(b) Functions and activitiesThe functions and activities of the program shall include, at a minimum—
classroom training in environmental education and studies including environmental sciences and theory, educational methods and practices, environmental career or occupational education, and topical environmental issues and problems;
demonstration of the design and conduct of environmental field studies and assessments;
development of environmental education programs and curriculum, including programs and curriculum to meet the needs of diverse ethnic and cultural groups;
sponsorship and management of international exchanges of teachers and other educational professionals between the United States, Canada, and Mexico involved in environmental programs and issues;
maintenance or support of a library of environmental education materials, information, literature, and technologies, with electronic as well as hard copy accessibility;
evaluation and dissemination of environmental education materials, training methods, and related programs;
sponsorship of conferences, seminars, and related forums for the advancement and development of environmental education and training curricula and materials, including international conferences, seminars, and forums;
supporting effective partnerships and networks and the use of distant learning technologies; and
such other activities as the Administrator determines to be consistent with the policies of this chapter.
Special emphasis should be placed on developing environmental education programs, workshops, and training tools that are portable and can be broadly disseminated.
The Administrator shall make a grant on an annual basis to an institution of higher education or other institution which is a not-for-profit institution (or consortia of such institutions) to operate the environmental education and training program required by this section.
Any institution of higher education or other institution (or consortia of such institutions) which is a not-for-profit organization and is interested in receiving a grant under this section may submit to the Administrator an application in such form and containing such information as the Administrator may require.
(3) The Administrator shall award grants under this section on the basis of—
the capability to develop environmental education and training programs;
the capability to deliver training to a range of participants and in a range of settings;
the expertise of the staff in a range of appropriate disciplines;
the relative economic effectiveness of the program in terms of the ratio of overhead costs to direct services;
the capability to make effective use of existing national environmental education resources and programs;
the results of any evaluation under paragraph (5) of this subsection; and
such other factors as the Administrator deems appropriate.
No funds made available to carry out this section shall be used for the acquisition of real property (including buildings) or the construction or substantial modification of any building.
The Administrator shall establish procedures for a careful and detailed review and evaluation of the environmental education and training program to determine whether the quality of the program being operated by the grantee warrants continued support under this section.
Individuals eligible for participation in the program are teachers, faculty, administrators and related support staff associated with local education agencies, colleges, and universities, employees of State education, environmental protection, and natural resource departments, and employees of not-for-profit organizations involved in environmental education activities and issues.
Individuals shall be selected for participation in the program based on applications which shall be in such form as the Administrator determines to be appropriate.
In selecting individuals to participate in the program, the Administrator shall provide for a wide geographic representation and a mix of individuals, including minorities, working at primary, secondary, postsecondary levels, and with appropriate other agencies and departments.
Individuals selected for participation in the program may be provided with a stipend to cover travel and accommodations from grant funds awarded pursuant to this section in such amounts as the Administrator determines to be appropriate.