Educator Treks

Educator Treks

Get in the field and explore remarkable natural places across North Carolina and beyond, or join us for a workshop onsite. Return to your classroom with a sense of renewal and with practical ways to integrate the natural sciences into your teaching.
PhotosMuseum Education Photos – View photo highlights of previous Educator Treks.

Get credit!

Participants receive a certificate for CEUs and credit for North Carolina's Environmental Education Certification Program.

Get signed up!

 Educator Trek Registration Form (PDF) – Complete, print and mail this form to register for Educator Treks. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email and/or mailed receipt. Workshop details will be sent via email one to two weeks prior to the workshop.

2015-16 Educator Trek Offerings

Click on the links below for more information about each workshop. Workshops are conducted onsite at the Museum or in the field. Departure time for most weekend workshops is 3:45 pm on Friday. Cost for field workshops typically includes transportation from Raleigh, lodging, some meals, and resources. Cost for onsite workshops typically includes resource materials.

Check back often, as offerings will be added and updated!

Summer 2015

Genetics and Our Food Supply
NCSU Crop Research Station • Thur, Jul 16, 2015 • 9 - 4 • Free (with refundable deposit)
Meet with researchers in the field to discuss the improvement of crop plants by means of conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering.

Fall 2015

Bringing Citizen Science into Environmental Education
At Prairie Ridge • Sat, Sept 12, 2015 • 9-5 • FREE! • 7 contact hours
Learn information, tips and tools to incorporate citizen science into your lesson plans or outdoor EE programs.

Secrets of the Swamp*
On the Roanoke River • Thurs, Sept 24 – Fri, Sept 25, 2015 • $15 • 16 contact hours
Explore North Carolina’s bottomland hardwood forest and experience a night in a remote swamp.
*Offered through the Environmental Educators of NC conference. Registration at

Butterfly Pinning and Backyard Bug Collecting: Fall
At NCMNS • Thurs, Oct 15, 2015 • $35 • 2 contact hours
Prepare, pin and mount a variety of spectacular tropical butterflies!

Using Your School Grounds: Fall
At Whiteville Branch of NCMNS • Thurs, Oct 22, 2015 • $10 • 2 contact hours
Join Museum educators to explore resources that are available in the fall right outside your school’s door including caterpillars and trees.

Discovering Island Ecology through Nature Journaling
Location TBA • Fri, Oct 23 - Sun, Oct 25, 2015 • Fee TBA • 20 contact hours
Increase your understanding of coastal ecosystems and gain news ways to incorporate science and writing into your teaching.

Got Elk?
At Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Fri, Oct 30 - Sun, Nov 1, 2015 • $85 • 20 contact hours
Join us as we search for the majestic elk, reintroduced to the Smokies after an absence of more than 200 years.

Winter 2015-16

Where Swans Fly and Bears Walk
At Pocosin Lakes Nat'l Wildlife Refuge • Fri, Jan 8 - Sat, Jan 9, 2016 • $90 • 12 contact hours
Experience one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North Carolina and gain ideas for incorporating wild creatures into your teaching.

Yellowstone in Winter – Applications due Fri, Sept 25, 2015*
At Yellowstone National Park • Thurs, Jan 14 – Tues, Jan 19, 2016 • $1950** • 45 contact hours
Glimpse the spectacular natural wonders of America’s first National Park during its most beautiful and quiet season. Discover the winter adaptations of its charismatic inhabitants and make connections to ecosystems in NC!
*For an application, contact Melissa Dowland at
**Fee includes airfare, ground transportation, snowcoach tour, lodging and some meals)

Grading Without Grades: Fun Assessment Strategies
At NCMNS • Thurs, Jan 28, 2016 • 6-8pm • $10 • 2 contact hours
Join us to discover lots of fun strategies for assessing learning, swap ideas for what works, and test out a few activities.

Pelagic Birding
Off the coast of Hatteras, NC • Fri, Feb 12 - Sat, Feb 13, 2016 • Fee TBA
Join Museum educators and ornithologists and we learn about and observe some of our amazing pelagic birds, and hopefully spot some migrating marine mammals.
Offered as an outing for educators and the general public

Using Your School Grounds: Winter
At Whiteville Branch of NCMNS • Sat, Feb 13, 2016 • 1-5pm • $10 • 4 contact hours
Join Museum educators to explore resources that are available in the winter right outside your school’s door including birds and animal tracks and signs.

Mammal Collections
At NCMNS • Fri, Feb 26, 2016 • 9-5 • $35 • 8 contact hours
Learn techniques used by museum curators to collect, prepare, and care for mammal specimens in a research collection.

Spring 2016

Using Your School Grounds: Spring… and Paddling!
At Whiteville Branch of NCMNS • Sat, Mar 12, 2016 • 9-5 • Fee TBA • 7 contact hours
Join Museum educators to explore resources that are available in the spring right outside your school’s door including wildflowers and amphibians. Enjoy an afternoon paddling adventure a nearby bay lake.

NCCAT: Exploring Literacy through Science and History*
At NCCAT campus on Ocracoke, NC • Tues, Apr 5 – Fri, Apr 8, 2016 • FREE!
Join educators from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of History to explore the rich natural and cultural resources of the Outer Banks. Immerse yourself in coastal ecology and follow the paths of influential historical figures to spark your interest and imagination.
*Registration through the NC Center for the Advancement of Teacher at

Butterfly Pinning and Backyard Bug Collecting: Spring
At NCMNS • Date TBA • 6-8pm • $35
Prepare, pin and mount a variety of spectacular tropical butterflies.

GIS in Your School: An Introduction
At NCMNS • Sat, Apr 16, 2016 • 9-4 • FREE! • 6 contact hours
Using a free GIS program that runs on any popular operating system, you will learn about the different types of GIS data, where to find data, how to use and manipulate data in a GIS and how to develop activities tailored to specific curriculum standards.

Spring in the Mountains
At Great Smoky Mountains National Park • Fri, Apr 29 - Sun, May 1, 2016 • $85
Participate in ongoing research projects studying the impacts of air quality and climate change and bring home ideas to teach about our interdependence with the natural world.


For additional information about Educator Treks, contact Melissa Dowland at 919.707.9898.