Ever mindful of the positive role that a developed level of environmental literacy can have on a community, this fall College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium (SCEEC) will host the first annual environmental leadership conference ‘Green Up: Community Action and Education.’
The Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium (SCEEC) is an initiative of College of the Canyons, which operates as a private-public partnership with a mission to promote environmental literacy throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
It is dedicated to promoting sustainability awareness and practices both on campus and in the community by hosting events and activities that help teachers and learners in the Santa Clarita Valley become more involved with environmental issues.
“The health of our environment is our common future,” said Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, COC instructor and vice chair of the SCEEC advisory board. “The SCEEC was established with a sole purpose to serve the Santa Clarita Valley by helping to foster a better environmental future for all.”
Serving as the SCEEC’s signature community event, the ‘Green Up: Community Action and Education’ Conference will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, located on the college’s Valencia campus (University Center Drive entrance).
The SCV Family of Water Suppliers, which includes the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Newhall County Water District, Santa Clarita Water Division, and Valencia Water Company, is the title sponsor for this event.
The conference is open to the public and free to attend. The program of events will include an introduction from Dr. Jerry Buckley, COC Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction, and a keynote presentation from Dr. Geoffrey Chase, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the San Diego State University and Board Chair for Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
A highly respected topic expert and lecturer on issues related to sustainability in higher education, Dr. Chase joined Northern Arizona University in 1992 as the Director of English Composition.
While at NAU, he revamped the composition curriculum to give it an environmental focus, while also contributing to the establishment of the Ponderosa Project, aimed at helping faculty integrate issues of environmental sustainability into their courses.
The Ponderosa Project has since become a model faculty development project that has been introduced to faculty on more than 175 campuses in the United States and Canada.
In 2004 he co-edited the book “Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Dr. Chase’s academic stature and expertise join us for our inaugural event,” said Cheng-Levine. “I encourage anyone interested in the unique relationship between academia and environmental responsibility to attend.”
In addition to a light breakfast, attendees of the keynote portion of the conference will receive a special voucher redeemable for either a ‘Bluebird box’ (which can be decorated and taken home as part of the SCEEC’s ongoing Western Bluebird Restoration project), or free sapling provided by the City of Santa Clarita.
Seating for this portion of the conference will be limited, with attendees asked to register in advance.
Additional panel presentations and breakout discussions to be held at the conference will focus on topics including:
· Environmental technology
· Green architecture and home design
· Business and sustainability
· Water conservation
· Eco-friendly gardening
· Renewable energy
· Personal environmental responsibility and common best practices.
Attendees will also have opportunities to view an interactive green automotive technology display and a wildlife preservation demonstration by representatives from the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.
The event will also include a limited number of vendor booths and food trucks, with a variety of health conscious and/or sustainable items and products either on display or offered for sale.
As a precursor to the ‘Green Up’ conference, the COC Sustainability Center will host a panel presentation for students and community members interested in exploring one of the many existing or emerging ‘green’ industry professional career paths.
The ‘Careers in Green’ panel presentation will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the COC Applied Technology Education Center (ATEC), Quad 701, located on the college’s Canyon Country campus.
For more information about the Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium’s (SCEEC) first annual environmental leadership conference ‘Green Up: Community Action and Education’ or to register to attend please visit www.sceec.org or contact Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine at (661) 362-3188.