It’s been an amazing few weeks!
In three weeks, I have received three invitations to teach courses in three countries, an invitation to offer a webinar, and have continued to meet many fascinating people in Portland and beyond working on innovative sustainability initiatives and projects. I’m also now involved with two dynamic Portland-based projects: one with Cogan Owens Cogan, and the other, as an adviser for a new sustainability initiative launched by OMSI.
First, the teaching. I was approached by the Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology at Lanzhou University in China in Gansu Province to offer an online course addressing psychosocial dimensions of environmental issues. This course will be complemented by an on-site visit to Lanzhou later in the year. This was swiftly followed by a wonderful invitation to teach a 3-week intensive summer course for the Master’s program in Environmental Communication and Education at Royal Roads University, Victoria B.C. This unique opportunity will draw on innovative pedagogical techniques, such as Open Space. The course will provide a depth and breadth exposure to emotional, psychological dimensions of environmental communications and education, with Professor Rick Kool, and involve a few overnights at French Beach. I was told we’d cycle to class each day, rain or shine. Fun!
The additional offer came from the Oceanographic Center at Nova Southeastern University, a unique program that integrates online and on-site teaching and environmental studies. This would involve offering courses for a new MA program in the Fall, specifically addressing ecopsychology and marine-related topics, such as the oil disaster and related themes of marine degradation and loss.
More locally, I am thrilled to be involved with a project at Cogan Owens Cogan, a dynamic team of deeply committed, super bright folks grappling with tricky mandates concerning Oregon’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions. And in April, I will be part of an advisory team at OMSI, for a NSF-funded project, “Sustainability: Promoting Sustainable Decision Making in Informal Education,” involving multiple partners across the public, private and governmental sectors.
In the meantime, I’m in the calendar (March 22, 11am MST) for a webinar offered by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Societal Impacts Program (SIP). This program offers meteorological and climate scientists and researchers with resources and tools for addressing human dimensions of weather and climate-related communications, outreach and policy. In fact, you can find a piece I wrote for their newsletter, Weather and Society Watch, on anxiety and the weather, here.
Meanwhile I am busy preparing for my trip to the Garrison Institute’s Climate, Mind and Behavior symposium. This special event, convened by the Garrison Institute and facilitated by Paul Hawken, signals the Garrison Institute’s commitments to providing contexts for bringing psychological research, communications, climate science and contemplative practice together. I am so looking forward to meeting new colleagues, learning, sharing and meditating! Apparently the entertainment is top notch, too: I just noticed Dar Williams is scheduled for a performance. Sweet. Little did I know this amazing singer-songwriter is also a committed environmental activist.
I also learned today, by Adam Forest of the Forest Group – not sure how many other people know this – that the Obama Administration has unveiled a huge new initiative, America’s Great Outdoors. Yes that is the CEO of REI introducing Obama! Pretty amazing.
Stay tuned for updates and reflections. I see the new Yale report, building on the Six Americas, Knowledge of Climate, has been released. I shall respond soon….