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Environmental Citizenship [clear filter]
Thursday, October 17


Wonder and Awe: How Biophilic Design and Nature-Based Instruction Impact the Student Experience, Room 112
Have you ever been moved to wonder and awe by studying a flower, listening to birdsong, or gazing out upon a sunset? If so, then you have experienced biophilia, our innate human affinity for nature. In this sensory immersive session you will learn how incorporating biophilic design strategies on your campus reduces student stress hormones, aids sleep and digestion, and improves attentiveness, concentration, and memory. We will share examples of seamlessly integrated nature-based instruction, and you will design an outdoor learning environment. Together we can improve the student experience for all learners by harnessing the power of nature.

Wednesday & Thursday Slate
avatar for Anna Harrison

Anna Harrison

Director of Educational Planning, Aedis Architects
Anna Harrison is an educational planning and design professional who draws upon her 30 years of experience to empower school districts to discover and implement their long-range educational vision and mission. A veteran interior designer, community college instructor, and workshop... Read More →
avatar for Hillary Freeman

Hillary Freeman

Dean of Student Life, Grades 5-12, The Nueva School
Since joining Nueva in 2005 as a biology and chemistry teacher, Hillary has willingly taken leadership roles on a variety of programs and projects in the Middle and Upper Schools. Her current focus is on the Upper School as the director of internships, ninth-grade dean, and ninth-grade... Read More →
avatar for John Diffenderfer

John Diffenderfer

President, Aedis Architects
John is the president of Aedis Architects and has nearly 30 years of California school design experience. Formerly chairman of the AIA Silicon Valley Committee on the Environment and chair of the Green Schools Committee for the Northern California Chapter of the USGBC, John has been... Read More →
avatar for Vincent P. Lattanzio

Vincent P. Lattanzio

Principal, Landscape Architect
Vincent Lattanzio brings over 35 years of experience as a project landscape architect and principal-in-charge of public institutional projects. His ability to design inspiring, LEED-certified, sustainable projects adds unique value to his role as project landscape architect. He works... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
Nueva San Mateo Campus 131 E. 28th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403
Friday, October 18


Envisioning a New Future for School Food
The research is clear: What we feed students in school, and what we teach them about food, shapes how they behave and how they learn over the course of the school day. Over a lifetime, the eating habits we set in place for children affect their educational attainment, career advancement, quality of life, and longevity. Across the country, 30 million children count on school cafeterias for their daily nutrition, making schools the nation's largest restaurant chain. Yet today, most of our education system approaches food as a cost center to be minimized, rather than an impact center to be unlocked. In this interactive discussion, FoodCorps CEO Curt Ellis, winner of the Heinz, Peabody, and GQ Leader Awards, will share new research on FoodCorps' work reimagining the role of food in schools and turning our nation's 100,000 school cafeterias into oases of health, community, and empowerment.

Friday Slate
avatar for Curt Ellis

Curt Ellis

Co-Founder & CEO, FoodCorps, Inc.
Curt Ellis is recognized as a leading voice in America’s food movement. After growing up in Oregon and finding his passion for food and agriculture at the Mountain School and Yale, Curt moved to Iowa to investigate the role of subsidized commodities in the American obesity epidemic... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am
Room 219


Environmental Citizenship as a Curricular Pillar – Overview of Frameworks and Practices
At its heart, the Nueva School emphasizes collaborative, life-long learning, social-emotional acuity, and individual agency. As environmental challenges from climate change to plastics in the ocean loom large for society and in the minds of our students, Nueva has formally embraced cultivating environmental citizenship as a key pillar of our educational approach. This session introduces Nueva’s new Environmental Citizenship program, built on the recognition that tomorrow’s graduates will need to be equipped with the knowledge to understand environmental problems, their impact on communities, and how to effectively bring about change. After framing the environmental imperative, this session will showcase multiple existing strands of inquiry, multidisciplinary learning, and community service activities at Nueva, and then will offer first iterations of a cohesive curricular learning and assessment framework for Environmental Citizenship.

