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Association for Environmental & Outdoor education

AEOE strengthens environmental education in California by connecting providers, building professional expertise, and championing environmental literacy and outdoor learning.


Date: May 3-5, 2024

Location: Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, Orange, CA 

Theme: Reinvigorate!

Join us for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun in Orange County! The conference is held Friday evening through Sunday lunch and includes 40+ workshops, a keynote speaker, an awards ceremony, resource fair, EECP presentations, live and silent auction, evening entertainment, and more. Lodging and meals are offered onsite starting with dinner on Friday and going through lunch on Sunday. Both camping and cabin dorm accommodations are available for Friday and Saturday night (BYO linens/camping gear).

1 graduate unit is available to purchase from University of San Diego for those attending the full conference. 

Is this your first time attending an AEOE conference and you aren't sure what to expect? Do you have specific dietary or other needs that you want to make sure we can support? Please read through our FAQs and contact us at if your question or concern isn't addressed. 

CONFERENCE KEYNOTE: Isaias Hernandez, Queer Brown Vegan

Isaias Hernandez is an educator and creative devoted to improving environmental literacy through content creation, storytelling, and public engagements.

Isaias is more commonly known by his moniker, Queer Brown Vegan: the independent media platform he started to bring intersectional environmental education to all. His journey to deconstruct complex issues, while centering diversity and authenticity, has resonated with a worldwide audience. He also collaborates with other leaders from the private and public sectors to uplift and produce stories of change for his independent web series, Sustainable Jobs and Teaching Climate Together.

Isaias has been featured in several noteworthy publications, including Vogue, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Yale Climate Communications. His social media advocacy earned him recognition as a top climate creator by Harvard C-CHANGE. As a public speaker, he’s presented for New York Times, Nike, Environmental Media Association, Billie Eilish’s Overheated Summit, Harvard University, Deloitte, and more. He recently co-produced the Symbiocene event series in London and New York City. Isaias is based in Los Angeles, working as a full-time content creator, public speaker, and dog daddy.


Conference Theme: Reinvigorate! 

Learn new skills, strategies, and techniques; practice care for yourself and others; and uplift our community at the statewide conference for environmental and outdoor education!

Strands – Workshops will align with the following strands:


  • Examples: Ways to honor and incentivize your staff; acknowledging the hard work of volunteers and interns; year-end documentation to share with your board, members, and partners; wellness and self-care for environmental educators; uplifting your community with the work you do; fostering hope and inspiring action
  • Examples: An interdisciplinary approach to EE – tying in math, history, the humanities, & the arts; programs that foster a sense of place; centering DEI frameworks in your programs and organizations; incorporating staff strengths/talents into programming; applying your leadership skills to recruitment, hiring, & training; bringing faith-based practices into our work


  • Examples: Research trends in EE; evaluating and assessing your program impact; vestiges from COVID era tech that stuck; performance evaluations for your staff; strategic planning for your team; the changing and evolving landscape of EE

* Note that equity and inclusion are expected to be incorporated into every workshop


Registration is now open! There are several options available. Click here to find the option that is best for you. Members and workshop presenters receive discounted rates, as well as staff of our organizational members (if you are the organizational member contact, click on membership benefits to access the discount code). 

  • Early bird deadline: March 1st, 2024
  • Regular registration deadline: April 20th, 2024 (walk-in available through May 4th)
  Early bird/regular/walk-in full weekend with lodging Early bird/regular/walk-in full weekend without lodging  Early bird/regular/walk-in Saturday only
 AEOE Members  $250 / $280 / $330  $200 / $230 / $290  $165 / $180 / $195
 Organizational member staff  $260 / $290 / $340  $210 / $240 / $290  $175 / $190 / $205
 Guests  $265 / $295 / $345  $215 / $245 / $295  $180 / $195 / $210


Conference scholarships are available through Joie's Daisies Scholarship Fund, named after beloved outdoor educator Joie Armstrong. Joie was a bright light to all who knew her. In her words: "My passion lies with teaching children about their environment, and I have dedicated all of my efforts toward it." In honor of her legacy, AEOE offers scholarships to support the attendance of environmental and outdoor educators who need financial assistance. A minimum of 50% of scholarships will be offered to individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and/or LGBTQIA+ to decrease barriers and increase access to participation.

  • Ten $100 scholarships are available for individuals whose employers will NOT be contributing to their registration fee.
  • Ten $50 scholarships are available for individuals whose employers WILL be contributing to their registration fee.

SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION PRIORITY DEADLINE: March 1, 2024. Applications submitted after March 1 will considered on a rolling basis if funds allow. Click here to apply for a scholarship

Volunteering Opportunities

Interested in directing your talents and skills towards helping us to put on a successful conference? Consider being a volunteer! We need support in a number of areas:

  • Break-out session leaders (4 total; registration discount applies): One lead for each group: formal educators, early childhood educators, program leaders, novice outdoor educators, and experienced outdoor educators (filled). Breakout session leaders must have strong facilitation skills and experience managing large groups. 
  • On site medic (filled): Conference attendee who is on-call to assist with any first aid or medical emergencies. Can be held by two people (split into two 24-hour shifts). Medic must have current EMT or WFR. Must be able to provide your own first aid kit. 
  • Live auction auctioneer (1): Help generate enthusiasm and manage winning bids with the crowd during Saturday night's live auction in coordination with the talent show MC. Experience hosting a live auction strongly preferred. Registration discount does not apply. 
  • Talent show MC (1): Help generate crowd enthusiasm and manage the line-up during Saturday night's talent show in coordination with the auctioneer. Experience managing or performing in front of a crowd strongly preferred. Registration discount does not apply. 
  • On-site support (multiple): We will also need assistance with arrival/welcome, sign crew, registration, parking, and clean-up. While these roles don't come with a registration discount, they are a great way to connect with other participants and get involved in a meaningful way. 

Please contact if you are interested in volunteering. And thank you to board co-chairs Mindy Schwartz and Brandy Lively as well as community members Emelie Traub, Robb Stolberg, Chandler Barger, Elizabeth Hueter-Willoughby, and Samaya Rubio for serving on our Conferences & Awards Committee, helping us to make this a great event!



Are you interested in supporting this event and sharing your brand with our community? Click here to access our sponsor packet. Contact AEOE's Executive Director Estrella Risinger at if you are interested in sponsoring this premier event. 


The statewide conference features both a live and silent auction. Do you have goods, services, or items that would be of interest to our community? Consider making a donation for our annual auction! All proceeds benefit AEOE, which allows us to offer conference scholarships through Joie's Daisies Scholarship Fund, named after beloved outdoor educator Joie Armstrong. Joie was a bright light to all who knew her. We are calling on our community to reach out to their contacts for in-kind donations. Click here to share your in-kind donation for the auction or contact AEOE's Executive Director Estrella Risinger at to discuss the opportunity. 

Thanks to the many individuals and companies that have already supported the auction through in-kind donations. Featured items include:


Mailing Address: 2930 Domingo Ave., Suite 3028Berkeley, CA 94705

AEOE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 

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