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Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

 

Academic Year in Review at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

Note from Brandon Hollingshead, Interim Director 2014-2015

Many thanks to the supporters, students, faculty, and staff that made Academic Year 2014-2015 a year of successful activity at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. This is a brief summary of our accomplishments this year on campus at Florida Gulf Coast University and in the wider world.

  • Student Associates for a Greener Environment: SAGE is a signature program of the Center that provides support to student sustainability projects under the direction of a faculty or staff mentor. This year the Center sponsored seven high-impact SAGE projects, ranging from sustainable butterfly gardens to permaculture to radical sustainable architecture.
  • Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue: The student staff at the Center organized and hosted this year's signature dialogue event on the topic of "Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action" on October 27, 2014. This was an educational event created by students for students just before the successful Amendment 1 land and water conservation initiative the passed in early November 2014.
  • Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture: This year's lecture was delivered by David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran on "Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson's Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai's Karura Forest. It was delivered on campus to a standing-room only crowd and on Sainbel Island to a full audience at St. Michael and All Angels Church. Our keynote listeners on Sanibel were Walter Mondale and Reverend Ellen Sloane and our keynote listeners on campus were Dean Robert Gregerson, Sarah Davis, Katie Leone, and Uzair Iqbal.
  • Ongoing record of scholarship: Peter Blaze Corcoran and Brandon Hollingshead published the book Intergenerational Learning and Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures (Wageningen Academic Publishers). The Center was represented at many international environmental education conferences, including the North American Association for Environmental Education, the United Nations World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the International Environmental Communication Association's Conference on Communication and the Environment, and several meetings of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Ongoing record of international collaboration: Peter Blaze Corcoran made several contributions to advancing environmental and sustainability education in higher education in Africa, including work with University of Nairobi and Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Corcoran also advanced environmental education policy at the United Nations Environment Programme through work with the Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability. The Center continues to provide a secretariat role for an emerging International Intergenerational Network of academic centers on sustainability in higher education.
  • Faculty and Staff Development: The Center provided professional development and support to faculty and staff interested in applying Earth Charter ethics and sustainability education in the courses and work at Florida Gulf Coast University.
  • Rachel Carson Award: This year's award was give to two longtime FGCU educators, Dr. Maria Roca and Dr. Jim Wohlpart in honor of their many contributions to the center and to sustainability education at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Thank you again to our supporters and stakeholders at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands of Southwest Florida, and in the wider community of scholars. We look forward to Peter Blaze Corcoran's return to FGCU and the re-opening the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education in August 2015 at the start of Academic Year 2015-2016.

 


  

 FGCU Renews Affiliation With Earth Charter International

 


The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education recently facilitated a renewal of Florida Gulf Coast University’s status as an Earth Charter University Affiliate.  FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Earth Charter International, renewing our original affiliation with the Earth Charter in 2009. The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for sustainability based on respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, and a culture of peace. It was created through a decade-long open, democratic and participatory consultation process that involved contributions across gender, generations and geography. Earth Charter Affiliate organizations share the Earth Charter’s goals and are committed to promoting the Earth Charter’s vision, making FGCU an ideal candidate.

FGCU has reaffirmed its status as an Affiliate by entering into a formal agreement with Earth Charter International to continue implementing Earth Charter values and goals into curriculum and University affairs. FGCU Professor Mary Walch, who has been crafting a report on Earth Charter activity at FGCU for Earth Charter International, said in my recent interview with her, “the Earth Charter is used in University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future, a required course for all undergraduate students at the University.” She explained that the Earth Charter has not only been adopted into University curricula, but has also “been highly integrated into University life”.

The Earth Charter provides professors and universities themselves with a coherent framework for developing educational programs and curricula aimed at teaching and learning for a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. The integrated approach promoted by the Earth Charter emphasizes the relationships between the various challenges faced by humanity, ranging from the eradication of poverty and discrimination, to the protection of Earth’s ecological systems. The Earth Charter can be used as a resource to undertake teaching and learning in many fields and can help in exploring the links and inter-relationships between the various dimensions of sustainability. Given the scope and interdisciplinary nature of the Earth Charter there are practically endless opportunities to apply it to a wide range of academic backgrounds. Hopefully FGCU renewing its commitment as an Affiliate will stimulate further use of the Earth Charter across disciplines.

