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Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute

People measuring tree

Group photo in front of building

The Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute (NRTI) is an immersive, multiday professional development workshop that provides Indiana educators the knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively teach their students about forest ecology and forest management practices. Cohosted by the Indiana DNR Division of Forestry and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, the NRTI includes tours of public and private forest lands, forest industry facilities, and forestry research sites. The forest environment becomes the basis for engaging with many subjects, including environmental science, biology, natural resources, and social science. The NRTI incorporates STEM concepts and principles throughout and empowers educators to foster conceptual learning, critical thinking, and decision-making skills in their students.

BENEFITS: The NRTI emphasizes the importance of conserving natural resources, focusing on Indiana’s forests and forest products. Its project-based approach integrates the hands-on study of local natural and cultural resources, concepts in ecology, sense of place, civics, economics, forestland management, and stewardship. Participants will develop a curriculum project about forests or forestry for their classrooms/programs and receive a stipend upon documentation of implementation of this project. Educators will also receive resources and training from Project Learning Tree, forestry equipment kits, and more than 30 Professional Growth Points.

WHEN AND WHERE: The 2024 Institute will be held June 24-28, starting at 1 p.m. on Monday and ending at noon on Friday. The base of operations is the Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest near Martinsville. Participating educators will stay in the training center, sharing one of the 10 sleeping rooms. Meals are provided.

ELIGIBILITY: Interested educators must complete and submit an application by March 22. Successful applicants will be notified by April 1. Up to 18 educators can be accepted.

REQUIREMENTS: Educators must be available to actively participate in the entire institute, which will include walking, hiking, summer temperatures, insects, etc. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities who may need assistance. Educators must participate individually (spouses and/or children, etc. are not permitted) and be able to implement their curriculum project in their classroom/program.

COST: There is no cost to participants. Accepted applicants will be required to pay a $50 deposit that will be refunded at the end of the program. Participants will receive a stipend when documentation is provided showomg they have implemented their curriculum project with their students.

Thank you for your interest in the Natural Resources Teacher Institute. For more information and to request an application, please contact:

Lexi Eiler
IN Project Learning Tree Coordinator
402 W Washington Street, Room W296
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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