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By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(This article appears in the October, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

ACUPCC ImplementerThe celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Campus Sustainability Day (CSD) needed a topic appropriate to a moment in time when campuses have shown that the impossible is possible – changing the way they teach, operate, build, and plan in order to reduce emissions and prepare students to lead a just and sustainable future – while recognizing the challenges and opportunities still present in their journey to integrating deep sustainability education. This year, Second Nature and the CSD supporting organizations, including AASHE, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), The Society for College & University Planning (SCUP), USGBC, Focus the Nation, Tree Campus USA, the SEED Center, and IDEAS, are calling on campuses to participate in a national day of dialogue around a critical question which invites conversation on both success and continued roadblocks: How is higher education preparing students for a changing climate?

Campuses across the country are organizing discussions to gather input from students, faculty, and staff on the best practices and remaining challenges for providing students with the skills and experiences they need to prepare for a changing climate, society, and economy, using three guiding questions to form a common national dialogue.

Campus Sustainability Day 2012

Here’s how to participate:

#1: Screen the Keynote Broadcast on Your Campus
October 24th 2012, 2pm – 3:30pm EST
Join thought leaders in campus sustainability as they discuss best practices and challenges for preparing students for a changing climate, with an emphasis on curriculum, research, and experiential learning.

Featuring Geoffrey Chase, leader of the Ponderosa Project, Julie Elzanati, Director of the Illinois Green Economy Network, Julian Keniry, Senior Director of Campus and Community Leadership National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program, Neil Weissman, Provost of Dickinson College, and Debera Johnson, founder of the Partnership for Leadership in Sustainability, this panel invites questions from the audience to discuss best practices for creating ecological curriculum, advancing experiential and living laboratory learning, and engaging faculty and the surrounding community in meaningful and critical education.

This is a live, interactive event!  Panelists will base their discussion on questions provided by you – the audience – during the panel, and will be screened using live video in Google+ Hangouts on Air.  The panel will be screened live to Youtube – no special login or software is necessary to watch, and you will be provided with the link after registration.  To ask questions, you will need a Google or YouTube login to leave comments on the video as a question for the panelists.  Institutions are encouraged to participate in the keynote broadcast as a way to jumpstart regional conversations.

#2: Host or Participate in a Regional Conversation 
October 22nd – October 26th 2012, Times and dates vary by region
Register or learn more here

How are you preparing students for a changing climate?  We want to hear from campuses across the country, and gather input from students, faculty, and staff on the best practices and remaining challenges for providing students with the skills and experiences they need.  Host a conversation on campus, gather for a virtual conversation with campuses in your region, or tune-in to one of the regional conversations organized in your area.  

Use these questions to guide the conversation:

  1. What is your college/region doing to prepare students for a changing climate?
  2. Where do challenges still exist for your campus/region in creating successful sustainability and climate programs, and what are the solutions to these challenges?
  3. How can your campus/region ensure that all students acquire the skills and education necessary to prepare for a changing climate, society, and economy, regardless of their course of study or career goals?

Be sure to appoint a student liaison to take notes – your conversations will be turned into a national guiding document on “Best Practices for Preparing Students for a Changing Climate.”

For questions about Campus Sustainability Day, please contact Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature at sbrylinsky@secondnature.org.

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2012 CLA winner badge

2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Climate Leadership at Signatory Institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

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Recipients of the Third Annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards were recognized for their efforts during an awards ceremony at  the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 21st. This year’s Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). The awards were created using reclaimed redwood from New York City water towers. The surface of the wood was beautifully and uniformly weathered, and each award included a distinctive waterline running through the grain of each piece, providing a unique and one of a kind finish. The students felt that the material and finished product honored the intent of the awards by illustrating the unique and innovative strategies the recipients are taking to work toward climate neutrality.

The Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies

The 2012 awards featured the most competitive round of awards to date, with over 60 schools from across the network submitting nominations to be recognized for their climate leadership.

A select group of 20 finalists were chosen for their outstanding achievements to participate in a video competition in partnership with Planet Forward, the web to television initiative that asks citizens and experts to share energy, climate and sustainability innovations.

Finalists’ videos drew over 70,000 views and 14,000 votes from the public during a month long competition in April, 2012, with the top vote-getter, William-Paterson University of New Jersey, receiving over 2,800 votes.  Watch their innovative video – and all of the finalists’ entries – at planetforward.org.

The Award Winners were chosen by the Second Nature Board in May 2012, and the ten recipients represent the diversity of institutions of higher education and are located throughout the United States.

“These institutions are leading the way for the academic community by demonstrating how sustainable practices can be put into place on campus that have a long-term impact on creating a sustainable society for the benefit of all,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. “They have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole.”

(more…)

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