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The Executive Director of NAAEE, the North American Association for Environmental Education, Judy Braus, was in the UK briefly at the end of last week, en route to the 8th WEEC in Göteborg.  While here, she met NAEE President, Bill Scott, and discussed a range of issues that are common to both organisations.  They also explored some of the opportunities for collaboration.  NAAEE covers Mexico and Canada as well as the USA, and so, like NAEE has to work within separate and quite different educational systems.  That said, the physical area and populations that are covered by the two organisations are very different, 21.3m square km / 480m people : 242,000 square km / 65m people.

NAAEE’s core interests are, like NAEE’s, the encouragement and support of effective environmental education of all kinds.  Working within quite different political contexts, however, they have gone about this task over time in quite different ways, and looking at NAAEE’s website shows you the range of activities they now pursue.  Judy said that they are about to launch a new website to improve communication with members, supporters, and the wider world.  NAEE has just done this, of course, illustrating similar thinking about how important websites are today.  We will let you know when the new NAAEE site is up and running.

The one obvious difference between the two organisations is the importance to NAAEE of its annual conference.  Look here for details of this year’s meeting in San Diego in October.  It’s not too late to register, we’re told.  Next year, the meeting is in Wisconsin; see you there perhaps?  Another key difference is NAEE’s journal, and such contrasts say a lot about the organisations’ contexts and histories.

Judy and Bill agreed to keep talking about collaboration.  One thing’s certain – you’ll read about it first on this blog.