published December 31, 1969

SENCER E-Newsletter, March 2004, Volume 2, Issue 7

SENCER Co-Sponsors Symposium at NSTA Meeting

Environmental Literacy and Decision Making: an Interdisciplinary Goal for the 21st Century

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Society for College Science Teachers is co-sponsoring a two-part symposium on Environmental Literacy and Decision Making at the 2004 meeting of the National Science Teachers Association in Atlanta, GA on Friday, April 2, 2004. As part of its national dissemination activities, SENCER is cosponsoring this Symposium.

The first speaker will discuss the interdisciplinary science of complex issues, exploring the basic science necessary to comprehend today's environmental issues. A panel of college/university teachers of science, participants in SENCER projects, will illustrate "best practices" of how they engage students in teaching science through the context of complex and unresolved public issues.

The second part of the program considers the many perspectives that are a part of acting on issues that affect individuals and the general public. The featured speaker will be one whose expertise is the basis of ethical decision making - a scientist with a background in ethics. Again, the speaker will be followed by a panel of college/university teachers of science who will discuss how they integrate the sciences and humanities in giving students the tools for making intelligent decisions based on evidence.

The focus will be on science courses normally taken during the first two years of college.

Part I: Environmental Literacy
8:30 - 9:30 AM
Speaker 1: Major Environmental Issues of Today
Charles Driscoll, Distinguished Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Syracuse University

9:30 - 10:30 AM
Panel Discussion: Environmental education in introductory science courses
Presentation and discussion of environmental education modeled by SENCER courses
Trace Jordan, Morse Academic Plan, New York University
Tom Wood, New Century College, George Mason University

Part II: Decision Making

1:00 - 2:00 PM
Speaker 2: Making Rational and Ethical Decisions
Ross Whaley, Former President
College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY

2:00 - 3:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Integrating Science and Ethics in Teaching
Ted Lopushinsky - Making decisions for the common good
Center for Integrative Studies, Michigan State University
Kelly Smith - Common Pitfalls in Ethical Reasoning on Environmental Issues
Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University
Amy Shacter - Teaching Environmental Ethics
Department of Chemistry, Santa Clara University

Environmental studies offers a rich array of complex and unsolved social issues with which to engage students. Because a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues cannot be isolated within the domain of a single traditional discipline, these considerations are often overlooked in university-level science courses—and this is especially true at the introductory level. This two-part symposium pairs science and decision making in promoting environmental literacy.

The symposium will be followed by a reception in celebration of the 25th year of the founding of the SCST. Funding for the reception is being provided by SCST and Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co.