Best Practices Linking STEM Education and Great Lakes Stewardship

Cleveland, Ohio
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Select registrant type:
Thursday, March 14 Activities  (details)
The conference location is the Pytte Science Center (2080 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106) on the Campus of Case Western Reserve University.  Registration is in the Hovorka Atrium and sessions will be in various rooms of Clapp Hall.  Parking is available in the Veale Garage (Lot S53).  An interactive campus map is at

Site Visit Options (Choose one)

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve

Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve-Formerly known as Dike 14,is an existing 88-acre former dredge disposal site that has become an extraordinary wildlife haven adjacent to Gordon State Park/Cleveland Lakefront State Park at the northern end of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio. Dike 14 was created in 1977 and from 1979 to 1999 sediments dredged from the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor filled the dike. Dike 14 has been closed since 1999 as a disposal site. Over the years, the Nature Preserve has become naturalized and provides a exceptional opportunity for access to Lake Erie as well as the ability to observe nature. The nature preserve is an excellent spot to bird watch, especially during spring and fall migration. Citizen scientists have identified over 280 species of birds, numerous butterflies, 16 species of mammals (red fox, coyote, mink, deer) 2 species of reptiles, 26 Ohio plant species (wildflowers, grasses), 9 species of trees and shrubs and a rare sedge.

Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek

The Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek is the first facility in Cleveland Metroparks dedicated to scientific research and promoting sustainable action. Its mission of enhancing and protecting our urban watersheds will be achieved through innovative community programming, encouraging regional participation in watershed issues, and promoting scientific discovery.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden

Along with visits to the Garden’s unique indoor and outdoor botanical habitats, participants will learn about its Green Corps program, which combines urban gardening with heightened awareness about the impacts of urban landscapes on watershed stewardship, and the new project "Vacant to Vibrant: Redeveloping Vacant Land as Green Infrastructure in Great Lakes Cities" funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

University Farm Food Production Program.

CWRU's University Farm is the site of the University's Food Production Program. The nearly 400-acre Farm is the result of gifts of the Squire Valleevue Farm by Andrew and Eleanor Squire in 1937, portion of the Valley Ridge Farm by the heirs of Jeptha Homer Wade II, and smaller partials from neighboring estates. The goals of the Farm Food Program are to provide new educational opportunities to faculty and students to study local food production in a sustainable way using mostly organic methods, and to deliver fresh food and herbs to the campus. Food production began in 2010 in partnership with the University's food service contractor, Bon Appétit. By 2012, production exceeded the needs of campus food service, and the food production program expanded to include contracted community sustainable agriculture. In 2012 the total production surpass 10,000 lbs and new products include fresh honey, blueberries and oyster mushrooms.
Add to calendarThursday, March 14, 2013 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)
  • Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve
  • University Farms
  • Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden

SENCER Approach to Civic Engagement  
Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: 304 Clapp

Foundation Center Workshop (21 remaining)  (details)
Limited Participation Event

The Cleveland Field Office is the only field office of the Foundation Center of New York located in the Great Lakes region. The mission of the Foundation Center is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world; it is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.

During this visit, participants will be shown how to access the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants; they will also learn how to do so at the 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world.

In addition, the environmental program officer from the George Gund Foundation will provide insight on how private foundations respond to funding requests from environmentally-oriented grant seekers.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Foundation Center

GLISTEN Networking Dinner  
Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Hovorka Atrium

Friday, March 15 Activities  

Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Hovorka Atrium

Leadership Council  
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: 304 Clapp

Plenary Workshop  
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Auditorium

Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Hovorka Atrium

Concurrent Session I  (details)
Session I.1. (108 Clapp).  Environmental Dashboard: Using real-time feedback on resource consumption and environmental quality to engage, educate, motivate and empower environmental stewardship.  Through the vast majority of our evolutionary history, humans experienced direct, intimate and continuous feedback on environmental conditions that informed individual and community decision making.  Presenters in this workshop will examine the impact of introducing technological feedback on resource consumption and environmental quality as a mechanism for reconnecting humans to nature, stimulating systems thinking, and motivating conservation of water and electricity.  “Environmental Dashboard” is a novel technology that employs digital public displays and websites to combine three levels of feedback: 1) “Building Dashboard” dynamically displays water and electricity consumption in individual buildings and residences; 2) “Bioregional Dashboard” is an animated display of real-time aggregate electricity and water use and stream water quality at the scale of a city; 3) “Community Voices” combines images and text contributed by the local community to celebrate thought and action that promote environmental sustainability and resilience. Oberlin College students and a range of community partners including water and electrical utilities and the public school system are playing critical roles in developing, implementing and assessing the impact of this technology.  Controlled research indicates that the Bioregional Dashboard significantly enhances several dimensions of systems thinking.  With support from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, we are working to develop Environmental Dashboard as a technology that can be employed in communities throughout the Great Lakes and beyond.