Friday Slate
avatar for Aron Walker

Aron Walker

Assistant Director of Environmental Citizenship / Science Teacher, The Nueva School
Aron, a Nueva alum and former Nueva faculty member, returns to be the assistant director of environmental citizenship. Aron previously taught chemistry, environmental science, and mathematics at Nueva and is passionate about student engagement in science research and field learning... Read More →
avatar for Tanja Srebotnjak

Tanja Srebotnjak

Director of Environmental Citizenship and Upper School Teacher, The Nueva School
Tanja heads the Environmental Citizenship program, which aims to instill optimism, resilience, and a bias toward action on environmental issues. She holds a PhD in environmental statistics and policy from Yale and previously worked at the United Nations, the National Resources Defense... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 10:50am - 11:50am
Room 1202


Climate Change: What You Can Do to Make a Difference
Climate change is the existential threat of our time. Sounds ominous, right? There are solutions, there are things you can do that can make a difference and put us on a better path for our children and future generations. Matt James will provide an update on the state of climate change globally and in the US, describing opportunities to make positive changes and what individuals and families can do that will have an impact.

Friday Slate
avatar for Matt James

Matt James

Senior Counselor, GMMB
Matt has long been a nonprofit and philanthropic leader and is recognized as an innovator in communications initiatives for social good, both in the Bay Area and nationally. Matt’s award-winning contributions extend to strategic communications and campaigns in health, climate change... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 12:40pm - 1:40pm
Room 1202


Brain Health & Climate Change
Environmental stress driven by weather extremes and related natural disasters is becoming an inescapable part of our lives, and will only be exacerbated by continuing climate change. While the impacts of environmental change, such as increasing heat waves and wild fires, on physical health have been studied in some detail, there is minimal understanding of the impact of environmental stress on mental health. This is especially critical in California, with the increasingly frequent wildfires driven by a changing climate in recent years. In this talk, I will introduce our recent collaborations with climate scientists, epidemiologists, and community psychologists to parse the impact of climate change on mental health and explore how neuroscience can contribute to this understanding.

Friday Slate
avatar for Jyoti Mishra

Jyoti Mishra

Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego
Dr. Mishra is the founder of the Neural Engineering and Translational Labs at UC San Diego. She is a neuroscientist with expertise in attention, learning, and brain plasticity. Her lab innovates neurotechnologies for scalable brain health mapping, monitoring, and precision therapeutics... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 1:50pm - 2:50pm
Room 1202


Teaching Climate Change for Awareness, Ardency, and Action
Today's youth are leading the movement for climate justice, yet our education system fails to deliver on the great challenge of our time.  Climate change, if taught at all, is still too often framed as a scientific problem (rather than a political one), as an environmental problem (rather than an all-encompassing humanitarian injustice), and as a distant problem in both time and space (rather than an immediate lived reality).  Solutions are too often given as changing lightbulbs, rather than the necessary systemic restructuring of the global economy.  I will speak about my experience as a climate scientist-turned-educator and what I've learned about inspiring students to tackle this great challenge.  I believe that climate educators' delivery must be honest, definite, impassioned, and empowering.  Students can handle the truth about the gravity of what we face, the forces keeping us mired in the status quo, and what we must do to break out.  Educators must learn to do the same.

Friday Slate
avatar for Zachary Brown

Zachary Brown

Founding Director, Inian Islands Institute
Zach Brown grew up surrounded by the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. With parents in the National Park Service, Zach had ample opportunity as a boy to explore the mountains and fjords of this region, experiences that gave him an abiding love of the natural world. He studied chemistry... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 346


FOOD REVOLUTION - The Intersection of Unapologetic Deliciousness, Human Health, and Health of the Environment 
This presentation utilizes current national dietary guidelines and published databases to evaluate the impacts of reasonable shifts in the amount and type of protein intake in the United States on the intersection of human and environmental health. The established scientific basis and recommendations for protein intake as described in the US Dietary Reference Intakes are reviewed. Data on food availability from both the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and data on consumption from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey are used to examine estimates of current US protein consumption. Greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalents [CO2eq]) and blue and green water impacts of US protein consumption resulting from US agricultural practices were obtained from previously published meta-analyses. A 25% decrease in protein intake paired with a 25% shift from animal food to plant food protein intake — from an 85:15 ratio to a 60:40 ratio—would best align protein intake with national dietary recommendations while simultaneously resulting in 40% fewer CO2eq emissions and 10% less consumptive water use. The modeling of this strategy suggests a savings of 129 billion kilograms of CO2eq and 3.1 trillion gallons of water relative to current consumption.

Friday Slate
avatar for Christopher Gardner

Christopher Gardner

Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University
Dr. Gardner holds a PhD in nutrition science and is a professor of medicine at Stanford University. For the past 20 years his research has examined the potential health benefits of dietary components such as soy, garlic, antioxidants, ginkgo, omega-3 fats, vegetarian diets, and weight-loss... Read More →

Friday October 18, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Room 1105