toddler playing outside in cool weather

From Anecdotes to Evidence: Demonstrating the power of environmental education

How do we demonstrate evidence-based outcomes of EE without letting go of the passion that breathes energy into the field?

eeWORKS is a project that seeks to answer this critical question. Guided by an expert advisory board, NAAEE is partnering with Stanford University, University of California Davis, and University of Florida to demonstrate the impact and value of EE. To narrow our focus, we are conducting comprehensive research reviews and producing communications tools for several priority outcome areas. These key outcome areas were identified based on published literature and the interests of key stakeholders, such as educators, environmental organizations, policymakers, and funders. In short, we are substantiating powerful anecdotes from across the field with empirical evidence.

What is the capacity for environmental education to contribute to a more sustainable planet and society? Let eeWORKS help you answer that question.


Multi-ethnic group of schoolchildren running in the park

Environmental Education Strategies That Support Positive Youth Development

Outcome area: Positive Youth Development. How can and does EE contribute to positive youth development-related outcomes for secondary school students, in terms of physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional, and social development?

Research effort & result: Analysis of 60 peer-reviewed studies published over a 10-year period

Research/Communications team: Stanford University (research); NAAEE (communications)

Read the Executive Summary

Read the Full Report


Adults sitting in a row and paying attention

Environmental Education Practices That Support Civic Engagement

Outcome area: Civic Engagement. How can and do EE programs contribute to civic engagement outcomes at the individual and community levels? What practices should EE practitioners consider when designing or adapting their programs to better support civic engagement outcomes?

Research effort & result: Analysis of 56 peer-reviewed studies focused on assessments of how environmental education programs contribute to civic engagement

Research/Communications team: Stanford University (research); NAAEE (communications)

Read the Executive Summary (Accessible version coming soon)

Full Report Coming Soon!


young students working with teacher in classroom

The Benefits of Environmental Education for K–12 Students

Outcome area: K–12 Students. How can and does EE contribute to outcomes for K–12 students, in terms of increased knowledge, critical thinking skills, civic engagement, and other outcomes of interest in EE?

Research effort & result: Analysis of 119 peer-reviewed studies published over a 20-year period

Research/Communications team: Stanford University (research); NAAEE (communications)


Climate Change eeWORKS forest, windmills, polar bear, charging symbol

Identifying Effective Climate Change Education Strategies

Outcome area: Climate Change. What educational strategies help create effective education to address climate change? What is the role of outreach in helping communities (with a focus on adults) adapt to climate change?

Research effort & result: Analysis of 49 studies focused on assessments of climate change education interventions

Research/Communications team: University of Florida (research); NAAEE (communications)


Young child outside looking at dandelion

The Benefits of EE and Nature Connections in Early Childhood

Outcome area: Connecting People to Nature. What is the role of EE in early childhood development and connectedness to nature? How does nature connection influence health, stewardship, creativity, and other areas of human and societal development?

Research/Communications team: Stanford University (research); NAAEE (communications)


trees in forest with sun shining through

The Impact of EE on Conservation and Environmental Quality

Outcome area: Conservation and Environmental Quality. How does EE support conservation outcomes, and how does EE influence the quality of the environment?

Research/Communications team: Stanford University (research); NAAEE (communications)

eeWORKS Advisory Council

Janet Ady (Bureau of Land Management), Dr. Nicole Ardoin (Stanford University), Dr. Heidi Ballard (University of California-Davis), Sarah Bodor (NAAEE), Alison Bowers (Virginia Tech University and Stanford University), Judy Braus (NAAEE), Drew Burnett (Retired), Dr. Charlotte Clarke (Duke University), Emilian Geczi (Center for Humans and Nature), Dr. Joe Heimlich (Ohio State University and COSI), Dr. Cathy Jordan (Children & Nature Network), Alex Kudryavstev (EECapacity), Heidi McAllister (U.S. Forest Service), Christy Merrick (Natural Start Alliance), Dr. Ryan Meyer (University of California-Davis), Sarah Milligan-Toffler (Children & Nature Network), Dr. Martha Monroe (University of Florida), Ginger Potter (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Dr. Alan Reid (Monash University), Dr. Bora Simmons (University of Oregon), Andrea Stein (Roger Williams Park Zoo), Dr. Marc Stern (Virginia Tech University), Noelle Wyman-Roth (Duke University)