Friday, February 22, 2013

Opportunities from STEM Outreach

  • NIU STEM Outreach is looking for camp counselors for our summer camps. We need people can work days, nights, and both. Camps are the weeks of June 16th (Camp Invention), June 23rd (Exploring STEM through Art & Nature), July 21st (Engineering Amusement) and July 28th (STEM Careers). I have attached an application to this email. Feel free to print and distribute as you like, but all applications must be submitted in person to Pati Sievert in Lowden Hall room 307
  • We will also need many students for an event on April 13. We will once again be hosting a Destination Imagination tournament on campus, and need students to help oversee the event. Education majors in particular are encouraged to sign up, but anyone is welcome. If you or your group is interested in this opportunity, please contact Pati Seivert,, 815-753-0012
  • We also have several hands-on events coming up that we can pay students to assist with. The work consists of helping to load, unload and setup the equipment, supervising the equipment's use during the event, and then taking it all down and packing it back up. You are paid for travel time, and most times food is provided by the school hosting the event. These events pay $10/hour for all hours worked. The events I currently have scheduled that I'll need help for are:
    • Thurs Feb 28th, Gower West Elementary, Willowbrook IL Time: TBD (Afternoon/Evening)
    • Wed March 13th, Brookdale Elementary, Naperville IL. Time: TBD
    • Fri April 26th, Clarendon Hills Middle School, Hinsdale IL. Time: TBD (Afternoon/Evening)
    • Tues April 30th, Stevenson School in Maywood. Time TBD (All day)
  • We are also looking for Jrs, Srs, and Grad students who have interesting ideas for, and would be interested in leading some of our STEM Saturday classes. These are three hour informal science education classes aimed primarily at middle school students. We have done some topics for younger and older students, but most have been for grades 4-8. If you have a suggestion for a class topic, or are interested in leading one yourself, please contact Jeremy Benson,, 815-753-0533
  • We will need student groups to help with several activities the week of March 18th. On the 18th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd we will be doing "Squishy Circuits" with area libraries as part of our "Bright Futures" Program. We'll need a couple students each day to be at one of the libraries running this activity.
  • Lincoln Elementary here in DeKalb is having a book fair on Thurs May 2nd, and would like a student group to come and do an activity for the kids during the event.
If you are interested in helping with these, or any other opportunities we might have, please contact me and let me know! (Except for the couple things I specifically said to call Pati about, that is.)

As I mentioned at the meeting, NIU will be again hosting this year's Destination ImagiNation State Tournament. It will be held on Saturday April 13th, and we'll need about 150 volunteers to help us out for the day, 75 from 7:30am to 12:30pm and 75 from 11:45 to 5pm. No STEM experience is needed, so please encourage all the members of your group to come, and to bring their friends along to help! Everyone who registers to volunteer by the end of March gets a free T-shirt!
We've set up an online form for volunteers to register. You can sign up at:

Again, please share this info with all the members of your group, along with any friends you think would be interested. We'll need about 150 people for the day, so we appreciate all the help you can give!
This event will be a lot of fun! For more information about what Destination ImagiNation is, check out their website here:
If you have any other questions about the event or what will be asked of volunteers, please contact Judith Dymond at 815-753-1751 or email

There are always opportunities to explore!

Webinar: An Introduction to Sustainability with AASHEThursday, February 28th at 1pm, ENVS Conference Room (Health Services 320)This webinar will give an overview of sustainability through the lens of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The presentation will explore defining sustainability and using the AASHE Resource Center to incorporate sustainability projects and programs on campus. There will be ample time for Q&A. 


Internship Opportunity

DuPage County currently has internship opportunities available in Wetlands (biology, botany, soil science, environmental science, natural resources, or related fields) and Stormwater Management (geography, GIS, natural science, or engineering). Please post the attached job notifications for 90 days in the appropriate departments.

Mary Beth Falsey
Wetland Specialist
DuPage County Department of Economic Development and Planning
Division of Environmental Concerns
421 N. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630) 407-6680


Leadership Opportunity

Calling all student environmental leaders!
Are you looking to take your environmental leadership to the next level?

National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program is currently accepting applications for our 2013 class of Campus Ecology Fellows. 

NWF’s Campus Ecology Fellows confront climate change on their campuses and help to educate andengage the campus community on climate action solutions. Monetary fellowship grants are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students working with members of the faculty, staff, or administration on projects designed to help address climate change impacts and to protect wildlife and habitat on campus and beyond. In addition to a modest grant, Fellows also receive project support, leadership development, recognition of their accomplishments and other perks.

