SC minutes 10/21/2020

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EEAC Steering Committee Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, ZOOM Conference

Participants:Fran Agnon
 Isa Del Bello
 River DiLeo
 E. Shig Matsukawa
 Bonnie McGuire
 Mary Most
 Ray Pultinas
 Bonnie Ralston
 Andy Stone (EEAC)
 Christina Tobitsch (NYSOEA)
 Robert Wallace
 Mike Zamm

Committee Reports and Updates

  1. Approved previous meeting minutesĀ EEACminutes20200916. Correction noted: correct spelling of Christina Tobitsch
  2. Strategic Planning Committee Bonnie R. reported that Strategic Planning committee has been officially disbanded and tasks have been redistributed to other committees. Communications Committee will need to be developed. Towards this end, River has set up a meeting for Monday, November 9 at 5:30 pm
  3. Nominating Committee
    1. Nominating committee working on a formalized calendar and procedures for the nominating process No updates, there have been no recommendations received from form already sent out.
  4. Program Committee – Annual Meeting – no date set yet – aiming for mid November – It will be Virtual. Fran suggested and is willing to take lead to invite the Collaborators from GrowNYC and National Wildlife Federation Collaboration who have been working their Outdoor Learning Toolkit for NYC schools. “The Toolkit is a practical guide to outdoor learning in response to Covid-19 and beyond as we re-envision the future of learning for our students. Learn from teachers who have implemented outdoor learning in the fall of 2020 and those who have already been teaching outside for years.” Fran suggested that it would be interesting to hear a presentation that might enlighten attendees about the process and cast a light on Environmental Education during this time. Mike suggested a roundtable kind of event on the status of environmental issues based on what happens in the November elections. Bonnie McGuire offered to help Mike prep. It was also suggested that the two events could possibly coexist as part of one evening’s meeting. Firming up a date and time for the Annual Meeting might depend on availability of presenters. Reservations expressed about the length of the meeting as Zoom Fatigue is agreed to be a real thing.Mary reminded us of a key purpose to the annual meeting: to vote for steering and committee members. There is a system in place to vote electronically and Mary suggested the possibility of virtual by affirmation. A suggestion was made to look back to Sarah’s suggestions for additional ideas for the annual meeting.
  5. EEAC and NYSOEA Partnership – Christina reminded us of the NYSOEA Annual Conference coming up on the first weekend in November. Planning for this has been her main focus. Relief Fund Campaign is near closure – There was $100 left over. EEAC will contribute remaining $400 and will be invited to make the final selection to officially close the campaign.Some details about the NYSOEA Annual Conference November 5-8. Most of it will be virtual, however Sunday is Regional Outings Day. Organizers are still looking for offerings to host a nature walk or some kind of local outdoor learning activity. Presently, only Staten Island is scheduled to host so more offerings are being sought after especially in the Metro region. Christina is using Hopin – a digital conferencing platform that was first recommended by Sarah Pidgeon.
  6. Communications – Shig, with Fran and River, reported that Clearinghouse Committee just met and database fields are being filled out, there has been progress. The next step is getting it to display on the website. Jean Gazis, a new EEAC member, is helping with website by offering a guide for redesign and will collaborate with Shig. Bonnie McGuire reports having the draft from Lynn. There are two pictures that need captions. Bonnie will email. Discussion then about the continuation and relevance of the newsletter. Arguments made on both sides but some suggestions about moving forward: We are at a crossroads, let’s involve the membership to help steer the future of the newsletter. Blogs are suggested to keep producing content and there seemed to be general consensus that some kind of archive of writing can still be published as a newsletter in the future. The importance of producing content. My suggestion is that these efforts coincide with an attempt to expand our audience. Writers are more motivated to write if they can be assured a wide audience. River pointed out the importance of maintaining content that is timely, up to date.
  7. Environmental Education Projects Forum – Syllabi Bank no further submissions. Presently, at 6 courses (3 professors and 2 colleges) Mike expressed his anticipation of hearing back from Brooklyn College, SUNY Cortlandt, Queens College and will soon investigate Sustainability Education at Manhattanville College. According to their website, “Manhattanville is the only college or university in the region to offer an advanced certificate in Education for Sustainability recognized by the NYS Department of Education.” Discussion then about whether or not to hold annual TEEP (EEPF) Conference again as it has been held in early December. Very favorable support for the idea of holding the event – if nothing else to gather the remarkable attendees again to discuss the most current situation, report updates, reassess past outcomes (like weather stations) and continue discussions. Why not? Mike will revisit idea after early November.
  8. Membership and Finance – Mary was pleased to announce that we have one new lifetime member, Fiona Stolman (?) of City Gardens Club. Fiona is also active in the NY Junior League. A good connection for us. City Gardens sponsors scholarships for Science Teachers. Membership list is up to date and anyone who joins now will be 2021.


River’s next steps – calendar invite for Communications Committee meeting Annual Meeting Planning so far: River, Fran, Mike, Mary Most, Bonnie M.

Meeting adjourned at 6:47

Respectfully Submitted

Raymond Pultinas
EEAC Secretary