2015 Environmental Literacy Summit in Review
The 2015 Environmental Literacy Summit was held March 15 at the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque. Judy Braus, the Executive Director of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) was our guest speaker, and the second draft of the Environmental Literacy Plan was presented.
Judy also updated us on the state of Environmental Literacy Plans around North America (State Environmental Literacy Plans 2014 Status Report).
New Mexico launched an Environmental Literacy Planning event on January 5, 2012 at the Stewart Udall Conference Center in Santa Fe. This meeting commenced the process that will result in a plan to bring environmental education into NM schools.
State EE communities nationwide are working toward creating Environmental Literacy Plans for their states. The plans are developed for the preparation of our schoolchildren from kindergarten through high school graduation, with the hope and expectation that improved environmental education throughout our public school curricula will result in future adult citizens who become responsible stewards of our natural resources.
The Center on Education Policy’s 2008 report, Instructional Time in Elementary Schools: A Closer Look at Changes for Specific Subjects, demonstrated the narrowing of educational focus brought by the No Child Left Behind legislation, with a majority of school districts adding time to teach language arts and math, while reducing time spent teaching social studies and science. Students and society are shortchanged by the dramatic reduction in the breadth of education of our students, brought on by efforts to comply with the No Child Left behind Act. Further, a 2005 study by the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, Environmental Literacy in America, found that 68% of Americans failed a basic quiz on awareness of environmental topics.
With problems such as climate change, childhood obesity, habitat destruction and other rampant environmental problems, we must respond by defining and formalizing environmental education. The No Child Left Inside Coalition has led this campaign, and there has been a nationwide effort to create state environmental literacy plans, spurred by the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 through 2011. Co-sponsors of the bill included Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Tom Udall, Rep. Martin Heinrich, and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, all from New Mexico. The bill has not passed Congress, but many states have produced outstanding environmental literacy plans, and New Mexico’s is underway.
The state stakeholder group defines Environmental Literacy for their state and determines what educational courses, field experience, teacher training, and other educational inputs would result in environmentally literate high school graduates. Ideally, the plan would be adopted by the state’s public education department or a natural resource agency.
The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico, along with state agency partners and other nonprofits, are in the process of developing an Environmental Literacy Planning process for New Mexico.
News about Environmental Literacy Planning
- Save the Date: 2017 NM Environmental Literacy Summit on November 9 and 10 - March 31, 2017 - As we brace for the spring winds and teeter between warm days that draw us out to the garden and chilly days with snow dustings, we at EEANM are gearing Continue Reading →
- 2016 Becker Award Winners - December 27, 2016 - Is environmental education for the birds? Ask this year’s Becker Award honorees and you’ll hear a confident yes! It’s for the birds and the water, soil, forests, people… The Dr. Richard Continue Reading →
- Why is Environmental Education Necessary? - November 21, 2016 - On Friday, November 11, 2016 during the Environmental Literacy Summit, over 50 participants from around the Land of Enchantment answered the question “Why is environmental education necessary?” Here are their Continue Reading →
- EE Certification Candidates and Advisors Answer FAQs - November 4, 2016 - EEANM hosted a live Q&A on Facebook October 17-21. Our advisors, candidates, and newly certified educators shared their thoughts about EE Certification. We’ve pulled the questions and their answers together Continue Reading →
- Thank you to the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story - March 21, 2016 - Recently, we received a package from the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story with a copy of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story along with a generous donation to EEANM (which we so very Continue Reading →
- Memorial Recognizes the Importance of Environmental Education - February 3, 2016 - Current Status Updated: 2/18/16 House Joint Memorial 3 has passed with unanimous “Yes” votes in both the House and Senate! If you are on our EcoEd listserv, you saw the flurry of activity Continue Reading →
- To the Roundhouse and Beyond - February 3, 2016 - A Letter from EEANM’s Executive Director Greetings! 2016 marks the 20th anniversary for the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico! For the last two decades, dedicated EEANM Board Members, volunteers, Continue Reading →
- 2015 Becker Award Winners - December 14, 2015 - From a South Valley farm to a southern NM trail race, our 2015 award winners have taken environmental education and run with it! The Dr. Richard W. Becker Award honors Continue Reading →
- Update on Environmental Literacy Plan - August 13, 2015 - A team of environmental educators (Barbara Garrity, Selena Connealy, Dr. Stephanie Bestelmeyer, and Dr. Pedro Chavarria) took the NM Environmental Literacy Plan to the NM Public Education Department leadership in Continue Reading →
- The Path Forward from the Environmental Literacy Summit - April 23, 2015 - On March 10, 2015, EEANM hosted the second Environmental Literacy Summit at the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque. Keynote speaker, Judy Braus, Executive Director of the North American Association Continue Reading →
- Environmental Literacy Summit Planned for March 10 - February 20, 2015 - Join us on March 10, 2015 from 10am-3:30pm at the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque. We’ll present the second draft of New Mexico’s Environmental Literacy Plan and make plans Continue Reading →
- Fundraising to Leave No NM Child Inside - December 30, 2014 - Kids need more nature and NM needs a formal Environmental Literacy Plan. Donate to the 2014 End-of-Year Fundraiser today to support both goals.
- Environmental Literacy Update – Fall 2013 - November 20, 2013 - We had a great meeting, the Environmental Literacy Summit, on September 20 when we introduced the draft Environmental Literacy Plan and offered training in the Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Continue Reading →
- Don’t Miss the 2 Biggest EE Gatherings of 2013 - September 10, 2013 - We will host two major EE events in the fall of 2013–the Environmental Literacy Summit and our Annual Conference. We hope you can join us! Environmental Literacy Summit Friday, Sept. 20, Continue Reading →
- 5 Wins for Environmental Education in 2012 - December 27, 2012 - The Environmental Education of Association of New Mexico had a great year and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2013. We hope you’ll continue to be a part of EEANM Continue Reading →