Grant Supports Environmental Education and Stewardship on College Campuses
LEWISTON – Maine Campus Compact (MCC), in partnership with New Hampshire and Vermont Campus Compacts, will receive $150,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prepare college students for a lifetime of environmental stewardship. The grant will train college faculty to develop and deliver courses which partner with community organizations to address local climate change and water quality issues.
Over 80% of students enrolled at eligible campuses are from Northern New England. In the past decade, they have seen the effects of climate change through the shrinking of the northern boreal forest, more extreme winter and summer weather, rising sea levels, and restricted habitats for northern animals. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to preserve our natural resources. Equally important is giving students the critical thinking skills necessary for employment in a competitive market.
Through this two-year initiative, 75 faculty members from 19 selected campuses (11 in Maine, 4 in New Hampshire, and 4 in Vermont) will learn how to embed environmental service-learning components into a course of any discipline. Selected campuses will be announced in April 2013. Students who participate in these courses created by participating faculty will get hands on, real-world experience to strengthen their learning and create connections to the larger community while helping to address some of our state’s most pressing environmental issues.
“This grant could not have come at a better time,” said MCC Executive Director, Sally Slovenski. “With climate change causing unprecedented challenges to the health of our nation’s ecosystems, we are pleased to be part of this unique opportunity for Northern New England’s colleges and universities to lead the fight in finding long-term solutions to sustain our planet for generations to come.”
Established in 1994 and hosted at Bates College, MCC is a statewide coalition of 17 college and university presidents working to build strong communities and a more just democratic society by developing students’ citizenship and problem solving skills through community-based learning. More than 15,000 student volunteers at MCC member campuses provide some 1.6 million hours of service annually, with an economic impact of more than $25 million a year. MCC is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, which includes almost 1,200 college and university presidents in 34 states.
The EPA’s Environmental Education (EE) Sub-grants Program is a competitive grant program that supports EPA’s efforts to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide participants in EE grant-funded projects the skills necessary to make informed environmental decisions and to take responsible actions toward the environment.