Community College Help | NAAEE

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Community College Help

Hello! I'm the Sustainability Coordinator at an urban community college located in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. We have a small but mighty campus, with a very diverse student body. Lots of our students are first generation college students, and many are non-traditional students.

My office is not-funded (beyond my salary) so we have to be creative. We have been able to get some cool things going on campus thanks to generous funders from the community. We currently have a solar panel picnic table, BCycle station, a food forest, several pockets of prairie, and a small recycling program.

We are having a hard time getting students, faculty, and staff involved and I'm hoping some of you might be able to offer up some ideas. What are some activities, events, and partnerships that have worked for you? We really want to create a culture of sustainability on campus, but it seems we just keep hitting road blocks. I'm looking forward to hearing input from others in the field.


How about uniting them with a theme and awareness activities ? Here's our letter for educators :

***News Flash*** : RTR will be translated to Arabic by the Montessori Egypt Center (MEC) and to Kiswahili language for East and central African people by the Montessori Institute in Dar es salaam Tanzania.***

Hello , Please share !

Appeal for Environmental Literacy

When I think of STEAM, I think of robots and rockets and advances in medical technology …I think of brilliant young minds focused on substantial goals and tangible rewards. My goals are less quantitative. l want to promote Ecology education. I want to show students the rainforest of 1817 in brilliant color. I was inspired by the thought of students being wowed by Remember the Rainforest.

These images are a rare display of Earth History, a flash of our collective unconscious. Like gems they cast a light from the past. They teach without words. They illuminate the fate of the future. RTR is where Art crosses the path of Science.

As web designer for Remember the Rainforest, I’m reaching out to educators. My interest in the rainforest was inspired by my daughter Amy, an Eco educator in the Amazon. Amy showed me images from the Martius-Spix expedition. Our Eco education program is based on that expedition.

I spent years in the rare book libraries scanning the plants and animals to link them to the expedition text. It’s an education just to click through the links on each page. That’s what I wish even the youngest students will do : land on a page and go exploring.

RTR has made an unlikely alliance with Enterprise in Space. While developing knowledge and talent for life in Space, EIS strongly endorses the preservation, celebration and renewal of our Earth.We have joined forces with EIS Academy to produce Earth Science lessons K-12. RTR was approved by the British govt. for CurriculumOnLine, by the Da Vinci Science Center and by the National Wildlife Federation.

I can’t imagine what your Environmental Literacy program will ultimately look like but I believe every school needs such a program. Remember the Rainforest should be prominently featured as a centerpiece. Its extensive index features topics like oxygenation, plant formations and functions, wildlife habitats, and essays on Nature by the Father of Ecology, Karl von Martius, expedition leader. I’m picturing the awesome projects and reports that will be produced from the expedition index and the 10,000 downloadable images.

Make time for Remember the Rainforest. It is a Green Oasis and a meaningful reward for students of all ages any day of the week, anytime of year. Celebrate the Earth by studying images from the past !

Please show your support by downloading free posters for your school library and classrooms.

Sincerely, Carol Miranda Chor
teacher, poet, and web designer
Allentown PA USA

PDF icon teacherguidertr.pdf207.62 KB

I'm curious as to how these projects are structured: Are they set up in classes as cohorts who work in a project-based format, or do students volunteer for these projects?

If it is the former, I suggest looking at the works of Kurt Hahn who founded Outward Bound. He has a number of motivating activities and a strong philosophical outlook about public service. Another helpful resource, particularly for educators is "Root: From Outward Bound to Expeditionary Learning." This text provides some insights about educational goals and outcomes.

Hey Jason, thanks for the reply!

They are set-up both ways as of right now. We are having the most success with making the projects part of classes and providing credit for them. Our volunteer opportunities have no been well-attended, even with incentives.

I will most definitely check out Outward Bound for idea-- what a great suggestion!

Hi Jenn! Apologies for the late reply. Thanks for your question! Is it possible to align some of your efforts with specific courses? i.e., work with teachers to give extra credit or create assignments around the campuses sustainability efforts? Or can you support interns for class credit or for resume building for students?

Another idea is to host a workshop on jobs in the environmental/sustainability industry. This may spur student interest in helping out around campus if they see it could help them land a job.

Lastly, (though specific to California), the California Student Sustainability Coalition is a group of energetic young community college and four year college students who may have some interesting ideas for you! Getting suggestions from students themselves! =)