Project SITE

Students Involved with Their Environment

Environmental Education Service Learning Projects
for Students in Grades 6-12
in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington

What is the SITE project?
Project SITE (Students Involved with Their Environment) is an EPA-funded grant that supports a sub-award program and environmental stewardship through inquiry based service learning projects for middle and high school students. Rural, high-need middle and high schools in a four-state region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) will submit proposals ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 to carry out service learning projects in their communities that focus on climate change or protecting America’s waters. The service learning projects will seek to increase student engagement and commitment, provide ways for students to practically apply learning, and explore possible careers in the environmental field. Project SITE is administered by The Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University.

What are the general requirements for SITE projects?

  1. SITE service learning projects must involve middle and/or high school students and their teachers or other school administrators. Other participants may include representatives of science and outdoor museums, fish and forestry organizations, state extension services, environmental education organizations, community members, etc.
  2. All applications must meet the EPA definition of environmental education, i.e., the projects must increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues, must provide the skills necessary to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions, must be based on objective and scientifically-sound information, and must teach individuals how to critically examine all aspects of an environmental topic.
  3. All applications must support EPA’s Strategic Goal 5 by proposing service learning projects that reduce pollution, conserve natural resources, or promote long-term sustainable stewardship practices.
  4. SITE service learning projects must address one EPA Educational Priority (community projects or career development) and one EPA Strategic Environmental Priority (taking action on climate change or protecting America’s waters).
  5. All SITE projects must address and indicate how the K-12 Service Learning Standards for Quality Practice developed by the National Youth Leadership Council will be measured.
  6. All SITE applications must include a project timeline, budget, signatures and assurances, and contact information for the project coordinator and appropriate financial officer.
  7. SITE projects will participate in a web-based conference toward the end of the grant period to showcase the projects and share lessons learned.
  8. Project SITE will establish a website with information, resources, and links for sub-grantees and will host state-level and project-wide web-based project sites.
  9. Projects selected for funding will submit a progress and final report and complete a rubric to assess the effectiveness of your service learning activities.

What are the K-12 Service Learning Standards for Quality Practice?
The Quality Standards require that all service learning experiences meet the following criteria:

  • Actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.
  • Intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.
  • Incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about one’s relationship to society.
  • Promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.
  • Provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating the experience.
  • Encourages partnerships that are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.
  • Engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals.
  • Has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

Who is eligible to submit a SITE project proposal?
High-need middle and high schools and their districts in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington may submit proposals to Project SITE. Non-profit tribal education agencies that are not administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs may also apply. Project SITE has a priority to serve low-performing middle and high schools in low socio-economic and rural areas.

How much money is available to support each SITE service learning project?
Applications may propose projects with budgets of $2,000 to $5,000. Successful projects may begin as soon as signed contracts are received at TRI. Projects must end by October 31, 2013 with final reports submitted by November 30, 2013.




Project Coordinator: Bonnie Morihara, Ph.D.
The Teaching Research Institute
Western Oregon University
345 N. Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Tel: 503-838-8413

Grants Management Officer: Cindi Mafit
The Teaching Research Institute
Western Oregon University
345 N. Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Tel: 503-838-8792


Science/Environmental Resources
Project SITE is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Environmental Education, Environmental Education Sub-Grants Program
and is managed by The Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University