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Nationally-Recognized Environmental Education Certifications to Come for Future Au Sable Interns

Nov 20, 2013

Au Sable Environmental Education Coordinator Paul Wiemerslage will spend this week learning how to facilitate Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, and Project Flying Wild environmental education curricula. At the end of the week, Wiemerslage will have the requisite training to teach and certify others in these nationally recognized environmental education curricula. Why is his ability to facilitate important for Au Sable? 

“I will become certified to certify [in Project Wild, Learning Tree, and Flying Wild], which means interns will leave [Au Sable] with practical teaching experience as well as three nationally recognized certifications. That is very attractive to see on a resume for future jobs or graduate school," says Wiemerslage.

Wiemerslage explains, “[These] are nationally recognized curriculum designed to be used both in and out of the classroom, by formal and non-formal educators. Classroom teachers, park interpreters, nature centers, summer camps, I've come across these curricula everywhere. Many of the most common lessons that have made their way around the environmental education world are derived from or adaptations of Wild or Learning Tree lessons.”

“We know what a great value our environmental education program provides for our interns. These certifications will help to open doors for them so they can showcase their talents and passion.”

As part of the internship, environmental education interns receive one full week of training in the pedagogy of environmental education and specifically in Au Sable’s science-based, hands-on curriculum. After this intensive week of training, interns serve as environmental education instructors for Au Sable’s K-12 environmental education programs, leading local school students in lessons on plants, wildlife, water quality, and much more. Daily debrief sessions and one-on-one time with Wiemerslage help to continue their development as instructors. Wiemerslage plans to build Project Wild, Learning Tree, and Flying Wild certifications into the intern’s first week of the program with some training time possibly needed throughout the rest of the internship depending on time availability.

Says Wiemerslage, "This is just one more piece to make the internship beneficial for our interns."