Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Education Links from NJ DEP

We would be remiss if we did not talk this week about the NJ Department of Environmental Protection's own Fish and Wildlife education resources page.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife conducts a variety of educational programs for beginning hunters, anglers, teachers and the general public. Take advantage of these opportunities to increase your knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the outdoors and New Jersey's rich fish and wildlife resources.

A good starting place is DEP's State Environmental Education Directory (SEEDS) website which was designed, and is maintained by, the Environmental Education Program in the Constituent Services Office, part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The site is updated on a regular basis. Its comprehensiveness and currency are made possible through the ongoing cooperation of numerous department programs and staff.

SEEDS promotes environmental education information and resources that are directly supported by DEP, either through its programs or through formal and ongoing alliances and partnerships, and educates the public about the field of environmental education, including its purpose, goals and role in the DEP.

The availability of the resources, expertise and materials listed varies from program to program. In most cases the materials are free of copyright restrictions and can be freely reproduced.

Users of these materials, projects and programs should note that they usually can be adapted to many instructional settings and audiences beyond what is recommended at this site.

The field of environmental education (EE), directed towards youth, families and individuals, has been a component of statewide programming supported by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since the early 1980s. It complements their regulatory and enforcement efforts.

DEP's conservation, natural resource education and interpretive efforts serve to educate people of all ages while providing opportunity for experiential education, recreation, management and planning exercises, research and outdoor study.

Environmental education is critical because complex environmental challenges require a well trained and environmentally aware workforce and an educated public who have the knowledge and skills to participate in solving these problems. Environmental education is also relevant because it helps to ensure the health and welfare of New Jersey by protecting human health; advancing quality education; expanding employment opportunities; promoting sustainable development; best practices and practical uses of technology; applying the latest scientific data, information and practices to New Jersey issues and places; and protecting the state's natural heritage.