This year’s Fellows will have the unique opportunity to work with one of four of NWF’s crucial “Keep The Wild Alive” campaigns:
• Stopping Expansion of Dirty Energy
• Safeguarding Wildlife and Habitat in the Appalachian Forests
• Protecting Wildlife in Urban and Suburban Habitats
• Clean Energy Solutions

Please visit to learn more and access application materials
Don’t delay! Applications are due March 31st!


Conference Opportunity

AESS 2013 Call for Individual Abstracts
Deadline: March 1, 2013

We are now accepting abstract submissions for the 2013 annual meeting of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) which will be held on June 19-22, 2013 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and co-hosted by Chatham University. We invite you to submit an abstract pertaining to the conference theme, "Linking Rural and Urban Societies and Ecologies."

Please explore the accepted sessions, then submit an abstract for either a 1) Panel Presentation, or 2) Poster Presentation. More information on how to submit is here.
About the Conference Theme:
Taking advantage of the tremendous social, geographical, and environmental opportunities that the greater Pittsburgh region has to offer, we have chosen the following theme: Linking Rural and Urban Societies and Ecologies. This theme will help us think more about social-ecological systems in an increasingly urbanized and politicized world, and it will allow us to explore salient topics, such as food, architecture, climate change, water, business, energy, transportation, education, values, fairness and wellbeing, among many other possibilities.

About the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences:
A major aim of AESS is to encourage engagement with today's socio-ecological challenges by serving the needs of environmental scholars and scientists who value interdisciplinary approaches to research, teaching, and problem-solving (learn more about our association here; our journal here). The meetings provide an incredible opportunity to engage with a diverse range of environmental scholars and practitioners through sessions, workshops, receptions, and excellent plenary talks. AESS is particularly accessible to young scholars and students, providing opportunities to network and grow.

Conference Opportunity

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the London Symposium on Climate Change at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, London, 22, 23 and 24, June, 2013.

The London Symposium on Climate Change is a special interest meeting of London Symposia, an organization devoted to scholarly research, writing and discourse. This interdisciplinary conference is an opportunity for academics and policy makers from the different disciplines to meet and discuss the many issues related to climate change.

The meeting will bring to the table scholars from the realms of economics, engineering, health, law, trade, agriculture, nutrition, political science, philosophy, education and the physical and chemical sciences to present papers and engage in discourse relevant to global warming and its effects on human welfare and progress.You are invited to present a paper in your area of expertise and to respond to other papers that are presented at the session. You may, also, attend the meeting as an observer. If you decide to present a paper you will be requested to submit a brief abstract of 300 words or less for review by the Symposium Programme Committee.

Notations for the London 2013 meeting are:

  • Abstracts submitted for presentations of papers must be approved by the Programme Committee of the Symposium
  • If authors wish to submit their research papers for publication they must do so within thirty days of the last day of the Symposium.
  • All research papers submitted for publication are subject to external peer review.
  • Papers submitted for publication may be published in a Symposium Review, as an edited book or as a journal article.
Register for the symposium here before May 5, 2013.
For more information, please use the contact form or email: conferences@london-symposium-on-climate

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paid Summer Internship Opportunity

V3 Companies is a multidisciplinary firm based in Woodridge, IL that provides professional engineering, construction, and science related services to clients in the Chicagoland region. They have multiple openings for Field Technicians (Seasonal) this summer. It is a paid summer position and offers valuable field work experience for students interested in the biological sciences (biology, botany, ecology, forestry, zoology, aquatic ecology, etc.).

Do not forget to check out Career Services for job and internship tips. Here is their latest newsletter:

Summer Ecosystem Field Studies Class

Colorado Ecosystem Field Studies- 
Summer 2013 courses- now accepting student applications
Hello. My name is Steve Johnson, course director for the Colorado Ecosystem Field Studies (CEFS) course held near Boulder, Colorado and now in the 7th year of summer programming. CEFS is a 17-day, 3 undergraduate credit field-camp class in which students learn fundamental concepts & essential research methods in ecosystem science.

The class is accredited through the Environmental Studies Program of the University of Montana at Missoula (ENST 391.)

