Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Environmental News from NAAEE

The North American Association for Environmental Education publishes a regular e-letter- here are some highlights of note to the service-learning field:

1. NAAEE Announces First Award Named for Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs

At the 2009 conference in Portland, OR, NAAEE will announce its first award named in honor of the environmental justice work of Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs. The presentation will be made at the Awards lunch on Saturday, October 10. While Rosa Parks is well known, the name Grace Lee Boggs is not as familiar to many NAAEE members. Learn more about her from this article by her, which was recently published in The Nation.

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2. 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards

Deadline: December 15, 2009
This Conrad Foundation awards program is an annual competition that challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products for use in one of four categories: aerospace exploration, space nutrition, renewable energy, and green schools. Teams and their coaches will compete for more than $100,000 in cash prizes; be designated as Pete Conrad Scholars; have the opportunity to commercialize their products for general market use; and receive annual memberships to the Conrad Foundation, Sigma Xi, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the National Science Teachers Association—the Foundation’s official education advisor.

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3. Coleopterists Society's Youth Incentive Award

Deadline: November 15, 2009
This international organization of professionals and hobbyists interested in the study of beetles has a program to recognize young people (grades 7–12) studying beetles. The society provides $150 grants and credit toward equipment from BioQuip Products, along with a one-year subscription to the society's journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin. The proposed activities or projects will be evaluated on their degree of creativity, educational benefit to the applicant, scientific merit, feasibility, and budgetary planning.

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4. Green Your School Contest

Deadline: October 9, 2009
The Student Conservation Association Green Your School Contest is a national competition to stimulate and/or identify conservation service projects designed by high school students who improve, restore, beautify, or conserve their high school environment. There will be one grand prize of $5,000 and two runner-up prizes of $2,500 each. Prizes will be awarded directly to high schools and not to individuals.

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5. GreenWorks! Grants

Deadline: October 30, 2009
Through its service-learning program GreenWorks!, Project Learning Tree provides grants up to $5,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental projects. Proposals for the Fall 2009 cycle of grants are due on October 30, 2009. Students “learn by doing” through community action projects they design to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. PLT recently awarded 34 GreenWorks! grants for service-learning projects in 21 states. Since 1992, PLT has distributed over $700,000 to fund 900 GreenWorks! projects across the country.

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6. NEA Foundation Expands Grants Program to Include Green Initiatives in the Classroom

Deadline: October 15, 2009
The NEA Foundation offers grants and programs that support educators' efforts to close the achievement gaps, increase classroom innovations, salute excellence in education, and provide professional development. Now projects that integrate green-related topics and experiences in the classroom are part of new grant funding made possible by unprecedented financial commitments from Nickelodeon and Staples Foundation for Learning.

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7. President's Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA)

Deadline: December 31, 2009
This EPA-sponsored program recognizes young people across America for projects demonstrating their commitment to the environment. Visit the Web site for project examples, submission guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application.

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8. Sea World & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund

Deadline: December 1, 2009
Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to US and international nonprofits, government agencies, zoos, aquariums, and higher education institutions working to conserve, protect, or rehabilitate wildlife.

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9. Toyota Tapestry Grants

Deadline: January 18, 2010
The Toyota Tapestry Grants program offers grants to K-12 science teachers for innovative projects that will enhance science education during the 2010-11 school year. The program will award 50 large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants, totaling $550,000 in all, for projects in the categories of Physical Science Application, Environmental Science Education, and Integrating Literacy and Science.

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10. Values and Environmental Decision Making

The newest information installment on environmental education and diversity is now available on the NAAEE Web site. The installment examines the role that values play in how we perceive and respond to environmental risks such as climate change and how culture influences our values. To read the installment visit:

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11. Online Forum on Climate Change

October 19-28, 2009 ~ Online
This EcoRes Forum, "Climate Change and You: Putting a Face on Global Warming," is the final in the series of Internet-based discussions. Join the discussion on this important issue.

