Skip to main content

Center for Environmental Education


Correlations to TN Educ Standards for “Discover” booklets
“Discover the Waters of TN” – 4th Grade Standards
“Discover the Waters of TN” – 5th Grade Standards
“Discover the Waters of TN” – 6th Grade Standards
“Discover the Waters of TN” – 7th Grade Standards
“Discover the Waters of TN” – 8th Grade Standards

Sample of Certificate of Completion, available upon request:
“Discover the Waters” Certificate

Discover the Waters of TN Partners

Tennessee Project WET

WET stands for ater ducation for eachers. Project WET is an international, interdisciplinary, water science and education program for formal and non-formal educators of K-12 students.

In Tennessee, the mission of Project WET is to help teachers provide water education to their students with the goal of reducing nonpoint source pollution and improving water quality. This service is provided primarily through educator workshops. Project WET is located in The Center of Excellence for Field Biology of Austin Peay State University.

Educator Workshops

All educators of K-12th grade are welcome at Project WET workshops that are listed on eeintennessee: public and private school teachers, pre-service teachers, interpretive staff and educators at parks, museums and nature centers.

For More Information

Please visit our web site at or email Michelle Rogers, the Tennessee State Coordinator of Project WET, at or call (931) 221-6480.


Keep TN Beautiful

Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) is a statewide public service program to educate and rally Tennesseans to take personal responsibility for improving their community environment. As the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) state affiliate organization, KTnB markets the KAB System (54% of population served by affiliates) and supports the 25 TN affiliates with necessary training, retreats, technical assistance, and awards (96% of affiliates in good standing). To learn more about the StopLitter campaign and to order StopLitter products visit or .

Our goals are:
1. Educate to positively change behavior and attitudes creating a clean, green and safe community
2. Reduce Litter
3. Expand, diversity, and secure permanent funding for Keep Tennessee Beautiful
4. Market the Keep Tennessee Beautiful brand for systematic state-wide recognition leading to engagement
5. Substantial expansion of enforcement of environmental laws
6. Persist and innovate for the greening of Tennessee

Here are a few other sites from KAB that are useful to youth: : A site created by KAB featuring KAB Man, a superhero that focuses on litter prevention, waste reduction, beautification, great American cleanup, etc. The site features videos, games and more, perfect to get youth involved with keeping their environment safe, clean, and green. Older children will even find this site interesting and fun. : Another site created by KAB, focusing on proper disposal of waste, litter prevention and beautification. This site is made for educators, featuring comics and other tools to teach children. Very interactive site for today’s youth.



The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power provider, generating electricity that serves nearly 9 million people through local utilities in parts of seven southeastern states. This unique, not-for-profit, federal corporation, created in 1933 as part of the New Deal, provides multiple public benefits for flood control, navigation, power supply and recreation. Today it is self-financed and remains a national and global model for integrated resource management.

Throughout the Tennessee River system TVA’s technically unified system of 54 dams provides flood control, while its 29 hydroelectric dams produce reliable, clean, affordable power, a unique feature of the region. In addition, TVA assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development and is committed to protecting the environmental resources of the Tennessee Valley for future generations, through leadership in clean energy innovation and environmental management.

Within the Environment and Technology organization, TVA is working to identify and implement cost-effective technologies to protect the air, water, and land, while reducing TVA’s water consumption and waste products and supporting environmental enhancements. Environment and Technology has the overall responsibility for TVA’s environmental, natural resource stewardship, and research and development programs.

Teachers and kids, visit your special TVA website at

• Measure your carbon footprint

• Read the diary of a raindrop tumbling down the Tennessee River

• Learn how to stop energy vampires

• Get great ideas for science fair projects and find new resources

To learn more about TVA’s resource stewardship activities, visit .

For information on specific environmental topics contact TVA’s Environmental Information Center at (800) 882-5263 or


Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

America’s #1 Aquarium! Now see the NEW $5 Million Expansion, Ripley’s Penguin Playhouse and the Best Shark Exhibit in the Most Spectacular Underwater Tunnel! Enjoy playful penguins in their new state-of-the-art indoor / outdoor habitat. View penguin from above & below the water in this unique and interactive exhibit. Crawl through clear underwater tunnels, pop-up on the penguins’ private beach, get nose-to-beak! Experience this 1.4 million gallon world-class aquarium featuring 12-foot sharks, thousands of exotic sea creatures, hourly dive and penguin feeding shows and fun-filled marine science presentations. Hold horseshoe crabs, touch stingrays and MUCH, MUCH MORE! Groups and student group rates are available. Food functions. Located downtown Gatlinburg at traffic light #5. Free motor coach parking. Open 365 days a year.


Tennessee Aquarium

Visit the Tennessee Aquarium to see how a field trip can become a true learning experience. The Tennessee Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United States accredited as a supplementary education school by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)/AdvancED. And don’t forget to check our website for the many educational materials that can help make your visit a success.

