Sung-Lin Hsueh is a research fellow at the Tung Fang Design Institute, focusing on Environmental Economics. This article provided analysis of EE that takes place within a community. Rather than examining these programs on an individual level in case studies, it evaluates these programs in a quantitative way. It looks at three variables, community residents attitude, advocacy method, and sources of funding. The findings indicate that among the evaluation criteria of community-based EE, the most important one is the community residents’ attitude. This article provides a useful measurement for community advocacy and the goal of EE initiatives. It is also helpful to have quantitative data in a field that often relies on case studies and qualitative data collection.
This was a case-study that closely followed a conservation EE camp that was hosted at a public zoo. Four tiers of the camp were offered, with academic rigor and experiences increasing at each level, as well as more contact with the animals. For the purposes of the study, the campers took a pre- and post-assessment survey in which they rated their knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding conservation. They also took a similar survey one month after the camp had concluded. The results showed that participation in the camp tended to increase knowledge of conservation. It also increased as the students returned and took part in the higher levels of the camp. While this is helpful, more longitudinal data are needed to truly assess the impact of the camp on a long-term basis.
Helen Kopnina, from the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Instituut voor Arbeids Studies, examines the shift from EE to Education for Sustainable development. Kopnina takes issue with the general trend in EE towards talking positively and learning about how to sustainably develop the land when that attitude led to the issues in the first place. Her argument is that it might not be possible to laud these changes and continued economic growth without continuing to destroy the earth. This article takes an interesting perspective in the conversation of EE in insinuating that the inclusion of social issues in the curriculum is counterproductive to the goal of EE. This seems very counterintuitive and contrary to most of the literature. It will provide an interesting counterpoint to much of the conversation in EE literature.
Adina M. Merenlender is a professor of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. This study examines how naturalist and citizen scientist programs tend to skew toward populations and the reasons behind that. It was found that a clear majority of the participants in these programs were Caucasian women over 50. This underscores the need to encourage different populations into citizen science initiatives to be more inclusive and give greater access to civic resources. This study will be helpful in establishing what barriers to entry are present in the community.
Rebecca Schild is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder, in Environmental Studies. Environmental citizenship is a concept that has been a buzzword in education and a thought-provoking concept upon deeper examination. But it still lacks firm definition. Scild has written a critical essay attempting to define this concept by applying the civic duty of working towards a better world to the public institution of education and maintaining a healthy world and environment for future generations. Her theories and proposals are important, as finding clearer definitions for educational concepts and buzzwords are always an essential step in moving towards something real.
David Stevens is a professor at the University of Nottingham that studies political philosophy and social sciences. This article is very helpful in that it focuses on the morality of teaching environmentalism or “green” values in a public education system. Dr. Stevens is not saying that we should not be teaching these things within a traditional public-school system, only that we should not teach the feel-good parts of green education without also including the social justice and racial component that goes hand in hand with this topic. By ignoring the ugly parts of this issue, we undermine this aspect of EE and reduce it a topic similar to ones that are typically off limits to public education curriculum. I can use this to support the inclusion of a complete environmental curriculum rather than just advocating for “recycling” because it’s good for the earth, but also critically examining the role the government and society have played in the development of the current system.
Ben Warner is currently a faculty member at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies. This article provides an overview of research in sustainability education. They present a holistic measure of sustainability and then use it to compare U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. 59 schools with 289 sustainability projects are compared, and used to generate an analysis of how the certified sustainable schools differ from one another. Since EE comes with so many nuances and complicated pictures, a single measure to try and say that THIS is the correct way to become a sustainable school is inadequate and tone deaf. This will be helpful in looking at ways schools can increase their EE programs without ignoring this issue of low SES populations.
This article is an analysis of pollution rates in Louisiana in a specific region referred to as cancer alley. This region has an enormously high rate of cancer due to the high rates of industrial pollution in the region. It also has a majority minority population with a low SES. While this is a well-documented effect, this analysis also goes into depth examining the role community-run advocacy and education efforts play in reducing the rate of diseases and negative impact on the environment and health of the community. It takes a look at community run environmental camps and their impact on the youth of the community. The study spends time exploring the past situations that lead to the current situation in a sociological and environmental manner. This provides helpful background information and provides excellent context for the rest of the article, which focuses on the incidence rates of cancer in this region. The article does include a brief analysis of the community education efforts, but I wish it was longer and contained a complete explanation of the camps and the type of education methods utilized. This article will be useful for background, examples of pollution and minorities, as well as for an example of an immersive educational experience.
