Environmental art as an innovative medium for environmental education in Biosphere Reserves

Environmental art as an innovative medium for environmental education in Biosphere Reserves
– article in current issue
M. Marks, L. Chandler & C. Baldwin
Pages: 1307-1321 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1214864

A key goal of Biosphere Reserves (BR) is to foster environmental education for sustainable development. In this study we systematically analyse two cases in which environmental art is used as a mechanism to engage communities in ‘building environmental understanding’, in Noosa BR in Australia and North Devon BR in the United Kingdom. Data were derived through document analyses, site visits, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews conducted with the audience, artists, and residents. The study concludes that environmental art can build understanding through (1) exchanging ideas and providing dialogue (2) building a sense of place (3) clarifying and enhancing the understanding of information and issues, and (4) generating concern. Consequently environmental art should be considered an innovative addition to the suite of environmental education tools used in other BRs and community organisations that aim to educate about the environment.
Keywords: Environmental education, environmental art, Biosphere Reserve, environmental understanding, sense of place



Start the week by refreshing yourself on what you might expect an author in this journal to share in relation to a published article

Each author (including co-authors) in this journal get 50 free eprints to share by default if they have published via the subscription route, while if they have published open access, should we be saying the skies the limit? (just keep an eye on the counter … 44, 45, 46, … and perhaps the bang is well and truly delivered on the bucks ;-)).

The publishers have a handy guide on what can be done with different versions of a paper, be it an author’s original manuscript, an accepted manuscript, or a version of record.

In many instances, if you need to track down a full copy of a paper, it may help to start with contacting the contact author to see whether you can access one of their eprints (many of which go unused), or check whether their paper is open access on the journal website. Another possibility is to enquire if they are abiding by the Voluntary Principles for Article Sharing on Scholarly Collaboration Networks – where a lot of articles are shared legitimately – and if not, perhaps why not?

As we’ve mentioned before on this site, there’s also visiting a library or doing your bit to keep an interlibrary loan service active. These may be an important signal to your librarians about what you value, while there’s also what seems to be another feature of times past, simply sharing hard copies with colleagues …

So don’t be shy, contact an author or librarian this week!

More information at the link …


(To find out more about publishing OA with Taylor & Francis, see http://editorresources.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/perspectives-on-open-access-an-early-career-researchers-view/ and associated tags.)

Call for contributions – Queer EcoPedagogies: Explorations in Sexuality, Nature, and Education


Joshua Russell (Canisius College, Buffalo, New York)


Project Scope/Content:

In 2002, Constance Russell, Tema Sarick, and Jacqueline Kennelly wrote what was arguably the first foray into queer theory in environmental education (EE) research, drawing scholarly attention to the potential “in explicitly and actively ‘queering’ environmental education” (2002, p. 55). Shortly thereafter, Gough, Gough, Applebaum, Doll, and Sellers, invited environmental educators to walk the difficult path of exposing and “queer(y)ing” the field’s “heteronormative constructedness” by visiting the imaginary Camp Wilde (Gough et al., 2003, pp. 44-45). However, a period of silence followed these important calls for applying and performing queer theory within environmental education research and scholarship. Ten years later, in 2013, Joshua Russell took up the theme once again, seeking to (re)orientate environmental educators toward the liberatory potentials of pedagogies that emphasize queer experiences with nature, animality, and “environment.” With the addition of articles published in the Journal of Environmental Education’s more recent special edition on gender (Adsit- Morris & Gough, 2017; Bazzul & Santavicca, 2017) there is clearly a renewed interest in queer theory among environmental education scholars.

This proposed volume seeks to build on the momentum surrounding queer work within EE, while also encouraging cross-pollination between environmental education research and the growing bodies of literature dedicated to queer (de)constructions of categories such as “nature,” “environment,” and “animality” (e.g., Barad, 2011; Chen, 2012; Chisholm, 2010; Gaard, 1997; Gaard, 2011; Gandy, 2012; Garrard, 2010; Giffney & Hird, 2008; Krupar, 2012; Mortimer-Sandilands, 2005; Mortimer-Sandilands & Erickson, 2010; Morton, 2010; Sandilands, 2002; Seymour, 2013). The book will be comprised of submissions that engage with the existing literatures of queer ecology, queer theory, and various explorations of sexuality and gender within the context of human-animal-nature relations. It is the editor’s hope that continued commitments to queer pedagogical investigation can further diversify environmental education research as well as provide new directions for both scholarship across a variety of EE contexts. In addition, the editor hopes to encourage authors to engage with queer readings of pedagogy as (dis)orientating, with the potential for establishing counter hegemonic practices that challenge dominant and destructive views of bodies, nature, and community.

The scope of this book will be multi- or interdisciplinary in order to cast a wide net around what kinds of spaces, relationships, and practices are considered educational, pedagogical, or curricular. The volume invites chapter submissions that are conceptual, theoretical, empirical, or any combination of these approaches.