It is open to all undergraduates in ecosystem related majors including environmental studies/science, biology/life science, geology/earth science or geography. A complete course syllabus is available at the course website

Finally, I am respectfully requesting the attached pdf announcement be distributed via email to undergraduate students in your department/program. If attachments are problematic I have included a text announcement below that you can forward or cut/paste into an email message. A posting on bulletin board would also be wonderful. Thanks so much for your assistance in making this rewarding field experience possible for your students and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Regards.
Steve Johnson
Director, Ecosystem Field 303 859-0173

Summer Course on Comparative Environmental Politics

Summer Course

Course title: Comparative Environmental Politics: United States and Canada.

How do different societies address environmental problems? Answering this question requires cross-national comparisons of political institutions, regulatory styles, and state-society relations. This course relies on the theoretical tools of comparative politics to analyze different areas of environmental management, such as protection of natural resources, wilderness preservation, contamination and transboundary pollution management, global warming, renewable energy, and sustainability, among others. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness provides an ideal location to explore how Canada and the United States address their environmental challenges at different levels of analysis, from the local to the international. Students engage in discussions on nature conservation with members of the local community and take canoe trips to places of key environmental significance. The course is designed for undergraduate students with an interest in environmental studies, especially those pursuing environmental studies majors or minors, but no previous knowledge of political science is needed. While grounded on a comparative politics methodology, the course also draws from the natural sciences, economics, history and ethics to help students develop an interdisciplinary approach to environmental studies.

“Good God, it’s really worth all this trouble, isn’t it?”

Senator Howard Metzenbaum as he looked down at the BWCA

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) was the subject of one of the most heated environmental debates in recent U.S. history. Between 1975 and 1978, those advocating mining, logging and motorized use clashed with environmentalists, who called for the preservation of this area as a wilderness. The BWCA Wilderness Act of 1978 designated the area as a wilderness, banned mining and logging and restricted motorized use to only a few entry lakes, but tensions still remain today. Pressures to open up surrounding areas for mining continue to split the local community and many still advocate motorized use within the wilderness.

The conflict around the BWCA Wilderness illustrates what political ecologists call a “politicized environment”, or how the environment becomes the site of struggles over resources. This course examines environmental politics at various levels, from the global to the local, taking the BWCA Wilderness as a case study. The wilderness borders Quetico Provincial Park on the Canadian side of the border. Logging has been banned in Quetico since 1971 and motorized use restricted to a single lake since 1979. The proximity and parallel histories of the BWCA Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario provide a valuable opportunity to develop a comparative approach to our study of environmental politics. The course compares environmental politics in the U.S. and Canada and reviews the role of key actors involved in green politics in both countries, including Congress, the states and local governments, the party system, and civil society groups, especially native American communities (known primarily as “first nation peoples” in Canada) and businesses. This course pays close attention to the differences and similarities that exist between both countries and explores how they try to reconcile economic development with environmental protection. This tension is particularly serious today in the area surrounding the BWCA Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park due to the pressure from logging, mining and tourist interests.

This course has three major goals. The first is to understand the relationship between development (in its myriad forms) and protection of the environment. By comparing the United States to Canada we can identify best practices. The second goal is to prepare the students for environmental activism. The course teaches them how the main actors further their economic and political interests within the framework provided by the decision-making institutions in each country. The third goal is to teach the students to conduct fieldwork by using the BWCA Wilderness as our laboratory. We interact with some local community leaders as well as representatives from some of the main interest groups. We also take canoe trips to visit some of the historical places where the history of the BWCA Wilderness was written.

The course is structured along three major areas, policy-process, actors, and themes. First we compare policy instruments in the U.S. and Canada at the local, state and federal level, including the role of environmental agencies and the court system. Then the course focuses on the key actors involved in environmental policy-making in both countries, especially the role of science and the scientific community, native American/First Nation communities, businesses and environmentalists, as well as government. Finally, students analyze the main environmental themes affecting the BWCA Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park, such as wilderness protection, forest, mining and tourist policies, protection of species, water pollution, pesticides, sustainability and, most importantly today, climate change. The expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 will put an end to the only global binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The course ends with an analysis of the impact of climate change on the BWCA Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park ecosystems. We study the inability of the current international political institutions to address global environmental challenges, focusing on U.S. and Canada’s climate change policies and the role they play at the international climate change summits.

