The Family Nature Summits gives educators a chance to learn in depth about nature and the local ecosystems. Educators have the opportunity to learn from our experts in geology, freshwater ecology, wildlife studies, environmental science, paleontology and more. Participants also get to observe skilled environmental teaching techniques by our staff of award-winning environmental educators.

Every year we offer a Teacher Scholarship to a dedicated educator to attend a Family Nature Summit with a guest.

We also offer educational credits for educators through Harrison Middleton University.

"I'm convinced that I would not have won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Elementary Science Teaching in 1996 if the Summits and its faculty had not been a part of my life. "

Betty T.

"My students have benefitted greatly from my adventure as well. Upon return, we went outside to do my favorite exercise of all of the things I had learned. My class had been having a difficult time making detailed observations of natural items. We went outside, this is a huge process and big deal at my school, and began by covering our eyes in silence for about a minute and then opening them. I had the students write down their observations. Next went hearing, then touch. As my students sat inside the confines of the barbed wire, no-escape fence, they only made actual observations of sights, sounds, vibrations that were OUTSIDE the fence. We made the observations into a poem and I helped them to see what they were missing in the moment, in the space (as unwelcome as it was) they were in. They opened up to how upset they are to be in their own shoes, and were shocked to find that they had totally missed the Cosmos that were growing in the flower bed we planted, the sound of the baby birds in the garden, and the smells of the soon to blossom strawberries. In that moment, they learned to really observe."

Hilary B. 2013 Bar Harbor Summit Teacher Scholarship Recipient

"I attended many of the programs offered by the FNS. I found the cruises very exciting, getting my first glimpse at puffins and whales! Seeing bald eagles, osprey, seal, and porpoise on another cruise was exhilarating! The guides/teachers really knew their “stuff,” presenting the information in a manner to interest those in each class. I even joined up with several of the children’s programs to gain the perspective of the young people and their interaction with nature. The teachers of these programs did an amazing job with the kids! I found that the classes offered were diverse; sparking the wide range of interests of attendees. There were classes on anything from butterflies to botany, geology to marine mammals. I found the planning of local resources—people/teachers as well as museums—was very well done."

Mary C. 2013 Bar Harbor Summit Teacher Scholarship Recipient

"I wanted to again thank you for offering me the fantastic experience of participating in this years summit. The classes that I participated in developed my content knowledge, the field trips were fantastic and included a lot of content and instructional strategies, and the instructors were great. I greatly appreciate their willingness to not only share their knowledge of the area but also provide opportunities that encouraged others to share, to explore, and to ask questions.

After participating in the summit, I can see a stronger connection between the Next Generation Science Standards and getting students involved in nature. The rambles are good way to introduce or reinforce the cross cutting relationships of patterns, cause and effect, and stability and change while also addressing the science and engineering practice of asking and defining a problem. Many of the activities that I participated in could also connect to the English common core standards and next generation science standards for multiple grade levels.”

Carrie G.2014 Asilomar Summit Teacher Scholarship Recipient