National Teacher Appreciation Week

As our motto states, teaching sustainability IS everyone’s responsibility. We at Atwood Publishing applaud teachers of other subjects like math, reading, social studies, etc.. that also work in their curriculum the importance and necessity of sustainability. Here is a book that helps with that.

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6th – 10th, we would like to showcase our authors/teachers of “147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy, and Society”.

William M. Timpson is a Professor in the School of Education at Colorado State University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition, he heads the International Network for Sustainable Peace and Development within the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU.

Bill has been an advocate for improving postsecondary education both as past Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at CSU, as an author and speaker on teaching enhancement, and research on the scholarship of teaching.

Long interested in issues of sustainability, peace, and equity, the topics are reflected in his scholarhip. His research, in part supported by a National Kellogg Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship, has focused on the topics from a global perspective.

BRIAN DUNBAR, LEED-Fellow (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is director of the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE), and professor emeritus at Colorado State University. Brian is also a leader with CLEAR (Center for Living Environments and Regeneration), a non-profit promoting healthy developments. Brian’s teaching, research, and design charrette facilitation have received numerous local, regional, and national awards.

GAILMARIE KIMMEL, M.Ed., M.A., brings 30 years of experience in community and university education. After participating in the Peace Corps, she staffed Peace and Conflict Studies at University of California at Berkeley and two Oakland churches, cofounded a multidisciplinary think tank, and directed an environmental camp. Currently, she works with the CSU Forest Service, linking sustainable land management with green building and bioenergy, and coordinates the Green Building Certificate Program for CSU’s IBE. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association and is launching its local living economy project.

BRETT BRUYERE, Ph.D., is director of the CSU Environmental Learning Center (ELC) and assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism. The ELC provides programs to thousands of students, families, and educators annually about environmental conservation.

PETER NEWMAN, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of protected areas management at the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU. His research focuses on the human dimensions of natural resources management and visitor “carrying capacity”—i.e., the maximal population load that does not produce negative effects on the environment—in the context of protected areas management. He also has work experience as a National Park Service Ranger in the Division of Resources Management in Yosemite National Park and as a naturalist/instructor for the Yosemite Institute.

HILLARY MIZIA is a sustainability leader and strategist, facilitator, and community connector. She serves the greater community as the principal and founder of PriZm Sustainability and is deepening the Colorado connection as the Executive Director at Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge, a non-profit lodge and retreat center in Grand Lake, CO. She is currently the president of the board at Mountain Sage Community School. She holds a BA in Experiential Education from Prescott College and an MA in Environment and Community from Antioch University, Seattle. She lives life to the fullest in Fort Collins, CO with her family.

DANIEL BIRMINGHAM, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education at Colorado State University. His research examines potential avenues to bridge community and school experiences in order to alter modes of participation in STEM and support transformative learning for youth from traditionally marginalized communities. His work occurs with youth and teachers in traditionally marginalized communities and has resulted in (1) better understanding of science learning experiences that are consequential for youth, (2) examining the ways in which science teachers can learn from experience, expertise, and cultural practices of these youth, and (3) providing insights into an innovative methodological model of youth design-based research.

RENÉE HARMON is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at Colorado State University, research assistant and social media coordinator for CSU’s Africa Center, and an associate professor at National American University. Her research addresses sustainability literacy generally, as well as, teaching and learning sustainability education, in particular. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Western Illinois University, and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Missouri—St. Louis. She currently serves on the Northern Colorado Refugee Collaboration Committee in Weld County where she is working on a project to inform the Northern Colorado community about refugee resettlement and to build social relationships between cultures. Renée is also an avid hiker, having completed the Grand Canyons’ Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim hike in 2016.

8.7 Billion !!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to “The Green Book” by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, 8.7 billion gallons of water would be saved this year if every American who washes their car at home went to a car wash just once instead. THAT’S A LOT OF WATER!!!

April 22nd is Earth Day

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Lorax from Dr. Seuss

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”   LORAX  from Dr. Seuss
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you know that more people die from drinking unsafe water annually than from all forms of violence, including war? Children under the age of 5 are the most affected. How can this still be happening in 2019? How can Flint, Michigan still not have clean drinking water?


Join Earth Day Network in the fight for clean water for all. 💪 Sign up at http://bit.ly/2JSqELF#ec2020UN-Water

Earth Week @ UW-Madison

We are excited to invite you to University of Wisconsin-Madison’s second annual UW-Madison Earth Week from April 15th-April 22nd! They have a week filled with fun, meaningful, and exciting events about a range of environment and sustainability topics. You will enjoy food, prizes, conversation, and more.

