SC minutes 1/19/2022

For readability or to print, Enter Reader View or Show Reader.

EEAC Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
January 19, 2022 
Wednesday 5:30pm – 7pm 
Online Zoom Meeting

Robert Wallace, E. Shig Matsukawa, Mike Zamm, Mary Leou, Bonnie Ralston, Fran Agnone, Isa Del Bello, Ilana Weinstein, Robin Sanchez, Bethany Kogut, Many Most, Amanda Levy, Ray Pultinas, Andy Stone

Quorum for Steering Committee (SC) is majority of SC members. Total SC members: 14. Majority: 8. 

2022 SC meetings: 1/19, 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18, 6/15, 7/20, 8/17, 9/21, 10/19, Nov. Annual Mtg, 12/21.

The following bullet notes for review and approval by the steering committee on 1/19/2022:

  • Meetings will be recorded to allow the secretary to later write up the meeting minutes especially if the secretary needed to participate and/or has missed part of the details of a discussion, or is absent.
  • The chat will also be saved to refer to for the meeting minutes (such as, to include linked documents).
  • This google doc, “EEACmeetingAgendas,” will be re-used for every steering committee meeting:
    • After each meeting, this doc will be copied with filename format, “EEACmeetingAgenda20220119”
      • After which the date of this doc will be changed to the next SC meeting..
      • Steering committee members (and liaisons) can then edit this doc for the next meeting.
      • Link to this doc can always be found in the internal home page: (SC members, login required).
        For non-SC members without access to the internal section, the link can be emailed to them.

Committee Reports and Updates

Meeting Minutes/ Agendas

  1. Approve previous meeting minutes: 
    EEACminutes20201215 [updated 1/18/2022]

Minutes were approved — Isa and Ray explained process of approving minutes for new SC members. 

Fran: Today is a bit of a learning meeting for new members, we will explain each item as we go along.

  1. Nominations

Mary: slate has been voted on and approved unanimously. Welcome 4 new members, Robyn Ilana, Amanda, Bethany. We are honored to have our 4 new members!  

Everyone did brief introductions of themselves (new and existing SC members). 

  1. Committee assignments
    1. Who is/will be in what committee? – EEAC committee one-pagers (PDF) 

This is something we will cover in our retreats — new members should review at some point.

  1. Adaptive Plan
    1. Retreat: 1/25/2022 (Tue) 5:30 pm

Looking at 2 retreats — ideally in person. Given Omicron etc. we will be meeting virtually, at least for the first one. Bonnie will send info to new members and a doodle poll. 

Part 1: “Who is in the room?” — this is an opportunity to learn about new members and existing members can re-introduce themselves. We will discuss what it means to be a SC member.

Part 2: SC 101 — There will be questions in advance and some documents to look at before the meeting. 

  1. Finance
    1. Finance & Membership Final Report for Calendar Year / Fiscal Year 2021: 
    2. Updating bank signatories

Thank you Mary M for your service! Such a valued member of the SC and you will be missed!

Mary will send final 2021 report via email to whole steering    committee in the coming month—Final report linked above.

  1. Membership
    1. Updates on membership numbers
    2. Lists maintenance (clarifications: who/which committee manages which list)
    3. Membership management system (with Communications Committee/Website)
      1. Membership current webpage: 
      2. Draft – revised Membership webpage: 

Mary put membership stats in the agenda:

EEAC membership stats 202201
  1. EEAC and NYSOEA Partnership

Mary L. gave a brief background for new SC members: NYSOEA got involved with us when we were working on an environmental literacy plan ~10 years ago. There was a natural opportunity for EEAC to partner/connect/collaborate with a group that works on a state-wide basis. Like us they have an annual conference and are membership driven. We also have joint membership with NYSOEA (2 for 1). Idea that there is power in numbers. We are always open to more opportunities to partner further. 

Mike also gave some background: After the effort to infuse EE concepts into the New York State Syllabus and Curriculum, which NYSOEA helped with was successfully completed there was a time that some NYSOEA members developed an anti-urban bias which was reflected at one of their conferences. However by the end of the 1990’s EEAC and NYSOEA were working together again. When we started TEEP they were in support of that. They published the TEEP whitepaper in their newsletter.

  1. Programs
    1. Sarah and Fran need to set-up regular recurring meetings to work toward setting event calendar this year. Will aim to have meetings established before next month’s meeting.

Programming committee will have their first meeting time set by next month’s SC meeting.

  1. Projects Forum (Environmental Education Projects Forum). 
    1. Syllabi Bank update: EEAC-TEEP-Syllabi-Bank-stats-2021-all.pdf (through 12/31/2021)
    2. Weather Station
    3. Climate Solution Center on Governors Island (City College group)
    4. Right to Learn How Nature Works (internal page; webpage:

Mike gave background for new SC members: EEPF grew out of TEEP. It was an initiative to get colleges to adopt EE in their programs. The forum grew as a yearly workshop at Teachers College and then moved to NYU. It evolved into EEPF. The main piece of TEEP is the syllabi bank. EEPF is an annual project forum where environmental educators get together to exchange ideas. The biggest challenge is to put projects that arise from EEPF into action — this is the biggest focus for next steps. The next piece of EEPF is training for teachers (10 courses on syllabi bank). We have seen lots of traffic on the syllabi bank.18 months — over 1100 downloads. 