School groups receive discounts for both the Aquarium and IMAX. From September through March, students on the national school lunch program receive complimentary admission. An educational program aligned to national and state science standards is offered at no extra charge to kindergarten through high school classes visiting the Aquarium.

The Aquarium’s Education Department is dedicated to connecting people with nature by offering opportunities for every visitor to earn an “E” from their experience with us. This involves providing people with Exposure to and creating a personal Experience with the natural world, allowing them to be Enlightened by and creating a strong Emotional connection with nature and Empowering them to make a difference in their own corner of the world.


The world’s first major institution dedicated to freshwater ecosystems, the Tennessee Aquarium’s exhibits first guide visitors through River Journey on a trip from the river’s source in the Appalachians to the delta country of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. In the exciting living environments, you’ll meet fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and arthropods that rely on the river for sustenance. Also located in River Journey is the exciting Seahorse Gallery.

Next on your tour is Ocean Journey, our latest addition to the Tennessee Aquarium. It features a 600,000-gallon secret reef, an undersea cavern, butterfly garden, tropical cove/shark island touch area and a gallery focusing on boneless beauties of the sea. Visit Penguins’ Rock, where macaroni and gentoo penguins entertain and educate. Our newest exhibit is Jellies: Living Art, a breathtaking exhibit developed cooperatively with the Hunter Museum of Art.

The IMAX 3-D Theater gives you an opportunity to experience the natural world in a whole new way! Films such as Under the Sea, African Adventure, Wild Ocean and Hubble 3D offer both learning and thrills.

Hours of Operation

The Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater are open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Visitors may enter the Aquarium anytime from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Address Phone
One Broad Street (800) 262-0695
Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 265-0698 (Reservations)

Contact and they will direct your request to the correct person whether it be for scouts, for schools, for camps. for planning overnight visits or other education opportunities.

Recommended Activity:
If you’re a teacher and would like an activity focusing on rainfall and runoff, try using Measuring Runoff—Rain, Rain Goes Away. Designed for upper elementary through middle school levels, the activity involves measuring impervious areas (parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) and determining how much water is actually “running off”; from those surfaces. Extensions to this activity include examining what might be carried off in that runoff, where it might end up and what harm it could cause. This activity is a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to the subject of non-point source water pollution, the type of pollution that is the principal contaminant of our freshwater resources.


Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance

At our website, you will find more information on who we are, what we do, and how citizens can get involved. We detail projects we are focused on and we have all the currently written watershed plans available.!/pages/Middle-Nolichucky-Watershed-Alliance/195038473783?ref=ts

This link is to our facebook page, which is easier to update than our website. On it you will also find who we are and what we do, but also upcoming events and pictures from previous events.


Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Discovery Center’s is a hands-on museum and nature center whose mission is to inspire creative exploration and build confidence through diverse programs and exhibits.

Discovery Center provides an array of science, culture, arts and health programs and exhibits. Offerings include on-site school programs and museum-to-go programs which support the state’s curriculum guidelines. Each program and exhibit has its own specific objectives, but all are related to the overall museum goal of increasing quality family time and promoting the healthy development of children and youth.

Murfree Spring Wetlands is a 25-acre city park located adjacent to the Discovery Center. Walking trails and raised boardwalks wind through the wetlands, while the plaza area boasts an amphitheater and water features. The area offers parking, restrooms and a playground.

Discovery Center offers guided Wetland Walks for the general public as well as Wetland Festival tours for school groups. Visit our website at for more information.


Nestlé Waters North America Inc.

Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Nestlé is the leading bottled water company in North America, with international brands such as Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, Aqua Panna and S. Pellegrino, as well as popular regional brands such as Aberfoyle, Contrex, Poland Springs, Arrowhead, Deer Park, and Ice Mountain. For almost two decades the company’s focus on bottled water and a strong corporate culture of respect for people, community and the environment has kept it an industry leader. Nestlé Waters’ Macon County Tennessee Bottling Facility opened in 2003. Visit us at

Center Partners & Affiliations

Tennessee Dept of Environment and Conservation Used Oil Program
The goal of the used oil program is to ensure that all the used motor oil generated in Tennessee is recovered. To reach the 60 percent that is currently unaccounted for, TDEC educates Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYs) about the consequences of improper disposal and inform them where the oil can be properly collected. TDEC also maintains the Used Oil Hotline (1-800-287-9013), which has been in continuous operation since 1994. The Used Oil Program maintains a website that provides geographically specific lists of collection sites.

