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Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Symposium

Saturday, February 23, 2013  Wolfson Campus, Room 3208-09   8:30 am - 4:30 pm
(10 hours of Professional Development for Faculty in approval process)

Earth Ethics Institute National Advisory Board Members  - 20 years in the field  and next steps

Larry Edwards        Patricia Siemen  Peter Blaze Corcoran     Debra Rowe     Mitzi Wood-Von Mizener    Jack Parker    Madeline Moyer    Ana Maria Vasquez


 Symposium Description


This symposium will focus on key components of Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy that impact Sustainability Education including:  The Universe Story- detailing the evolution of our planet and the emergence of the community of life; Earth Jurisprudence- recognizing that the Earth is the source of laws which govern life; The Earth Charter -describing fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century; and sustainable development and civic engagement.  In addition, the symposium will address how we frame communities and necessary skills and changes that are needed to bring about more sustainable and healthy environments. Members of the Earth Ethics Institute National Advisory Board will detail a summary of each of these components, cite opportunities of engagement and examples of sustainability in action, facilitate discussion, and help participants identify content and educational processes one can incorporate in existing curriculum.


As a result of this symposium participants will be able to:

Describe the process of which Earth and all life evolve as taught by contemporary science.

Describe the impact of law and governance on sustainability.

Identify the role and function of sustainable communities in the world.

Explain the interdisciplinary connection of global sustainability and Earth literacy.

Describe the relationship between sustainable development and a warming climate.

Relate sustainability to at least one academic discipline of interest.

Integrate civic engagement opportunities regarding sustainability into the curricula.

Plan of Evaluation:

Participant will identify a discipline that is compatible with his or her own and describe a collaborative project that helps students learn the key concepts of Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy while creating communities of engagement.  A summary of this project is due to the Earth Ethics Institute Director three weeks from the date of the symposium.


Faculty will develop a lesson plan incorporating global sustainability and Earth Literacy concerns due to the Earth Ethics Institute director three weeks from the date of the symposium.


Faculty will develop a presentation for a Sustainability Symposium intended for a student audience, due to the EEI director within three weeks of the date of the symposium.

Facilitator Information

Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran is Professor of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is also director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. He has served as Coordinator of "University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future," an ecological literacy course required of all students. He is a past president of the North American Association for Environmental Education and immediate past chair of the Ecological and Environmental Education Special Interest Group of American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Larry Edwards received his Ph.D. in chemical-physics at Harvard University. He taught/researched at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Cal State Northridge, and the California Institute of Technology before moving to the U.S. National Science Foundation. After 17 years of government service Larry finally realized the depth of today's crisis and left NSF to live and teach at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ. He continues to teach there as well as at the California Institute of Integral Studies and the Dominican Ecocentre in Wicklow City, Ireland.

Madelyn Moyer served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member assigned to the Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) at Miami Dade College in 2009-10, where she helped establish Community-Rooted Organic Produce Services (CROPS) an organic produce purchasing cooperative with a sliding membership fee based that serves the Miami Dade College community. Upon completion of her service at EEI, Madelyn was accepted into the Catalyst Project’s Anne Braden Anti-Racist Training Program in San Francisco, a four month political education and leadership development program designed to support the political development, skills, and analysis of white activists in becoming accountable, principled anti-racist organizers building multiracial movements for justice. During her time there she interned with the Chinese Progressive Association, supporting their work around immigrant and workers' rights.   Currently Madelyn is a New York City Teaching Fellow.  She started her training in June 2011 and now is working full time as an Earth Science and Marine Science teacher at Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School,  in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Dr. Jack Parker is a Founding and Emeritus Professor at Florida International University (FIU). He Received a B.S. in Chemistry from Emory University and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests focus on ecological landscaping, passive solar cooling, energy and resource conservation, energy policy and environmental education. Dr. Parker received American Forests’ Research Medal for his pioneering studies of energy conservation landscaping, the Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Board of Regents for his work in the community and the FIU Service Medallion for 35 years of outstanding university service.

Dr. Debra Rowe is Senior Advisor at Second Nature and a Senior Fellow at the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, where she helps higher education institutions integrate "sustainability literacy" into curricula, student life, operations and community partnerships. She is the Higher Education Co-Chair of the U.S. Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Dr. Rowe is the Co-Coordinator of the Higher Education Associations' Sustainability Consortium. She is also the energy and sustainability consultant to a National Science Foundation funded Electronic Environmental Resources Library. Dr. Rowe has been professor of Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy Management and Behavioral Sciences for over 26 years at Oakland Community College. She was Interim Dean of Applied and Engineering Technologies in 2002-2003, and won the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2004. She consults with colleges nationally, has numerous publications and is often a keynote speaker at conferences. Debra Rowe received her Ph.D. in Business, her M.B.A., and her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Debra's B.A. is from Yale University.

Patricia Siemen is a Dominican Sister from Adrian, Michigan, and an attorney. She currently serves as the director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry University School of Law. Previous positions Sister Pat has held include director of the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College, engaging students and staff in programs and workshops in Earth Literacy; staff attorney for the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; and legal services attorney for migrant farm workers in South Florida.  Sister Pat has also served in community organizing with the African-American community in rural Tennessee, in parish ministry with the Latino community and elementary education. She served on the Adrian Dominican Sisters Congregational leadership team from 1988 – 98.

Pat holds a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, Boston; a Master in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin; and a Master in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University, Oakland, California. Her B.A. is in History and Political Science from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan.  Pat is a member of the Michigan and Florida Bar.

Ms. Ana Maria Vasquez-Leon is the Latin America director of the Bridges Across Borders (BAB) program in Jacque, Panama. Bridges Across Borders is an international, non-governmental organization that was formed to address the root causes of violence and hatred in the world. BAB is working to dissolve the imagined and imposed borders that separate by: 1) encouraging a cooperative spirit that builds understanding of our global community 2) supporting projects that lead to sustainable economic self-sufficiency   3) preserving ancient cultures and ancient species 4) teaching creative non-violent methods of resolving conflict   5) and promoting universal principles of human rights.

Dr. Mitzi Wood-Von Mizener has served as the director of Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center (NRELC) in Grainger County, Tennessee since 2008. NRELC was established to study, teach and demonstrate sustainability and has a mission of providing experiential learning of Earth literacy. Mitzi earned a Doctorate of Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in 1997 and practiced as a Clinical Psychologist until she became Director of NRELC in 2008. She received Vision Fast training from Bill Nickle as well as the School of Lost Borders and has served as Vision Fast guide at NRELC since 2006. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Just Connections which brings together people from communities and colleges in Appalachia for service-learning, research, and collaborative action that will empower communities for social, economic and environmental justice.



Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
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