Potential themes and topics may address questions such as:

  • What are the potential connections to be made between queer ecology and environmental education research and practice?
  • In what ways might queer theory contribute to various educational commitments seeking to unsettle anthropocentrism, heterosexism, and other oppressive views of human-environment relationships?
  • In what ways can queer educators trouble the categories of “human,” “non- human,” and “nature” in ways that promote the enactment of more just, caring, and diverse multi-species communities and societies?
  • What are the various tensions surrounding gender and sexuality within environmental education scholarship and practice? What new paths might we seek in addressing these tensions?
  • In what curricular “spaces” do environmental educators apply, practice, or perform queer pedagogies?
  • What are the challenges and possibilities for emphasizing queerness in the various existing or established educational frameworks addressing human- animal-nature concerns (e.g., humane education, conservation education, education for sustainability/sustainable development, outdoor education, environmental education)?

Authors interested in submitting an abstract for consideration need not limit themselves to the questions and topics provided above. A wide range of possibilities are welcome.

Submission Guidelines:

Interested authors are asked to submit chapter titles, abstracts (~500 words in length), and a list of full references to the editor by December 31, 2017. Once decisions are made, accepted authors will be required to send a brief outline of their chapter with major headings in order to prepare the final book proposal, which will be sent to Springer Publishing for review.

Editor Contact:

Joshua Russell
Canisius College
Department of Animal Behavior, Ecology, & Conservation 2001 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14208


Download the call – Queer-Ecopedagogy-CFP

Learning from cities: a cautionary note about urban/childhood/nature entanglements

Learning from cities: a cautionary note about urban/childhood/nature entanglements
– New EER Article Alert
John Morgan
Pages: 1-10 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1325449

This article examines the urban and pedagogical imaginations that underpin the Editors’ call for papers in this special issue of EER. It raises two concerns. The first is that the view of the ‘urban’ that underpins work in this field, whilst offering some new insights, tends to overlook the powerful forces and structures that produce urban space. The second is that in suggesting a pedagogy that is framed in terms of the ‘planetary scale’ and vitality of ‘life itself’, the processes that shape children’s nature in urban spaces are obscured. The article concludes with a note about how cities are playing their part in the latest round of economic restructuring.
Keywords: Children’s geography, Urbanism, Nature, Anthropocene


Tips on Thursdays – join a global movement that wants to strengthen research and evaluation and improve practice in environmental and sustainability education

Tips on Thursdays – join a global movement that wants to strengthen research and evaluation and improve practice in environmental and sustainability education

As noted on Monday, we’d like to encourage the journal’s community to respond to the GEEP’s Call for Action, “Act Now for EE”, including in relation to Action 5:

Invest in Research and Evaluation to Improve Practice
Continue to invest in research in the field, to drive innovation and new thinking about what can help create a more environmentally literate and civically engaged global society. Deliver clearer actions, outcomes, and impact.

The feedback page on the Call for Action invites you to express: Which actions are your top three priorities? What’s most important? What’s missing?

You can find out more about Action 5 and responses from around the world and the other recommended actions at the linked site.

Please also consider sharing the Call and invitation to respond with your own networks.


http://actnowforee.org/ http://ow.ly/d/6Wx0 http://ow.ly/i/zTBwO http://ow.ly/i/zTBxr

Penguin Promises: encouraging aquarium visitors to take conservation action

Penguin Promises: encouraging aquarium visitors to take conservation action
– New EER Article Alert
Judy Brenda Mann , Roy Ballantyne & Jan Packer
Pages: 1-16 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1365355

This study investigates the impact of an innovative conservation action campaign called Penguin Promises implemented at uShaka Sea World in Durban, South Africa. Communication tools included interpretive signage, exhibits with and without animals, presentations, and personal interactions, along with a specially designed postcard, on which visitors could write a promise (pledge) to make a change in their daily lives to become more environmentally responsible. Visitors who completed a card were contacted a year or more after their visit and asked about the outcomes of their promise. The results (N = 316) showed that 49.4% of respondents could give an example of something positive they had done for the environment, that they attributed to the campaign. Based on the study, recommendations are provided for the design of effective visitor conservation action campaigns.
Keywords: Aquariums, conservation education, pro-environment behaviour, zoos


Investigating the sets of values that community members hold toward local nature centers

Investigating the sets of values that community members hold toward local nature centers
– article in current issue
Matthew H. E. M. Browning , Marc J. Stern , Nicole M. Ardoin , Joe E. Heimlich , Robert Petty & Cheryl Charles
Pages: 1291-1306 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1177713

While nature center’s missions often point to connecting people to nature in various ways, their potential to provide a broader array of services to their communities remains largely unexplored. To better understand the values local community members hold for nature centers, we conducted survey research around 16 centers in the United States. Exploratory factor analysis identified four underlying values: environmental connection, leisure provision, community resilience, and civic engagement. Our limited sample of community respondents felt these values to be important and well-provided by local centers, suggesting centers may play broader roles in communities than inferred from their mission statements. The identification of these distinct value sets provides centers with food for thought regarding not only the services they provide, but also how they might communicate their roles to various constituencies in their communities. The values also provide clear conceptual categories for future research on the values of diverse community institutions.
Keywords: Nature centers, museums, community, values, administration