Climate literacy training for every budget

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

I was lucky enough to attend GreenBiz 23 in February. One sentiment I heard over and over again was that many people believe we have the majority of the tools we need to solve the climate crisis, but what most organizations really struggle with is getting enough employees the technical or functionally specific training they need to really scale adoption of these solutions across the entire business. 

That sentiment is consistent with the findings in a report Microsoft published in November titled “Closing the Sustainability Skills Gap: Helping business move from pledges to progress,” which provided an in-depth analysis of the many, many climate and sustainability related training needs companies have right now.

Webinar: Campus Sustainability: A Whole Systems Approach

May 23, 2023, 10 am CDT
Register here.

Ball State University has embedded sustainability deeply in the academic and organizational structure which has created opportunities, ranging from process improvement to inventive education outreach and research.

This webinar will explore that history by providing insight on delivering value, overcoming complications, and leveraging resources, national guidelines, and the expanding scoring/rating systems used in public sustainability reporting.

Portland Public Schools: Hybrid Funding for Energy Efficiency Projects

Read the full case study from U.S. DOE’s Better Buildings Program.

Portland Public Schools (PPS), realized the long-term benefits of energy efficiency upgrades, but was averse to completing projects because of the district’s limited capital budget which was reserved for emergency infrastructure needs. In addition, officials were concerned that the process of verifying and maintaining ongoing savings would be timely and complicated.

Engineers need a sustainability education

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

How the University of Michigan is making sure its engineering students are ready to tackle sustainability issues in their careers.

Sustainability Education Forum 2023

June 8-9, 2023, virtual
Register here.

Calling all change-makers, forward thinkers and progressive educators! Let’s come together, share our expertise and co-create our emerging future. After years of global disruption, what are the challenges and opportunities for sustainability education as we progress in a post-pandemic world? How do we “fall-forward” on issues related to sustainability teaching and learning in higher education? It is time for us to share, listen and speak about the issues that matter to interdisciplinary sustainability educators. 

Are higher education institutions simply reverting to how things were done pre-pandemic or can we use this opportunity to truly redesign systems? Visions for the future – what’s possible and what needs to be done – have adjusted and are recalibrating. New and different voices need to be heard and conversations need to catalyze actionable change. On June 8 and 9, let’s talk with each other, think with each other and respectfully challenge each other’s ideas in order to advance sustainability education across the curriculum.

The Sustainability Education Forum (SEF) will provide space to explore these possibilities and more. Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a forum is “a public meeting place for open discussion” and this is what the SEF offers – a space for authentic conversations, where we can engage as a community and with each other. Throughout the SEF, you will have plenty of chances to exchange ideas and make new professional connections, while gaining inspiration and an opportunity to recharge your own efforts. 

How It Will Work

SEF is designed to be participatory, inclusive and collaborative and is based on an Open Space Technology (OST) format. You are invited to speak and share, pose questions and/or ask for input with the ultimate aim of refining and progressing your sustainability education approach. Guidelines will be provided to make best use of our time together and to maximize capacities for partnerships and exchange. 

In addition to several pre-scheduled sessions that we call Invitations (see schedule below), you – the participant – get to propose the topics that will be discussed and then set the agenda for discussion. The agenda will be created live each day by attendees who are present. Anyone who wants to host a session will announce the topic and choose a space and time and be assigned a session room. You and the other participants choose which discussions to attend. See what topics registered attendees would like to discuss at the event.

Intended Audience

  • Faculty in any discipline who are engaged in sustainability education
  • Leaders of sustainability across the curriculum programs
  • Sustainability staff who are involved in curriculum initiatives

Key Details

Event Dates: The SEF will take place on Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9 spanning multiple timezones. See Tentative Schedule.

Registration Fees*

Registration TypeRegistration Fee
Individual associated with an AASHE member organization*$125
Individual not associated with an AASHE member organization$175
GroupsFull price for first registrant and 20% off for each subsequent registrant
* To check if your organization is a current AASHE member, please search the AASHE Membership Directory.

Discounts are available for group registration. A limited number of scholarships are available to individuals who need financial assistance to participate. Please apply two weeks before the program begins (i.e., 5/25/2023) to be considered for a scholarship for this workshop.

EPA celebrates the 2023 Winners of the Presidential Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) and the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE)

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), is pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) and the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA).

“We are thrilled to honor the crucial work that students and teachers are doing in every corner of our nation. Our awardees represent bold and dedicated leaders who are ready to tackle the biggest climate challenges, and we are so grateful for their commitment to environmental education. Congratulations to all the award winners – we can’t wait to see what you do next.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan

“Environmental stewardship begins in the classroom through the passion and creativity of educators and young leaders who are dedicated to achieving a healthy, prosperous, and more equitable future. From climate change to environmental injustice, this year’s award winners are tackling our planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory

The PIAEE award was established by the 1990 National Environmental Education Act and seeks to recognize, support, and bring public attention to the outstanding environmental projects performed by teachers who go beyond textbook instruction to incorporate methods and materials that utilize creative experiences and enrich student learning in K-12 education. CEQ, in partnership with EPA, administers this award.