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education has included the Earth Charter in a number of teaching and research projects, including The Earth Charter in Action: Toward a Sustainable World (KIT Publishers, 2005, edited by Peter Blaze Corcoran) and A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to the Earth Charter (University of Georgia Press, 2008, edited by A. James Wohlpart and Peter Blaze Corcoran.


 

 Center Hosts Successful

Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture

 



This year’s Lecture, entitled Environmental Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson’s Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai’s Karura Forest, featured prominent environmental educators and authors, David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran. There were two opportunities to attend the Lecture this year, the campus lecture took place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 in the Cohen Center and a Sanibel Island Lecture, which took place on Friday, January 30, 2015 at Saint Michael and All Angels Church.


Lecturers David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran, who both have extensive expertise in teaching sustainability in higher education institutions, engaged guests in a discussion about sustainability and the educational implications of addressing climate change. Keynote Listeners in attendance at the Campus Lecture were Dr. Bob Gregerson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Sarah Davis, Campus Naturalist and Director of the University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future, Uzair Iqbal, FGCU Student Government Director of Sustainability and Katie Leone, FGCU Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Coordinator, Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Keynote Listeners in attendance at the Sanibel Lecture were Senator and 42nd Vice president Walter Mondale and Reverend Ellen Sloan of Saint Michael and All Angels Church.  


During the Lecture Orr and Corcoran reflected on their respective areas of expertise while drawing on the inspiration of Rachel Carson and Wangari Maathai as they re-imagined environmental education in a world of climate change. David Orr writes and speaks on many of the interconnected issues surrounding sustainability and climate change. Topics he frequently discusses and writes about include politics, ecoliteracy, land and resource use, urban planning, transportation and energy systems. Peter Blaze Corcoran writes, talks, and teaches about the ethical dimensions of sustainability in environmental education and education for sustainable development.

 


 

The 2015 Rachel Carson Award

 

On occasion, not even annually, the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education gives its highest award to a recipient who embodies Rachel Carson’s contributions most relevant to the Center: public policy-based on sound science and ethics, active participation of an ecologically-literate citizenry, and appreciation of the natural world through the literary arts and environmental education. During the Campus Lecture the Center announced that the recipiants of the 2015 Rachel Carson Award were Maria F. Loffredo Roca  and Jim Wohlpart. 

Brandon Hollinghead, Center Interim Director, presented Jim Wohlpart with his award and had this to say: "Jim Wohlpart is Dean of Undergraduate Studies, among the founding faculty members at FGCU, and was the founding assistant director at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. In addition to his role as Senior Scholar at the Center, his contributions to FGCU’s environmental sustainability mission include empowering the creators of the FGCU FoodForest and mentoring many student and faculty projects. His courses in EcoLeadership and Environmental Literature push students to re-imagine the connections they have to their places and to the people around them. When asked to describe Jim Wohlpart in a single word, his friends and colleagues overwhelmingly said the following: “wow,” “amazing,” and “awesome.”"

Patricia Fay, Assistant Director of the Bower School of Music & the Arts, who presented Maria Roca with her award, explained, "Maria Roca is Program Leader for Interdisciplinary Studies, an inaugural faculty member in communication, and a founding Senior Faculty Associate at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. She co-founded the award winning Wings of Hope program, an environmental education initiative that partners college students with school children in Southwest Florida and has reached more than 100,000 children. As a Green Faith Fellow, she is concerned with religious and ethical dimensions of sustainability and environment. Her courses on the Seven Deadly Sins, Living the Earth Charter, and The Contemplative Life teach students to be mindful and aware--transformative acts in an age of speed and information overload. If you haven’t taken a course from Dr. Roca… you simply must! She’ll change your life."

 

 


 

 


The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education’s Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is here! There will be two opportunities to attend this year’s Lecture entitled, Environmental Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson’s Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai’s Karura Forest. The Lectures will take place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 5:00pm in Cohen Center room 247 AND on Friday, January 30, 2015 at Saint Michael and All Angels Church at 7:00pm on Sanibel Island.


This year’s Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture will feature environmental educators and authors David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran. The lecture has grown out of Orr and Corcoran’s collaboration on a new book, which will investigate the educational implications of addressing climate change. In a recent interview about the Lecture, Corcoran explained “We will draw on the inspiration of Rachel Carson and Wangari Maathai as we re-imagine environmental education in a world of climate change.” Immediately following the Lecture all guests will be invited to join lecturers David Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran in the Fellowship Hall at Saint Michael and All Angels Church for a light reception. The 2015 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. The Center would like to extend a special thanks to our Host Committee Co-Chairs Maureen Watson and Susan Stuart for playing a lead role in helping to prepare for the Lecture.

