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Appalachian LCC moves to the head of the class in climate education

LCC Coordinator and Senior Scientist Dr. Jean Brennan was invited to speak at an inaugural Educator Climate and Conservation Colloquium (or EC3) bringing together 50 teachers and school decision makers from across the nation to receive training on campus sustainability and wildlife conservation.

Appalachian LCC Coordinator and Senior Scientist, Dr. Jean Brennan was one of the select guest speakers participating in the EC3 Program.  This week-long training involved plenary talks about environmental and sustainability issues, breakout sessions to provide attendees with shared knowledge, and acquisition of skills and tools needed to teach important climate and conservation issues and challenges in the classroom.

“It is imperative that we integrate climate literacy into our educational and broader outreach and the EC3 Program is an excellent platform to launch this work,” said Brennan. “Ultimately, conservation in this century – under changing climate conditions – will require a social movement.  The science informs our decisions, but success relies on educating the next generation of environmental stewards and other social commitments to make our conservation efforts truly sustainable.”

Brennan presented on the principles of coalition building from the perspectives of government and specifically from Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). She discussed with educators how LCCs are bringing the science and management communities together to work towards a shared vision and common goals for landscape conservation. By working as a network, these partners are planning and beginning to deliver a sustainable landscape for people and wildlife. Jean concluded her talk with lessons learned so far from such coalition building and the bright future such partnerships will have for conservation.

The overall goal of EC3 is to develop professional sustainability toolkits for educators, build a network of colleagues, and prepare the next generation of environmental stewards. In addition to the training, the program includes a year of structured check-ins and milestones.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy highlighted the program as one of the premiere climate education/literacy and training programs in the nation. EC3 took place from June 28-July 3, 2015 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

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