The North American Conservation Education Strategy:

A Tool Kit for Achieving Excellence

The Conservation Education Strategy Tool Kit was developed to support conservation educators in wildlife agencies and beyond. These resources were developed as part of AFWA’s Conservation Education Strategy.

Conservation Education Tool Kit

Conservation Education Foundations Poster of Top 11 Core Conservation Concepts
A high-level overview of what conservation educators seek to accomplish for our audiences.

Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning and Recreation (2022)
Building on the original Field Investigations guide, this guide prepares educators to create meaningful, useful, and standards-based student-led investigations in the outdoors. Field investigations help students become systems thinkers by developing their understanding of science, which does not only happen in a laboratory or classroom. These types of investigations provide students with opportunities to engage in science through a three-dimensional approach by integrating the scientific content with the science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts.

Fostering Stewardship Through Conservation Education: A Best Practices Guide (2022)
A training resource designed to develop outstanding conservation educators in formal and non-formal education environments. Following this step-by-step guide will increase class and program effectiveness and outcomes.

Landscape Investigation Guidelines (2022)
Challenging 4th-12th grade students to engage in social science inquiry by applying spatial thinking to real-world situations.

Sustainable Tomorrow (2022)
A teachers guidebook for applying systems thinking to environmental education curricula. Over the last several years, the understanding of ‘systems’ has increasingly become a core concept found within state science standards. This guidebook was created to supplement the high-quality curricula for K-12 environmental science education with an applied guide to understanding, using, and developing skills in systems thinking when considering environmental science topics.

Outdoor Skills Education Handbook
Designed to help agencies and NGOs work with schools to deliver outdoor skills through health or physical education courses; includes everything a CE professional needs to know about communicating with school administrators, correlating to standards and more. 

Teaching about the Magnificent Monarch: Resource Recommendations for Conservation Educators
This guide is designed for classroom teachers and non-formal wildlife educators to support high-quality conservation education efforts that align with academic standards as well as the AFWA Conservation Education Core Concepts and Framework (Appendix A). The resources included in this guide represent the best-available resources for educators to use when teaching about monarch butterflies.

K-12 Conservation Education Scope and Sequence: an Educator’s Guide to Sequential Learning about Fish and Wildlife
A set of  expectations that translates the AFWA core concepts into both content standards and performance expectations and describe what all students should know and be able to do in three grade bands, K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in the areas of science, social science, and health and fitness. 

Marketing and Research

Making It Last Toolkit
This national conservation outreach strategy is an opportunity for each state agency to significantly increase awareness of its role in protecting and conserving wildlife among target audiences. This campaign toolkit makes specific recommendations on how states can approach and implement this effort using both nonpaid and paid media and includes a flexible creative approach, allowing states to use their own imagery and messaging relevant to specific goals.  

Natural Pathways
The Natural Pathways Project was conducted to meet the overarching objectives of the CE Strategy to maximize states’ investments in their conservation education programs as well as recruitment and retention programs; achieve excellence in conservation education; build NGO and community partnerships; and ultimately, enhance public understanding and appreciation of fish and wildlife management while shaping long-term conservation and sustainable enjoyment of natural resources.

Additional Resources:
Benchmarks for Conservation Literacy
State Science Standards & K-12 Field Science Practice
Value of Field Investigation Models to Natural Resource Conservation Education
Alignment of Outdoor Skills with National Standards and the Framework for 21st Century Learning
Literature Review of the Benefits of Outdoor Skills
Indicators and Data Sources for Assessing Conservation Education and Outdoor Recreation Participation 
Correlations of Outdoor Skills Programs to National Standards

Archived Conservation Education Strategy Resources:
Field Investigations: Using Outdoor Environments to Foster Student Learning of Scientific Practices
Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills
Landscape Investigation Guidelines
Photo Point Monitoring: Using Technology in Field Investigations to Monitor Change Over Time
Schoolyard Biodiversity Investigation Educator Guide
Stewardship Education Best Practices Planning Guide
Sustainable Tomorrow-Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula for Grades 9-12
Technology for Field Investigations