Session I.2.  (201 Clapp).  Building successful and sustainable academic and community partnerships for Great Lakes stewardship.  Partnerships and collaborations can be very rewarding and productive if developed around common goals and mutual benefits.  Academic institutions can realize enhanced capabilities by sharing resources and expertise with one another.  Community conservation groups often welcome student service learners who gain valuable and practical lessons that augment STEM classroom instruction.  Local government agencies can find focused expertise and state-of-the-art capabilities in university labs that enable the latest environmental testing methods.  Unfortunately, these collaborations are often very difficult to start and sustain because of disproportionate expectations, lopsided benefits, or inflexible administrations.  The organizers will discuss aspects of successful partnerships and unsuccessful attempts in their water quality work in the Saginaw Bay Watershed and elsewhere in mid-Michigan.
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Hall
  • Environmental Dashboard
  • Building Successful Partnerships

Concurrent Session II  (details)
Session II.1 (Cleveland Botanical Garden).  Vacant to Vibrant Redeveloping Vacant Land as Green Infrastruture in Great Lakes Cities.  With funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Cleveland Botanical Garden is launching a four-year project, Vacant to Vibrant, will provide a roadmap and experimental, ground-based model to accomplish diverse ecosystem benefits, specifically: (a) systematical repurposing vacant land in the Great Lakes basin; and (b) increasing Great Lakes ecosystem health by establishing a network of vacant small-parcel green infrastructure (GI) projects, initiating neighborhood-based monitoring, operations and maintenance of vacant sites turned to green infrastructure, and encompassing a broad network of professionals and citizen scientists in Great Lakes cities.  The city teams are meeting all day at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the purpose of this session is to stimulate collaboration between the city teams and the GLISTEN clusters in Buffalo, Cleveland, and Gary.

Session II.2 (108 Clapp).  Improving Urban Watersheds by enhancing opportunities for civic engagement.  In 2012, the Urban Watersheds Igniting Streams of Learning In Science (UWISLS) Program was begun as a partnership of four universities (Case Western Reserve, Hiram, Kent State, Akron) three school districts (Brooklyn, Cleveland Municipal, Parma), and two agencies (Cleveland Metroparks, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District). Our workshop provides a progress report of an on-going program utilizing undergraduate stewardship liaisons as agents of change modeling best practices in inquiry based high school STEM education while simultaneously improving local urban watersheds through education and biomonitoring efforts.  Our workshop will model: 1) ways of improving learning by reversing roles of students and teachers, and 2) a heuristic assessment system evaluating attitudes and performance of all participants.  We also provide examples of how the program advances goals of each partner.
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Hall or CBG
  • Vacant to Vibrant
  • Urban Watersheds
  • Session 2.3--NA

Reception and Poster Session  
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 5:15 PM - 6:45 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Keynote Presentation  
Add to calendarFriday, March 15, 2013 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden

Saturday, March 16  

Breakfast and Poster Setup  
Add to calendarSaturday, March 16, 2013 8:00 AM - 8:45 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Hovorka Atrium

Concurrent Session III  (details)
Session III.1 (room 201 Clapp Hall).  Civic  Engagement: Pedagogical Challenges and Student Learning Gains.  Utilizing the natural ecosystems of the Cleveland Metroparks for research in undergraduate laboratory courses offers excellent opportunities for civic engagement, but also poses unique pedagogical challenges. We report on the results of employing a joint laboratory module with a civic engagement component in two existing ecology and aquatic biology laboratory courses. Students worked collaboratively to collect, analyze, and present data to assess a number of primary headwater streams in the West Creek watershed of Cleveland Metroparks. Using pre- and post-module evaluations of student learning gains, course evaluations, peer assessments, grading rubrics, and instructor observations we assessed the effectiveness of the module in: (1) fostering awareness of watershed health and management, (2) developing skills in identifying patterns and analyzing data, (3) working productively in collaborative groups, and (4) understanding the process of data-based decision making in a natural resource management setting.

Session III.2 (room 108 Clapp Hall).  Environmental Heroes.  Middle and High School students participating in the Environmental Heroes Citizen Science program in the Cleveland Metroparks will share their field research related around the abundance and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.  Students will discuss and interpret the data collected and lessons learned around the field work in this after-school program. 

Add to calendarSaturday, March 16, 2013 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Hall
  • Pedagogical Challenges
  • Environmental Heroes

Concurrent Session IV  (details)
Session IV.1.  (201 Clapp Hall).  Student Forum on Future Vision.   This session is an opportunity for college and high school students attending the conference to develop and share their vision of what they want the Great Lakes ecosystem to be like in 2050.  Participants will be asked to articulate what they plan to do to make that vision a reality, and how current STEM educators can help them get started.  The vision and action steps will be shared during the closing session of the conference.

Session IV.2. (108 Clapp Hall) Land to Lake Stewardship Curricula.  This session will feature a variety of K-12 curricula focused on promoting the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.   First will be an introduction to The Alliance for the Great Lakes’ curriculum "Great Lakes in My World" (97 lesson plans) and and overview of the Adopt-a-Beach™ citizen science, place-based, service-learning program. Participants will receive sample lesson plans that teach about human-environmental interaction and impacts on our watersheds. Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District will then provide an overview of  Project Food, Land and People (55 hands-on lessons) which explores the interdependence of agriculture, the environment and human needs. Also introduced will be the Nutrients for Life Foundation (NTF) curriculum, which provides science-based education on the value nutrients play in feeding growing a population. Each participant will receive the NLF curriculum and additional educational resources.
Add to calendarSaturday, March 16, 2013 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Hall
  • Student Forum on Vision for Future
  • Land to Lakes K-12 Curricula

Lunch and Poster Session  (details)
An opportunity for Stewardship Liaisons to demonstrate how science and civic engagement can be incorporated into undergraduate coursework in ways that promote engagement of the general public in environmental stewardship.
Add to calendarSaturday, March 16, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Hovorka Atrium

Closing Plenary Panel  
Add to calendarSaturday, March 16, 2013 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Clapp Auditorium


Contact Information

  • Joseph F. Koonce, co-Director
    SENCER Center for Innovation Great Lakes
    Case Western Reserve University
    Department of Biology
    Cleveland, OH 44106-7080

    Phone: (216) 368-3561
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