Ecological Education


NATIVE PLANT ECOLOGY TRAINING PROGRAM | Forest Bound: A Window into Native Plants
This is a summer training program designed for high school age youth to participate in experiential learning, and build conservation and ecology skills to further their knowledge on native plants. In addition to the summer program, IAE holds various student workshops throughout the year. You can find more information about the program here:

Upcoming Workshops:

  • Saturday | October 20 | Alamagordo
  • Saturday | November 19 | Las Cruces

Community members of any age are welcome to volunteer with us on the various projects we do! From seed collection and cleaning, to restoration projects feel free to sign up on our volunteer list and we will keep you updated on local volunteer events!


TEACHER CURRICULUM KITS: Curriculum boxes will be available for students and educators within New Mexico.  You will be able to check out these boxes for a small mailing fee or if you are close enough, for free to supplement lessons with your students.

FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP: Educator's implementing the Ponderosa to Prickly Pear Curriculum are welcome to join the facebook support group, where you can easily communicate with IAE education staff with questions, as well as troubleshoot and chat with other educator's doing this work.  You can join or view here.

TEACHER WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITIES: Workshops are held periodically covering lessons, opportunities to work with students using the curriculum, and ask questions or provide feedback on your experience working with Ponderosa to Prickly Pear.  Stay tuned for upcoming dates and times.


Plant Blindness: the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment, leading to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs. Studies have shown that plants are all too often ignored or passed over for interest in wildlife conservation and education, even a plant’s role in our ecosystem is just as vital. From Ponderosa to Prickly Pear is a curriculum developed by the Institute for Applied Ecology, focusing on Native Plants of New Mexico.

This curriculum aims to connect our youth with plants and to foster a relationship that sparks their interest in Native Plants.With the implementation of this curriculum, the Institute facilitated two webinars available to conservation educators and science teachers within New Mexico. You are welcome to view the webinar, and download the supplemental materials.

Download the Presentation Materials