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Ecology and Education Summit to address environmental literacy

Registration is now open to the press for the Ecology and Education Summitco-organized by the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and National Education Association, with more than twenty national organizationswhich will be held October 14-15, 2010 in Washington, D.C. The summit "Environmental Literacy for a Sustainable World" brings together educators, scientists, and policy professionals from a wide variety of sectorsincluding academia, business, agriculture, government, the health industry and the mediato focus on environmental education and opportunities for progress.

Environmental literacy is concerned with the ability to understand ecological, biological and physical systems, as they connect with human systems, and the practice of informed environmental decision making. The Ecology and Education Summit is moving toward a Decadal Action Plan for environmental literacy outlining immediate next steps and long-term goals.

In his Keynote Address "Eyewitness to Global Warming," Will Stegerthe National Geographic Society's first Explorer-in-Residencewill recount his experiences observing the effects of global climate change. Steger has traversed tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled for more than 40 years during expeditions; these include a trip to the North Pole and TransAntarctica in the 1980s, accomplishing the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean in a single season and tackling the North Pole solo in the 1990s. A recent trip took Steger to the Inuit communities of Nunavut at the Arctic Transect to learn about traditional ecological knowledge.

Steger will draw on photographs, in addition to compelling data and satellite imagery, documenting the deterioration of the polar ice caps and showing how climate change is affecting people in this region. Steger is the recipient of the National Geographic Society's John Oliver La Gorce Medal and the Explorers Club's Finn Ronne Memorial Award.

Will Allenformer professional basketball player, urban farmer and "hero" in the 2010 edition of Time Magazine's 100 World's Most Influential Peoplewill talk about the current state of the urban agricultural movement in his Keynote Address "Growing Food and Community in the City." Allen, 2008 recipient of the John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation's "genius grant," recently joined First Lady Michelle Obama in launching "Let's Move!" Obama's signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States.

In 1993, Allen started Growing Power Inc., a national nonprofit organization and land trust to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Allen trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a source of healthy food.

The Ecology and Education Summit agenda is available at The Summit will also feature five panel discussions, two breakout sessions and an evening reception on October 14 featuring a poster session, interactive displays and exhibits.

Topics in the Summit include:

  • Learning about Complexity and Change: New Foundations for Environmental Literacy
  • Turning the Tide: Building a Green Society through Learning and Doing
  • Seeing our World Inside and Out: Harnessing New Technologies for Environmental Literacy
  • Fostering Lifelong Learning Skills: Empowering Best Practices in Effective Teaching and Learning
  • Expanding Funding, Strengthening Public Policy
  • Environmental Literacy for All


Contact: Katie Kline
202-833-8773 x211
Ecological Society of America

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