16th Annual Design Institute

Celebrating Natural Environments for Children and Other Living Things!

Natural environments contain countless organisms that contribute to the health of the planet and it’s many inhabitants. We invite you to recover an appreciation for the great diversity of life that supports children’s health through their joyful engagement with nature.

Join us in celebrating the next “conservation generation” and the critical need for them to understand our dependency on the natural world. 

Registration Deadline: 12pm on September 25th, 2018


John Connors, retired Naturalist from North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences; founding member, WakeNature Preserves Partnership.

Uli Hartmond, PhD. Director Butterfly House and Insectarium, Museum of Life and Sciences.

Nils Peterson, PhD. Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, North Carolina State University.

Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent – Chatham County, NC State University.

Adrian Smith, PhD. Head of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab, NC Museum of Natural Sciences; Research Assistant Professor in Biology, NC State University.


Come ask your burning questions to our Myth Buster Panel:

David Brown, Regional Environmental Health Specialist & Surveillance Coordinator, NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Jeff Gaster, South Central Regional Manager, Child Development, NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Lia Rucker, M.Ed. State Anchor, NC Rated License Assessment Project, Human Development and Family Studies, UNC Greensboro.



Conference Hotel Room Rate:

Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh Crabtree Valley  – $119 per night

Last day to book: 9/19/18 by 3PM EST

Book your hotel room for the Design Institute

October 4-5, 2018 | 9am – 4:30pm


NC Museum of Art


$290 Full Registration

$195 Early Childhood Professional & Student Registration

includes a continental breakfast and box lunch each day and continuing education credits (CEUs)