Professional Development and Online Courses

I teach several online course for educators through the Heritage Institute.  Each course provides professional development for salary enhancement and certificate renewal. Start your self-paced course any time with six months to complete. Documentation of continuing education or professional development hours will be provided.

University quarter credits are also available through Antioch University. Antioch credits are acceptable in most states for recertification and in most school districts for salary enhancement.

Asynchronous Courses for Educators

Alien Invaders

professional development invasive species

Offered: Open Enrollment

You and your K-12 students can do something about the harmful, invasive non-native species growing in your community, back yard and school grounds. In some cases these plants take over important habitat for wildlife while reducing the diversity and quantity of native plants. In this course you can integrate lessons on the cultural, historical, ecological and economic impacts of invasive species and create grade-appropriate action projects for your students. Alien Invaders is an online science course designed for for educators in both formal and informal settings.  University post baccalaureate credit is available.


This class went beyond my expectations.  The interaction with the resources specialists, the field observations and the extended research needed to be done opened for me a new perspective regarding invasive species and their effect over our local and regional ecosystems. I also was immersed in an array of scientific topics related to invasive, native and exotic species that otherwise I wouldn’t think profoundly about, wouldn’t take the time to dig into, or wouldn’t dare to approach on my own.  

~ Voichita Morariu, High School Biology teacher

Nature Journaling in the Classroom 

professional development nature journaling

Offered: Open Enrollment

A nature journal is your ticket to a deep exploration of the world around you.  A nature journal is a place to record your encounters with the natural world — from the everyday to the sublime. Field sketches, regardless of the degree of artistic talent with which they are rendered, force us to look closely and observe nature as it really is. Simply put, nature journaling is the regular recording of observations, perceptions, and feelings about the natural world around you. The recording can be done in a wide variety of ways, depending on the individual journalist’s interests, background, and training.  Nature Journaling in the Classroom will help you to integrate nature journaling into your K-12 art and science curriculum. This is an online science course designed for educators in both formal and informal settings. University post baccalaureate credit is available.


I expected to learn some techniques and methods for teaching the subject in a more organized, school setting.  What I learned was what I expected to learn plus a lot more.  The reading assignments were full of good ideas and much of it was thought provoking and insightful.  I feel that I got a lot more out of the books than I expected.  The other exercises were great also, pushing me beyond where I was, in my understanding of the subject.  I believe that I’m much better educated about nature than I would have been, had I not taken the course.

 ~ J.L. Fottrell, artist and geologist 

I loved this course! I learned so much and it was actually therapeutic for me.” 

~ Melissa Morgan, inservice teacher

Discover Your Heritage 

professional developement heritage

Not Presently Offered

Immigrants from all over the world have come to the United States to live. Our population consists of individuals and groups who have different ethnic, cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds. It is indeed a small world. However, with each passing generation, our connection to our ancestral home is lost. For success in the future, it is not only important to be familiar and sensitive to other cultures, it is critical to develop an appreciation for our own cultural heritage as well as build a solid foundation of our ancestry and history. The Discover Your Heritage course will help elementary educators to develop an integrated heritage unit for their classroom. The purpose of this course is to promote and to preserve the heritage and culture of one’s ancestry and to celebrate our relationship with other countries.


I was able to fill in vast parts of my family tree by calling a few people with good memories. I learned a lot about distant relatives, and heard many good stories through family and newspaper articles. I learned that there is a website devoted to my family’s heritage in the SF bay area. I also learned a lot about Ireland, which I not expected. I did not know the origins of the white knitted sweaters, I had never heard of colcannon, and I did not know that there were roving professional story tellers. 

~ David Knott, pre-service teacher


Please feel free to suggest future courses. If there is enough interest, I am willing to design courses specifically to the interests of you and your children.

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