Current Program Information 2018-2020

eii students working on a class project

Environmental Issues Instruction (eii) and Upper Iowa University presents:

Water Connects Us All: Growing Networks for Clean and Safe Water in the Heartland

This is an interdisciplinary, undergraduate or graduate level college credit course for all teachers PK-12 and other environmental educators.

Receive two college credits for a total cost of $275. This includes the college credit, food, lodging, and teaching materials. This is made possible by grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), Resources Enhancement and Protection-Conservation Education Program, (REAP-CEP), Iowa Farm Bureau, the Izaak Walton League, and Upper Iowa University.

FIRST WORKSHOP: The first workshop was held in Mt. Vernon February, 2019,  and the update session will be held April 5-6, 2019.


The second workshop was held at Lakeside Lab in June, 2019, and the update session will be held April 4-5, 2020.


A third workshop was held at the UIU Cener in Bettendorf November 15, 16 and 17.  The update session will be March 27 & 28, 2020.

The update session begins Friday evening and ends Saturday afternoon.


Upper Iowa University Campus-Fayette, Iowa - February 28, 29 and March 1, 2020.  The update session will be held May 1-2, 2020.

Theme: Water Connects Us All-Growing Networks for Clean and Safe Water in the Heartland

Farms make up 92% of the land in Iowa and, while water availability and quality are major concerns for farmers in the state; run-off from farms has made drinking water quality a significant concern for all Iowans. In response to excessively high levels of nutrients in Iowa waterways, Iowa released the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy in 2014. The strategy uses an integrated approach to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint (e.g. farm fields) sources. Water Connects Us All will provide professional development workshops focusing on environmental education that includes methods to reduce nutrients in surface water, thereby helping to improve water quality in Iowa. This professional development opportunity will help educators align their teaching with state standards and incorporate real world, local issues, while increasing the environmental literacy of their students, who represent the future of Iowa.

Issue: Should action be taken to improve water and soil quality in Iowa?

The Eii model utilizes:

  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • STEM-Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Project-Based Teaching and Learning
  • Framework for K-12 Science Cross-Cutting Concepts
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning
  • Iowa Core Characteristics of Effective Instruction
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • The Learning Cycle/5E’s

Thematic Integration of:

  • Environmental Education
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Fine Arts
  • Physical Education

Course: EDU 461/561: Environmental Issues Instruction: Water Connects Us All-Growing Networks for Clean and Safe Water in the Heartland

Two hours of undergraduate or graduate credit from Upper Iowa University

Course Expectations:

  • Attend two sessions-initial and update:
  • Modeling of instructional levels
  • Sharing the teaching experience
  • Develop and teach unit between initial and update sessions
  • Give evidence of student action
  • Administer student assessment (pre-post)
  • Prepare brief written report of experience

Instructional Model:

  • I - Issue Analysis
  • II - Ecological Foundations
  • III - Energy Issues
  • IV - Responsible Environmental Action

Instructional Support:

  • Resource materials for integrating disciplines
  • Provide consultation and materials for action projects
  • E-mail and telephone contacts

Institutional Support:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • REAP-CEP (Resource Enhancement and Protection-Conservation Education Program)
  • Upper Iowa University-Andres School of Education
  • Iowa State University Extension Education
  • Iowa Farm Bureau
  • Izaak Walton League

Eii Instructional Staff

Dr. Barb Ehlers, Eii director
Associate Professor of Education
Upper Iowa University

Jeff Monteith, Associate Director
K-12 Extended Learning Program Teacher
New Hampton Schools
New Hampton, Iowa

Cathryn Carney, Associate Director
Former High School Science Teacher
Graduate Student, University of Iowa
Science Education

Dr. Kata McCarville, Associate Director
Professor of Geosciences
Upper Iowa University