School of the Earth
Choosing a Course…
The institute offers a number of courses depending on whether someone is interested primarily in the interpretation, education, or contemplation trunks of its tree. Program Workshops are for those who would like a firsthand introduction to one of the institute’s current programs, and the in-depth Leadership Workshops are for those who want to begin conducting one of its programs or special experiences. All of the workshops enjoy a worldwide reputation for quality and are conducted by the institute’s accredited trainers.
Choosing a Talk…
Steve Van Matre’s popularity in the field of nature education and interpretation began with the publication of the Acclimatization and Acclimatizing books, and the 1974 National Geographic magazine article on his program. Today, Steve enjoys a worldwide reputation as an author, designer, educator – and yes, as an organizer, speaker, and provocateur. His animated talks and spirited commentaries seldom leave anyone unmoved. “Falling in love with the earth is one of life’s great adventures. It is an affair of the heart like no other; a rapturous experience that remains endlessly repeatable throughout life. This is no fleeting romance; it’s an uncommon affair, one unconstrained by age or custom, and strengthened rather than diminished through sharing. The more one gives it away, the stronger it grows.”
Sponsoring a Session
If you would like to sponsor a one- or two-day training session that will prepare leaders to offer earth education programs, such as, Earthkeepers, or start them off on the earth education path, please contact us. If you would like to introduce them to the “dance of experience” through interpretive design, please contact us. If you would like to encourage others to reflect upon why they are serving the planet and where they are going in their service, please contact us. There are seven steps in arranging an institute workshop or speech:
- A Trainer arranges for a workshop with a Sponsor (through a personal contact, a referral from an Affiliate Branch coordinator, or even a referral from the international office).
- The Trainer sends a “Request for a Workshop” form to the international office, with the per participant fee in US Dollars (based on our annual international fees chart).
- When the Request for a Workshop form is received, the international office sends a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to the Sponsor, plus a copy to the Trainer (to assure its accuracy).
- When a signed copy of the MOA is received from the Sponsor at the international office, a copy is sent to the Trainer authorizing the Trainer to conduct the workshop. A Trainer cannot conduct a workshop for the institute without receiving a signed copy of this MOA from the international office.
- Upon completion of the workshop, a Session Record, signed by both the Trainer and the Sponsor, is sent to the international office.
- Based on the Session Record, the international office invoices the Sponsor in US Dollars, payable to the international office. (When there is an Affiliate Branch involved, the international office invoices the Affiliate in US Dollars for the portion of the fees due the international, and the Affiliate invoices the Sponsor.) The Sponsor pays the Trainer directly for the Trainer’s travel, materials, or other expense.
- When the international office receives payment, it pays the Trainer in US Dollars, or issues a credit memo in US Dollars to an Affiliate which pays the Trainer in the local currency.
Ilkka Aula became involved with earth education in the 1990’s and has been helping lead the Earthkeepers programs in Finland since 1996. Ilkka has been the Major Branch Coordinator for the Finnish Branch of the institute for many years and has been instrumental as the Translation Team Coordinator that led to Earth Education…A New Beginning, Earthwalks, Muir Treks, and Earthkeepers Level I and Level II in Finnish. Now the owner of the company Elontila (ET) Ay, he received his Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Helsinki, and has worked as a nature school teacher, director for environmental protection, and director of a nature center in Finland. Ilkka has the ability to conduct his workshops in both Finnish and English. Home Base: Elontila (ET) Ay, Lahti, Finland Certified Workshops: Introductory Earth Education Workshop, Muir Trek Leadership Workshop, Earthwalks Leadership Workshop. Contact: email@example.com
Jon Cree has been a certified trainer for the institute in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1991, leading dozens of sessions across the continent and helping numerous outdoor leaders become earth educators themselves. Currently, Jon is the Training Coordinator at Bishops Wood Centre (part of the Worcestershire County Council). While working at Peak National Park in the 80’s, Jon helped run both the Earthkeepers and Sunship Earth programs, and at Bishops Wood, Earthkeepers and SUNSHIP III. He joined the institute as an Associate in 1983. Home Base: Bishops Wood Centre, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, UK Certified Workshops: Introductory Earth Education Workshop, Earthwalks Leadership Workshop, Muir Trek Leadership Workshop, Earthkeepers Program Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org