WK 34 - Ecologists’ Speaker’s Bureau for Earth Stewardship Outreach to Faith Communities--FREE

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
19A, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Gregory E. Hitzhusen
Co-organizers: Leanne M. Jablonski , Jessica R. Miesel and George Middendorf
Speakers: F. Stuart Chapin III , Calvin B. DeWitt and Peter Bakken
Science education outreach is critical for human communities to meet the challenges of Earth Stewardship, especially when misinformation impacts public perception of issues like climate change. American faith communities across the political spectrum have called for better access to scientists, particularly to clarify misunderstandings about ecological issues, and to increase their own ecological literacy based on reliable sources. This workshop seeks to initiate an ESA ecologists’ speakers bureau to provide national outreach, in two main segments: 1) The first segment of the workshop features brief orienting/training presentations by national faith-community leaders describing the landscape of American faith-based environmental perspectives, and the most fruitful channels through which outreach can succeed. Guidelines for religion-ecology collaboration and dialogue; common religious-environmental values, beliefs and resources; cultural awareness; respectful and resonant language and framing; sensitivity to salient concerns and controversies; examples of faith-based ecology precedents - these and other characteristics of various communities will be highlighted to help ecologists succeed. 2) The second segment is an interactive dialogue and planning session to discuss how ESA can best contribute to effective outreach. Participants will engage in the planning and implementation process of the speaker’s bureau, beginning with an overview of ESA efforts to create this initiative from Terry Chapin, ESA President. Participants will be encouraged to join the speaker’s bureau and provide outreach in their own communities, including faith communities within which they are members. We will also broaden the discussion to consider how to expand the speaker’s bureau toward a wider range of communities.
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