It has been a great start to 2015 with numerous Inside the Greenhouse activities. Some highlights have been our time in the classroom with inspiring students, our budding research projects and collaborations, a fantastic public event partnering with Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Casey Middle school and the development of four summer internships. We are excited about what we've collectively done, and what is to come.
Stay tuned for upcoming events and adventures!
Rebecca Safran, Beth Osnes and Max Boykoff
(Inside the Greenhouse co-directors)
Creative Climate Communication Course
The primary guide for our Creative Climate Communication course this Spring has been a recent publication entitled Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication. Connecting via Skype, student groups were able to pitch their ideas for their climate compositions to the lead author of this publication, Ezra Markowitz, and receive invaluable feedback. This course was designed as a "flipped" classroom, meaning that online discussions allowed us to interrogate academic readings on course material. This allowed us to use class time to actively engage in embodied exercises putting this theory into creative practice. Every class students were on their feet expanding their expressive range vocally and physically and exploring various approaches and considerations included in the creation of climate communication. The resulting compositions generated by the students have been truly remarkably. They are ever surprising, often funny, appropriately substantial, and highlight positive local solutions to climate change.
Author William Kamkwamba Speaks In Boulder
What began as a book tie-in with a unit on Africa turned into something much more profound for a seventh grade class at Casey Middle School.
Written by William Kamkwamba (co-authored by Bryan Mealer), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, is the true story of Malawian-born Kamkwamba and his dream of building a windmill to provide electricity and running water for his village. With nothing more than some old science books, scrap parts, a bicycle, and blue gum trees, Kamkwamba’s dream became a reality. Inspired by the story, students at Casey Middle School started a crowdfunding campaign and raised enough money to bring the author, who now resides in San Francisco, to speak in Boulder. Thanks to a collaboration between Casey Middle School and Inside the Greenhouse, Mr. Kamkwamba spoke in Boulder on February 27. For more images from this event or other past events please visit the ITG photo gallery.
Many congratulations to Professor Rebecca Safran, who earned the '2015 Green Faculty Award' from CU Boulder for her work on the Inside the Greenhouse project. Becca's award was part of the annual CU Boulder Campus Sustainability awards that recognize outstanding individuals and departments who demonstrate a sincere commitment to reducing the burden that CU Boulder places on the environment.
Also, many congratulations to Professor Beth Osnes, who earned promotion to 'Associate Professor' at the University of Colorado in 2015.
Expanding the Mission of ITG Outside of the Classroom
A big part of the Inside the Greenhouse mission is to provide our students with skills sets that can be leveraged to bring attention to incredible climate communication efforts within and beyond the CU community. This summer we will offer four internships to students from the fall and spring classes. Two students will travel to Albuquerque New Mexico to work with and make two short films about environmental muralist Nani Chacone. Nani visited CU with Winona LaDuke in Fall 2014 and gave an incredible portrayal of her work and mission as an indigenous woman, artist, and activist. These students, Sara Berkowitz and Angela Earp will also work with ITG to curate and organize the dozens of multi-media projects students in our classes have produced over the course of 9 semesters. One of our goals is to make our student projects more visible and acessible to a broader audience and this is an important first step. We are in discussion with eTown, the nationally syndicated environmental radio program to do a "Best Of" our student compositions at the eTown Hall next year. A third intern will work with the City of Boulder in communicating the city's newly approved climate plan to the community. The forth intern will assist with a project we are doing through the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. Also serving as our Inside the Greenhouse fall event, this will be a participatory performance experience Sol-Her Energ-He that will engage the community in a lively conversation about how we can author a plan for resilience for our city's future. This will be one of the opening events in the new Sustainability, Environment and Energy Complex. Stay tuned for more details!