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Educator Workshops

American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS)
AWLS allows educators of all types (teachers, scout leaders; etc.) to experience a variety of outdoor skills. If you are inexperienced in the outdoors and always wanted to learn, or if you are already at a higher level of outdoor skill, and want to learn more, AWLS is for you. 

Basic Shotgun Coaches Certification Training Course
This course is designed to teach basic shotgun coaching techniques and team management fundamentals for leading youth trap, sporting clays and/or skeet teams. It is designed for experienced shooters/coaches and novices alike. Course content includes an overview of the Scholastic Clay Target Program and Iowa High School clay target shooting, safety, range orientation and setup, eye dominance, gun-fit, coaching fundamentals, teaching the new shooter, risk management, coaching logistics and equipment. 

Fish Iowa!
Materials are available to Iowa educators and youth leaders only through training sessions (one-on one) and workshops. Email the Aquatic Education Program to locate a Fish Iowa! trainer near you.

IOWATER Introductory Workshops
IOWATER is a statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program. Introductory workshops are open to any individual or group that is interested in water quality. A variety of session settings, held both indoors and outdoors, will contain topics such as starting a monitoring plan, the "why-tos" and "how-tos" of water monitoring, what to do with the data, networking with others concerned about water quality, and some muddy fun!

Upon completion of the workshop, you will be a certified IOWATER Citizen Monitor. The workshop is based on eight hours training; exact times varying depending on location. Workshop registration fee is $20, which covers all program fees, meals, and testing equipment. Group registration fee is $30 for up to three people; ten dollars for each additional person.

National Archery in the Schools Program Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) 
The Iowa DNR provides NASP Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) training throughout the state to teachers and archery program organizers. Training is provided at no cost to teachers conducting NASP programs as part of a 2 week in-school course. To start a NASP program in your school, to schedule or sign up for training, or for questions on NASP in Iowa, contact Donise Petersen, Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa DNR at 515-205-8709.

Projects WILD, Aquatic WILD
WILD, Aquatic WILD  materials are available to formal and nonformal educators through workshops on request for groups of at least 15 educators and/or youth leaders.

Workshops also are provided through several colleges and universities. At the workshop, participants will be introduced to several activities as well as to suggested teaching techniques, ideas for using the activities, and philosophies behind the programs.

Email the Aquatic Education Program to receive email notification of upcoming training opportunities.

Project Learning Tree
The Project Learning Tree Pre-K - 8th grade guide contains activities relating to trees, forestry, the interrelationships between organisms and their environment, and other ecological concepts. PLT is correlated to the National Standards for Science and Social Studies.

Email or call the PLT coordinator for workshop information: Laura Wagner 515-725-8451 or

Taking STEM Outside: WILD Project-based Learning in Your Schoolyard
June 24 & 25, 2015 (100% attendance required for credit)
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden (909 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines)
Registration Deadline: June 17, 2015
Registration Fee: $75* (includes lunches, materials, and 1 license renewal credit); or $150* (includes lunches, materials, and 1 EDEX graduate credit)
Electronic Registration

Learn how to take STEM outdoors. Spend two days turning outdoor projects and exploration into project-based learning units specifically geared for your teaching situation. We will demonstrate how to bundle your favorite Project WILD and Aquatic WILD activities with field investigations to foster inquiry-based learning and meet local and state learning standards. Much of this “flipped” professional development will be spent creating your own path through a host of nationally developed and tested resources to engage your students in authentic inquiry through modeling, discussion, and practice using your school yard or a local natural area and your classes as the framework.

Co-sponsored by the Iowa Conservation Coalition, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department.


For more information, contact:; 515-494-3891.

Teaching Outdoor Skills: An Introduction to Basic Outdoor Skills
June 23 & 24, 2015 (100% attendance required for credit) 
8:30 am - 8:30 pm (6/23); 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (6/24)
Clay County Conservation Board (
420 10th Avenue SE  Spencer)  
Registration Deadline: June 9, 2015

Registration Fee: $120 (1 license renewal credit and course materials)
Electronic Registration

Hands-on sessions will acquaint participants with a variety of basic outdoor skills and teaching resources/methodologies. Participants will receive introductory instruction and lesson plans for planning outings, map reading, hiking, paddling, fishing, archery, campfire programs, and basic firearm safety/shooting. Meals, materials and credit are included in the registration cost. Participants will be required to outline a teaching unit to integrate outdoor skills in their current teaching situation.

Teaching Outdoor Skills: Fish Iowa!
June 16 &17, 2014 (100% attendance required for credit) 
8:030 am - 6:30 pm (6/16); 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (6/17)
Willow Lake, Woodbine & DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri Valley
Registration Deadline: June 11, 2015  
Registration Fee: $175 (1 license renewal credit and course materials) 
Electronic Registration

This course will acquaint participants with the Fish Iowa! basic spincasting module and a variety of other resources to teach fishing in a variety of settings. Participants will learn fishing basics including fish identification, fishing locations, casting techniques, and cleaning and cooking fish. Participants will experience lake fishing and bow fishing. They will also have an option to try kayak fishing. Instruction will include a variety of demonstration and hands-on, experiential approaches. Activities will also include peer teaching and small group work to develop appropriate teaching strategies for individual teaching situations. Participants will integrate discussions of human interactions with our aquatic resources, especially the Missouri River, as they learn about the history of DeSoto Bend. The course is presented by the Iowa DNR, Harrison County Conservation Board and DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge.

 For more information, contact:; 515-494-3891.