**They love RSVPs! Please see individual Facebook event links in the descriptions below, or find them on our main Events page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/SustainUW/events/).**

Green Schools Conference April 10, 2019 Workshop

Brian Dunbar

We are excited to announce that one of our authors, Brian Dunbar, from the best-selling title 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy, and Society, will be presenting a full-day workshop at this year’s Green Schools Conference and Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota. This conference is the only national event that brings together those passionate about making schools green a reality.

Brian Dunbar is an educator and practitioner focused on green building. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, LEED Faculty for U.S. Green Building Council, and the Executive Director of the Institute for the Built Environment.

Brian will be presenting a tour and workshop titled Whole School Sustainability, on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.  Attendees of this workshop will be better prepared to address the three aspects of Whole School Sustainability in their own school or school system:

  • developing a sustainable culture
  • communicating the benefits of green school design and operations
  • engaging teachers, staff, and students through curricula, sustainability teams and behavior change

Facilitators will share their experiences, lead group discussion, and guide participants through creating a Sustainability Action Plan and participating in a green school design exercise.

Attendees of this workshop will earn 5 GBCI credits.

 

World Wetland Day

Celebrated on February 2nd, World Wetland Day has been recognized each year since 1971. This day marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, based out of Ramsar which is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea between Europe and Asia. The goal for this day is to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands, including coastal wetlands and wetland conservation.

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Fajardo, Puerto Rico 2018

CLOSER TO HOME

On a more local focus, in the devastating wake of both Hurricanes Irma and Maria, coastal and other environmental conservation efforts have taken a blow in the Caribbean. With the anthropocentric warming of the earth’s atmosphere from greenhouse gas emissions, the atmosphere captures more solar radiation, therefore warming the Earth. With the warming of average global temperatures, warmer air can hold more water than colder air can, giving power to stronger tropical storms like hurricanes(1). Such storms are what crashed into the Caribbean and southeastern U.S. mid-September 2017. Global climate change is one reason we can expect future devastating tropical storms, which is why it is important for us to learn about conservation efforts now.

Co-author of 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy and Society, Renee Harmon speaks to changes we may be able to make to try to reduce our carbon footprint to get one step ahead of these storms and why it may pose a challenge for so many of us:

“I believe for most people, once they learn about a sustainable behavior, they try to correct an unsustainable behavior… I always say that while we are addressing sustainability, we have to remember that self-sustainability is important too. As we consider the needs of society, we also have to compare those against personal needs. It boils down to choices and what a person considers is most important to them. This may change over time, or it may not. The most important thing is that a person has the education so they can make a logical choice, whatever that may be.”

HARDEST HIT

One U.S. Caribbean island in particular has faced heavy impacts from the hurricanes and has been a headline for the past two months: Puerto Rico. Because of the very few, small wetlands left on the islands, there are few natural “sponges” to retain the stormwater when hurricanes hit. This water in turn, flooded and flowed everywhere else it could, which meant heavy damage to property including large appliances, vehicles, infrastructure, and landscapes. Water that flows off of the island is not as filtered as it otherwise could be. Natural coastal vegetation isn’t as abundant, and pollution runs off into the ocean, as agricultural processes lack sustainable practices and coastal vegetation is removed to accommodate tourists for their beaches. People have been living in poor conditions with intermittent electricity and water for the past 4 months.

When questioned about people living in an area where a particular land feature was lost (like mangroves on the coast or riparian areas near wetlands) due to human encroachment and expansion, why do you think we continue that behavior? Renee Harmon responded with:

“I would question if people know where they are moving to. If someone is new to the area they may not be aware of the history of the land (e.g., I’ve heard of many people buying houses built on former landfills). Another consideration is that the price of the homes built on this land, such as the wetlands of northern Illinois. Are these homes more affordable? Are people buying them due to location of work? Schools? Obviously living in a flooded area is not a selling point, so I would try to figure out what the selling points are and that would help me determine why people are willing to live on the land. I always try to analyze an issue using the Triple Bottom Line (economic, environmental, and social dimensions).”

