On June 26th-29th, 2018 we will kick-off an exciting year of professional learning with the Wellborn Institute. Our journey begins with a 4-day fun and intensive retreat focusing on place-based ecology education (PBEE). The Wellborn Institute is for Upper Valley K-12 educators interested in deepening their PBEE teaching practice. At the end of the 4-day foundational course in June, participants will draft plans for how they will incorporate this learning into their curricula, classrooms, schools, and schoolyards. The Institute will provide an additional 6 hours of onsite coaching / content specialist support as needed through the year. Additionally, $1000 will be provided to each participant to fund these projects. The group will gather four times through the year to share progress and wrap up with a celebration in March 2019 with photos and updates on participants’ work.

What can the Wellborn Place-based Ecology Education (PBEE) Institute offer participants?

  • An interdisciplinary, holistic approach to using the environment as an integrating context for curriculum.
  • Field-based explorations of local resources led by a variety of professionals, emphasizing outdoor inquiry and investigation skills.
  • Place-based learning activities designed to create authentic and relevant connections for students.
  • Best practices in instruction and curriculum design that meet state and national standards.
  • Potential long-term partnerships with organizations that offer additional expertise and resources to support curriculum.
  • A stimulating, thought-provoking experience created to refresh participant’s minds and passion for teaching!
  • Up to $1000 to support PBEE work.


What is expected of participants?

  • Participate fully in the foundational course (June 26-June 29, 2016 at Common Man Inn, Claremont, New Hampshire) and 3 of 4 subsequent gatherings in the coming year.  Meals and lodging will be covered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
  • Participate in the November 1 Wellborn Hub Leadership Conference
  • Develop an outline for a place-based teaching unit that incorporates the local natural environment and meets the academic goals of the school.
  • Include community resources as a key component in students’ experience.
  • Share work informally with other educators on participant’s team, at participant’s school, or across participant’s district.
  • Provide reflections and regular feedback on the challenges and successes of incorporating place-based ecology education into participant’s work.

Check back in late fall 2018 for more information on the 2019 Wellborn Institute application process.