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Symposium for Environmental Sustainability


Symposium for Environmental Sustainability: Taking Action at Miami Dade College
Friday, October 3, 2008
MDC North Campus 10 am – 4 pm; CTD Reference # 504315

Hosted by Earth Ethics Institute (EEI), College Training and Development (CTD) and
the MDC North Campus Green Team

In January 2006, Dr. Padron signed the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities.

In the summer of 2007, Miami Dade College added environmental sustainability to the Strategic Plan both for academics and facilities. (Link will be added) In the fall of 2007, the College adopted the new Learning Outcome number ten: Describe how natural systems function and recognize the impact of humans on the environment.  

This symposium will help participants understand the crucial role higher education plays in bringing about an environmentally sustainable future. Participants will identify steps that are currently being taken, as well as offer ideas and approaches that could be employed within the College, to achieve a lighter ecological footprint as well as promote environmental literacy among our faculty, staff and students. Members from the South Florida community will address environmental issues from their professions, and how those professions are evolving to include current ecological concerns. Faculty and staff will share examples of how they have incorporated sustainability in courses and departments.

Participants will have the opportunity to network with others to explore implementation strategies and plans.

The Urgency of Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education:
Global and Local Examples

Peter Blaze Corcoran
Keynote – 10 a.m. – 11 am
Environmental sustainability challenges universities around the world to rethink their missions and to re-structure their courses, research programs, and life on campus. Graduates are increasingly exposed to notions of sustainability, which are emotionally, politically, ethically, and scientifically charged. They must be able to deal with conflicting norms and values, uncertain outcomes and futures, and a changing knowledge base. At the same time they will need to be able to contextualize knowledge in an increasingly globalized society. In addition, college and universities are evaluating the impact daily operations have on the environment at this time of heightened awareness.

Peter Blaze Corcoran will iterate the urgency of mainstreaming environmental sustainability into such higher education contexts. He will explicate such urgency using the framework of the Earth Charter, a statement of ethical principles for sustainability. He will provide a variety of possible directions for higher education, including the use of sustainability declarations, the importance of college/community involvement, and re-imagining curriculum. He will provide examples of practice based on his experience in Africa and Oceania – as well as Florida Gulf Coast University. He will explore sustainability not only as an outcome and a process of learning, but as a catalyst for educational change and institutional innovation.

11 am – 11:45 MDC Green Expo

Lunch Discussion and Brainstorming; Awards to Keynote and Panelists
12 Noon – 1 pm

Sustainability in the Community: Three Views    1-2 pm
Robert Ruano, Director of Grants and Sustainable Initiatives for the City of Miami
Georgia Tasker, Reporter, The Miami Herald
Alan Farago, Miami-Dade County, Climate Change Advisory Task Force, Member; Contributor to Counterpunch

2-2:30 pm
College Wide Recycling: Judy Schmelzer, MDC Wolfson Dean of Administration
Greening Facilities: Carlos Dougnac, College Architect, Associate Vice Provost Design and Construction Brainstorming – Coffee, tea and desert

2:30-3 pm MDC Green Expo

3 - 3:30 pm
Exploring Assessment – Joann Bashford
Wrap Up - Colleen Ahern-Hettich

3:30 - 4 pm
Tour and Reception- North Campus "Palmarium"
Professor Steve Ritter, Biology, North Campus

MDC Green College Expo - 

About the College:
The Green Aspects of the architecture of Miami Dade College – Jose Vazquez, Professor, School of Architecture, MDC (North Campus)
Greening Campus Services: Wilson George, Maurice Williams –North Campus Green Team
Greening MDC Events: Kim Tupy and Glenda Phipps, Hialeah
Environmental Awareness and Service Learning Projects – Rose Davilmar
Carbon Footprint- both personal and campus-Joyce DiBenedetto Colton (EEI Council)
Green purchasing an overview of paper and office supplies, printing –(TBA)
New Offerings at the Green Urban Living Center (GULC)– GULC Staff

Incorporating Environmental Awareness throughout the Curriculum
Greening EAP – Anouchka Rachelson, Paula Sanchez, Kendall, and Ileana Porges-West, Hialeah Incorporating Global Environmental Concerns in Psychology – Dom Brucato and Juan Abascal, Kendall
Designing the new MDC North Campus “Palmarium” – Steve Ritter, North
Natural and Social Sciences – Creating on-line videos about Environmental Issues: Miriam Frances Abety, InterAmerican
Environment, Interior Design: Marcia Lopes de Mello, Kendall 
Environment and Architecture: Lyle Culver, Kendall
Exploring Nature in Literature –Michael Hettich, Wolfson
Exploring Nature in Literature - North
Fine Arts: Susan Banks, Professor of Ceramics, New World School of the Arts
Sustainability in Engineering: Miguel Alonso, Kendall
Student Immersions: Taking your discipline outside: Carol Petrozella, Medical, Brad Stocker, Kendall
School of Entertainment & Design Technology– Rubén Abruña, North
Math: Exploring environmental issues in the math classroom: Miguel Montanez, Wolfson
Narrow Ridge and Salzburg: Sustainability from the Students’ Perspective (TBA)
Health – Nutrition/Alternative Holistic Approaches - Susan Luck
Career Services – North Campus Joyce Harrigan, North
Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College – Katherine Zielke, Madelyn Moyer

Tour of North Campus Green Initiatives –
Included in the MDC Green Expo –
Green Urban Living Center – Jake Tucker


 Chandra links pulsar to historic supernova 


Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724