Thursday, October 11, 2012

North American Association for Environmental Education Conference, Oakland, CA 2012

As the wildlife education coordinator, I have the privilege of travelling to a lot of great places in the U.S.  This week I am in Oakland, CA for the North American Association for Environmental Education Conference, or NAAEE for short.  This is an annual conference and, as conferences go, it's pretty huge.  Attendance usually gets to around 900 or so each year.  I just heard this year's was closer to 1000!

It's been several years since I've been as this conference is also pretty pricey.  But, I always learn a ton of things while I'm here.  This year is no exception.  So, the next few posts will be all about what I've seen and learned at the NAAEE Conference.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires you to attend future NAAEE conferences and even become a member.  You can find more information about that online at

You've got to love a good view from your hotel room.

That's San Francisco across the Bay.

The second bridge in the back is the famous Golden Gate bridge.  You could see the orange color with binoculars.

Also beautiful at night.
OK, enough of the room views.   I am staying at the Marriott and it's attached to the Oakland Convention Center.  Everyone has been super friendly and very accommodating.  And downtown Oakland is very nice.  Very clean and foot traffic friendly.  And, as could be expected in California, very environmentally conscious.  Lots of opportunities to recycle, reuse, and conserve.

I got in Tuesday afternoon and got to have lunch at the Pacific Coast Brewing Company.  Very good food and micro brews, if you're into that.  I then met up with the affiliates group for dinner.  Most states have a state affiliate organization of NAAEE.  Ohio's is EECO or the Environmental Education Council of Ohio.  I happen to be the ODNR Advisor to their executive board.  Each year, NAAEE hosts an Affiliates workshop and they all went out to dinner together at Miss Pearl's Restaurant in the Jack London Square, which is Oakland's waterfront district.  Good food and good conversation with people from the D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont and more.  This is another benefit of these conferences, you get to meet a lot of cool people from all over the country.  The networking is tremendous!

More to come!

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