This is an article written by Lara Cushing, a professor at UC Berkeley whose research focuses on the relationship between social inequalities and the environment, including how environmental and social stressors interact to impact health. This study highlights how a screening tool called CalEnviroScreen 1.1 can be used to compare the equity of environmental health hazard exposures in California. The study found that Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and other or multiracial individuals, were between 1.6 to 6.2 times more likely to live in one of the 10% of zip codes most heavily impacted by environmental health hazards. This article serves to highlight the correlation between SES status, race, and exposure to health hazards. This will be helpful in providing the background knowledge regarding the use of data to establish the relationships and to provide insight on how these inequities might be addressed.
Liam Downey is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Faculty Associate in the Institute of Behavioral Science, and Faculty Associate in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. This paper examines whether toxic emissions are distributed according to race in Michigan. The analysis looked at emissions for the entire state, and urban areas surrounding Detroit. This is a helpful article in that it examines the relationship between socioeconomic inequity and establishes the correlation specifically between race and environmental injustice. This paper will provide excellent background and be essential in providing the link between SES, race, and harmful environmental exposure.
This article is written by Hilary Gibson-Wood and Sarah Wakefield. Gibson-Wood is associated with McMaster University and studies Health, Aging, and Society. Wakefield is associated with the University of Toronto and studies Geography and Programme in Planning. This intersection of expertise makes for an interdisciplinary collaboration that provides an interesting perspective on how Caucasian privilege has had an impact on environmentalism and environmental justice. The purpose of this article is to identify the mechanisms that exclude non-Caucasians from the environmentalism movement. Minorities end up being excluded from traditional environmentalism movements in that the primary concerns end up not including social issues that are related to environmental issues. There is also the issue of the unintentional exclusion in that having the time to volunteer for an effort typically requires a certain amount of leisure time, as well as the cost for transportation and childcare, effectively isolating minority groups. The most surprising aspect of this is that the Hispanic population in Toronto already has a history of successfully organizing community groups to assist in social issues. By excluding, intentionally or unintentionally, the Hispanic population the movement is losing out on a lot of assistance and effective groups that already exist. The methods of this case study relied on eight interviews of different community organizers from different groups that specifically served the Hispanic community and were Hispanic immigrants themselves save one (who was of Asian descent). The authors do admit that they were Caucasian outsiders asking racialized groups and that that may have had an impact on the responses they received. One surprising finding was that the lack of participation in the environmentalism movement by the minority community largely stemmed from the fact that the “environmentalism” groups had a very narrow definition of what is considered part of the environmentalism movement. Even though most of the people interviewed were leaders of various social empowerment groups for the minority community that are tangentially related to environmental justice groups. But, because they do not fall under that very narrow definition, they are not considered part of the “environmental” movement. This will be useful to my research in that I can use this for background in establishing how the environmental movements have excluded minorities and as a result has isolated those communities from vital knowledge.
This is a report that examines the demographics of who are participating and succeeding in the AP Programs currently in place in US High Schools. While AP classes are becoming more and more common, individuals participating and succeeding in these classes are still less likely to be of low SES populations and minorities. The reasons for this stem from many factors but still result in isolating these populations from higher level learning and the financial college savings that result from these programs. This is a very valuable source of statistics and data that can then be extrapolated to the large societal trends reflected in the US public education system of inequalities.
The article is an analysis of how race influences which communities are subject to negative impacts of pollution, particularly from industrial sources. The most interesting part of this article is the manipulation of data to control for variables that could influence the relationship between exposure to pollutants, and race. While the correlation between race and pollution exposure reduced when other variables such as income and location were controlled, the correlation still existed. Which is a very interesting, and unfortunate thing. While it books interesting data and correlations, I am not sure that it is going to be especially helpful to me in my quest. This might be an article I remove from my list.
Dorceta Taylor works in the department of environmental sociology at the University of Michigan. This is a report for the USDA Forest Service examining the history of public land usage by different populations in the United States. It not only looks at activism but also looks closely at how the use of public parks and green spaces impact the language used in those communities to discuss the issues that surround it. It contends that race, class, and gender had profound effects on people’s environmental experiences, and consequently their activism and environmental discourses. The power of a government document that addresses the historical inequities as well as how it has impacted the use of public spaces is a very strong document to have. This technical report will be helpful since the National Parks and USDA Forest Service is very focused on EE.