A sunset reception for patron level donors, who contribute $1,000 and up, will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the beachfront home of hosts Mallory and Peter Haffenreffer. Couples who, together, contribute 1,000 will be invited to the sunset gathering. The patron reception will include catering by Leslie Adams and music by harpist Leslie Gregory.

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is an academic center located at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Center works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action. The Center’s work is made possible through the help of its supporters and enthusiastically welcomes all contributions.  Contributions to the Center help support Center activities, which includes student grants, scholarly publications in environmental education, student employment, environmental education research, and signature educational events.

The 2015 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. For information on becoming a patron donor or for more information on the Lecture, please contact the Center at 239-590-7025 or email us at thecenter@fgcu.edu.

 


 

 

2015 RACHEL CARSON DISTINGUISHED LECTURE IS HERE

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education’s Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is here! There will be two opportunities to attend this year’s Lecture entitled, Environmental Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson’s Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai’s Karura Forest. The Lectures will take place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 5:00pm in Cohen Center room 247 AND on Friday, January 30, 2015 at Saint Michael and All Angels Church at 7:00pm on Sanibel Island.

The 2015 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture will feature environmental educators and authors David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran. This year’s lecture has grown out of Orr and Corcoran’s collaboration on a new book, which will discuss the educational implications of addressing climate change. During the lecture Orr and Corcoran will explore the need for education that addresses the most pressing issues humanity faces, namely education that prepares students to address the preeminent issue of our time, climate change, and the meta-narrative of our time, sustainability. In a recent interview about the Lecture, Corcoran explained “We will draw on the inspiration of Rachel Carson and Wangari Maathai as we re-imagine environmental education in a world of climate change.”

Both Rachel Carson’s and Wangari Maathai’s legacies provide the Center with a wealth of lessons and inspiration to draw from. The Lecture series, named in honor of Carson, strives to keep her legacy alive among rising generations. Rachel Carson advocated for public policy- based on sound science and ethics, the active participation of an ecologically literate citizenry and appreciation of the natural world through the literary arts and environmental education, all of which are central to the Center’s mission.

Hawk Mountain, along the Appalachian flyway, is an officially designated refuge for raptors. Carson used the sanctuary’s long-term migration database to monitor changes in raptor populations. Data Carson collected at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary provided some of the evidence for Silent Spring, Carson used declining counts of immature bald eagles at Hawk Mountain as evidence of DDT’s harmful effects on the environment.

Wangari Maathai was a visionary leader in environmental protection and education, the rights of women and girls, and democracy in Africa. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate, the first woman to serve as a professor in Kenya, and was the first African woman awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement, which has since planted over 47 million trees in her native Kenya and across the world.

Karura Forest, the largest of three urban forests in Nairobi, is located just a few kilometers from the central commercial district.  Due to pressures for more development, the late 1980s and early 1990s saw large parcels of forest land allotted to private developers. However, significant portions of the forest were preserved by the heroic efforts of conservationists like Maathai, who was instrumental in the preservation of the forest. She helped organize acts of peaceful protest, which included women from the community and students from the University of Nairobi. Karura Forest has become a symbol of controversial land grabbing in Kenya and serves as an example of the success of grassroots organizing.

The 2015 Rachel Carson distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. To request an invitation or for more information please visit www.fgcu.edu/cese/ or contact us at thecenter@fgcu.edu or 239-590-7025.


 

 

Save the Date!

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is excited to announce the 2015 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture. The on-campus lecture will take place on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:00pm - 6:30pm in Cohen Center room 247. The off-campus lecture will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 7:00pm at Saint Michael and All Angels Church on Sanibel Island.

This year’s Lecture entitled, Environmental Education in Turbulent Times: Perspectives from Rachel Carson’s Hawk Mountain and Wangari Maathai’s Karura Forest, will feature David W. Orr and Peter Blaze Corcoran. Both Orr and Corcoran are distinguished environmental educators and authors who express the need for education that addresses the most pressing issues humanity faces, namely education that prepares students to address the preeminent issue of our time, climate change, and the meta-narrative of our time, sustainability.

