Summer Educator Retreat


Register for one of our 2020 Educator Retreats!

View video from the 2015 retreat.

Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology K-12 Education team

August 4-7, 2020

for an Educator Retreat at Sapsucker Woods in beautiful Ithaca, New York.


Professional Development participants

This one-of-a-kind program includes four days of activities, guest speakers, and field trips highlighting best practices and the latest resources to revitalize your educational program or classroom. Get inspired, gain confidence, gather new ideas, and enjoy networking opportunities with educators from around the country. Bring your good walking shoes and lots of energy!


During this transformative experience, you will:

  • Receive hands-on training in using citizen science and inquiry in your program.
  • Learn eBird protocols, complete a citizen-science study along the Sapsucker Woods trails, and enjoy guest presentations on environmental conservation.
  • Discover the Cornell Lab’s online field guide, digital library, and citizen-science programs as educational resources for K-12 learning.
  • Enjoy bird walks led by local experts to help you practice bird identification and learn about bird ecology.
  • Interact with the experienced and enthusiastic scientists and staff who make the Cornell Lab of Ornithology a world-renowned institution, including behind-the-scenes tours.
  • Receive K-12 Education’s popular Investigating Evidence unit, your choice of one of four brand new eBird kits, and two free window feeders.
  • Earn 3 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) from Cornell University.
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of Sapsucker Woods and the Finger Lakes with like-minded educators.
  • Practice methods that can be immediately implemented with your students.

“My students LOVE going outside, so they are thrilled that I feel confident and competent enough to take them so often.” – retreat participant comment about the following school year

Who should attend?

 Looking for innovative ways to teach STEM content and develop science literacy? This retreat will support you. We’re focused on helping you incorporate citizen science and inquiry into your classroom, camp, or afterschool or youth development program.


Past participants have raved about their retreat experience:

“Outstanding experience overall!”

“It was amazing. I especially loved the bird watching field trips.”

“I can’t think of a way to make it better, honestly. It was great.”

Logistics, Travel, and Lodging

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is located in Ithaca, NY. Our local airport is Ithaca Tompkins County. Syracuse, Elmira, and Binghamton airports are each about an hour away.

Arrival, check-in, and snacks are from 10:00-11:00 am on Tuesday. The Retreat begins promptly at 11:00 am and concludes Friday at 3:00 pm.


Dorm Option 

Participants will have the option to stay in a single or double room in one of the Townhouses on campus. Each Townhouse comes with WiFi and air conditioning. Parking permits can also be purchased through the links below. Please make sure to read the descriptions carefully to ensure that this is the right option for you.

Please note that town-homes are not walking distance from the Lab.

August room reservation

Hotel Option

We will be reserving a block of rooms at Courtyard Ithaca hotel. Please make sure you register for the correct week. Space is limited. The hotel is located a short drive or walk away from the Lab.

August room reservation

Cost and Registration

Due to the current global situation, full refunds will be granted up to two weeks prior to the conference if you chose to cancel. We are regularly monitoring guidelines and will contact participants if we need to reschedule.  

Workshop costs are being supplemented by grant and sponsor funds. The registration fee is $495, which includes:

  • One K-12 Education citizen science and inquiry curricula
  • Your choice of one of our brand new eBird kits
  • Delicious meals and plenty of snacks during workshop hours. All meals from lunch Tuesday to lunch Friday are included as well as the picnic in a gorgeous local state park. You may bring a guest to the picnic for a small extra charge.
  • Hands-on training, tours, and bird walks (most led by Cornell Lab experts!)
  • 3 CEUs from Cornell University





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