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12. Webinar: Educating for Sustainability in K-12 Schools

November 5, 2009, 3 pm-4:30 pm ET
Join this presentation and discussion on the national trend occurring in K-12 schools, education for sustainability (EFS). Educators will present case studies and share resources on how they are successfully using sustainability as an integrative theme in diverse elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Together the presenters will provide an overview of the national trends, related research, and more. This webinar is co-sponsored by the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The webinar platform is sponsored by Cisco.
Contact for Registration:

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13. Fields of Green: Restorying Culture, Environment, and Education

By: Marcia McKenzie, Paul Hart, Heesoon Bai, and Bob Jickling (Eds.). Published by Hampton Press, 2009.

"Here is a luminous anthology of insights and dreams from many of the liveliest thinkers in environmental education — a necessary compendium of tools, both poetic and practical, for the transformation of culture."
David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

"Fields of Green provokes a radical imaginary for education and activism; a “nature guide” that helps us to see how progress masks loss; a textual masseur that asks us to consider, sensually, the stakes for today and our responsibilities to tomorrow."
Michelle Fine, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York

For sale in the NAAEE Exhibit Hall at the NAAEE conference, or at:

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14. Engaging Students in Conservation Lesson Plans

Facing the Future, in collaboration with the Snow Leopard Trust, has just released Engaging Students in Conservation: Protecting the Endangered Snow Leopard, an interdisciplinary 1-2 week unit that includes five dynamic lessons and culminates with a service-learning project. The unit is designed for 5-8th grade students in science and social studies. Though the lessons are designed as a comprehensive unit, each lesson can stand alone. This unit, valued at $14.95, is available for FREE download at

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15. Feature Length Documentary: Deep Green

Deep Green highlights ideas and solutions that lower carbon energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from experts all over the world.

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16. Get Out!

A relationship with nature is crucial for children. Get Out! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future, by Judy Molland (Free Spirit Publishing), is filled with fun, simple tips for teachers, parents, and caregivers to help kids connect. An award-winning teacher and writer, Molland organized 150 engaging activities, projects, games, and tips into targeted sections on outdoor activities, projects, green living, the 3 Rs (reducing, reusing, recycling), and advocacy.

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17. If America Were a Village

By David J. Smith. Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. Published by Kids Can Press.
This book shares a wealth of fascinating, up-to-the-minute information about the evolving national landscape by explaining what the US would look like if it were a village of 100 people. Internationally-renowned educator David J. Smith has traveled across the United States and to 30 other countries to help children understand the world we live in. He is also the author of If the World Were a Village and the geography curriculum Mapping the World By Heart.

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18. Survey Shows Gap between Scientists and Public

July 19, 2009, New York Times article, by Cornelia Dean, discusses a new Pew Research Center survey results show a large gap between what scientists think and the views of ordinary Americans about climate change and other related issues. The survey shows that while most scientists believe that humans are the cause of global warming, about half of the public disagrees, and 11 percent does not believe in climate change at all. These differences in scientific knowledge and public belief illustrate a need for scientists to better engage the public and present their research and data in a clear and understandable form.

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19. Sustainability Education Curriculum & Resource Center

Creative Change Educational Solutions, a national leader in sustainability education, announces the opening of its Curriculum and Resource Center (CRC). The CRC is an online curriculum library providing subscription-based access to our full portfolio of instructional resources. Topics include food systems, community revitalization, green engineering, and more. Subscribers can download materials by grade level, discipline, topic, etc. The CRC also provides fully developed units with complete student booklets, Powerpoints, and more. Learn more and download samples:

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20. The Gravestone Project

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is inviting the public to measure gravestones to gain data on air pollution and climate change since the Industrial Revolution. Because white marble gravestones are highly susceptible to erosion, and bear dates, the stones can help scientists infer a region's climate and pollution history. Learn how to participate and log your data:

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About Me

The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.