We also became involved in a campaign to add “the Right to Learn How Nature Works” to formal documents in New York State. Through that effort EEAC became involved in the campaign to include an environmental. rights amendment in the NYS Constitution. This was approved by the voters this past November but it did not include a mention of environmental education or nature education. The next step is to get something specifically about environmental education in a formal State and/or City Proclamation. 

Another project is to get a weather station in every school to study climate change. Covid put a big pause on this. It’s beginning to gain momentum again. The High School of environmental studies is interested in getting a station. Robyn has sent a list of 32 schools that may be a good fit. We are holding off on further recruitment until omicron has let up.  

Amanda suggested NYCHA

Shig suggested LUNGS

Update for Governors Island Center for Climate Solutions: 12 applicants reduced to 4 – competitors are MIT, Columbia (one other not mentioned) and City College. Our bid for support was for City College, which is one of the 4 finalists.  

  1. Communications
    1. Communications Committee Meeting (1st Wednesdays, 5:30-7 pm)
      1. Previous meeting updates: 1/5/2022
        Details in communications committee meeting agenda:
      2. Next meeting: 2/2/2022
      3. Branding revamp: EEAC Rebranding Plan [PDF 1/5/2022]
        1. Rebranding/Redesign of Logo – what are the next steps for this?
          (See email 12/27/2021, subject: “EEAC identity — are you sitting down?” from Bonnie R.)
        2. What sort of investment should we make?

Bonnie R. Reached out to a colleague from the New School as a potential fit for a student project but the timeline/program in question doesn’t work — the program is too short. However her colleague suggested working through a professional design group where they would work on the typography, color palette, skins for the website, printed material and other ephemera. This would amount to 3 months of work and be 10K. This gives us a ballpark as an Initial starting point. In soliciting design work we would need to do some kind of compensation: you get what you pay for. What would be the bare minimum? 10K is beyond our operating budget — what are the things we should prioritize? Identity, typography, skins for website.

Robyn suggested Bellweather, DDC’s town and gown program, FIT students. Bonnie asked if there is compensation for students? No compensation from the agency but students put this work in their portfolio. It is a prestigious program so students do their best work.  

Mary L: Many students take on this type of work as their thesis. Students are often looking for real world projects because they serve as resume builders and a foot in the door.  Mary and Bob will think of, and send along NYU contacts. 

Fran: There is a parent from PS 110 who volunteered for graphic design work and is fantastic. Rran will reach out to them to get suggestions. 

Next steps are to continue to research options and then regroup. If it is something fee or stipend based, the SC will need to agree what is an acceptable amount to pay. 

  1. Revisit Membership Engagement Strategies [PDF] (with Membership committee)
    1. Would like to set aside time with Mary M and Comms to discuss:
      1. Timing for renewals
      2. Membership management systems
      3. Online membership management system
  1. Newsblog
    1. Most recent 11/14/2021: Newsblog: Passage of the Environmental Rights Amendment
      1. Looking for submissions!
      2. List of newsblogs: Newsblog (Link also in Sitemap at bottom of most webpages)
  1. Communications with Members 
    1. Membership benefits, Member welcome packet on website
    2. SC Welcome packet as an internal page on website
    3. Social media presence: What is our identity? What are our goals? How do we increase engagement? 

      Isa: Regarding our social media, we have very little engagement and followers. In the coming year we would like to increase this — it will require a different approach towards what and how we post.

      Mary: It takes a lot of dedication, having one person dedicated. It’s a job and takes staffing time. It needs to be something of interest that is attractive to people. Our website has been successful because of the syllabi bank, where there is a clear need — it’s something people want. How do we transfer this to our social media? It’s a challenge.

      Another method is promoting member organizations and doing cross promotion. Another idea is to show people on the back end, providing a face to the organization. Showing the person and the voice to followers and the story behind the organization. We also want to have a call to action so that people have something to do.

    4. Listserv — Way to make more intentional? 
      1. Channels that members subscribe to?
      2. System of vetting what goes out to the whole list? 
      3. Next step: ask other groups how they manage (NYSOEA, NYCMER etc.)
  1. Communications among committee/sub-committee members:
    1. Steering Committee email list, 15 emails in this list.
    2. Communications Committee email list, 9 emails in this list.
    3. Others?
  1. Steps to set up a paid Zoom account for EEAC (Pro account $149.90/year)?
    There’s a 30% off right now (offer ends 1/31).

Fran will take a stab using paypal to set up EEAC zoom account. Use info@eeac gmail for account 

  1. Website updates (Shig). See item #6 in the following: 

Definition of a few different pages: 

Local Links–  A list of environmental organizations that service NYC schools. You don’t have to be a member to access. It’s the basis for links that we provided to schools for field trips, and was the base for DOE EE field trip list. EEAC provides this free resource to the public.  

Database — Searchable list of local organizations, curricula, and services. Members can list their organizations/services. There is more information listed for the courses they offer for PD. The database came from TEEP because they found that there was no central place to find EE PD. This project has kind of stalled because organizations need to self-submit or approve that we list them. River did a lot of research for organizations that do PD and had done some outreach to gain permission to post on our website. We have 110 orgs in a spreadsheet and need to continue outreach so that we can get on the website. 

  • We wiil shoehorn this into the communications committee meeting for now.  
  • The database should be renamed as professional development resources. 

Other resources page — This is a list of organizations beyond NYC. It is not yet live. Still undecided if we want to make this live in the near future. Amanda suggests we have other resources as a map rather than a list

  1. Other business
  1. Next steering committee meeting: 2/16/2022