Orr and Corcoran’s lecture has grown out of their collaboration on a new book, which will discuss the educational implications of addressing climate change. Orr and Corcoran stress the notion that more of the same kind of education will only multiply our problems. Both speakers will talk about about reconceiving education to properly address needs in our changing world. Orr and Corcoran both realize that our current society is nowhere near sustainable and that fundamental changes are needed in education and our cultural values. They will discuss changing educational practices to better address climate change, suggesting a very different curriculum for higher education and education in general. Both Orr and Corcoran would agree that, above all, the current “unsustainability” crisis is really a crisis of values, or lack of certain values, which is why education reform is at the forefront of both of their many publications and lectures.

David W. Orr is Counselor to the President at Oberlin College and a fellow at the Cleveland Foundation. He is founder and Chair of the Board of the Oberlin Project and was formerly Oberlin’s Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics. Peter Blaze Corcoran is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he serves as Director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. Corcoran was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year at University of Nairobi in Kenya. He is currently working at the University of Nairobi’s Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies developing environmental education curriculum.

Rachel Carson’s work is the inspiration for the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. Her contributions, most relevant to the mission of the Center, are public policy- based on sound science and ethics, active participation of an ecologically literate citizenry, and appreciation of the natural world through the literary arts and environmental education.

The 2015 Rachel Carson distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. To request an invitation or for more information please visit www.fgcu.edu/cese/ or contact us at thecenter@fgcu.edu or 239-590-7025.

Visit our 'Signature Events'--'Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture' for a resource guide we have developed for the Lecture.

 By: Kevin Bedson


 

Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue 2014 a Success!

This year’s Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue, titled “Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action,” focused on the important and interrelated topics of water quality, watershed protection, and the protection of Florida’s coastal habitats. The primary goal of the Dialogue was to educate and empower students to speak up and advocate for the protection and preservation of Florida’s water resources, and associated wildlife.  

The dialogue, which took place on October 27th, came at a critical time, with an imperative conservation amendment, Amendment One, on Florida’s November ballot.  One of the secondary goals of the dialogue was to inform students about the facts surrounding the new conservation initiative and to encourage them to get out and vote.  The Amendment 1 ballot initiative passed with an overwhelming majority voting yes on Election Day.

During the dialogue the panel of experts explained the fact that clean water and thriving ecosystems are essential to Florida’s economic prosperity and quality of life. They also explained to the audience that, despite this fact, large-scale changes to the landscape and years of overdevelopment threaten water resources and the integrity of Florida’s vast, interconnected ecosystems. To demonstrate this the panelists utilized compelling data and shared pictures of Florida’s environment before it was degraded by human development. The panelists showed how water historically flowed across the state and elucidated the audience to the damages humans have caused by drastically altering this flow.

During the dialogue the panelists stressed the idea that, in order to ensure current and future generations have access to the wonder and abundance Florida’s unique natural environment can provide, funds must be set aside to acquire and protect vital conservation lands.

The panelists explained that over the next twenty years Florida’s population is expected to continue growing, with no sign that development of ecologically sensitive areas will slow, further pressuring Florida’s distressed water resources and ecosystems.
The panelists did a great job at unpacking the complex issues surrounding water quality and development in Florida. The panelists succeeded in engaging and informing the audience by highlighting the effects that humans have had, and continue to have, on Florida’s natural environment. Attendants walked away inspired and ready to act, and from that aspect the dialogue was a success.

By: Kevin Bedson


 Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action

The Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue is an annual event sponsored by the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education.  The signature series focuses on education for a sustainable future, including fostering student’s roles as stewards of their natural, cultural, and political environments. This year’s Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue will focus on the protection of Southwest Florida’s water resources and coastal environments through education and action. The event aims to educate and empower students to stand up for the protection of our natural resources and natural wonders. Clean water and thriving ecosystems are essential to Florida’s quality of life and economic prosperity.

This year’s Dialogue will take place on October 27, 2014 in the Student Union Ballroom at FGCU.  The Center invites stakeholders, community members, students, and campus leaders for conversation and snacks in the Ballroom before the main event for a networking session with vendors starting at 5:00 p.m.  The Dialogue will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A question and answer session will follow.
The following Organizations have been confirmed for the networking session: Florida Department of Environmental Protection South District, Estero Bay Buddies, Imaginarium of Fort Myers, CROW, ECO FGCU, Calusa Nature Center, FGCU Food Forest, Think Green Vote Blue, Riverwatch CRCA and Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve.

