Special Invitation to Catholics and Ecology Dialogue

ESA2014-catholics&ecologyOrganizer: Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant

Co-Organizers: Greg Hitzhusen, The Ohio State University; Katie Hirschboeck, University of Arizona; Leanne Jablonski, University of Dayton & Marianist Environmental Education Center; Glenn Juday, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

6:30 – 8:00 pm on Wednesday, Aug 13 at ESA Sacramento Meeting (& Ongoing Initiative)

Ecologists and others interested in faith-environment dialogue are invited to a dinner to learn about the anticipated, ground-breaking encyclical by Pope Francis on the environment, to explore the implications of Catholic perspectives on the environment, and to seek ways in which ecologists might collaborate more intentionally with Catholic communities on issues of mutual concern.

Bishop Jaime Soto will welcome participants to Sacramento and the dialogue. Former ESA president, Terry Chapin, will share his thoughts on stewardship, the importance of including values in the application of science, and what ecology has to learn from faith communities.

We hope that participants can benefit from collaboration, advance the understanding of climate change and its impacts and generate greater activity within the faith community born out of a deeper understanding of humankind’s place in sustaining and enhancing Earth’s life-support systems.

The dinner and dialogue is sponsored by the Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization dedicated to sharing Catholic teaching on climate change and caring for the environment (catholicclimatecovenant.org), and the ESA Environmental Justice Section (http://www.esa.org/enjustice2/). It builds upon ESA’s Earth stewardship focus, calling for interdisciplinary collaboration and a new ethic of environmental citizenship.

We are particularly trying to identify ecologists connected to the Catholic tradition who can attend this gathering or be part of the ongoing initiative.

To learn more and to register your participation in the dinner and dialogue, please go to: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5256/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=1126

PLEASE NOTE: The first 50 registrants will enjoy a sit-down dinner at the Sacramento Meeting. Beyond this number, we cannot guarantee a meal but will welcome your participation.

The Catholics and Ecology Dialogue is preceded by IGNITE 10 – Ecology & Religion: How Should Ecologists Engage with Faith Communities, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, 313 Sacramento Convention Center. It will be followed by the ESA Speaker’s Bureau/Faith Community Outreach Strategic Planning Session SS18 from 8 – 10pm also in the Capitol View, Hyatt Regency Hotel.

We invite you to attend all three. Thank you for your interest in this important event!

Want a printable poster for this event? Click here.

Chair-Elect Charlie Nilon to receive Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology award

Congratulations to Chair-Elect Charlie Nilon! Charlie has been named recipient of the 2014 – Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology Award. This ESA award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching or outreach. ESA honors Charles Nilon, with the University of Missouri-Columbia, for his leadership in developing diversity-enhancing programs within the Ecological Society of America and working to improve minority access to all Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. His work illustrates the relationship between ecology, environmental justice and their impacts on disadvantaged communities. Arise early in Sacramento on Monday, August 11th for the Awards Ceremony in the historic Memorial auditorium near the Sacramento Convention Center, 8:00 AM-10:15 AM.

Nalini Nadkarni’s “Trees and Spirituality” sermon allows parishioners to connect with the natural world

Trees&SpiritualityBookCoverOn Sunday, September 22nd, Nalini Nadkarni gave a sermon on “Trees and Spirituality” at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Salt Lake City. The Reverend Tom Goldsmith shared his pulpit for twenty-five minutes to present this interfaith talk about the many connections that exist between trees/forests and spirituality/religions of the world.

Along with several students from The University of Utah, Dr. Nadkarni also produced a small booklet that maps and documents (with both scientific and spiritual materials) all of the trees that grow on the grounds of this church. After the services, congregants went outside with a copy of this booklet and learned about the trees that are protected on their sacred ground.

Dr. Nadkarni has plans to produce similar booklets for other places of worship, which would create the potential for a “tree tour of churches” in which congregations visit and learn about trees at other churches and churches that have other trees.

You can read more about the project here and download the booklet here.

Guide to Environmental Justice at ESA 2013

ESAmn

Below is a list of events at the 98th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America that involve environmental justice…


Environmental Justice section events:

ESA Applied Ecology, Agroecology, Urban Ecosystems, Human Ecology, and Environmental Justice Joint Mixer
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM
200D, Minneapolis Convention Center

ESA Environmental Justice Business Meeting
Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Director’s 4, Hilton Minneapolis
All are welcome to share ideas and get involved in section activities!