BEING REACTIVE AND PROACTIVE

A research field station in El Yunque is actively trying to raise money for rebuilding facilities after hurricanes Irma and Maria since federal efforts have failed to successfully assist in recovery(2). As federal funding for conservation efforts have worn thin and the US failed to sign the UN Paris Climate Change Agreement, we may see recovery efforts at an all time low, just as natural disasters may only worsen. Thankfully, there are organizations like The Nature Conservancy and the Resilient Islands Program, along with the Caribbean Challenge Initiative which strive to lessen the impact of climate change (4,3). The Caribbean Challenge Initiative through the Nature Conservancy teamed up with local governments to establish protection of at least 20% of their near shore environments by 2020. Efforts began in 2008 with the aid of corporations funding the initiative for the betterment of coastal management and the Caribbean’s resources (4,5).

As we try our hardest to remain proactive, it can be difficult to truly understand how our actions are causing harm. Renee Harmon offers her advice:

“I suggest communities look at how they are educating their citizens on conservation and sustainability topics (such as the need for wetlands). How are initiatives being promoted? Are school systems involved? Colleges? Businesses and other private organizations? What is the culture and perception of the community members? Once you know that you can work on new approaches to education and marketing.”


  1. https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatesciencenarratives/what-is-the-greenhouse-effect.html1
  2. https://www.gofundme.com/evfs-repairs-and-operating-costs2
  3. https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/regional/caribbean-harnessing-the-power-of-nature-to-build-climate-resilience.xml3
  4. https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/caribbean-challenge.xml4
  5. http://www.caribbeanchallengeinitiative.org/5

Squirrel Appreciation Day

As Atwood Publishing continues its focus on sustainability, we’re putting a spotlight on squirrels for Squirrel Appreciation Day which is celebrated January 21. Sciurus carolinensis, otherwise known as the eastern gray squirrel, is one of the charismatic squirrel species deserving of our attention on that day.

squirrel

A native to North America, this rodent and other squirrel species of North America have been known to hoard or cache their food supplies, we often observe them scurrying about, burying nuts or chasing one another. But Squirrel Appreciation Day isn’t just about acknowledging their cuteness (which is also very important), but also learning about them as they fit into our ecosystem. Because of their hoarding nature they are an ecologically important species, aiding in seed dispersal.

Since many squirrels cache in the ground, they subsequently aid in tree recruitment which means more trees! Many kinds of tree species owe their regeneration success to squirrels, most notably, the oak trees. Sustainable forest management practices are also necessary for forest resource sustainability, and if executed properly, can encourage natural tree regeneration as well as squirrel activity. (Squirrels are also an important part of the food web, as they provide prey for larger predators like gray foxes, bobcats and weasels which are all equally important creatures.)

How are you going to observe Squirrel Appreciation Day? If you’re always the passenger in the car to yell “squirrel” when you see a squirrel, Squirrel Appreciation Day is the perfect day to keep your eyes peeled for them all! Other ways of observing the day include: Learning about the specific species in your area — North America is home to 5 different species. Feed them — they may face hard times during winter months when food sources are scarce, so throw them some peanuts or peanut butter covered pine cones. Finally, you could  shoot them — with your camera of course!

Cut your energy costs

Happy New Year from Atwood Publishing!

As you all start new year’s resolutions, we’d like to encourage one that is eco-friendly, energy saving and sustainable! Join us in celebrating Cut Your Energy Costs Day on January 10th and extend it to the rest of your daily practices to be sustainable and save you money. Atwood Publishing’s line of books on sustainability are suitable for those educators looking to teach about new complex sustainability topics. One such way to start these conversations is by observing Cut Your Energy Costs Day and purchasing our 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy and Society.

 

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Here are a few ways you could cut your energy costs:
1. Unplug things that aren’t being used, like microwaves, coffee pots, toasters etc.
2. Shorten your shower by a couple minutes, could save you gallons of water each time you shower.
3. Turn the temperature down in your home when you’re out and/or at night when you’re in bed.
4. Line dry your washed clothes when possible, hang outdoors or inside. If it’s too cold outside you can provide humidity to your home during dry winter months by hanging indoors.
5. Shut off lights when you leave a room, especially when you leave your home.
6. Unplug electronic devices once charged, rather than letting them sit all night.
7. Check your appliances/electronics for energy-saving modes, some newer laptops and phones have them!
8. Turn off running water while brushing your teeth, imagine all the water you could be saving 2x a day

Start changing the way you consume energy today, your wallet will thank you. Your community and the welfare of the natural world you live in will be grateful of these small, easily manageable sacrifices you made to cut your energy costs.