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Nonpoint Source Pollution Program

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
TAMP (Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program) and “Here Come the Elk” hour-long broadcast, video and curriculum materials

Tennessee Division of Forestry
Project Learning Tree, “If It’s Green, It’s Good?” exotic pest plant video and curriculum

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Tennessee Dept of Energy
“Here Come the Elk” hour-long broadcast, video and curriculum materials

The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program is administered by the US Geological Service and in turn coordinates the state amphibian monitoring programs such as TAMP

National Association for the Advancement of Environmental Education

Tennessee Science Teachers Association

National Science Teachers Association

Tennessee Educators of Aquatic and Marine Sciences

National Marine Educators Association

Rutheford Environmental Education Collaborative

The Ecological Society of America

Tennessee Academy of Science 

Tennessee Department of Education
Project CENTS, Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, Project Flying Wild, Project WET

Tennessee Council for the Social Studies

Tennessee Wildlife Federation
“Here Come the Elk” hour-long broadcast, video and curriculum materials

Tennessee Environmental Education Association

(Return to Top)

Faculty Collaborators

MTSU’s Center for Environmental Education and the MTSU Biology Department have teamed up to bring classroom teachers and youth leaders, speakers and presenters on varied topics dealing with the life sciences. Below is a partial listing of faculty, their specialties, and how to contact them. Availability, exact topics and other details may be finalized upon contact. For a list of MTSU faculty experts from other departments, click here.

Matt Elrod-Erickson
(615) 898-5402
Programs for: Preschool to Adult
Areas of interest and/or specialty: Genetics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, The Human Genome Project and its impact on Society, Molecular Medicine (the ‘what is it?’ and ‘why are people doing it?’ behind gene therapy, cloning, stem cell research, DNA testing for disease, etc.)

Anthony Farone
(615) 898-5343
Programs for:
 Preschool-3 rd grade, 6 th-9 th, and Adults
Areas of interest and/or specialty: Microbiology, immunology, and biotechnology

Amy Jetton
(615) 898-5952
Programs for: 
No Preference
Areas of interest and/or specialty: How the human body works – Biological Clocks and Rhythms – Seasonality in Animals – Marsupials – Reproductive Physiology – Reproductive Behavior in Animals – Contraception

Brian T. Miller
(615) 898-5635, (615) 898-5635
Programs for: 
No Preference
Areas of interest and/or specialty: Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles – Salamanders and Salamander Hunting – Frogs and Toads of Tennessee – The Hellbender – Snakes – The Venomous Snakes of Tennessee – Reproductive Patterns of Amphibians and Reptiles

Kim Cleary Sadler
(615) 904-8283
Programs for: Kindergarten to Adult
Areas of Interest and/or Specialty:

  • Microscope workshops conducted for all age groups using compound light microscopes, digi-scopes, or ‘home-made’ microscopes.
  • Plant biology lessons on mosses, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms (flowers, fruits, and seeds); dichotomous key construction and tree identification; endemic plants of the cedar glades.

Cindi Smith-Walters
Programs for: Kindergarten to Adult
Interest and/or specialty: Various Topics Related to Animals – Adaptation/Camouflage – Skulls – Predator/Prey – Various Topics Related to Plants – Identification of Trees/General Forestry – Flowers/Fruits/Seeds – Photosynthesis – Genetics – Acids/Bases – Ecology/Habitat/Environment – Human Body – Lessons on a Variety of Topics, Just ask – All include interactive learning

(Return to Top)

Recommended Websites

Environmental Education


The online guide collaboration portal to environmental education opportunities in Tennessee. Sponsored by the Tennessee Environmental Education Association (TEEA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)

Tennessee Environmental Education Association (TEEA)
TEEA is a statewide network of formal and nonformal educators promoting Environmental Education through networking, conferences (state and regional), informative newsletters, minigrant and recognition programs.

Leaps is an environmental consulting service whose website has pages devoted to the identification of Tennessee’s frogs and toads by sight and sound. The website also features a natural calendar that tells of upcoming natural events.

National Association for the Advancement of Environmental Education

Tennessee Science Teachers Association

National Science Teachers Association

Dragonfly Science Magazine for Children

MTSU Astronomy and Physics Workshops

Children’s Discovery House

(Back to Recommended Websites) | (Return to Top)


Project WET

Founded in 1984, Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is an international, interdisciplinary water science and education program for students in grades K-12. It is grounded in the following beliefs:

  1. As water is important in our daily lives, wise water management is crucial for providing tomorrow’s children social and economic stability in a healthy environment.
  2. Water is important for all water users (e.g. energy producers, farmers and ranchers, fish and wildlife, manufacturers, recreationists, rural and urban dwellers).
  3. Awareness of and respect for water resources can encourage a personal, lifelong commitment to environmental responsibility and positive community participation.

Trained educators use the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide, a collection of over 90 interdisciplinary activities that deal with water-related topics, to educate students about water. The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide is available to teachers and facilitators throughout the country who attend Project WET training workshops.

Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for educators and students in preK-grade 12. PLT, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad. PLT continues to set the standard for environmental education excellence.

