California University Faculty Create Climate Change Resilience Content To Prepare Students For A Changing World
Energize Colleges, a program of SEI, an environmental education and workforce organization, is supporting the February 2022 launch of a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) across the 23 campus California State University (CSU) system. The FLC will facilitate integrating climate change and resilience content across the breadth of disciplines offered at the CSU campuses. This initiative is designed to offer faculty practical tools, resources, and ideas to integrate key concepts related to climate change and climate change resilience into student learning outcomes.
The FLC arose from Chico State’s Office of Faculty Development and the Campus Sustainability Curriculum Subcommittee’s actions to meet their President’s Strategic Priority for Resilient and Sustainable Systems. Dr. Mark Stemen, Chico State professor of Geography and Planning, will be the FLC Facilitator. Professor Stemen has hosted over a dozen faculty development workshops on integrating sustainability in the college curriculum as part of the annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.
Since 2016, SEI’s Energize Colleges program has supported California higher education institutions to advance sustainability education, applied learning and career exploration with students. A dedicated Climate Corps Energize Colleges Fellow will support the CSU Chancellor’s Office in coordinating the statewide FLC initiatives through close collaboration with key faculty, department chairs, and deans across participating campuses.
By Nia Jones and Sean Youra
After a difficult school year of adjusting to learning virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL) students finally got a chance to engage with one another this summer in some hands-on learning prior to the start of the new school year.
MarinSEL students were reunited during the summer retreat
By Katrina Hagedorn
Image by David Prasad via Flickr
“This is a time of change…I think everywhere... uncertainty and change.” - Beth Weinman
Dr. Beth Weinman, faculty member in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Fresno State, knows how much the world is changing and how much need there is to build a sustainable workforce in order to address the shift towards greener infrastructure. She believes that in higher education this change can be navigated by strategically bringing together people across the university - administration, faculty, facilities and students - to see what can be done better.
Through SEI’s Energize Colleges program, Beth fosters collaborative relationships to institute the campus as a living lab model and provide sustainability-focused internships to university students at Fresno State. These internships are a part of a high impact practice for since students who participate in internships and other hands-on extracurricular engagement tend to perform better post-graduation. Beth believes that the Energize Colleges internships empower students to help the university, and provide something that the classroom cannot.
By Beatrix Berry
Students at Marin School of Environmental Leadership are taking their environmental knowledge and passion outside of the classroom and into the community. Throughout the summer several MarinSEL students partnered with Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) to engage the youth community through a Youth Action Team, and they are continuing their work into this school year.
In the past few months, twelve students representing five schools joined the CCL Youth Action Team. Organized by MarinSEL student Harita Kalvai, this team met regularly at Panera Bread every other Saturday morning throughout the summer. During this time, students worked with CCL on a documentary spotlighting underrepresented communities in the face of the climate crisis. They had the opportunity to work with several filmmakers throughout California and are continuing to develop the script for the film. In the coming months, they will interview people in Paradise, California who were devastatingly impacted by the Camp Fire in 2018.
The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field