Appalachian Laboratory Environmental Science Education

Welcome! The Appalachian Laboratory Environmental Science Education (ALESE) program promotes environmental and science literacy among learners of all ages and in diverse settings. Our team designs, implements, evaluates and researches education projects with a focus on integrating real-world science practices, tools and professionals into K-12 and informal education settings. Our work builds directly on environmental science research conducted by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory.

What’s happening in fall 2015?
  • Seeking subset of PopClock volunteers to help examine the use of tiny remote sensors to measure forest tree phenology.
  • Implementing our new NOAA-funded STAR Partners project -- collaboration between Appalachian Laboratory researchers and 18 Garrett, Allegany and Washington County teachers and their students to study nitrate pollution in schoolyard rainwater and runoff.
  • Facilitating Informal Climate Change Education (ICCE) Community meeting at New Germany State Park in western Maryland (Sep 28-29) and at NOAA Oxford Lab on the eastern shore (Dec 2)
  • Working with all second grade teachers in Allegany and Garrett Counties on a PIERS schoolyard soil exploration with their students.
  • Initiating research on (1) developing an observation protocol to capture the quality of technology use in the classroom and (2) use of embedded assessment to measure skill gains in citizen science. Also continuing our work on growth and facilitation of a community of practice among informal educators around climate change education.
Please contact us if you would like additional information (

Explore our website
  • Citizen Science tab - learn how you can help with Appalachian Lab science research on American chestnuts in western Maryland and on Poplar trees throughout North America -- open to learners of all ages and no experience required!
  • Geospatial Education tab - explore our map-based curricular materials and training that help K-12 teachers integrate real-world science tools and practices into their classrooms -- part of our collaboration with National Geographic and their online map tool FieldScope
  • Schoolyard Ecology tab - learn how we are helping western Maryland schools use their schoolyards for science investigations that support environmental and science literacy
  • Climate Change Education tab - check out our new Maryland and Delaware Sea Level Rise curricular units and how we are working with informal educators on climate change education in out-of-school settings
  • Ed Research and Evaluation tab - learn about our work to examine the design and impact of environmental and science education efforts