACCB District 2 positions as Secretary, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman, and have been a part of the Winterfest Planning Committee. I also currently sit on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family, as well as camp, hike, canoe, and read.

I sincerely hope that I can continue to bring my experience and skills to the ICEC and help contribute to the continual improvement of conservation education here in Iowa. 

Restatement of the Bylaws

At the 2016 Annual Membership Meeting, the Executive Committee explained that a sub-committee was going to review the current bylaws of ICEC. This sub-committee worked to update the bylaws to how the organization has evolved. Then the sub-committee worked with the Drake Legal Clinic to have the draft restatement of the ICEC bylaws reviewed for what was required per Iowa Code. At the 2016 Annual Meeting it was also discussed and agreed upon by those in attendance that any voting needed would be done electronically. Per the current bylaws, amendments may be approved by membership at any regular or special meeting (i.e. voting by email) after providing the changes to membership 30 days prior.

At the 11 October 2016 Executive Committee meeting, a motion passed recommending this Restatement of the Bylaws be sent to membership for review and a vote for approval at least 30 days later. Please take time to review the document!
Here is the timeline:
  • 12 October 2016 the Restatement of the Bylaws was posted on the website and membership emailed the link.
  • 14 November 2016 an email will be sent to current ICEC members to vote to approve the bylaws.
Thank you for being an active member in ICEC!
The Iowa Conservation Education Coalition (ICEC) is a 501(c)3 Iowa non-profit first organized in 1958! Our primary purpose is to promote and support conservation education and environmental education in Iowa.

ICEC needs you! Join or renew your annual membership today. Annual memberships expire on December 31 and should be renewed by January 31. Your membership supports excellence in conservation education through networking with formal and non-formal educators and their support services, and conservation professionals!

Remember to visit the ICEC Facebook page, like it, and share it! The more you comment on a page's post, the more that page will show in your news feed! 


Iowa Conservation Education Coalition
ICEC Board
Beth Martin
Des Moines Schools

Linda Zaletel
Retired Env Educator

Terrie Hoefer
Saving Our Avian Resources - SOAR

Lisa Ralls
Winnebago County Conservation Board

Emily Klein
Poweshiek County Conservation Board

Adam Puderbaugh
Des Moines Schools

Karess Knudtson
Dickinson County Conservation Board

Martha Tushaus McCormick
Next Step Adventure
Copyright © 2016 Iowa Conservation Education Coalition, All rights reserved.

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