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Higher education in sustainability and environmental management is more important now than ever before, some education professionals believe. While environmental work was a fringe issue decades ago, this is no longer the case. “The issue of the environment has merged with the issue of economic development. In the seventies, managers could avoid paying attention to these issues; today they can’t,” says Steve Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and consultant to the EPA.
From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.
MIT OpenCourseWare, a free online education initiative, was launched in 2002. Starting with 50 courses, by 2007 the university had posted over 1,800 courses in 33 academic disciplines. This revealing undergraduate module, based on a class taught by four MIT professors in 2012, focuses on the fundamental physical processes that shape climate. The course also covers evidence of past and present climate change, an overview of climate models, and discussions of climate change consequences. Navigating the system is easy. Begin with the Course Home page; then look over the Syllabus and Calendar before browsing the Readings, Lecture Notes, Assignments, and Projects.
SDSN.edu, a free online education platform, aims to provide high-quality, massive open online education in collaboration with the member institutions and partners of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, SDSN mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales.
SDSN.edu currently offers three courses. Links and brief descriptions appear below.
- The Age of Sustainable Development gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
- Climate Change Science and Negotiations is a two-semester course, with the first semester launching in fall 2014. During the first semester, you will learn about solutions to deeply decarbonize the global energy systems, and put the world on a 2°C pathway and how they can be applied in different national contexts, based on the results from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a global initiative to show how countries can transition to a low carbon economy by 2050, and how the world can stay within the 2°C limit. The second semester of the course, which will open for registration in late fall 2014, will be a dynamic online climate change negotiation. The negotiation will be modeled on the real negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which are scheduled to reach an agreement in Paris in December 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). The outcomes of the second semester simulated negotiations will be presented to global leaders in advance of COP21.
- Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities gives students an overview of a range of emerging concepts within sustainability science, like the Anthropocene, planetary boundaries, and resilience. These concepts are at the core of contemporary research and debate on global sustainability. They are key to frame and understand rapidly changing trends in global environmental change caused by humans, and to assess responses that aim at reversing global environmental change. They also help exploring pathways for ensuring safe and just human wellbeing for present and future generations.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11am-noon
Register at bit.ly/GreeningYourLab.
Representatives from Harvard University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute will discuss various ways in which they have worked towards reducing the energy impact of labs on campus.
GreenerU recognizes that there are many barriers to achieving sustainability in labs. In order to create a lasting impact, it is important for colleges and universities to tackle these issues with an integrated plan that addresses both technological and behavioral change. Our speakers will discuss different ways to achieve this goal.
By joining our webinar, you will learn about different techniques used by GreenerU at WPI and methods used by Harvard University to address lab sustainability through:
- Managing laboratory ventilation and comfort
- Lab equipment operation and configuration
- Engaging lab users to maximize results
- Managing implementation in active lab buildings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the posting of the Request for Applications, People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award Program, with the goal to research, develop and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition supports scientific and technological research efforts to create innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet- people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. Applications will be accepted from September 5-December 16, 2014.
Supporting the development of sustainable methods is in line with the Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research Program. EPA’s SHC Research Program provides useful science and tools for decision makers at all levels to help communities advance sustainability as well as achieve regulatory compliance. SHC is collaborating with partners to conduct research that will result in science-based knowledge to guide decisions that will better sustain a healthy society and environment in America’s communities. The research is intended for decision-makers at the federal, regional, state and community levels.
Elgin High School Environmental Science asks you to participate in the National Biodiversity Teach-In during the week of September 22-26, 2014. The event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity while acknowledging the somber anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
Students have organized a series of Webinars that highlight the work of scientists, activists and grassroots organizations. The Webinars are open to everyone, but the students are especially interested in attracting classroom teachers and students. Registration is free and easy, but links are limited so register as soon as possible.
To register for the webinars, rollover the “Events” tab at the top of the page. Click on “Meet our Webinar Presenters”. Once you are on this page you will find a registration link under the bio of each presenter. Open the link and submit the requested information.
Facebook: Miss Martha The Passenger Pigeon and Elgin High School Environmental Science