About Me

This blog is primarily geared toward staff at the zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs), and other conservation education organizations that are part of our growing global network. We aim to provide you with cutting edge, challenging, and creative information, ideas, and tools to become as effective as possible at communicating about and for conservation with your visitors and the public.

See our ongoing communications research, or join our growing network, at The Ocean Project's website.

September 28, 2008

The Green Museum: A Primer on Environmental Practice

As mentioned in previous issue of Blue Planet News to Use, Sarah Brophy and Elizabeth Wylie have authored a newly-published book, The Green Museum: A Primer on Environmental Practice, which is full of practical information and inspiration for our Partner ZAMs (zoos, aquariums, and museums).

Global climate conditions and other serious issues facing human society demand a strong response by institutions that are here for the long haul, as ZAMs are: to collect, conserve, and educate in perpetuity. Environmentally friendly practices are increasingly critical to the mission of our Partner ZAMs, and as learning institutions of all types, ZAMs are uniquely suited to modeling green behavior.

The Ocean Project continually challenges our Partners to become even stronger leaders for conservation and a sustainable society. We urge all Partners to remember to "walk the talk" or, maybe more appropriately, "run the talk" because time is short!

This handbook will help guide ZAM staff in incorporating green design into new construction and day-to-day operations. Sustainable practices can not only save on operating costs, but also make ZAMs attractive to new visitors and fundraising sources.

Get more information and order the book.

September 25, 2008

Leave No Child Inside

In what has turned out to be one of the best years in Congress for environmental education, on September 18, the US House of Representative overwhelmingly and with strong bi-partisan support, passed the No Child Left Inside Act, H.R. 3036. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes and others, the bill’s passage represents one of only a few times in 18 years that Congress voted on environmental education and the first time in 27 years that they voted for the US Department of Education to be involved in environmental education.

This legislation if enacted next year would strengthen environmental education experiences for schoolchildren both inside and outside of the nation's classrooms and includes funding for training and support of EE programs, help with creating EE standards, encouragement of experts to work in the classrooms, and creation of a grant program to help create and strengthen EE programs. In short, it will help make students more "environmentally literate."

We have been promoting this important issue with our Partners – working especially with the Campaign for Environmental Literacy and the No Child Left Inside Coalition, who with others, deserve great thanks for helping this happen!

Please send your Representative a quick thank you for their support, by clicking here.

Partners may also be interested in a recent Newsweek article, Getting an Early Start - Eco-education doesn't have to be expensive, by Daniel Stone. The article highlights several successful green school initiatives from outdoor classrooms to green facilities and curriculum that have improved the quality and experience of education for students.