How environmental education
works in Minnesota
- Environmental Education Advisory Board Meeting Minutes - 2007 - August
EEAB Meeting Minutes
August 2, 2007
12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lee Ann Landstrom, Chair (District 5); Michelle Kelly (District 2); Brinkley Prescott (District 4); Mary Johnson (District 6); Susan Hankner (District 8); Pete Cleary (Citizen At-Large); David Weinand (Dept. of Ag); Jeff Ledermann (MPCA); Kim Benson-Johnson (Dept. of Health); Mark LaBarbera (DNR); Clark Erickson (Dept. of Ed); Dawn Flinn (DNR).
Vacant (District 1); Vacant (District 3); Vacant (District 7); Patty Selly (Citizen At-Large); Karen Balmer (Board of Teaching); Mike Sullivan (EQB), Tracy Fredin (Citizen At-Large); Nate Meyer (U of M Extension); Cathy Moeger (MPCA); Jon Fure (BWSR).
Denise Stromme (MPCA); Mike Kennedy (MPCA); John Ikeda (MPCA).
Lee Ann Landstrom, Chair, called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m.
Additions to the Agenda:
Mike Kennedy requested ten minutes to share information on the fund for environmental education from southwest Florida (this information parallels the E.L.M. Fund).
Approval of Minutes:
July meeting minutes approved with one amendment:
Motion: Lee Ann Landstrom moved to approve July meeting minutes with one amendment and to approve the August agenda. Motion passed unanimously.
School Sector Initiative - Mike Kennedy
The MPCA is currently working on ways to handle environmental education issues. There is currently no coordinated body for these issues. An MPCA work group which included Clark Erickson and Phil Allman of the Department of Education identified 16 programs in three different divisions which deal with environmental education in the MPCA. The question raised is, how does the MPCA market these efforts to schools? In the short-term the MPCA has put school opportunities on the front page of the website. Some examples of these opportunities include mercury, green buildings, integrated pest management, diesel emissions, etc. Clark Erickson added that there will be free mercury-replacement programs for schools in June. Also, schools that participate in an assessment are given vending misers.
WE3 Task Force Update - Mike Kennedy
Hand-outs: "Minnesota Green Schools Initiative" and "Environmental Education Advisory Board WE3 Task Force".
WE3 is similar to the school sector approach, but on a broader scale. It is a collaboration of MPCA, MnDNR, and MN Dept of Education. Their slogan is "We Learn. We Save. We Win", hence "WE3". The MPCA has provided funds to help WE3 develop a plan to help move the excitement into reality. The question raised is, how do we make it work? It could be moved under the EEAB umbrella. It was set to have a possible proposal ready in September to get funding, but in reality that is probably too soon. A pilot should first be done to see if it works, then go ahead with it. A possible idea is to have a WE3 display created. Then the next questions raised is, how will we handle the work and requests that comes in with the marketing campaign?
It was clarified that the school sector initiative is a guided effort within the MPCA for environmental education. WE3 includes a broader circle with involvement in the classrooms with students.
Clark Erickson added that the WE3 vision includes doing studies in classrooms. For example, measuring lighting, food waste, paper waste, asthma triggers, pesticide use, etc. Pete Clearly commented that administration, maintenance workers, food service personnel, etc., should be targeted as well. Many times they are the ones making the decisions, and not the students. Kim Benson-Johnson added that it is important to work from both angles, students and staff. Clark thinks it is important to get the students interested and conducting studies at their level. LeeAnn Landstrom said the first phase could be directed at staff and the second phase with students and/or afterschool science clubs.
Michelle Kelly commented that state agencies need to come together and state that environmental education is essential to students and the need to be taught in a systems approach (bigger partnerships, bigger vision). There should be a team from several agencies that goes out to check on environmental education efforts in schools. Minnesota is falling behind and we should be a leader. We do not have a comprehensive vision. We need a true environmental education vision.
Mike Kennedy stated that the EEAB is in place. This is the team of agencies that is assembled to work on these efforts. We have a board, we have funds, and we have authority in place.
Sue Hankner commented that you have to make things happened, they do not happen on their own. But it is also important to work together with the commissioner. We are already making these efforts with the work on the GreenPrint.
