Rural Action’s Environmental Education program connects students and teachers in Appalachian Ohio with outdoor learning opportunities.
We collaborate with schools to meet science, language arts, math, and social studies standards through environmental education.
The Environmental Education team helps young people develop a sense of place and gives them tools to make informed decisions about their natural resources. Our programs introduce students to academic and professional paths related to natural resources. We offer:
- Environmental education workshops and resources for teachers
- Environmental education programs for schools, tied closely to academic standards
- Lessons and activities for after-school programs, libraries, community events, etc.
- Internship and volunteer opportunities
- Opportunities for community members to engage in local wildlife monitoring programs
Appalachian Green Teachers Project
Working with teachers to bring environmental education into the schools. Learn More
Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES)
Building environmental stewardship ethic in youth through extracurricular activities. Learn More
Citizen Science Monitoring
Connecting citizens to birds, bugs and butterflies while gathering scientific data. Learn More
Links + Resources
Explore natural history, teaching resources and our amazing partners. View Now
What We’ve Been Up To
Tomcats Monitor Vernal Pools by Joe Brehm, published in EECO News Summer Issue
Alexander Schools, Rural Action collaborate to install pollinator garden by Arian Smedley published in the Athens Messenger on September 15, 2012
Land Lab brings life to Trimble’s science class by Arian Smedley, published in the Athens Messenger December 21, 2012
State honors Rural Action’s environmental education coordinator by Arian Smedley in the Athens Messenger, December 29, 2012
Trail-building at Trimble High School: an AmeriCorps’ account by Lynn Grabowski, Rural Action Ohio Stream Restore Corps member
Environmental Education Staff
Joe Brehm | Environmental Education Program Coordinator. My obsession with the outdoors started when my dad took my brothers and me for walks through the woods near my childhood home near Zanesville when we were old enough to walk. We tracked deer, raccoons, foxes, and learned to be comfortable outside.
My first formal study of the natural world began with a butterfly monitoring project, where I learned just how many different kinds of wildflowers, insects, and trees Ohio harbors. I have spent countless hours since then studying and exploring wilderness areas both large and small. While hiking or walking virtually anywhere, I make frequent and abrupt stops to inspect animal tracks, scat, birds, vernal pools, etc.
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Montana, and went on to earn my Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies at Ohio University. I have coordinated Rural Action’s long-standing Environmental Education program since May of 2010 and thoroughly enjoy sharing my passion for the natural world with others. We strive to connect students, teachers, and community members with outdoor classrooms in the region and the hands-on learning opportunities they offer.
The Ohio Stream Restore Corps Three members of the Ohio Stream Restore Corps—Rural Action’s AmeriCorps program—serve in Environmental Education each year, bringing a unique set of skills and expanding the reach of the program.