Panel 1: FULLERTON AREA TEAM
Engaging American Indian students in Earth System Science through a Residential Summer Camp
Julie Ferguson (UC) UC Irvine
Native Americans are one of the most under-represented groups in geoscience despite a critical need for qualified environmental professionals within tribal communities who can help in managing resources and planning for the changes expected as a result of climate change. This talk will describe a 5-year NSF-funded project which brought American Indian high school students to UC Irvine for a 2-week Earth System Science summer camp (AISIESS). Students spend the first week camping at the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians reservation where they participate in hands-on scientific activities with academic staff and the tribal environmental professionals. The second week is spent at UC Irvine where students complete Native Studies classes and work on individual projects related to environmental issues specific to their tribal community. I will describe the aspects of the camp that we felt had the most impact on students, and our ideas for continuing to increase the participation of American Indian students in geoscience and other STEM fields.
Latina Environmentalist Activism in Los Angeles: the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade
Gabriela Nuñez (CSU) CSUF
I build on the work of scholars of the humanities who argue that “the humanities provide an imaginative space and set of critical tools for grappling with issues of power, representation, and materiality. Historical knowledge and interpretive skills help us untangle the oftentimes invisible connections between ordinary structures of feeling, habit, and the political facts of the modern carbon economy that fuels climate change” [Teaching Climate Change in the Environmental Humanities, edited by Stephen Siperstein, Shane Hall, & Stephanie LeMenager (New York: Routledge, 2017), 4]. What role can Chicanx cultural production have in the teaching of climate change and sustainability? My presentation speaks to this question to consider how we can use Chicanx cultural texts in the classroom to teach the vital connections between social justice, feminism, climate change and sustainable ways of living. By focusing on the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade I discuss how this group co-opts the language of fear and history of colonialism to assert themselves as cyclists and activists.
Can the Resilience Commitment be an Effective Step in Transforming our Curriculums, Campuses, and Communities for Climate Justice?
This talk will draw on my firsthand experience implementing the Second Nature Resilience Commitment at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). The Resilience Commitment is a comprehensive 3-year campus planning and community engagement process that aims to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience to future climate impacts. The concept of resilience has been troubled in the academic scholarship, receiving critique from multiple disciplines for its lack of attention to power relations, politics, and social/environmental justice. However, the process of operationalizing the Resilience Commitment at CSULB has sought to thoughtfully engage these critiques and move forward with issues of diversity, power imbalances, and climate justice as core organizing themes. Thus, I will attempt to tackle the question of whether the Resilience Commitment can function as an effective step in transforming our curriculums, campuses, and communities to achieve climate justice goals. I will share our experience with the process, including opportunities and obstacles, and discuss how we are working to infuse resilience into a broad range of campus and community activities.
Teaching professional and leadership skills, sustainability awareness, and self-efficacy through collaborations between university and high school classes
Communication and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and between communities of learning and practice are essential to addressing the myriad conservation and sustainability issues facing our society. One step in achieving this is to foster mutually beneficial relationships between the university and the community to promote positive social and environmental change. A learning objective that educators often have for students is effective communication of course content to broad audiences. Assignments relating to this learning objective typically only require students to interact directly with other students in their classes; where students conduct and present research projects on relevant issues this often means they are “preaching to the choir.” Integrating student-public interactions into courses through community-engaged scholarship and presentation of course projects to audiences outside of the university setting provides students with a more empowering experience that teaches essential professional and leadership skills. In particular, collaborations between university and high school classes on such projects can increase sustainability awareness and self-efficacy for all students. Interaction in such settings allows students to increase the impact of their research, network with important community groups, form mentoring relationships, and contribute to a shared vision for sustainability locally.
Student Experts and Partners: Engaging Student Strengths in the Climate Justice Classroom
Students today have access to a broad range of digital platforms, many of which they engage with daily. Drawing on student knowledge and expertise in digital communications and social media platforms repositions them as partners in the classroom and offers strong opportunities for pedagogical innovation. In this talk, Ireview examples of how I have partnered with students to develop lesson plans, interactive assignments, data repositories, and opportunities for creative advocacy and other engagement on gender, justice, and climate change.
“Feeling Funny about Environmental Crisis: How and Why to Teach beyond Gloom and Doom”
Nicole Seymour (CSU) CSUF
I will explain how I teach texts that model a broad range of affective responses to climate change — that is, that move beyond “gloom and doom” to showcase irony, irreverence, and other “inappropriate” feelings. These texts do multifaceted work: first, they identify climate change as an affective (and not just scientific, or even political) issue, they open up discussions with students around their own feelings, and they demonstrate the political contributions of traditions such as parody and satire.
Undergraduate Research: Design as an Umbrella for Examining Sustainability and Addressing the Human-Animal Equation
Lucy HG Solomon, Samia Carrillo-Percastegui, Mathias Tobler, Kodie Gerritsen, Sarai Silva Carvajal
The Jaguar Umbrella Project is a collaborative and community-engaged research project pairing jaguar conservation with interactive media. Undergraduate research is the linchpin in this interdisciplinary art endeavor, which brings conservation biology to K-12 education and the public through art and design. The Jaguar Umbrella Project partners with conservation biologists, Samia Carrillo-Percastegui and Mathias Tobler, who study jaguars in the Amazon with the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in Peru. The project relies on the design innovations of CSUSM undergraduate researchers, Kodie Gerritsen and Sarai Silva Carvajal. We discuss an integrated arts and science approach to teaching K-12 students about complex ecosystems and personal responsibility. Through this lens we ponder the role of human beings as planetary actors in the Anthropocene.
Doing History is Climate Action? Collaborating with Non-Profits on Storytelling and Public Education Projects
I will discuss how a “Climate Refugees” History methods and writing course I taught in the Winter of 2017 at UCI has become a springboard for producing a collaborative multi-media project that features the stories of migrants in US immigration detention and refugee camps abroad. Collaborators on the project include the non-profit Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), undergraduate and graduate students, UC and CSU professors, and UCI’s Office of Sustainability.
Have questions or comments? Feel free to take part in the Q&A!
Before posting, you must first register. Note that questions and comments can be intended for individual speakers, the entire panel, or anyone who has posted to the Q&A. Respond directly to a particular question/comment by way of the little “reply” below it. The vertical threadlike lines are there to make it easier to see which part of the discussion (i.e. “thread”) you are taking up. You can choose to be notified via email (see below) whenever a question, answer, or comment is posted to this particular Q&A. Because the email notification will contain the new comment in its entirety, you can both follow the discussion as it is unfolding, as well as decide whether you would like to step in at any point. You can choose to receive email notifications for as many of the conference Q&A sessions as you like, as well as stop notifications at any time. Because the Q&A sessions will close at the end of the conference, all email notifications will also end at this time. Although only registered conference participants can pose questions and make comments, Q&A sessions are visible to the public and will remain so after the conference has ended, as we hope that they will become cited resources.