World Forestry Center International Educators Institute




The dramatic landscapes and diverse forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America serve as the backdrop for this unique 7-day professional development program and forest study tour.



World Forestry Center International Educators Institute


July 10-16, 2016


Portland, Oregon – USA


The World Forestry Center International Educators Institute is the premiere professional development program for experienced leaders in education, research, natural resource management and strategic communication who are committed to advancing effective teaching and learning about the world’s forests.


World class scenery, special access tours, unforgettable interviews with local people, excellent meals and comfortable accommodations are combined each day with time for meaningful reflection, peer-to-peer- leadership development and outcome driven collaboration.


Content rich, hands-on outdoor experiences, individual and group exercises, user-friendly educational materials and media allow participants to capture and share their experience with colleagues at home.


Since 1996, the World Forestry Center International Educators Institute has attracted some of the most successful and inspirational leaders working to advance conservation education in 45 countries and 36 states.



Apply Now!


Download the 2016 IEI Application!



Download Color Brochure



Qualifications and Deadlines


The World Forestry Center International Educators Institute (IEI) is designed for experienced leaders actively working in education, research, natural resource management and strategic communication.


Applicants are typically affiliated with government, business, associations, NGO’s, universities, local schools, museums, and science centers.


Participation is strictly limited to 25 participants and staff.


To qualify for selection, applicants must have:


  • Experience in natural resource fields.
  • Current teaching or education-outreach responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability and professional level recognition.
  • Proficiency in English language – written and verbal.
  • Ability to travel outdoors for extended periods, sometimes in challenging conditions.


Applications are processed in order received with deadline for submission on March 1.


Late applications will be accepted until the course is full.


International participants are responsible for securing necessary travel and VISA documents by May 15.


Program Highlights



Day I – Welcome to the International Educators Institute

Greetings, orientation and guided discussion about IEI content, best practices and leadership framework. A family style meal overlooking the spectacular Columbia River is followed by evening social time.


Day 2 – Make the Global Connection

Exchange success stories and challenges about your work and projects and travel to Portland’s beautiful Washington Park for a special tour and dinner at the World Forestry Center.


Day 3 – Re-Discover the Forest

Enjoy a guided hike through an old growth forest of giant trees and waterfalls as we share different perspectives on teaching and learning, conservation, climate change and sustainable communities.


Day 4 – Mount St. Helens: A Tale of Two Forests

Experience “the mountain” up close from the national Johnston Ridge Volcano Observatory and explore the region to examine diverse responses to changing landscapes and human communities.


Day 5 – The Forest Will Provide: Lessons from Warm Springs

Travel to Oregon’s high desert country of pines and sagebrush and meet with tribal leaders, natural resource managers, and educators of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Cultural presentations, traditional foods, and an unforgettable visit to Trillium Lake in high Cascades of the Mount Hood National Forest.


Day 6 – Advancing Effective Teaching and Learning: Linking Research and Education

See the forest with new eyes, top to bottom, with scientists at the historic Wind Rive Field Station, then return to Menucha for final benchmarking, sharing lessons learned, cultural exchange and evening awards ceremony.


Day 7 – Travel Day or Optional Sightseeing and Shopping

Farewell breakfast, then take the morning shuttle to the airport or explore the mountains, river, or city on your own.


Course Objectives


1.  Visit a cross section of public and private forest sites and communities in the Pacific Northwest as participatory case studies to examine the social, economic and environmental complexities of forest protection and sustainable development around the world.


2. Engage in active outdoor learning experiences to increase awareness and enrich personal content knowledge about the diverse interrelationships between forests and humans.


3. Model, share, and discuss a broad spectrum of best practices in conservation education which can be used to advance effective teaching and learning about the world’s forests and related topics.


4. Explore potential leadership opportunities for personal and professional development.


5. Focus on meaningful, take-home outcomes which combine collaborative action, new resources, and support provided by colleagues and friends around the world.


Course Fee


$1,800 (USD). The course fee includes six nights of lodging in comfortable shared rooms with private baths, all meals (vegetarian options available), field trip transportation via deluxe motor coach, admission fees, and course materials. A one-time shuttle to and from the airport is provided. Course fee must be paid in full within 30 days of final acceptance. Various payment options are available.


Airfare is not included in the course fee and participants must arrange for their own transportation to/from Portland International Airport (PDX) at the start and end of the course.


Cancellation and Refund Policy


All requests for refunds must be received in writing and receipt of the request acknowledged by IEI staff before funds can be issued.


  • A refund of 100% of the IEI course fee paid by a participant is available up to 60 days before the start of course – Deadline


  • A refund of 50% of the IEI course fee paid by a participant is available up to 30 days before the start of the course – Deadline


  • Requests for refunds received less than 30 days before the start of the course cannot be honored, but credit for a future course may be granted.



Outcomes and Documentation


IEI is a non-credit professional development course and all participants will receive a signed certificate of completion. College and university credits as well as continuing professional education credits or hours can be arranged in advance with the institution of your choice. Staff can provide program documentation as necessary.


All participants will receive the 2015 IEI Global Connections Handbook which includes summaries of daily content, best practices and leadership activities, benchmarking exercises, worksheets and personal journal pages, In addition, participant information, forest profiles, project summaries, and updated alumni directory are published each year in advance of the course.


All participants will also receive the Global Connections: Forests of the Worldcurriculum guide and related web-based resources developed by the World Forestry Center.