This year’s Moderator will be Brandon Hollingshead, interim director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education and an instructor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Civic Engagement at Florida Gulf Coast University.  His academic and teaching interests are in rhetoric of sustainability, humanities and sustainability, service-learning, and civic engagement.  Hollingshead’s masters thesis from the University of Utah was on “Crafting Principles for Sustainable Development: Rhetorical Negotiations in the Drafting of the Earth Charter and Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development.” He has published and presented on topics connected to youth participation in sustainable development, community-engaged scholarship, and ethical dimensions of sustainability in higher education.
This year’s panelist:

Joy Hazell is a faculty member of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences serving as the Sea Grant Extension Agent in Lee County.  Joy holds an undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire and a graduate degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami. She has extensive experience in developing needs-based educational programs, facilitation and project planning.  As the Lee County Sea Grant Agent Joy plans, develops, implements and evaluates comprehensive needs based marine and natural resource educational programs that focus on marine fisheries and habitat issues.

Win Everham is a professor of Environmental Studies at FGCU. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Biology at State University of New York, from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry and has a B.S. in Biological Science from Michigan Technological University. His current research interests include examining the impacts of disturbance, including exotic invasions and anthropogenic activities, on forest communities and ecosystems.

 

Jeremy Frantz is the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Environmental Policy Specialist and works on a variety of planning issues to protect natural resources and quality of life in southwest Florida.  He began working with the Florida Water and Land Legacy in 2012 on the petition gathering campaign which eventually put Amendment No. 1 on the 2014 ballot.  He is now leading the Conservancy’s public outreach campaign to educate voters about this historic conservation initiative.

 The Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue is intended to spark youth action and stimulate environmental discourse among FGCU and Southwest Florida communities. The event is, as always, open to the general public, including policymakers, conservation organizations, citizen advocates, and the scientific community. For more information on the Center’s event call 239-590-7025 or email the Center at thecenter@fgcu.edu.

By: Kevin Bedson


 

SAGE Welcomes Another Round of Student Grants!

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education “works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action.” This year the Center is continuing to work toward that dream by implementing its successful grant program for students, the Student Associates for a Greener Environment program, also known as SAGE.

The mission of SAGE is to nurture students in their leadership capacity and to develop their identities as environmentally conscious individuals. The SAGE program works to connect faculty mentors with students interested in pursuing research, civic, and educational projects related to the mission of the Center and the values it shares with the Earth Charter.  The Earth Charter is an international framework with guiding principles for pursuing a just, sustainable, and peaceful world, which has been adopted by both the Center and FGCU.

Student members of SAGE may participate in innovative educational research projects, educational projects that promote ecologically literacy, civic engagement activities in local environmental issues, scholarly activity, teaching and service related to environmental and sustainability education, and the development of environmental youth initiatives. The main goal of SAGE is to create transformative leaders working toward a sustainable future.

Students who become associates are expected to make a commitment to the mission of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, and to the values described in the Earth Charter. SAGE members will work within the Center’s tradition of collaboration, civil dialogue and intellectual integrity. Students who become members will be nurtured in their leadership capacity and assisted in developing their identities as environmentally conscious individuals.

In previous years SAGE members have completed projects ranging from creating elementary school environmental education curriculums to starting community gardens to researching women’s rights in South America. We look forward to the many new and exciting projects that this year’s SAGE members will take on.


For more information including SAGE applications click here.

By: Kevin Bedson


Big News at the Center!

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is gearing up for a new exciting academic year. The staff of the Center is hard at work preparing for the upcoming Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue, one of the Center’s signature events, which will take place at FGCU on October 27, 2014 in the Cohen Center Ballroom from 5pm to7pm.  

The big news at the start of this year is that Brandon Hollingshead has been nominated as Interim Director for the Center. Hollingshead is more than qualified for the position. He has been affiliated with the center since its inception in 2004, when he was hired as Center Staff. After attending graduate school at the University of Utah, Hollingshead returned to FGCU as a professor of interdisciplinary studies and as a Faculty Associate of the Center. Hollingshead is the perfect candidate to hold the title of Interim Director while the Center’s Director of ten years, Peter Blaze Corcoran is in Kenya further contributing to curriculum development at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies in Nairobi. Corcoran spent the past year working at the Wangari Maathai Institute in Nairobi as part of his Fulbright Fellowship and is planning to return to Africa for an additional ten months this year while he is on his sabbatical.

Hollingshead will stay in touch with Corcoran while he is in Africa, as they are currently working on a new book together on Intergenerational Learning and Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures. Additional information on Center activities and upcoming events will be posted on the Center’s website soon.

