Teacher Professional Development

Summer 2023 

Watershed Alliance Teacher Researcher Partnership (WATR) (3-6 credits optional)

The WATR Partnership leverages local research activities and a state-of-the-art research vessel to provide teachers with an immersive year-long science program related to watershed science and water quality issues. The vessel will function as a floating laboratory on Lake Champlain and be the primary vessel of watershed science research at the University of Vermont. During the week-long immersive experience teachers will gain valuable experience as researchers working alongside research faculty, staff, crew, and community partners to better prepare them to reimagine teaching rooted in place. Through the WATR Partnership teachers will learn about current and emerging water quality challenges and become involved in ongoing research projects. The capstone of this experience will be partnering with a researcher to collaborate on the development of a watershed Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) based unit.

Teachers will receive a stipend for their participation. There is no cost to participating in this program, program is funded through the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Space is limited in this program due to R/V capacity. 

We strongly encourage teaching teams to signup together. We also aim to have a geographic distribution of teachers from across the watershed. We will be prioritizing teachers from schools with a high percentage of free and reduced lunch and teachers who serve a diverse student body. Completing this form does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the program. In order to be eligible your school must be located in the Lake Champlain Watershed.

Deadline to apply: February 24, 2023 

*Program facilitators will review applications in early March and notify applicants in mid-March. 

Dates: July 31st - August 4th (summer intensive session), & school year sessions TBD
Location: Rubenstein Ecosystem Sciences Laboratory, R/V Marcelle, and others 

Course Credit: 3-6 credits (tuition fees apply) 

Program Costs: No cost for participation in this program. 

Questions? contact: Ashley Eaton, akeaton [at] uvm.edu 


To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Ashley Eaton at 802-391-4410 or akeaton [at] uvm.edu by May 1 2023 so we may assist you.

Stormwater Education Methods (NR 295/395 - 1 credit) - August 9-10  

This course focuses on the key concepts of a stormwater stewardship curriculum and to be able to effectively implement it with upper elementary, middle and/or high school students. Course participants will engage in hands-on learning to understand the definition of, sources of, and impacts of stormwater on surface water bodies. In addition, they will learn uses for and mechanism of operation for a variety of types of green stormwater infrastructure practices. The course will also provide participants with information about opportunities and steps to implement and maintain various green stormwater infrastructure practices.

Program Dates: August 9th & 10th

Program Location: University of Vermont

Course Credit: 1 credit

Questions? Contact: Ashley Eaton, akeaton [at] uvm.edu


Watershed for Every Classroom (3 credits) - July 18 - 21

Watershed for Every Classroom (WEC) is a year-long professional development experience for K-12 educators in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont, New York and Québec, brought to you by CBEI - the Champlain Basin Education Initiative. A Watershed for Every Classroom is a year-long, supported professional development program for educators who teach in the Lake Champlain Basin, presented by the Champlain Basin Education Initiative. The stories of the Lake Champlain Basin offer multiple ways to teach all subjects; engage students in learning in their community; and provide a way to integrate content, service, and a sense of belonging to one’s home place. We will explore how people, places, and things tell the stories of the Lake Champlain Basin and offer our students the opportunity to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of content, community engagement, and sense of place. Teams of two or more educators are encouraged to apply. Individuals are also welcome. The year long program kicks off with a week-long summer intensive in mid- July and continues through out the school year. The program is most suited for educators working in grades 4-9, but is applicable to all subject areas and grades. Learn more!

This year’s WEC course will include a cohort of place-based educators from Hawaii and include opportunities for rich dialogue to share educator experiences and new field visits. Educators who have taken WEC in the past we welcome to return for this new WEC 2.0 summer experience!

Program Dates: July 18th - 21st

Location: Various throughout the watershed

Course Credit: 3 credits

Questions? Contact: Ashley Eaton, akeaton [at] uvm.edu


Lake Champlain Mercury Community Science Program - Summer Institute

This program, aimed at high school classrooms, uses inquiry-based learning modules to understand mercury contamination in the Lake Champlain watershed. In these modules, students are presented with current, regional information on mercury science, and given the tools to collect and interpret scientific data and to ask relevant and meaningful questions about mercury accumulation in the region. Data from the project will be included in the Dragonfly Mercury Project database, a national monitoring network that involves community scientists in the collection of dragonfly larvae for mercury analysis. Limited space available! Stipends available for year 1 and 2. 

Program Dates: June 26 & 27th

Location: Dartmouth College

Course Credit: TBD

Questions? Contact: Ashley Eaton, akeaton [at] uvm.edu


Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (3 credits)

The Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST) 2.0 Program will engage grade 7-12 teachers in an exploration of Lake Champlain Basin research through authentic investigations alongside scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, and teacher educators. CREST 2.0 builds on the original CREST Program by offering teachers opportunities to engage in new research experiences at Shelburne Farms and at UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Labs. Additionally, participants will have opportunities to integrate project, proficiency, and place-based teaching practices as they develop a project based on the CREST touchstones to be implemented in their classrooms during the academic year. CREST program activities are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Computer Science Teacher Association Standards (CSTA) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in ELA and Mathematics. New emphasis will be placed on computational thinking skills and proficiencies.

Program Dates: June 26 - July 1

Location: Rubenstein Ecosystem Sciences Laboratory and other sites

Course Credit: 3 credits

Questions? Contact: Caroline McKelvey, Caroline.McKelvey [at] uvm.edu

Watershed Wise Teacher Training

Offered each fall and spring Watershed Alliance holds teacher trainings for teachers participating in the Stream Monitoring and Stewardship program. Participation in the training ensures that you will be eligible for future programs as well as getting seniority for borrowing Watershed Alliance equipment and materials.

The training covers the hands-on activities of the Stream Monitoring and Stewardship program which was developed over fifteen years ago for middle and high school students and their teachers. Additionally, we will discuss helpful pre-teaching resources as well as examples of stewardship and outreach projects.

For VT trainings contact Caroline McKelvey, watershd [at] uvm.edu

For NY trainings contact Nate Trachte, ntrac002 [at] plattsburgh.edu