Workshops and Special Sessions:

SS 4: Generating a Historical Time Line of ‘Earth Stewards’ to Inspire Our Future
Monday, August 5, 2013: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
101E, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Robert A. Dyball

WK 41: Developing Action Plans for Incorporating Environmental Justice (EJ) in Ecological Research and Education: Learning from Diverse EJ Practitioners How to Shape Future Community Sustainability
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
L100B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Carmen R. Cid

WK 51: Launching A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities
Thursday, August 8, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Director’s 2, Hilton Minneapolis
Organizer: Gregory E. Hitzhusen

Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice
Friday, August 9, 2013: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN
Organizer: Megan Gregory

Symposia and Organized Oral Sessions:

OOS 7: Doing Justice Through Your Research: Following Your Passion and Creating a Just Society as an Ecologist
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Leanne M. Jablonski

SYMP 13: Can Ethics and Justice Pave a Sustainable Pathway for Human Ecosystems?
Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
M100EF, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer: Mimi E. Lam

Other Talks:

COS 49-10: The University of St. Thomas Stewardship Garden: Combining biodiversity research and community service in an urban agriculture setting
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 4:40 PM
M101A, Minneapolis Convention Center
Ashela A. Richardson, Biology, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
Quinn A. Wrenholt, Biology, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
Adam D. Kay, Biology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

IGN 9-7: Urban Climate and Social Inequities
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
101H, Minneapolis Convention Center
William G. Wilson, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC


ESA MN 2013 workshop: Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice

“Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice”

Friday, August 9     ●     12 – 5 pm (lunch available at 11:30 am)    

University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. North, Minneapolis, MN


Do you work with a community-based organization focusing on environmental justice issues in the Minneapolis, MN area?  Would you like to share the story of one of your projects, learn from other organizations doing similar work, and strengthen partnerships with ecologists? 

If so, please contact us to learn more about participating in this workshop on “Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice,” to be held on Friday, August 9 from 12-5 pm in Minneapolis, MN.

Background

One of the goals of the Environmental Justice Section of the Ecological Society of America is to promote partnerships between community organizations and ecologists that contribute to healthy, sustainable communities.  In 2013, we received a planning grant from the ESA Governing Board to support a workshop, “Fostering Community-Ecologist Partnerships for Environmental Justice” following ESA’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.  This workshop will engage EJ organizations and ESA members in sharing, learning from, and supporting community-led EJ work that includes research and education partnerships with ecologists.

 Workshop Goals:

  • Share and learn from stories of community-ecologist partnerships: We will provide a forum for EJ organizations to share stories of specific projects involving community-based ecological research.  From these, we will identify lessons and further work to enhance community-ecologist partnerships.
  • Lay the foundation for a community of practice (CoP): We will explore the potential for an ongoing CoP dedicated to supporting and enhancing community-ecologist partnerships for EJ.  We will consider:
    • Structures and technologies for ongoing communication
    • Potential functions and activities of a CoP
  • Outline resources we could develop to provide guidance to community organizations and ecologists seeking to collaborate.  We will consider:
    • A guidebook/summary of best practices
    • A collection of multimedia practice stories
    • An annotated guide to resources on community-ecologist partnerships and participatory research in general.

Workshop Approach & Agenda: Sharing and learning from practice stories

  • We will develop the final workshop agenda in collaboration with participating community organizations, but our tentative plan is to begin with each organization sharing the story of a specific project involving community-based ecological research.  Each organization is encouraged to be creative in choosing the format and media that best portrays your hopes, activities, successes, and struggles in a specific effort.
  • We will use these stories as a starting point for discussing the types of relationships and resources that would support useful research and education partnerships with ecologists – and then lay the foundation for creating those relationships and resources together.

Faith Community Outreach: Reverend Bob Murphy


“If you want environmental peace, work for environmental justice.”


Bob-Murphy-newRev. Bob Murphy uses these words to explain his environmental justice ministry. During the 1990s, Rev. Murphy was a circuit rider on the coast of North Carolina. He served as a Red Cross volunteer during six hurricanes. He worked with the NAACP and migrant farm workers.

In the year 2000, Murphy moved to the coast of Massachusetts to continue his ministry. He serves as the pastor for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowswhip of Falmouth, Massachusetts, and he’s active in a variety of projects and programs that bring social justice and environmental protection concerns together. In 2011, he received a Special Service Award from the national Sierra Club. This year, we was honored for his Red Cross work on Cape Cod. Murphy is active in the environmental justice movement in New England. He was an organizer for the first New England summit meeting on environmental justice in 2012.

“It’s difficult to talk about global warming, or about polar bears, when a family is worried about paying for food and energy-efficient housing,” notes Murphy. “On Cape Cod, advocates for environmental justice start with immediate problems and we give a lot of attention to low-income people.”

