Hawaiʻi Diaries: SENCER, Sustainability, and the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi Diaries: SENCER, Sustainability, and the Hawaiian Islands

A team of SENCER representatives and practitioners traveled to Hawaiʻi for ten intensive days of meetings, conversations, consultations, and site visits with the state’s students, educators, community partners, administrators, and public figures. The goal of the trip was for the SENCER team to learn about the important and inspirational work Hawaiʻi does to advance science and civic engagement, and to share methods and resources that SENCER can provide to support existing and future projects. This article represents the first in a series recapping SENCER’s visit to the islands.

The SENCER team, composed of Amy Shachter (Santa Clara University, Senior Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs, professor of chemistry, SCI-West co-director), Steve Bachofer (Saint Mary’s College of California, professor of chemistry, SCI-West co-director, SENCER Model developer), Stephen Carroll(Santa Clara University, senior lecturer, SENCER SALG leader), Dick Sheardy(Texas Woman’s University, professor of chemistry, SCI-Southwest co-director), andChristine DeCarlo (National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, SENCER and Engaging Mathematics Program Assistant) began their trip by attending the 3rd Annual Hawaiʻi Higher Education Sustainability Summit, held on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus.

Themed “Innovation and Action,” the Summit focused on collaboration, sharing, and skill building for sustainability innovation and action across the statewide University of Hawaiʻi (UH) system. During the Summit, UH System President David Lassner used an iPad to electronically sign the Executive Sustainability Policy and the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, committing UH to a number of sustainability measures, including becoming carbon neutral by 2050, incorporating sustainability themes and principles across curricula and student life, and recognizing the cultural connections and rich diversity of Native Hawaiian culture.

SENCER and Hawaiʻi team members, including David Krupp (Windward Community College, professor of biological and marine sciences, Hui o Moku SENCER team member), Ulla Hasager (Director of Civic Engagement for the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences and Ethnic Studies faculty, Native Hawaiian Initiative and Hui o Moku SENCER team member), and Kanaloa Schrader (student leader for the Program for Civic Engagement UHM-CSS, PAPA, and the Native Hawaiian Initiative), led a concurrent session during the Summit inviting attendees to the following day’s SCI-West sponsored Faculty Institute, also held at Mānoa. At the session, Christine gave an overview of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement’s mission, initiatives, and upcoming event schedule; Amy discussed SENCER Ideals, methodology, resources, and case studies; David introduced his Pacific Center for Environmental Studies (PaCES) project; and Ulla and Kanaloa talked about the Native Hawaiian Initiative SENCER team’s Mālama i Nā ʻAhupuaʻa service learning program at UH Mānoa.

At the close of the Summit, Bob Franco (Kapiʻolani Community College, Director of the Office for Institutional Effectiveness, anthropology professor, Hui o Moku SENCER team leader) was awarded a UH Presidential Award for Advancing Sustainability throughout the University of Hawaiʻi 10-campus system.

To learn more about the Sustainability Summit, read news coverage of the event inUH News, KHON2, Pacific Business News, and Ka Leo.

The next article in this series will feature an in-depth look at the presentations given by SENCER and Hawaiʻi team members during the Faculty Institute.

Connect with SENCER on Twitter at @SENCERnet.

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