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Celebrating 20 years of excellence in environmental education
The Oxford Institute for Environmental Education is a two-week workshop for K-12 educators from Georgia and north Florida, led by the biology faculty at Oxford College of Emory University.

The Oxford Institute for Environmental Education (OIEE) was founded at Oxford College in 1992 with a mission of helping educators in grades K-12 learn more about environmental science and sustainability issues while finding new ways to energize their teaching of science.  The annual two-week professional development seminar is taking place this year June 4-15.

Participation in OIEE is competitive. The 16 participants for OIEE 2012 were selected from a pool of dozens of applicants, and they represent schools from across Georgia and north Florida.

OIEE is led by Oxford College biology faculty members, including Steven Baker, Eloise Carter and Theodosia Wade. Assisting as master teacher for the institute is Sherry Abts, an award-winning science specialist. 

OIEE participants learn the basic principles of ecology in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, methods for applying this knowledge to lesson plans and ways to develop their own schoolyards for environmental education.  Instruction takes place at Oxhouse Science Center, Oxford College's science field station, as well as at other local habitats, including Newton County's Bear Creek. 

Since it was founded in 1992, OIEE has trained more than 350 teachers and by extension has influenced science education throughout Georgia and the region.

At a follow-up meeting in the fall, teachers will share their experiences in implementing what they learn this summer and discuss their continuing projects.

Major funding for OIEE comes from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, with additional support from the Chevron Foundation, Georgia Power Foundation, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Teacher Quality Program and Wal-Mart.  The institute has been awarded the Certificate of Environmental Achievement Award from the National Awards Council for Environmental Sustainability and named Conservation Educator of the Year Award by the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

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