Monday, March 7, 2011

Downstream/Upstream Receives Institute on the Environment Mini Grant

February 28, 2011 - University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment Awarded a Mini Grant to gather an interdisciplinary team to develop a curriculum model based on the Downstream/Upstream demonstration project.

Excerpt from the Mini Grant proposal for
"Art, Story, and Infrastructure: A Model for Experiential Interconnection
in Environmental Education"

This Mini Grant Proposal will support a new interdisciplinary research project called “Art, Story, and Infrastructure: A Model for Experiential Interconnection in Environmental Education.” The focus on cultural sustainability in the 2010 edition of State of the World and the Institute on the Environment’s cross disciplinary efforts such as “River Life”, and “Dialogue Earth,” among many other trends, underscore the importance of integrating the tools of cultural development such as art and storytelling with scientific development toward effective sustainable outcomes and effective outreach of environmental information to broad audiences. The conveniences of infrastructure have allowed individual actions, such as water use choices, to be experientially disconnected from impacts to natural systems. However, by paying attention to infrastructure and integrating it into our concepts of the world, we can counter its invisibility and better appreciate its contributions while also better understanding the implications of its over-use. This proposal will gather an interdisciplinary team of University faculty and outside partners around the topic of how to use place-based interaction with infrastructure, interpreted through art, story, and science to create an experiential and informed sense of interconnection of our daily use of resources with the engineering and natural systems in which they interact. The Mini Grant scope lays the essential groundwork needed to develop a replicable curriculum model based on a concurrent research process and demonstration project. The work of the Mini Grant will be available for use and further development by the environmental education community, schools, and other researchers.

More Detail on Curriculum Model Grant

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