Educator Workshops

2018-19 Educator Workshops



June 23, 2019 - June 30, 2019

This is our seventh Mountains to the Gulf (M2G) event. Many past participants have called this the most amazing 8 days of a teacher’s professional life!

Camp McDowell partners with several other organizations in an amazing teacher expedition called Mountains to the Gulf. A group of twenty-five teachers from across Alabama is selected to travel the state of Alabama for a week with some of the Southeast’s top experts on geology, watersheds, herpetology, and ecology. Some of the experts who usually participate are Dr. Jim Lacefield, author of Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks, Dr. Bill Deutsch, founder of Alabama Water Watch, Trish Smrecek, geologist and paleontologist, Dr. Scot Duncan, author of Southern Wonder: Alabama's Surprising Biodiversity, and Jimmy Stiles, herpetologist. They guide the teacher group through all ecoregions of the state.

Stops are made along the way at Little River Canyon, Cheaha State Park, Montgomery, Conecuh National Forest, and Dauphin Island. We gather fossils from roadside cuts and stream beds across the state of Alabama. The final two days are spent at Dauphin Island Sea Lab where we explore salt marsh estuaries and go out on their research vessel to trawl and learn about the living species in our gulf waters. We stay in hotel style lodging along the way and travel in a charter bus.

The primary sponsor for M2G is Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education ( Other partners include Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA), Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama Water Watch and, of course, McDowell Environmental Center.

To register or learn more information go to the Legacy website by clicking here!

The true cost of this expedition is approximately $2000 per person. Thanks to Legacy, the registration fee is only $325.00!! Thank you Legacy!

For more information about any of these, please contact Maggie Johnston at with “Mountains to the Gulf 2019” in the subject line.

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A Sense of Scale! Using Your Earth to Teach Earth Systems Science

June 10, 2019 9am - June 12, 2019 1pm

A Sense of Scale

Join us for this Earth Science workshop that uses nature, objects found in your schoolyard, and digital resources like Google Earth to help learners explore the world on a variety of scales. We'll zoom into small objects using Private Eye techniques, and zoom out to explore our position in space and time! Expect to go on a few hikes, collect some samples to take back to your classroom, and connect with other teachers. We'll share some of our fun curriculum and offer tips on how to adapt it to your classroom and learners!

Dr. Trisha Smrecak will lead this inquiry-based approach to learning and teaching Earth Science. We will get outside and explore the natural world with our senses. We will learn how to create a learning environment in our classrooms that will get students excited about learning geology and earth systems!

Come join the fun! Click here to register! For more information email with "Sense of Scale workshop" in the subject line.

The cost will be a $75 registration fee. What a great deal for a full three days of fun and learning! The true cost of this workshop is approximately $400 per person, but thanks to Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education we are able to offer such a discounted rate! Thank you Legacy!!!

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Let's Get Wild!

June 17, 2019 9am - June 19, 2019 1am

Join us for a three day, two night experience learning about Project Wild, Flying Wild, and Aquatic Wild classroom curricula that help to bring the natural world into your classroom. You will take home the curricula and kits! We will also focus on inquiry and experiential learning. We are partnering with the Association for Experiential Education for this workshop.

We will stay in the hotel style lodging at Camp McDowell and eat delicious meals with some of the food coming from our very own Farm!

The actual cost for a workshop such as this is approximately $450 per person, but through generous donations from several local foundations and trusts including Hugh Kaul Foundation and Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust, we are able to offer this amazing opportunity to educators for only $100 per person. This is two nights lodging, 7 meals, quality instructors, and materials to take home!

Click here to Register!

Questions? Contact for more information with "Let's Get Wild workshop" in the subject line please.


Alabama Water Watch Educator Workshop!

June 5, 2019 9am - June 6, 2019 4am

Join us as we travel down rivers through time to encounter the rich human history and natural wonders that have defined Alabama. Along the way, we will celebrate an array of magnificent rivers filled with unique plants and animals, shaped over the ages by a remarkably diverse geology. Accept the challenge to restore and protect our rivers for their economic, cultural, and ecological benefits, but most of all because it is the right thing to do...

- Text adapted from the back cover of

Alabama Rivers, A Celebration and Challenge

During the 1.5 day workshop, educators will learn to use An Educator’s Guide to Alabama Rivers which is a companion curriculum to Dr. Bill Deutsch’s book, Alabama Rivers, A Celebration and Challenge. The Curriculum includes hands-on activities and lessons that are correlated to the AL Course of Study Standards for Social Studies and Science for grades 4-7, but is also adaptable for upper grades and other subjects.

Those who complete the training will be prepared to use the curriculum with their own students and will have the option of becoming facilitators who can share it with other educators within their organization.

Registration Fee: $35 (pre-registration required).

See the Registration Page