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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.

AEOE History

On May 15, 1954 at a conference for outdoor teachers at Camp Hi-Hill, a dozen or so visionary and dedicated educators (all men, which was common for our field at the time) discussed the need for a professional organization for outdoor educators. Realizing it would take a personal financial investment, each man reached into his wallet and placed a dollar bill on an old stump. This action was the start of the Association for Outdoor Education (AOE), which became AEOE in 1971.

For most of its history, AEOE has been an all-volunteer run organization. Thanks to our dedicated members, AEOE is still going strong and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006! At the bottom of this page you can find more detailed information on AEOE and outdoor education history.

Brief History of AEOE

  • May 15, 1954 – National Association for Outdoor Education founded (AOE) at Camp Hi Hill conference
  • 1955 – Bylaws and constitution presented to members; Southern Section established later this year
  • 1957 – Northern section established
  • 1968 – Washington Section formed (closed ’81)
  • 1971 – After first Earth Day, ‘Environmental’ added to name (AEOE)
  • 1972 – Alaska Section formed (closed 1975)
  • 1981 – California focus, no longer ‘National’
  • 1999 – Became state affiliate to NAAEE
  • 2006 – Obtained 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
  • 2019 – Hired its first Executive Director; Named the Outstanding Affiliate of the Year by NAAEE
  • 2020 – Launched California's Environmental Educator Certification Program (EECP)


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

AEOE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 

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