It was discussed that the EEAB can also apply for grants. The MPCA would be the fiscal coordinator, but the EEAB's name would be on it. It would need the commissioner's approval.
Jeff Lederman asked what level of support the Department of Education might have toward this. Clark Erickson commented that he cannot speak for the commissioner, but the level seems high. He thinks they would be behind something that educates students and saves money. All school districts would need to be involved and that would be a tall order. This could be a significant grant challenge. But the timing is right and awareness is heightened. Discussions will continue on marketing, products, and possible release in April 2008 during the first Minnesota EE week.
Motion: Sue Hankner motioned that WE3 be an official task force of the EEAB. Seconded by Mary Johnson. Motion passed unanimously.
There was discussion on requesting from the commissioner additional staff time devoted to EEAB for work with WE3, GreenPrint, and the E.L.M. Fund, etc.
Motion by Sue Hankner: to request from the commissioner additional staffing for EEAB for the writing of the GreenPrint, GreenPrint marketing and implementation, evaluation of the GreenPrint, staffing the WE3 task force and the coordination of work, marketing and implementation of the report card, development of the E.L.M. Fund along with implementation and administration, and other duties as determined by the EEAB or Commissioner. Seconded by Mary Johnson. Voting yes: 9. Voting no: none. Abstaining: 1 (MPCA). Motion passed.
Sue Hankner and Lee Ann Landstrom will contact Cathy Moeger first. If necessary, they will write a memo or meet with the Commissioner.
GreenPrint Task Force Update - Mike Kennedy
Hand-out: "GreenPrint 3 - DRAFT"
A discussion was held on the proposed vision statement and statewide outcomes. The GreenPrint is directed to educators, but environmental education may go beyond educators at this point. Is it understandable to all people? Is it only intended for educators? Is the vision statement for the document, or for Minnesotans?
Sue Hankner read aloud the statutory language. It is directed toward all citizens, not just educators. The GreenPrint is an educational plan, a call to action; not just learning, but doing.
The GreenPrint is a plan for education. The EEAB's vision is for all Minnesotans. The GreenPrint is just part of the EEAB's vision. There is a separate intent for the GreenPrint, compared to the EEAB's intent. The goal of the document is different than the vision of the document.
The GreenPrint is targeting educators, but it needs to be accessible to everyone. It needs to be understandable to an interested person, not just an educator.
A targeted audience is needed or else people do not understand the document and it will be a bad reputation. Educators may not use it if it is not an educational document.
Outcomes should not start with verbs. The four outcomes were re-written in proper grammatical format.
EEAB needs a working definition for Minnesota on the definition of environmental education. This definition will be ever changing though. We cannot let the determining of this definition make us take a step back. We want people to work together, and not just react to a definition.
The GreenPrint task force will take the feedback from the group and meet again in August. The draft will be sent to the whole EEAB group prior to the September meeting so everyone can have a chance to review. The next section to consider will be the "schools" location.
Tabled - Florida presentation
There was not enough time for this presentation. It will be shown at a later date.
Mike Kennedy reported on the EEAB vacancy. Tony Bormann with Morehead State University applied for membership (District 7). Joel Silverman with Sustainable Technology also applied (District 3). There is still a vacancy for District 1.
Lee Ann Landstrom handed out information on the Minnesota Naturalists' Association presentation of "Diversity in Outdoor Jobs". It will be held Thursday, August 23, 2007, at the Science Museum of Minnesota from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. Dudley Edmundson will be speaking.
Jeff Ledermann is looking for volunteers for the Eco Experience at the state fair to work three hour shifts. Please let him know if you are interested.
Michelle Kelly said that the National Service Learning Conference will be here in April 2008.
Clark Erickson said he has a copy of "Why Things Break" article if anyone is interested. This would relate to the bridge collapse on 35W.
Michelle said she has a copy of When a Butterfly Sneezes book, which helps teach kids systems thinking.
Mike Kennedy said there will be a presentation at the September meeting from the E.L.M. task force.
Motion: Clark Erickson motioned to adjourn at 3:35 p.m. and Pete Cleary seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
- For more information, contact:
Environmental Education Advisory Board
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- Posted: 8/29/07
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