By: Kevin Bedson


The Center Would Like to Welcome Judy Rosenberg

This year the Center is welcoming a new member to our team, filling our new position of executive secretary, Judy Rosenberg. Judy will help the Center with accounting, fundraising, scheduling and all Center events. She will also keep up with Center reporting which will be a huge help during Director Peter Blaze’s Fulbright Fellowship in Africa. Judy is an essential member of our team and her input and hard work will help lead the Center into another great year.

Judy Rosenberg recently relocated from Palm Beach County to SWFL.  Originally from Brooklyn New York, where she studied at Brooklyn College.  She has worked at Florida Atlantic University and Broward County Libraries.  Judy looks forward to spending time with her family who reside in Cape Coral, and -Fort Myers.  Her son and daughter-in-law are both FGCU alumni.

 


Planting Trees for the Future!

On April 22nd, with the help of Kim Charmatz’s class, Kelly Walsh and the FGCU student body the Center successfully planted its beautiful Live Oak tree that was donated by our local forester Clark Ryals! Thank you everyone who made this event such a success and we look forward to our future Earth Day tree plantings. This tree was pledge for the plant-for-the-planet project that was started in Germany by a fourth grader who was inspired by Wangari Maathai. As you may know, currently Peter Blaze Corcoran is teaching at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peach and Environmental Studies in Niarobi Kenya. The work of this inspirational woman has moved many of us here at the Center and it was an easy decision to pledge our tree for this cause. For more information please visit: http://www.plant-for-the-planet.org/en/.

    
          


Ceremonial Earth Day Tree Planting!

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education hosted a ceremonial tree planting Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:00am. The tree was planted next to FGCU's Food Forest storage unit. All was invited to join in this Earth Day celebration. Many thanks to Clark Ryals with the Local Forestry Service for donating the beautiful live oak and to FGCU's Grounds Manager, George Brown, for helping us find its home.

We would like to thank Kim Charmatz and her Environmental Education students for their hard work and commitment to making Earth Day (FGCU’s Earth day and the real Earth Day) such a success! Posted above is a picture of the hand-picked and hand written invitations handed out to FGCU students to attend our tree planting ceremony. Also thanks to the Food Foresters for watching over our beautiful Live Oak tree until its planting day.


 Let’s Celebrate the Earth!
Earth Day 2014


On April 15th the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education held an Earth Day activities course on the Library Lawn for students to take part in. The course was focused on teaching students sustainable and eco-friendly practices. With help from community partners, students who attended the event went away with a Publix reusable bag and lots of goodies!

After reaching out to the community, we would like to thank several partners for their help and support of our event. The Center was able to receive 150 reusable bags donated from Publix. Publix also supplied us with 200 brown bags to use for our part in The Earth Day Groceries Project. This is the 21st year for The Earth Day Groceries Project, and it is one of the oldest and largest educational activities coordinated online. Our event’s project write up can be found at: http://www.earthdaybags.org/

The FGCU physical plant also played a role in this amazing day by letting the Center borrow their ‘recycle right’ education boards as well as their educational recycling board games. The physical plant focuses on teaching students how to properly recycle on campus. Lee County also helped spread recycling awareness by supplying the Center with 60 educational pamphlets on how to properly recycle in Lee County.  FGCU’s Student Government helped our green cleaning education center by donating mason jars for our handmade laundry detergent created from recipes found at the Woman’s Voices for the Earth website. The FGCU Food Forest also supported the Center’s Earth Day event by donating 52 pigeon pea plants, planted in pots donated by the Naples Botanical Garden, that were given to students participating in the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a follow up to FGCU’s Earth Day events, the Local Forestry Services, thanks to Clark Ryals, has donated a 25 gallon Live Oak tree to be planted at the Food Forest on the true Earth Day, April 22nd. Beginning at 8am, this event is open to the entire student body and tree planting activities will be held during this time.  

For additional Center supported campus activities please visit our Campus Connections page. There you can find an up to date list of campus events! http://www.fgcu.edu/CESE/campuscnnections.html
To learn more about any of the organizations listed above please visit the following sites:
http://www.fgcu.edu/UndergraduateStudies/foodforest.html , http://www.fgcu.edu/PhysicalPlant/fgcu-recycles.html , http://www.naplesgarden.org/, http://www.conservancy.org/ , http://www.womensvoices.org/

By: Briana Stiehl


Center Director Attends Climate Reality Training Event


Al Gore, Chairman and Founder of the Climate Reality Project wants us to realize that the debate is over, climate change is happening, and the realities of climate change require action. If we are to lessen its impacts we must understand and help others to understand the sense of urgency the climate crisis demands.

