Mountains to Sea

Advancing Place-Based Education in North Carolina’s K-12 Schools

The Mountains to Sea Professional Learning Institutes, an initiative of the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership, provide K-12 teachers with a comprehensive exploration of place-based education in our state.

The institute goes beyond regional boundaries, enabling educators to explore natural resources across our state and broadening their understanding of North Carolina’s diverse climate and ecosystems.

From panel discussions with subject matter experts to treks through wilderness areas, participants gain insights into special topics in environmental education like food deserts and water quality.

The 2023 Institute focused on climate and resiliency thanks to a grant from the N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center.

Fostering Community Connections

Crafting Resources for Integrating Placed-Based Education

Sessions delivered virtually and in person at various sites across North Carolina welcome educators from all disciplines and grade levels. Facilitated by field experts, the sessions cover environmental issues affecting our state. Mountains to Sea comprises cohorts of 20 educators who commit to a six-month semester.

Scholars gain strategies and resources for bringing placed-based education into their classrooms to create relevant and hands-on lessons for students.

The institutes are enriched through collaborative efforts with organizations like the N.C. Coastal Federation, the EPA Climate Office, the N.C. State Climate Office, the KIETS Climate Leaders Program, the NC Energy Fellows, and Constructive Learning Design. Programming is offered at no cost and scholars receive a $400 stipend.

Immersion experiences have included workshops at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center on the Outer Banks and Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County.

Ready to participate?

If your organization would like to become a community partner or if you are an educator interested in participating in Mountains to Sea, contact Carrie Horton, program manager, at