The field of environmental education provides educators and practitioners with a unique opportunity to strengthen students’ experiences outdoors. Incorporating observational field studies, climate science, long-term ecological studies, and cutting-edge technology into environmental education curricula can enliven existing opportunities to foster a student’s outdoor leadership, conservation, and exploration of the natural world.

This site offers new and innovative techniques, lesson plans, studies, and research to help bolster any environmental education curriculum.

World Water Day 2018: Water Quality Monitoring Workshop and Educator Training

For World Water Day 2018, Upham Woods is hosting a Water Quality Monitoring Workshop and Educator Training! This event is a part of our EPA Water Quality Monitoring program, a collaborative project between Upham Woods, UW Extension STEM Team, and several local school districts. This workshop is open to any educators or program facilitators interested in instructional methods for DOTS and citizen science water quality monitoring.

For more information about this event, see our event information page.

If you have any questions about our EPA Water Quality Monitoring Program, email Justin Hougham at or visit our EPA Water Quality Monitoring page.

Milwaukee STEM: La Escuela Fratney research summit at Upham Woods

Students using DOTS tools on Blackhawk Island to collect data on their surroundings

Students and teachers from La Escuela Fratney in Milwaukee visited Upham Woods from November 15th to the 17th, 2017, for a three-day research and outdoor learning program. This program was an extension of #MKESTEM, an ongoing collaboration between Upham Woods and several Milwaukee schools. Students produced their own research questions before they arrived: one group wanted to investigate how heat is transferred in buildings, one group was interested in aquatic macroinvertibrates, and another group planned to research organisms living under rocks and bark. Between hiking on Blackhawk Island, team building on Peanut Butter Mountain, and playing Predator/Prey, students collected data using DOTS kits. They analyzed their data–which included photos, temperature recordings, water measurements, and thermal images–and displayed their findings in PowerPoint presentations. On the last day of their stay, the students presented their findings to their peers during a research summit in the lodge.

WI Youth Water Stories Summit

girl going through DOTS kit on a beach

A Water Summit Participant finds her data collection tools during a canoe trip.

The EPA Water Quality Monitoring Project partners converged at Upham Woods for a STEM, citizen science and water quality research event August 2nd-4th, 2017. Youth from La Crosse School District, Ashland and Washburn County Extension, Escuela Verde (MKE), and Urban Ecology Center (MKE) came together to share their water stories and collect water quality data.

Youth explored Blackhawk Island, challenged their team building and communication skills on our Low Ropes Challenge Course, and inspired others to help make a collective positive impact on Wisconsin water quality. Click here to read a more detailed summary of the water stories summit.


EE in Wisconsin Video

“Find Environmental Education in Your Community,” a video project made possible by North American Association of Environmental Educators, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, Environmental Protection Agency, and University of Wisconsin-Extension. Check out the video here.

Wisconsin State-Wide Environmental Education Survey Results

See the most recent findings summary here.

Value of a Tree How-To Videos 

Please view our newest video guides on “Value of a Tree Tools: How-To” at the Upham Woods YouTube Channel. These tools include an increment borer, DBH tape. a forestry clinometer, and a homemade clinometer.

Increment Borer

DBH Tape

Forestry ClinometerHomemade Clinometer

University Place Video

Check out this video on the Wisconsin Public Television – University Place website! Justin Hougham details many  components of the (Digital Observation Technology Skills) DOTS program, including the pedagogy and considerations behind the program.



DOTS Kit How-To Videos

Please view our videos on the “DOTS Kit: How-To” YouTube Channel. The videos available explain how to use the Infrared Thermometer, the Garmin GPS, the Fluke Thermal Imager, the Kestrel 2000, and the Digital Microscope and iPad.

 Kintrexfluke thermal imagerGarmin GPS Kestrel 2000 Stock Photo            Digital microscope