Happy International Mountain Day!

Since 1992, the UN has recognized the celebration of Mountain Day on December 11th. Last year the UN celebrated Mountain Culture, this year Atwood Publishing is celebrating under the theme of Sustainability.  The word “sustainability” means different things to everyone, however there is one thing all definitions have in common; the resource must be maintained for future generations. An important concept in all of ecology and more specifically, sustainability is to understand that it is an interconnected, complicated system of biology that interacts with biotic as well as abiotic factors. 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy and Society  defines sustainability by theTriple Bottom Line definition for sustainability, i.e., the interconnected health of the environment, society and the economy. This book provides unique situations in which discussion of sustainability is essential to our worldly knowledge.

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Glacier National Park 2017

International Mountain Day with regards to sustainability is becoming increasingly important as the valuable resources on mountainscapes become scarce.  Mountains house unique ecosystems across the globe providing niches for endemic species. They also provide a place of solace, grandeur, peace, diversity and uniqueness.  As each of these mountainscapes are unique in different parts of the world, each are home to a suite of varying adapted species, all of which provide very specific ecological functions which are essential to the productivity and recycling of the resources available to other organisms.

TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY

As sustainability continues to be a growing topic of interest and research, Atwood Publishing’s line of books on sustainability are suitable for those educators looking to teach about new complex sustainability topics. Topics such as “The Politics and Sustainability of Teaching” and “Engaging Learners in the Complexity of Climate Change” can be found in our other book, Controversial Case Studies.

One of the authors of our line of sustainability books, Bill Timpson, from Colorado State University, was asked about International Mountain Day and asked to contribute his thoughts on the topic:

“In Colorado many of us are very aware of the importance of the mountains for our clean water that is a lifeline for people east and west of here on rivers that run to the sea. More recently, fires have alerted us to concerns for the health of the forests that populate the mountains. Tourists replenish their love of nature here. Hunters and fishermen regularly ply these lands for recreation and healthy food. Mountains, of course, often dictate weather and we in Fort Collins benefit from a ‘banana belt’ effect that has the mountains pushing colder Arctic winds to the east. A history of the planet is written in these mountains.”

GREEN SCHOOLS CONFERENCE & EXPO

In continuation of our sustainability theme, we are pleased to announce that Center for Green Schools at US Green Building Council, which promotes sustainable schools that have a low impact on their environment, and encourage sustainability literacy, is hosting the Green Schools Conference & Expo. This event gathers green school leaders in Denver, CO to discuss topics related to green practices in the education field.  The conference is open for registration starting in February and the event is May 3 & 4. For more information  about the conference and registration please follow the link: https://goo.gl/jyMH1g

Tips from Angela Provitera McGlynn

As an expert in and prolific writer on college teaching, Angela Provitera McGlynn stands easily as one of our favorite returning authors here at Atwood Publishing. So today we’d like to present a sampling of hidden gems of wisdom from her books for our latest Tips post.

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From Teaching Today’s College Students, Chapter 3: Preventing and Dealing with Disruptive Classroom Behavior

“In the first lectures of the term, I tell students that, considering the size of the class, it’s very important to me that they pay attention and not engage in side conversations. I acknowledge that it’s understandable for them to be tempted to talk to a friend in the next seat, but that this behavior cannot be tolerated. I tell them I find side conversations extremely distracting, and that students have complained to me over the years that they too are very distracted by people who talk in class. I remind the students that they are all paying tuition to hear these lectures, and that it’s part of my role to protect everyone’s right to avoid unnecessary distractions.”

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From Successful Beginnings for College Teaching, Chapter 3: Creating a Welcoming Classroom Environment

“When you walk into class the first day, and every day, greet the class as a whole or greet students individually. This can be as simple as smiling and saying ‘Hi!’ Students are reinforced when you greet them as if you’re pleased to see them. It’s a simple task, yet it goes very far in establishing warmth in the classroom.”

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From Envisioning Equity, Chapter 2: Improving Graduation Rates through Effective Teaching

“A grading rubric helps instructors clearly communicate to students the specific requirements and acceptable performance standards of an assignment. When rubrics are given to students with the assignment description, they can help students monitor and assess their progress as they work toward clearly indicated goals. When assignments are scored and returned with the rubric, students can more easily recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their work and direct their efforts accordingly.”