The PEYA was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1970 and recognizes outstanding community-level environmental projects by K-12 youth that promote awareness of natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Each year, PEYA honors a variety of local projects developed by students, school classes, summer camp attendees and youth organizations to promote engagement in environmental stewardship and protection.

From across the country, 13 educators and 41 students are recognized for their leadership and commitment to environmental education and environmental stewardship. This year, nine educators received the 2023 PIAEE, and four educators were recognized with an honorable mention distinction. Winning educators demonstrated leadership by integrating environmental education into multiple subjects and using topics such as climate change, environmental justice, water infrastructure, healthy school environments, environmentally friendly agriculture practices, recycling, and reducing contributions to ocean and marine liter.

Additionally, 34 students who worked as a team or individually on 15 projects received the President’s Environmental Youth Award; eight students received honorable mentions. Their stewardship projects, conducted in 2022, display a commitment to advancing community garden efforts, protecting pollinators, reducing pollution, and conserving water and energy, reducing food waste, and combating climate change.

Virtual Workshop: Integrating Sustainability Literacy Across Your Curricula — Best Practices

May 18, 2023, $95
Register here

This workshop is focused on equipping faculty across the curricula with best practices for embedding sustainability into their respective courses in a way that is engaging, transformative, and that supports existing course learning objectives.

The workshop is based upon lessons learned at The College of Charleston (CofC) in Charleston, SC, where for four years faculty have engaged in a SACSCOC quality enhancement plan reaccreditation project, “Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st Century Problems.” This internally funded project is centered upon working with faculty to embed sustainability literacy into existing courses by providing ongoing trainings, workshops, and a year-long faculty cohort who work together on sharing best practices for teaching sustainability in a fall course, and then again in a spring course.

This workshop will present an overview of the project, its learning goals and outcomes, and an overview of assessment data (both qualitative and quantitative) from the project. Presenters will then work with those in the audience to: 

  • locate existing student learning objectives and help transition them to be sustainability focused
  • dialogue about ways to present sustainability in an interdisciplinary way that also connects to a home discipline via effective sustainability teaching methods
  • brainstorm capacity building opportunities to build faculty coalitions around embedding sustainability throughout the curricula.

Please note, this is not a nuts-and-bolts workshop on how to actually flip a course, but more of an overview for scholars new to sustainability and the teaching of it. If you are looking to infuse sustainability across the curriculum, please see Building a Curriculum Development Program for Your Institution: The Piedmont/Ponderosa Model.

Key Details

Registration Fees

Registration TypeRegistration Fee
Individual (non-student) associated with an AASHE member organization*$95
Individual (non-student) not associated with an AASHE member organization$125
* To check if your organization is a current AASHE member, please search the AASHE Membership Directory.

Discounts are available for group registration. A limited number of scholarships are available to individuals who need financial assistance to participate. Please apply two weeks before the program begins (e.g., 5/4/2023) to be considered for a scholarship for this workshop.

Webinar: Zero Waste Visioning – Campus Wide Solutions to Zero Waste

Apr 26, 2023, 1 pm CDT
Register here.

In this workshop we will hear from Sustainability Staff at 3 Universities who recently published Strategic Visions for Achieving Zero Waste on their campuses.

Developing a Strategic Vision is a campus-wide process of Stakeholder Engagement via intentionally facilitated sessions. First, 20-35 stakeholders are identified (heads of departments, staff who manage programs, frontline workers, student and faculty representatives, etc) and are invited to participate in a series of Visioning Sessions. These visioning sessions are structured to encourage stakeholders to think about long-term solutions and identify areas where strategic investment is needed outside of departmental silos. For example: Do we need a new physical space to manage surplus property? A digital asset management system? A new dishwasher? A facility to manage compost? More staff? Better bins and signage? Etc.

We specifically refer to this process as “strategic visioning” as opposed to “strategic planning” because most campuses aren’t ready for the planning stage yet. To truly address systematic problems in sustainable materials management, we need to bring all stakeholders together around a shared vision that may require a reshuffle of departmentally siloed program responsibilities, or a goal of developing new infrastructure, policies, and systems that don’t currently exist.

During this session we will hear from Campus Sustainability Staff who managed this process in partnership with the Post-Landfill Action Network’s (PLAN’s) Atlas Zero Waste Program. PLAN works with campuses to hire student fellows, who are trained to coordinate stakeholder engagement, schedule visioning sessions, co-facilitate the visioning process, and produce the campus-wide strategic vision for achieving zero waste.

Panelists will reflect on the experience and the outcomes of this process, the benefits of working with and training students to take a leadership role in this effort, as well as the challenges of coordinating and engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders who hold different opinions and ideas for long-term solutions.

How can we shield children from the impacts of climate change? Investments in schools can help.

Read the full story at The 19th.

A group of researchers and advocates are urging California to upgrade its education infrastructure to help residents and students adapt to the climate crisis.

Harvard professor’s fossil fuel links under scrutiny over climate grant

Read the full story from The Guardian.

An eminent Harvard environmental law professor’s links to the fossil fuel industry are under scrutiny from colleagues and students after she was awarded a prestigious research grant to investigate corporate climate pledges.