This course is particularly useful to students with an interest in environmental studies, especially those pursuing environmental studies majors or minors, but no previous knowledge of political science is needed. While grounded on a comparative politics methodology, the course also draws from the natural sciences, economics, history and ethics to help students develop an interdisciplinary approach to environmental studies.

Contact email: Pablo Toral,; Internet:

Friday, February 8, 2013

ENVS Happenings

ABCs of Getting an Internship

An environmental studies major is being featured as a student panelist at Career Services' upcoming ABCs of Getting an Internship workshop. Lindsey Gordon will be speaking about her internship at the Illinois EPA at the workshop on Wed, Feb 13, from 5 to 6:30 in the Holmes Student Center Capitol Room. 

The ABCs of Getting an Internship workshop, now in at least its fourth offering, is designed to give students straight-from-the-source information about the value of internships and how to be a more competitive internship candidate. Lindsey will be one of four student panelists, and we will also feature four employer panelists as well as a keynote speaker. Free career books (Marketing Yourself to the Real World, by our keynote speaker), will be given to the first 150 attendees--this has often been a standing-room-only event. Refreshments will be provided.


Study Abroad in Indonesia



2nd Annual
Great Lakes Bioneers
Chicago Gathering
November 1-3, 2013

Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Ave.


2013 HNGR Symposium

The Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) department at Wheaton College presents a symposium titled “Small Plots, Big Change: The Role and Potential of Small Scale Farming to Feed the Hungry.” This year’s focus is on the challenges that are inherent to small scale agriculture.

More information is available here



Earth Hour

There's just 60 days to go until the world again unites for Earth Hour on March 23, 8:30PM, so we're taking this opportunity to share how you can help us to inspire the actions for the planet we must collectively take in 2013.

If you were one of the 200,000 people who accepted an 'I Will If You Will' challenge in 2012, now is the time to prove you've completed your end of the dare!

It might have been Asia's Next Top Model host Nadya Hutagalung's challenge to give up plastic, or firemen John and Sam's challenge to take public transport instead of your car... we want to share your ongoing action for the planet with the world.

You may have been blown away by world record BASE jumper Heather Swan's challenge to go vegan for a month, or the challenge set by Isabel Lucas to plant 100 trees: just send in a photo of your completed 'I Will If You Will' to, or use the #yourplanet hash-tag on Instagram, and we'll pick the best ones to feature on our global Facebook page.

This is about becoming the inspiration to your own community and spreading the hope that the world is ready to accept the challenge of saving our planet.

To get you inspired, check out some of the amazing 'I Will If You Will' challenges from around the world that are already changing the world we live in...


In the East African nation of Uganda, we're starting the world's first "Earth Hour Forest" to fight against the 6000 hectares of deforestation that occurs in the country every month.
With much of the forests being converted to wood fuel, the rapid deforestation rate is threatening to wipe out the entire green cover of the 'Pearl of Africa'.

However our team in Uganda has already secured more than 2700 hectares of land for reforestation, and has set an ambitious goal to fill it with at least 500,000 indigenous trees for Earth Hour 2013!

Businesses, government officials and many individuals are quickly taking up the challenge set by WWF-Uganda to reach their 2013 goal. Leading the way is Standard Chartered Bank - Uganda, which has already committed to plant close to 250,000 trees, and the Ugandan Minister of State for Environment, who has personally pledged to plant 1,000 trees.
We'll keep you posted on the developments of this massive project in Uganda as we get more commitments to help make the forest a reality.

Finally, we wanted to share a huge outcome that was achieved when the citizens of Russia used Earth Hour to unite behind a common cause...


In 2012, our team in Russia used 'I Will If You Will' challenges to motivate people to add their voice to a petition to better protect the country's seas from oil pollution, after a catastrophic oil spill in Southern Russia back in 2007 caused widespread damage to the natural environment.

The voices of more than 122,000 people who accepted the 'I Will If You Will' challenges were presented to the Russian Parliament after Earth Hour, as a powerful statement to show there was a widespread desire to better protect the country's seas.

The Russian Parliament then considered the proposed amendments to the law, and just passed through legislation in December, leading to better protection of the country's seas.
These examples show that if you're a kid willing to change a classroom or a President willing to change a nation, all our actions are making a difference and inspiring the collective momentum we need to build a global community to save the planet.

So now it's over to you to show us how you're changing the world we live in...

Encourage your friends to sign up for Earth Hour at

Earth Hour 2013 - March 23, 8:30PM