Professional Development Offerings

Loading Events

Course Date(s):

Tuesday - Friday, July 23 - 26, 2024 from 9:00am-3:30pm
Thursday, November 7, 2024 from 4:00pm-6:00pm

July sessions: In-person at Hathaway Conference Room, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA
November session: Drumlin Farm Environmental Learning Center, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA


Unless otherwise noted, course times listed are in Eastern Time.

Registration Deadline:

July 19, 2024


Face to Face




Up to 34 PDPs

Grad Credit:

1 optional graduate credit from Worcester State University for $125, due upon initial registration


$370 TEC Members / $410 Non-TEC Members

Withdrawals: No credits/refunds will be given unless TEC is notified 10 business days before the first class. All payments processed upon receipt.


Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm Lincoln MA


K-8 Science Teachers

Nature School: Schoolyard Habitats

Get outdoors, connect with fellow educators, and immerse yourself in inquiry-based science this summer! Nature School for Teachers is an opportunity for K-8 teachers to explore their local habitat and meaningfully connect with the science practices embedded in the Massachusetts Science Frameworks. Participants will practice field science and inquiry-based learning methods through hands-on exploration of local habitats, conducting field research, and designing investigations that they can bring back to their classrooms. The course will introduce principles of ecology (ecosystems, habitats, adaptation, food webs, cycles and systems, energy flow, and the influence of climate change), and highlight their connections to the earth, life, and physical science standards. Mass Audubon educators and scientists will model effective ways to teach in an outdoor environment, facilitate deep discussions, and offer content-rich presentations and helpful resources to support student learning in nature. 

Participants will reflect on their experiences by keeping a field journal and, as a final project, will create a field experience and study tools to be used by their students, reporting back on the experience in November. 

Important Notes: All classes take place outside, in-person. 

  • Dress to be comfortable on varied terrain and in predicted weather. 
  • Bring plenty of fluids and consider your needs for sun and insect protection. 
  • A 30-minute lunch break will be included each day; bring food that can be safely stored under an open tent.
  • Please note the callback session: Thursday, November 7, 2024 from 4:00pm-6:00pm

About the Instructors

Melissa Hansen  has worked at Mass Audubon since fall 2003. She is currently the K-12 Education Coordinator for Mass Audubon’s Metro West Sanctuaries. She previously developed and coordinated the nature-based summer camp, school programs and teacher professional development out of Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick.  In 2017, she trained in delivering outdoor education practices and pedagogy during a week-long intensive professional learning institute run by the Lawrence Hall of Science’s BEETLES team. Melissa has instructed at nature-based residential school programs in Rhode Island and California, and in day camps in Massachusetts and Maine. She earned her master’s degree in environmental education from Lesley University through an experiential program while living and traveling in an intentional learning community, and earned a bachelor of science in wildlife biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Tia Pinney has worked at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary for 27 years. Currently, she is the senior naturalist and ecological management coordinator. Tia is involved in much of the sanctuary’s educational programming as well as being in charge of all ecological issues whether wild, landscaped, or agricultural. Tia has a BS in biology from Kirkland College and is ABD in human anatomy and physiology from University of Connecticut Health Center. Prior to working at Drumlin Farm, she was a high school science teacher and a fabric artist. Tia grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut and working at Drumlin Farm has been her dream job combining her roots in farming and her love of science and teaching.


Scroll to Top