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Building a Green Texas: Activating a New Generation of Sustainability Leaders

Funding: 
$280,588
Year: 
2020

Climate change disproportionately impacts low-income and otherwise marginalized communities that typically have the fewest resources to adapt. Furthermore, the very communities that feel the effects of climate change most acutely have been historically underrepresented in the fields of sustainability and green building. The Building a Green Texas (BGT) project helps address these concerns by giving high school students opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to tackle challenges posed by climate change.

Climate change disproportionately impacts low-income and otherwise marginalized communities that typically have the fewest resources to adapt. Furthermore, the very communities that feel the effects of climate change most acutely have been historically underrepresented in the fields of sustainability and green building. The Building a Green Texas (BGT) project helps address these concerns by giving high school students opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to tackle challenges posed by climate change. In the process, students gain valuable green career skills and credentials and become part of a green building school-to-job pipeline that will help contribute to a more diverse workforce. Texas-based nonprofit EcoRise, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute/National Estuarine Reserve System of NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management will lead this robust, three-year project beginning in Central Texas in Year 1 and expanding into Houston and Texas Gulf Coast communities in Year 2. Through school-year field experiences and paid summer internships, students in the program will use established scientific evidence, citizen science, and an understanding of location-specific socioeconomic and ecological factors to explore current and future extreme weather phenomena and other environmental hazards facing their communities. They will gain real-world learning experiences and career exposure by directly engaging with scientists, civic leaders, green building professionals, and NOAA data and staff. As students help design community-based green building projects, they will consider scientific uncertainty, cultural knowledge, and social equity, in the real-world context of improving community resilience.

Competition: 2020: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Hazards
Award Number: 
NA20SEC0080017
Grant Dates: 
10/01/2020 to 08/31/2023
PI: 
Ms. Abby Randall
State: Texas   County: Travis   District: TX35 
Partners:   National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Mission-Aransas, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Austin / School of Architecture, City of Austin / Office of Sustainability, City of Austin / Equity Office, City of Austin / Austin Energy, Austin Independent School District, BLGY Architecture, Go Austin/Vamos Austin (GAVA), City of Houston / Office of Sustainability, Harris County Department of Education U.S. Green Building Council / Texas Chapter

From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems

Funding: 
$298,713
Year: 
2015

Nisqually River Foundation with partners (South Sound GREEN, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, and Mount Rainier Institute) with support from NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region implemented their project, “From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems,” over 3 years, from 2016-2018. Our region faces the climate change threats of sea level rise, receding glaciers, extreme weather/flooding, ocean acidification and impacts on humans and important local resources, such as surface and groundwater, salmon, forests, and shellfish.

Nisqually River Foundation with partners (South Sound GREEN, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, and Mount Rainier Institute) with support from NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region implemented their project, “From Mt. Rainier to the Pacific Coast: Fostering Resilient Climate Leaders, Communities and Coastal Ecosystems,” over 3 years, from 2016-2018. Our region faces the climate change threats of sea level rise, receding glaciers, extreme weather/flooding, ocean acidification and impacts on humans and important local resources, such as surface and groundwater, salmon, forests, and shellfish. Together we engaged more than 120 teachers and their 3,000+ students from the Nisqually, South Puget Sound and Chehalis watersheds to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts. We held three Summer Teachers Institutes to bring teachers connect teachers with local science experts in climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest. Our 2017 Institute was held in partnership with Mount Rainier Institute, who also hosted Climate Resilient Youth Leadership Programs for 350 12-18-year olds. Participants generated and participated in Community Resilience Action Projects to conserve local ecosystems and increase resiliency in their communities to extreme weather events and changing climate. These projects included: riparian habitat restoration in the Nisqually, Chehalis, and Deschutes basins; creating recycling and composting programs on school campuses; eliminating Styrofoam from school cafeterias; creating a Migration Parade event to explore climate impacts on migratory species; the “Pick a DOT- Do One Thing - What’s your thing?” on-line videos; and the creation of high-impact environmental education art installations, to name a handful. Students also monitored local stream flows, temperatures, and water quality, building on a previous Targeted Watershed Grant from the EPA and a data set that goes back to 1992. NOAA’s mission of Service was supported as teachers and students shared their knowledge in their classrooms, with school districts, at community meetings, and through social media. NOAA assets used included the NW Marine Fisheries staff, Data in the Classroom, CoCoRaHS, NOAA-NASA Cloud Watcher Chart, NOAA’s Climate Literacy Principles, Beat the Uncertainty game, Game of Floods, Thermal Expansion label, the Marine Mammals of the US West Coast, and more. Other local contributing partners include the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Squaxin Tribe, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nisqually Land Trust, Thurston Conservation District and Capital Region Educational Service District 113.

Competition: 2015: ELG for Community Resilience to Extreme Weather Events and Environmental Changes
Award Number: 
NA15SEC0080007
Grant Dates: 
04/01/2016 to 07/31/2019
PI: 
Mr. Justin Hall
State: Washington   County: Thurston   District: WA10 
Partners:   National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) / West Coast, Chehalis Basin Education Consortium, South Sound GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network), Mount Rainier Institute, U.S. National Park Service / Mount Rainier National Park, Nisqually Land Trust, Capitol Land Trust, Chehalis River Basin Land Trust, NOAA Office of Education, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Nisqually Tribe, Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Mason Conservation District, Squaxin Island Tribe Puget Sound Estuarium

Promoting Environmental Literacy through Teacher Professional Development Workshops and Climate Change Student Summits (C2S2)

Funding: 
$696,672
Year: 
2009

This project will provide K-12 teacher professional development and focused student activities to promote environmental literacy using the essential principles of ocean and climate literacy.

This project will provide K-12 teacher professional development and focused student activities to promote environmental literacy using the essential principles of ocean and climate literacy. In partnerships with NOAA entities, school districts, and museums across the United States, we will provide: (1) high-energy face-to-face professional development workshops for teachers, facilitated by experienced educators; (2) ongoing support and interactions among teachers and students through an online collaborative website, or group-hub; and, (3) high-profile, focused events in which students interact with scientists and the public to share what they've learned, both locally and internationally. The primary goal of this project is to increase the environmental literacy of K-12 teachers and their students from school districts that are part of existing science museum networks. Each summer, we will work with 4 to 6 partner museums to invite 30 to 40 teachers from their local school districts to take part in a pair of workshops.

Competition: 2008/2009: ELG for Formal K-12 Education
Award Number: 
NA09SEC4690009
Grant Dates: 
09/01/2009 to 12/31/2013
PI: 
Dr. Frank Rack
State: Nebraska   County: Lancaster   District: NE01 
Partners:   Museum of Science and Industry, Technical Education Research Centers / TERC, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, California State University, San Marcos, Virginia Tech / College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Grossmont College, Hardin Public Schools 17-H&1, Little Big Horn College, Oak Park Unified School District, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, San Diego Unified School District, Anchorage School District (ASD), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) / Campbell Creek Science Center, Carteret County Public School System, Montana State University / Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES), North Carolina Maritime Museum, Northern Illinois University / Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, University of Alaska (UA-Anchorage)/ Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), University of Alaska (UA-Fairbanks), University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Michigan / Museum of Natural History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) / Institute of Marine Science, University of Washington (UW) / School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS), Virginia Tech / Biocomplexity Institute University of Michigan / Earth and Environmental Sciences