The Project recently hosted its 24th Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Johannesburg, South Africa. The three-day event took place March 12-14, 2014 and was the first event of its kind on the African continent. The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education’s Director, Peter Blaze Corcoran, who is currently working in Nairobi Kenya on a Fulbright Fellowship, was invited to attend the training event and became a Climate Reality Leader, joining a global movement of citizens taking action on the climate crisis. Dr. Corcoran traveled from Nairobi to Johannesburg with Wanjira Maathia to represent the Wangari Maathia Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies and FGCU. The event brought over 700 individuals from 53 countries together to learn about how they could personally make a difference in helping solve the climate crisis.

Over the course of the three days, participants learned how to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis, heard from subject experts, learned how to combine science and solutions to engage audiences, and learned how to influence others to take action. One of the most extraordinary parts of the training was the wide variety of people who came to Johannesburg and came away as Climate Reality Leaders. The attendees came from all over the globe, the diversity cut across race, income, profession, and age.

There were leaders from all sectors of society, including teachers, students, farmers, and businesspeople. They came to learn about public communications, the science of climate change, and the solutions we already have, such as alternative energy and grassroots organizing. They left inspired, connected, and ready to join the 6,000 Climate Reality Leaders who are already active around the world. In my interview with Dr. Corcoran he said, “For me the training was life changing”, he explained, “The seemingly unassailable science was horrifying; the response of the leaders and youth leaders was inspiring.”

Attendees who completed the training became Climate Reality Leaders and are required to complete at least 10 activities promoting climate change awareness. Dr. Corcoran has already begun to fulfill his requirement by giving a lecture at the University of Botswana on the response of higher education institutions to the threats of climate change. He will be giving another lecture at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi in May, entitled Climate Collapse: Kenya on the Front Lines of a Global Environmental Crisis.

By: Kevin Bedson


Haffenreffer Challenge Matches Gifts to Center

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education recently hosted its 2014 Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture and 10th Anniversary Celebration. For the first time in the Center’s history, the signature event was a theatrical performance. The Center invited Actress Kaiulani Lee to perform her one-woman show “A Sense of Wonder” which is based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. Lee mesmerized and moved the audience with her convincing portrayal of Carson. Guests felt as though they were watching Rachel Carson herself on the stage.

 Immediately following the performance, the Center hosted its Tenth Anniversary Celebration. Guests joined the Center in celebrating a decade worth of scholarship, education and action in pursuit of a more peaceful and sustainable world. During the celebration Sanibel residents Mallory and Peter Haffenreffer, announced that they will graciously renew their Haffenreffer Challenge, which will match gifts to the Center up to a total of $10,000.

We are still working to meet our fundraising goal for this year. Contributions to the Center help support Center activities that include Earth Charter Mini-grants,  SAGE Mini-grants (Student Associates for a Greener Environment),  scholarly publications in environmental education, student employment, environmental education research, and signature educational events.

The Center would like to extend a Special thanks to BIG ARTS, the Host Committee, the FGCU Book Store, the West Wind Inn and the Editors at the Island Sun for their contributions.
The Center truly appreciates every contribution and hopes to continue to receive such great support from friends, colleagues, and the local community. Such support is vital to the Center's efforts and allows it to continue its work towards a more sustainable local and global community.

By: Kevin Bedson


 

Center Hosts Successful Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture

 

Excitement filled the atmosphere at BIG ARTS as guests waited with anticipation to see Rachel Carson brought to life in the renowned one-woman show “A Sense of Wonder”. Actress Kaiulani Lee, who brings more than 35 years of experience in theatre, film, and television to her portrayal of Carson, performs the play with extreme passion.  Lee’s magical and moving performance genuinely captured Carson’s essence and left guests captivated.

The Center’s annual Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture seeks to engage the public in discussions on sustainability, ethics, democracy and literature with scholars and public intellectuals. This year, to celebrate its tenth anniversary the Center invited Kaiulani Lee to perform her one-woman show. In “A Sense of Wonder”, Lee takes on the role of Rachel Carson in order to showcase Carson’s love of the natural world and her fight to defend it. The play has been the centerpiece of regional and national conferences on conservation, education, journalism, and the environment, and the Center knew it would be a great way to commemorate Rachel Carson and bring her message to life. 

