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Professional Development Workshops

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The Monarchs and More Educator Institute

The Monarchs and More Educator Institute (MMEI) is an education program of the Monarch Joint Venture focusing on professional development for formal K-12 classroom teachers and other educators. This program includes the principal North American Monarch Institute (NAMI) workshop and the subsequent Advanced Schoolyard Ecology Explorations (ASEE) workshop with the Monarchs and More curriculum forming the backbone of the program. A companion to these workshops is the Migratory and Urban Bird Institute (MUBI) hosted by the University of Minnesota.

This suite of workshops has a long history, beginning in 2010 at the University of Minnesota. The MJV took over the NAMI and ASEE workshops when it became a standalone non-profit organization in 2019.

NAMI workshops are offered with a variety of formats and funding sources but would not be possible without the generous support from the US Forest Service-International Programs.

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A key goal for all of MJVs workshops is to promote a standards- and inquiry-based approach to science by encouraging and supporting ongoing engagement in conservation and research activities.  Using the Monarchs and More curriculum as a guide, participants study monarch biology and ecology, engage in community science programs (such as Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, tagging, Journey North, and Monarch Health), study the plants and animals with which monarchs interact in the wild, learn how to create schoolyard habitats to support monarchs and other pollinators and how to use their outdoor spaces as a learning environment with their students. These activities are supported during an intensive workshop, followed by ongoing communication and support via email list and newsletter. To date, alumni of the program have created over 200 school pollinator gardens for students to engage in conservation and conduct outdoor observations and investigations.

The combined reach of MJV's workshops extends to thousands of school-aged students, community and faith-based programs, nature center visitors, and museum and zoo guests across North America.

North American Monarch Institute

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The North American Monarch Institute (NAMI) workshop is a 2- to 3-day intensive professional development for K-12 and preservice teachers and non-formal educators. During this workshop, participants learn about the monarch life cycle and migration, gain an introductory understanding of monarch conservation, and learn how to participate in multiple monarch community science programs. In addition to heavy monarch content, participants will also explore concepts of schoolyard ecology and invertebrate diversity while following the process of science. These workshops use the Monarchs and More curriculum as the backbone for content and instruction and all participants receive a copy of this in addition to other materials.

NAMI has several formats and each one is different depending on several factors.

Check out more information about NAMI here. 

Open Registration

This workshop is offered in various formats equaling up to 24 hours of training: over multiple evenings, several days, and possibly including virtual components. These workshops are funded through registration fees and sponsorships to provide need-based scholarships for attendees. Registration is open to anyone. These open workshops are located in the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota. Registration fees cover the cost of staff and instructor time, the venue, and materials. Participants can come from anywhere but tend to be primarily from the local region. A limited number of fee-based scholarships may be available.

Sign up now for NAMI! Two workshops are being offered this summer and fall in Minneapolis. 

Contracted Workshop

Schools, districts or other organizations can contract MJV to conduct a NAMI workshop for their teachers and staff. These workshops are typically 2-3 days, but can be shorter or made up of multiple shorter sessions depending on the needs of the group. These can be located anywhere in the US and the fees cover all materials and cost of staff and instructor time and travel. These can be customized to the needs of the group, but generally follow the same content and format as our public trainings with a few small tweaks specific to the contracting organization’s needs. Contracted workshops can be located anywhere, provided travel is an option. The contract fees cover the cost of MJV Staff and instructor time and travel as well as participant materials.

If you are interested in contracting MJV to provide a workshop at your school or organization, please contact the Education Coordinator at education@monarchjointventure.org.

USFS - International Programs Collaboration

Since 2010 these workshops have been funded generously by the US Forest Service International Programs and conducted in partnership with other organizations. These workshops are by invitation only. For the past few years we have co-hosted these workshops in collaboration with the UW-Madison Arboretum. Throughout its history, these workshops have brought together more than 800 educators from across North America for a 3-day intensive professional development experience.

Advanced Schoolyard Ecology Explorations

The Advanced Schoolyard Ecology Explorations (ASEE) workshop is a program of the Monarchs and More Educator Institute.

ASEE is a 3-day intensive professional development for K-12 and preservice teachers and non-formal educators. Participants typically have already participated in the principal NAMI workshop or the companion workshop, Migratory and Urban Bird Institute (MUBI), hosted by the University of Minnesota. During this workshop, participants delve more deeply into monarch conservation and community science and expand further into schoolyard ecology with community science projects focusing on other organisms. Participants also fully take part in the process of science by conducting science investigations related to topics observed while collecting data and learning about their community science program of choice. Participants leave this workshop with a greater understanding of the complexities of conservation and ecology and a greater comfort level with these topics and science in general.

Contracted workshop

Schools, districts or other organizations can contract MJV to conduct an ASEE workshop for their teachers and staff. These workshops are typically 2-3 days, but can be shorter or made up of multiple shorter sessions depending on the needs of the group, though generally still follow the same topics and concepts of the flagship workshop. These can be located anywhere in the US and the fees cover all materials and cost of staff and instructor time and travel. These can be customized to the needs of the group, but generally follow the same content and format as our public trainings with a few small tweaks specific to the contracting organization’s needs.

  • Located anywhere, provided travel is an option

  • Funded by the contracting organization(s)

  • Fees cover the cost of MJV staff and instructor time and travel, and participant materials

  • Participants are from the contracting organization or their partners

USFS - International Programs Collaboration

These workshops are funded generously by the US Forest Service International Programs and conducted in partnership with other organizations. These workshops are by invitation only.

  • 3-day Intensive professional development

  • In partnership with UW Madison Arboretum

  • Participants are eligible to apply for up to $500 in Garden Grant funds

  • Participants from all over North America and are typically past NAMI or Migratory and Urban Bird Institute (MUBI) participants