Planning For Success: Important Information


The World Forestry Center International Educators Institute (IEI) is an intensive, seven day (7), six night (6) residential professional development program operating continuously Sunday to Saturday.


Participants are expected to fully participate in the program from approximately 8 AM – 8 PM with breaks for meals, rest and social time.


All participants must have the ability to travel outdoors for extended periods, sometime in challenging conditions. Facilities we visit are generally handicap accessible, but stairs, roads, and trails with uneven surfaces are common in the field. Please contact staff to discuss any health, medical, or other limitations which may impact your ability to fully participate in the program.


In advance of the course, all participants are expected to submit information about their work and projects, as well as a simple “forest profile” slide show for their country or state. This information will be published and distributed to all participants in hard copy and as electronic file.


IEI based in a beautiful, safe, rural setting away the city. Shopping and access to travel supplies is limited. Gifts, post cards, T-shirts, maps, educational materials and some personal items are available at many sites throughout the week.


Wireless internet and cell phone service are available at Menucha.


Each day we travel together via deluxe motor coach to field sites in Washington and Oregon. We return to Menucha each evening. There is no need to re-pack luggage each day during the course.


Modern and clean restroom (WC) facilities are generally available throughout the day.


Overnight accommodations are modern, shared rooms (2 adults) with private baths. Bedding and towels are provided.


Full breakfast is served each morning and the lunch meal is served “picnic style” in the field. Dinner is provided in the early evening often in a more formal, sit-down venue. Some meals are provided by our hosts in the field. Assorted beverages and healthy snacks are available throughout the day.


Average daily temperature should be a comfortable 70-80 F (20-25 C) with possibility of light rain and fog. Due to mountain conditions at 2,000-4000 feet above sea level (600-1200 meters), daily temperatures can range widely from 40-100 F (5-38 C). We may see snow in a few high elevation locations. Having access to a range of appropriate and comfortable clothing options for the duration of the course is necessary. A suggested clothing and equipment list will be provided.


The risk of insects, poisonous snakes, bears and other natural threats are minimal here.



The Location – Portland, Oregon


Participants are encouraged to arrive in Portland to rest and acclimate a day before IEI starts or after the course for additional sightseeing and shopping. Staff can assist with trip planning and making local contacts for an extended stay.


The World Forestry Center International Educators Institute (IEI) is based 25 miles east of Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area adjacent to the Mount Hood National Forest.


Overnight facilities are provided at the historic Menucha Retreat and Conference Center:

Ground transportation to and from the Menucha is provided from Portland International Airport (PDX) at the start and end of the course.


Portland, Oregon is a green, friendly and very livable city offering natural beauty and plenty of recreational opportunities. With 1.8 million people living in the metropolitan area, Portland is the largest city and business center in the state of Oregon. Vibrant, diverse neighborhoods are home to all manner of people, but it is the other things that give a place its soul: the cafes and markets, the art, parks, plazas, vistas and sanctuaries. Portland sits near the confluence of two of the West's mightiest rivers, the Columbia and the Willamette. Recently, Portland was proclaimed as North America's "Best Big City" according to Money magazine. Rivaling the city's man made art are the spectacular masterpieces by Mother Nature. Crowning the city's skyline is Mount Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon's Cascade Mountain Range. Within an hour of the city one can be on a mountain with glaciers, at an ocean beach, in the high desert or in the middle of a temperate rainforest.


World Forestry Center International Educators Institute Testimonials


“Each part of the week was absolutely amazing. Your ability to spark our thinking, bring ideas together and lead the group through each experience was inspirational…”


“All of us are concerned about the same kinds of issues. IEI provided the structure for understanding these concerns….”


The constant exchange with fellow educators of strategies and methods they used with teachers and students was so beneficial, rewarding and inspiring…”


“Providing us with the opportunity to meet and hear from world-wide participants and see their reactions first hand, gave me the chance to think about thinks on a more global level. The sessions where we interacted with others were the most valuable for me…”


Download a complete list of all the IEI Alumni



Leadership Team


Rick Zenn is an award-winning educator with more than 30 years professional experience as a naturalist, teacher, program manager, trainer, consultant and non-profit leader. He is Senior Fellow at the World Forest Institute and he directs the state, national, and international education and outreach initiatives at the World Forestry Center focusing on partnerships, training, and institutional development. He has directed IEI since 1996.


Shadia Duery is the International Fellowship Manager at the World Forest Institute. She supervises a wide range of forest sector research projects and leads regional tours and seminars for visiting forestry and natural resource professionals. She has 10 years of work experience and education in forestry working in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors.


Contact Us


Rick Zenn, Senior Fellow
World Forestry Center

4033 SW Canyon Rd. Portland, Oregon 97221 USA
Direct Telephone: 503-488-2103 (9 AM - 5 PM Pacific Time)



About the World Forestry Center


We are committed to providing objective information on managing forests to meet economic, social and environmental needs though an active learning environment and constructive dialogue that seeks solutions to forest issues.


The non-profit World Forestry Center has for more than three decades offered world-class educational experiences for children and adults, as well as providing leading-edge professional development opportunities for educators and natural resource professionals. Based in Portland, Oregon, the World Forestry Center operates an internationally recognized museum; SFI/PEFC certified demonstration forests and education sites open to the public, a conference center, and a resident fellowship program for forest researchers from around the world.