Project WILD
Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 teachers and their students. Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. A national network of State Wildlife Agency Sponsors ensures that Project WILD is available nationwide –training educators in the many facets of the program. Emphasizing wildlife because of its intrinsic value, Project WILD addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet.

Flying Wild
Flying WILD, a new program of the Council for Environmental Education, introduces students to bird conservation through standards-based classroom activities and environmental stewardship projects. Flying WILD encourages schools to work closely with conservation organizations, community groups, and businesses involved with birds to implement school bird festivals and bird conservation projects.

Project Archaeology
Using an innovative, hands-on approach to history, Project Archaeology teaches scientific inquiry, citizenship, personal ethics and character, and cultural understanding through archaeological inquiry. Project Archaeology fosters understanding of past and present cultures and enhances social studies and science education.

Project Archaeology is a comprehensive archaeology and heritage education program for everyone interested in learning or teaching about our nation’s rich cultural legacy and protecting it for future generations to learn from and enjoy. Project Archaeology lessons have been designed for use with learners of all ages, both in formal classroom situations as well as nonformal settings (e.g., museums, parks, youth groups).

Project Archaeology is sponsored by Montana State University and the US Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management.

Population Connection
Population Connection’s Education Program is the only national, population education program with a strong emphasis on teacher training for educators of grades pre-K through 12. Since 1975, Population Connection has developed age-appropriate curricula to complement students’ science and social science instruction about human population trends and their impacts on natural resources, environmental quality and human well-being.

Center for Cedar Glades
The Center for Cedar Glade Studies (CCGS) was formally established in 2005 at Middle Tennessee State University. The main goals of the CCGS are to

  1. provide research opportunities on the ecology of glades,
  2. increase educator knowledge and skills about glades,
  3. act as a clearinghouse to provide information on glades to the public, and
  4. create a network of organizations to identify research and outreach needs for glad

Because Middle Tennessee is the global center of distribution for cedar glades, the choice to locate the CCGS here is a natural one, and MTSU and the MTSU CEE are proud to host the Center for Cedar Glades Studies.

The Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program (TAMP) is an all-volunteer effort to assess the abundance of breeding populations of frogs and toads in Tennessee. Volunteers establish listening stations along selected routes and monitor calling activity 4 times each year. With the data gathered from TAMP, we hope to better understand the distribution and relative abundance of each species.

TAMP is a joint venture between the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP)Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and the MTSU Center for Environmental Education.

The North American Amphibian Monitoring Program is administered by the US Geological Service and in turn coordinates the state amphibian monitoring programs such as TAMP.

Schools, Nature Centers, Agencies

Tennessee NonPoint Source Pollution Program
Involved in many statewide water quality environmental efforts: Provides funding for Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), Tennessee Envirothon, Forest Education and BMP Demonstration, Ag in the Classroom project, GET WET outdoor water projects, and more.

Radnor Lake State Natural Area and Visitor Center
Provides a wide variety of interpretive programs for school groups and the general public. Project Archaeology is administered here by LinnAnn Welch.

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry
Forestry information for teachers and students, advice and planning assistance to forest landowners, partners with Tennessee Forestry Association on Project Learning Tree.

Tennessee Dept of Environment and Conservation

Tennessee Wildlife Federation
A state-wide, not-for-profit membership organization that has advocated for the conservation and sustainable use of Tennessee’s land, air, water and wildlife for more than 55 years, administers Project WILD.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)
Conducts many educational programs, including hunter education, boating education, the Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW) Workshop, cosponsors Envirothon Challenge, provides teacher and classroom support through Tennessee Wildlife magazine and other materials, supports Project WILD.

Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC)
A state-wide, non-profit environmental organization which educates and advocates for the protection of Tennessee’s environment and public health.

Tennessee Forestry Association (TFA)
Administers Project Learning Tree, two summer Teacher Conservation Workshops, and the Master Logger Course.
Whether you are a student, an employee, a community leader, farmer, parent, teacher or civic club member there are many ways to become involved in improving communities and our state – Look here for the TN Looks Good To Me program.
Check out what state parks have to offer you, your family, your students, and/or youth groups at this sight.
Info/activities on solid waste/recycling.

Warner Park Nature Center

Tennessee Aquarium

Adventure Science Museum

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere


Environmental Protection Agency

(Back to Recommended Websites) | (Return to Top)

Biology Logo

Contact Us

MTSU Center for Environmental Education 
MTSU Box 60
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Phone: 615-904-8283 

Shipping Address:  MTSU CEE  2672 Greenland Drive,
 Murfreesboro, TN 37132

The CEE Office is located in the Davis Science Building on Campus 
mtsu campus map

Dr. Cindi Smith-Walters, retired but still uses MTSU email:
Dr. Kim Sadler, 615.904.8283,
Bob English, 615.210.8774 ,