AEE West Region

Thanks to all those who joined us for the West Regional Conference, Feb 22-24, 2019 in the Presidio!



The West Region includes the following states and provinces:

California, Hawaii, Nevada, Baja California and Baja California Sur (Mexico) 



Thank You to Our 2019 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Christine Norton

A Summons Towards Wholeness

This year’s conference theme summarizes the process of experiential education and seeks to engage a vibrant community of educators and learners with diverse backgrounds and perspectives with one common goal: "to bring our whole selves to the table" as we play and engage with one another. In her talk, Dr. Christine Norton will invoke the wisdom of Wendell Berry to discuss what it means to move toward wholeness and thriving by forming deeper connections with ourselves, each other and the natural world.

Christine Norton

Dr. Christine Lynn Norton received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. She has a Master of Arts in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Board Approved Supervisor in the State of Texas. She has over 20 years of experience working with youth and young adults in a variety of settings including therapeutic wilderness programs, juvenile justice, schools, mentoring and campus support programs. She has taught as adjunct faculty at The University of Denver, Prescott College, and Naropa University.

Her areas of practice and research interest and expertise are in positive youth development; innovative interventions in child and adolescent mental health; adventure therapy; outdoor behavioral healthcare; experiential education; foster care support in higher education; and international social work. Dr. Norton is a Research Scientist with the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center and she helped launch Foster Care Alumni Creating Educational Success (FACES) at Texas State. She is the Foster Care Liaison Officer to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and is the founder of the Foster Care Adventure Therapy Network, an international group of programs and practitioners who utilize adventure therapy with current and former foster care youth and young adults. 

Dr. Norton has over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, has edited three books, and has authored over ten book chapters, and is a leading social work scholar who has presented her research nationally and internationally. Dr. Norton is active in international education and is also a Fulbright Scholar, having taught adventure therapy in the Department of Civic Education and Leadership at National Taiwan Normal University.

WRAEE Awards

Each year, the region gives out special awards:

  • Rising Star Award  Given to an emerging leader within the field of EE.
  • Exemplary Practices Award – Given to a person or an organization demonstrating exemplary practices within the field of EE.  Areas of practice include, but are not limited to: leadership, service, positive impact, ingenuity, legacy or other contributions to the field of EE.
  • Servant Leader Award – Given to an individual who demonstrates active, excellent leadership and exhibits the highest level of ethical practices.

Nominations are closed for 2019.


Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!

Peak Performance

Peak Team Performance

Growing Greatness

 Growing Greatness


The California Institute for Invincible Youth


Presidio & Point Bonita YMCAs

Bay Area Wilderness Training 

Pacific Leadership Institute (PLI): "A program of San Francisco State University"

The Children are Our Future

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Youth Empowerment Institute

Outdoors Empowered Network

Tribal Wisdom Academy

SEER Education