Murphy’s Cape Cod congregation focuses its attention on three areas of special concern. With energy issues, the congregation emphasizes the importance of energy justice. The goal is to provide all families with an adequate source of energy that is safe, affordable and sustainable. In responding to climate change, the first concern is health and safety. Church volunteers train with organizations like the Red Cross and the Medical Reserve Corps. The Falmouth fellowship supports local food production that is safe and sustainable. Fresh produce is raised for community food pantries. In the fall, the congregation sponsors its annual Rachel Carson Harvest Dinner, to celebrate organic gardening and to raise money to help feed the hungry.

ESA MN 2013 workshop: Launching a Scientists’ Speakers Bureau

During the ESA annual meeting in Minneapolis, this workshop will enable ESA to move forward with a scientists’ speakers bureau for Earth stewardship outreach in faith communities. An excellent line-up of ESAmnspeakers includes:

Matthew Anderson, Executive Director of Audubon MN, former Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment; Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah; Dorothy Boorse, Gordon College; Doug Boucher, Union of Concerned Scientists; Rick Hammer, Hardin-Simmons University; Greg Hitzhusen, Ohio State University and Ohio Interfaith Power and Light; Leanne Jablonski, University of Dayton and Marianist Environmental Education Center; Terry Chapin, Past President, ESA

Workshop Description:

Workshop 8941: Launching A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities

Time: Thursday, August 8, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM

Place: Director’s 2, Hilton Minneapolis

Description: This session builds on previous ESA annual meeting sessions to advance the implementation of a national speakers bureau in partnership with national faith bodies and community-based justice organizations. With 83% of the American public (including 71% of ESA members surveyed) claiming membership in over 300,000 congregations, religious organizations and their partners are uniquely positioned to engage citizens in ecological issues. Developing ecologically fruitful collaboration between scientists and these communities can help bridge historic divides and provide sound science to shape sustainable ecosystem futures. Over the past year, participants from 2011 and 2012 ESA meeting speakers bureau workshops have piloted diverse outreach efforts to faith communities nationwide, tracked their impact, and shared outcomes through ongoing networking conference calls and webinars. We will review the successes and challenges of ESA members’ outreach to date, highlight the analysis of these outreach approaches, and summarize the commitments of partner organizations to help formally launch the speakers bureau. We will also address remaining issues related to implementing the speakers bureau, and discuss and formulate recommendations for ESA and our partners. Speakers from partner organizations (e.g. Interfaith Power and Light, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists) will highlight collaborators’ perspectives in this emerging dialogue between ecologists and a range of communities, and describe key examples of outreach that can be replicated. All ESA attendees interested in outreach to faith and justice communities are encouraged to participate, add to the discussion, or learn how to get involved in similar outreach.

Summary: Organizing session and overview of successful pilot projects as we implement a speakers bureau to provide sound science and timely ecological information to local communities and influential social organizations, including faith and EJ-impacted communities. Contribute to the speakers network as we discuss outreach results, and finalize recommendations for national launch.

Speakers Bureau Webinar (March 2013)

Ecological Society of AmericaJoin us for a webinar on Mar 26, 2013 at noon EDT.Register now!https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5317599220873305344Scientists interested in doing Earth stewardship outreach to faith communities are welcome to join this webinar to continue discussion and sharing of resources leading to the creation of a national scientists’ speakers bureau for Earth stewardship outreach to faith communities. Cassandra Carmichael, National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs Director, and Alexei Laushkin, Evangelical Environmental Network Sr. Communications Director, will share strategies and resources for successful outreach; Dr. Rick Hammer will report on outreach in his Baptist church in Texas; Rev. Bob Murphy of Cape Cod will report on faith-based public health and safety efforts related to climate change. For more information, visit: http://www.esa.org/enjustice2/projects/faith-communities/

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements

Resources and Documents that may be referred to in the webinar:

Dr. Rick Hammer article on biodiversity from a Biblical perspective, published in the Baptist Standard, TX

Sun Come Up (climate change documentary from Catholic Climate Coalition) Youth Education Packet

Speakers will include Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches EcoJustice Programs Director, hosting), and Alexei Laushkin (Evangelical Environmental Network, Sr. Communications Director)

As always, we invite contributions from anyone on the speakers bureau list, especially to report on ecology/science outreach work you have been doing in faith communities, and to raise current questions.

We will also be looking forward to summarizing all our efforts at ESA MN in August — the 8/8/13, 11:30am workshop description is found here, and you can click here for the Survey Monkey link to record your outreach experiences — and taking next steps to implement the speakers bureau.  Thanks for all your efforts, and we’re looking forward to connecting again on March 26!

Best wishes,

Greg Hitzhusen