Adelphi Ruth S. Ammon students learn how nature can be used in the classroom from the Greentree Foundation Teacher’s Ecology Workshop

The Island Now
Workshop members exploring the Greentree Foundation topography.

Adelphi University has a strong bond with the Greentree Foundation Teachers’ Ecology Workshop (GTFEW), a program designed to provide knowledge to teachers about Long Island ecology and natural history in partnership with Seatuck Environmental Association.

Since 2013, GTFEW has held two week-long sessions, one for elementary school teachers and one for secondary school teachers. This summer, from July 6-July 21, Adelphi professors, Mary Jean McCarthy, Emily Kang Ph.D., Scott McMullen and Andrea Ward Ph.D., as well as other experts from Seatuck and Hofstra University contributed their expertise about designing lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, the new K–12 science content standards.

“It’s very encouraging to know so many teachers on Long Island who want to know more about the natural world and want to get their kids outside learning and being responsible stewards and citizen scientists,” said McCarthy. “It’s a privilege to contribute to that energy and enthusiasm.”

GTFEW urges teachers to go outside with their students so they can be more informed on engineering practices, crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas. The workshop extends throughout the year via access to an alumni network of peers and five seasonal one-day field trips to various habitats across Long Island.

Adelphi participants included Madeline Dressner and Stephanie Schmidt from the class of 2014, Tara Kubat , Graziella Esposito and Emily Moran from the 2016 class, Olivia Czavar, Gina Principato and Arianna Bekios from the class of 2017, Kelly Clifford, Katelyn Simmons, Matthew Schneck and others graduating next year, as well as Adelphi professors, students and other alumni.

“I see this program being succor to my future teaching endeavors because it is a natural motivator for students,” Czavar said. “Students want to go outside, they want to learn, and by allowing the students to go outside and learn for themselves through guidance, I believe that’s a job well done.”

For more information about the Greentree Foundation Teachers’ Ecology Workshop, please visit

To learn more about Adelphi’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, please visit

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