Bemmy Maharramov will present during the Urban Affairs Association Conference in San Diego on Friday, March 18, 2015 during the Innovative Approaches to Strengthening Sustainability Panel to discuss her recent paper: Civic Ecology Education as a Strategy for Promoting Urban Sustainability.
The world has undergone a historical reversal – more people now live in cities than rural areas. Cities are complex social-ecological landscapes. On one hand they degrade and use massive amounts of natural resources and reflect great extremes of poverty and wealth. On the other hand cities have the great potential to serve as innovative hubs of sustainability and social learning to benefit human wellbeing. There are many local policy and management ideas being explored that could provide insight to communities and organizations striving to become more sustainable. Using an interpretive qualitative approach, we take a closer look at one concept, Civic Ecology Education (CEE), and examine how one organization is enacting CEE on the ground. Ocean Discovery Institute uses environmental science to empower young people in an underserved community in San Diego, California. While Ocean Discovery has not been using CEE in a premeditated way, their practices closely embody the principles of CEE. In addition, this study reveals the potential utility of CEE in underserved urban communities as a strategy for empowering people to improve their social-ecological environment, connect local stewardship to policy and promote applied social learning on issues such as environmental science and leadership. The more deliberate use of CEE by local civil society organizations could serve as a vehicle for better connecting people and nature in urban settings in a way that contributes to healthier, more resilient cities.
Follow the link for a preliminary schedule of the conference: