2017 Conference Opening Keynote:

Thinking Like an Ecosystem

In environmental education, we regularly engage learners in systems thinking.  We create real-world learning about ecosystems and all their biotic and abiotic components, but how do we think about our EE ecosystem? EE happens for all kinds of audiences, in all kinds of settings, and for a wide variety of outcomes. How do we harnesses the unique contributions of all these different settings in symbiosis to build Colorado’s environmental literacy?

Join panelists to hear examples of initiatives working collectively to inspire connections, expand reach and make an impact. Engage in active discussion to build more ecosystem thinking in EE.

Watch the panel on Facebook Live.


Moderated by:

Bill Fulton, Executive Director and Founder

Civic Canopy

Bill Fulton is the founder and executive director of The Civic Canopy, an organization working to connect diverse groups of people seeking change in their communities and equip them with the tools to create meaningful and lasting impact.  Bill is a leader in the field of collaborative process design, small and large group facilitation, and applying research from multiple fields to the practical needs of improving communities.  Bill began his career as a founding teacher at the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning and has worked as a facilitator and coach to schools in the national Expeditionary Learning network. Prior to the founding The Civic Canopy, Bill was a principal and founder of Civil Conversations, LLC, a consulting firm that provides facilitation and training for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Saturday Featured Speakers

Luis Benitez, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry

Over the course of a decade, Luis Benitez has emerged as one of the most inspirational adventurers, busiest professional guides and most experienced leadership consultants in the world. In July 2015, Benitez became the founding Director for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, an agency tasked with bolstering the state’s $34 billion outdoor sector.  He brings a strong conviction that not only is education and workforce training critical components of this work, but also in the cultivation of the next generation of adventurers.  Benitez served as the Rocky Mountain regional director of Outward Bound Professional, and was responsible for conducting courses in various mountaineering/climbing/skiing techniques, all with the fundamentals of leadership, communication, and problem solving that make up the core of the Outward Bound curriculum. Throughout his career, Luis has summited the top of the famed “Seven Summits” a cumulative 32 times.

Rafael Salgado, Cal-Wood Education Center

Rafael Salgado is the Executive Director of Cal-Wood Education Center, near Jamestown, Colorado. Originally from Mexico, Rafael grew up immersed in the natural environment. Today, after years of developing environmental education curriculum and training teachers in its implementation, in both Mexico and Colorado, he works hard to introduce many children and their families to the wonders of nature and to provide experiences to create appreciation and understanding about the environment. As a native Spanish speaker, Rafael has a special ability and deep commitment to engage our Latino community of Colorado. He has become a catalyst for helping underserved populations including low-income students and Spanish-speaking families to discover how beautiful and accessible nature can be to them. Rafael has been recognized and honored with numerous awards for his outstanding contributions.

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

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