Prior to the play, Center Director Peter Blaze Corcoran presented Co-chairs Mary Evelyn Tucker and David Orr with the Center’s highest award, the Rachel Carson Award. The Center gives this award, in the form of a lightning whelk, to recipients who embody Rachel Carson’s contributions most relevant to the Center’s mission. Tucker and Orr then made brief remarks, which set the context for the play. Orr set up the historical context and explained why it is so important that we heed Carson’s warnings and spread her message today. Tucker provided the cosmological context for Carson’s work by drawing attention to the larger story of the Universe and life on Earth.


After the play the Center hosted its Tenth Annual Celebration in Philips Gallery. Guests were invited to join the Center in remembering a decade’s worth of scholarship, education, and action in pursuit of a more peaceful and sustainable world. Center Director Peter Corcoran along with Mary Evelyn Tucker and David Orr made remarks on the Center’s ten-year history and its future, and Kaiulani Lee joined guests to reflect on the importance of Rachel Carson’s work. Then, Sanibel residents Mallory and Peter Haffenreffer announced that they will graciously renew their fundraising challenge, which will match donations to the Center up to a total of $10,000.

The Center is looking forward to the future and is delighted that Ms. Kaiulani Lee came to Sanibel and evoked Carson’s spirit as a way of commemorating her legacy and the Center’s ten-year history. The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is a scholarly center located at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Center works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth. 

 


 Welcome to the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education would like to welcome back all faculty, staff, and students from what we hope was a relaxing and enjoyable summer.  With the beginning of the new semester, the Center is back in full swing and has welcomed back its entire staff to begin the new academic year.   The Center would like to welcome Student Assistant Kevin Bedson and Briana Stiehl to the team, and we welcome back Darrel Bagiotti, Betsy Evans, and Andrew Stansell.

The Center will be celebrating its tenth year of working to realize the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action. In a decade of excellence its commitment to the FGCU and southwest Florida community has allowed the Center to share its vision with hundreds of students, community members, and businesses on both local and international scales.

Briana Stiehl is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University and a SWFL native. Her major is Environmental Studies. She is interested in the outdoors, raising her own animals and riding horses in her spare time. While working for The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education Briana will manage the website and maintain files. Briana hopes to share knowledge in this field of education to others including the public. Briana would love to work in the outdoors upon graduation.

Kevin Bedson is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University and a South Florida native. His major is Communication Ecology and he has a minor in Philosophy. He is interested in the role that media plays in shaping our perception of the natural world. Kevin enjoys outdoor activities, especially those on and in the water. Kevin is an avid wake boarder, free diver, and scuba diver. Kevin’s role at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education will be public relations and will include managing the Center’s website and working with local newspapers. While working at the Center Kevin hopes to extend principles of sustainable living to students and the community.

 

Betsy Evans is a graduate student at Florida Gulf Coast University working towards a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences.  She received a B.A. in Biology with a minor in Spanish from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Betsy is a lab instructor for the General Biology labs at FGCU and assists in avian research at the Babcock Ranch.  She hopes to continue her education emphasizing in ornithology.

Andrew Stansell is a graduate from FGCU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. This is Andrew’s fifth year at the Center and he will be taking a lead role in managing the Center’s SAGE Mini-grant program. He has pursued his passion for the environment since his childhood through outdoor recreational activities. After graduation Andrew hopes to continue his education in fisheries management.

 

We will be looking to our Student Assistants to help us duplicate the success of last year’s term.  Last year we were able to hold a number of successful events including our two signature events, Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue and Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture.  In addition to our two signature events, we also enjoyed our most successful Fundraiser ever!

We are already working hard in preparation for this year’s events. This year the Center will be hosting its Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture and Tenth Anniversary Celebration. This year’s performance will be “A Sense of Wonder” by Kaiulani Lee. The first of two performances will take place Thursday evening, February 20, 2014 at 7:00pm on campus at the TheatreLab. The next performance will be Friday, February 21, 2014. The event will be held at 7:30pm in Schein Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel. The Center will also host its Tenth Annual Fundraising Celebration Immediately following the second performance, it will take place on the BIG ARTS porch and terrace at 9:00pm.

We invite you to join us in remembering a decade’s worth of scholarship, education, and action in pursuit of a more peaceful and sustainable world. For more information please contact our Student Assistants at 239-590-7025 or our Executive Secretary at 239-590-7444.