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Bird Conservation through Education: A National Gathering
22-26 February 2009

The Bird Education Blog (BEB) Committee, Council for Environmental Education (CEE), and Flying WILD will host the 2009 National Gathering for bird educators at Jekyll Island, Georgia, "Bird Conservation through Education." (Click here to download a copy of the registration packet.)

The very first National Gathering: Bird Conservation through Education, held in February 2007 in Austin, Texas, was such a great success that this 2009 follow-up event has been planned.

(For details on the 2007 Gathering click here.)

The next National Gathering will be held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel on Jekyll Island, located along the Georgia's Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

The event will start on the evening of Sunday, 22 February and end on the morning of Thursday, 26 February.



The conference is open to anyone with an interest in bird education and conservation efforts, including directors, administrators, and educators from federal, state, and local government agencies, conservation organizations, zoos/aquariums, bird-related businesses, universities, K-12 schools, nature centers, Audubon centers, bird clubs, other NGOs, and related non-profit groups. 

Guest Speakers: Throughout the conference there will be a diverse group of guest speakers, including Kenn and Kim Kaufman ("Working Toward a Bird Literate Society"), Audrey Peterman ( "Creating Dynamic Relationships with Diverse Audiences"), David Waller ("Lessons to Share on Bird Conservation, Wildlife Education Funding, and Building Coalitions"), and Donald and Lillian Stokes ("Reaching and Motivating the Public with Important Bird Messages").

Concurrent Sessions:  An assortment of topics during three sets of Concurrent Sessions will consist of individual presentations or panel discussions.  Sessions presently are expected to include such subjects as: connecting families to nature, urban-based bird education, climate change and birds, marketing your bird education program, evaluating bird education efforts, promoting best practices, Flying WILD advances, Inter-American bird education, and education/communications needs.

As the Concurrent Sessions develop, information will be posted here with details.

In addition, there will be two very important participatory programs where we can all share our bird education experiences and success stories:

Bird Education Round Robin: This will be a series of fifteen, short (five minute) presentations on unique bird education ideas, programs, or "tips & tricks."  What has "worked" for you? You are asked to sign up on the Registration Form to request a slot for your Round Robin Sharing. There is limited space, but we want to hear from you!

Bird Educator's Share Fair: This will be an opportunity to showcase and share great things happening in bird education at your organization or in your community. Each project will be provided table space to describe its efforts to the circulating participants. Teachers, for example, will find an abundance of take-home ideas for incorporating birds into the classroom. Again, you can sign up on the Registration Form if you are willing to lead an idea-session during the Bird Educator's Share Fair.

As these two events approach capacity, information will be posted on this page with details.


Field Sessions: There are modest separate fees for each of the field sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check the Registration Packet for individual descriptions. Pre-registration is required. All field sessions will be available until spaces fill. All participants in these sessions should bring appropriated birding gear and clothing.


Registration Packet: For a Registration Packet you can click here, but below you will find a summary of the Gathering at a glance. Be aware that the packet has a Registration Form, and that the cost for the Gathering includes all meals beginning with Monday morning breakfast, on the 23rd, through Thursday morning breakfast, on the 26th. (Field Sessions costs for Tuesday and Wednesday are dealt with separately  from the registration fee.) Early registration (before 15 December) will be $295 per person, $350 thereafter. (There are also daily registration fees for individuals, including an attractive special fee for classroom teachers on Wednesday, 22 February. See the Registration Packet for details.)


The tentative agenda will include:


General Sessions
Reaching and Motivating the Public with Critical Bird Messages, Don and Lillian Stokes
Creating Dynamic Relationships with Diverse Audiences, Audrey Peterman
Working Toward a Bird Literate Society, Kenn and Kim Kaufman
Creating Birder Friendly Sites with an Education Emphasis, Dwight Cooley and Kenn Kaufman
Lessons to Share on Bird Conservation, Willdife Education and Building Coalitions, David Waller
Federal Agency Panel Discussion: Partnerships for Bird Education
Youth Birding Initiatives Panel Discussion: Encouraging Youth Participation in Bird Conservation

Concurrent Sessions
Educating about the Impact of Climate Change on Birds
Education as a Tool for Conservation: On the Ground Success Stories
Connecting Families to Nature
Avian Academics: Using Birds to Teach the Standards
Evaluating Your Bird Education Efforts
Developing Best Practices for Bird Education
Partners in Flight Needs Assessment: Implications for Education
Bird Education and the Hunting Community
Flying WILD: Expanding Capacity for Bird Education
Marketing Lessons for Your Bird Education Program
A Matrix Model for Regional Bird Conservation and Education Activities
Fundraising for Your Bird Education Efforts (this is a pending General Session)
Bird Education Activity Demonstrations (45 minutes each during Concurrent Session Track)

(We have added one session to each concurrent session track that will provide training in select bird education actvities.  This and the Bird Educator's Share Fair is in response to requests to have more hands-on bird education activities featured and available for take-home).

We will also be hosting a Lunch Roundtable during one lunch period in which participants will be invited to host a Roundtable Discussion. Proposed roundtables include the following topics and we invite you to contact us if you would like to lead or co-lead a discussion group on any of these or other topics (signs will be visible to indicate table topics):

Bird Education and Technology
Birding Trails
Bird Festivals
Bird Education for Senior Citizens
Partnering with Business
Inter American Bird Education
Promoting the Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp
Funding Your Bird Education Efforts
Bird Education in the Teen Years
Working with University Pre-Service Programs
Involving Diverse Audiences in Bird Education
Eco-Tourism and Bird Education
Bird Education in the Early Childhood Years

Flying WILD City Partners will find a special pre-conference training event (on Saturday February 21st) designed to enhance local efforts with Flying WILD.



The closest airports are in Jacksonville, FL, one hour south, and in Savannah, GA, one and a half hours north. Major airlines service both airports, with Jacksonville the preferred stop for our Gathering. Options on transportation from the airports to the Jekyll Island Club Hotel can be found in the Registration Packet.



Lodging rates at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel are $119 for single and $140 for double rooms. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.  More details on the facilities can be found by clicking here.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is now accepting reservations for the National Gathering. To make your reservation please call the Jekyll Island Club Hotel at (800) 535-9547. Be sure to use our Group Number, #3208 and reference the Council for Environmental Education.


For information regarding sponsorship opportunities click here or to download our donation form click here.

Participants are asked to contribute items for the Silent Auction on Tuesday night. Details are to be found on the Registration Form.


  • Barbara Price, CEE President
  • Coastal Georgia Audubon Society
  • Environmental Education and Training Partnership
  • Friends of Jeanne Fossani
  • Georgia Ornithological Society
  • Jekyll Island State Park Authority
  • Kaytee Avian Foundation
  • National Wildlife Refuge System
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Wild Bird Centers of America, Inc.
Other  conference specifics will be updated on this page as the information becomes available.