UC-CSU Knowledge Action Network

For Transformative Climate and Sustainability Education and Action

The emerging UC-CSU Knowledge Action Network for Transformative Climate and Sustainability Education and Action is a collaborative effort of UC and CSU educators to scale and intensify California students’ literacy in climate change, climate justice, carbon neutrality/greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and sustainability. Both the University of California (UC) system and California State University (CSU) system have placed great emphasis on sustainability education, community engaged scholarship, and carbon neutrality in recent years, and this project seeks to merge those efforts for the mutual advantage of California students.

This knowledge action network (KAN) is nascent. By design, strategy informing the network’s process is emergent and dependent upon collaboration, from both UC and CSU faculty.  In its first year the KAN brought together UC and CSU faculty and teaching staff in four area teams to collaborate virtually in addition to meeting once at different campuses across the state. During these in-person site visits each area team learned about existing sustainability and climate education activities at a designated campus, surfaced challenges and opportunities, visioned toward the future, assessed what is needed to operationalize the vision, and identified and prioritized actions for their area team, all with a lens toward faculty engagement in transforming the education of all California students in climate change issues. Area teams participated in a culminating virtual conference and KAN summary report to mobilize the network into collaborative action.

Our proposed knowledge action network (KAN) aims to provide California educators a collaborative framework to facilitate highly integrative sustainability and climate education and action. The KAN will accelerate California educators’ abilities to offer climate change, climate justice, carbon neutrality/greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and sustainability education to all Californian students in ways that are culturally contextualized, responsive and sustaining, as well as actionable and relevant to their futures. The network will also enable California educators to engage across and beyond our educational institutions for transformative climate action over time.

We affirm the essential roles social scientists, humanists, educators, and arts and culture play in advancing transformative climate action. We affirm the roles of California faculty in supporting younger generations to act on climate and in reaching beyond the campus to engage various publics to accelerate the shifts we must make for a livable and just future.

We affirm the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 4.7:  “To ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”

With respect to climate change, climate justice, carbon neutrality/greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and sustainability education, we expect that by Fall 2017, CSU and UC network participants:

• Will have a shared understanding of where their goals intersect across institutions.
• Will have begun to create the mechanisms, systems, and relationships needed to leverage each other’s resources, knowledge, and networks to achieve those shared goals (i.e., the beginnings of an open access network).
• Will have assessed what elements of their shared goals may benefit from coordinated state-level educational policy advocacy or resource allocation requests.
• Will feel more supported in developing or furthering their own education initiatives in the local context of their own campuses’ existing sustainability educational and operational strategies.
• Will have developed a robust statement of what culturally contextualized, responsive and sustaining, actionable and transformative climate and sustainability education means for California’s diverse student populations.

With respect to California educators’ engagement across and beyond our educational institutions for transformative climate action, by Fall 2017, CSU and UC network participants:

• Will have increased institutional visibility in Sacramento on these issues.
• Will have laid the foundations for a P-20 project, initiative, or set of resources for California teachers.
• Will have gained or expanded individual and collective public engagement skills.

The KAN emerges out of the Faculty Engagement and Education Working Group of the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council. The working group, comprised of UC faculty from across the state, seeks to connect with and learn from faculty peers across the CSU who are similarly engaged in questions regarding rapid diffusion of climate and sustainability education to broader California audiences. The KAN planning team is currently comprised of UC faculty project lead and project director Dr. John Foran, CSU faculty project lead Sarah Ray, UC Santa Barbara graduate student Theo LeQuesne, and UC Irvine Sustainability Initiative team member Kimberly Serrano. The Planning Team is informed by an advisory committee comprised of UC and CSU principals engaged in P-20 education training, carbon neutrality, and sustainability. If you would like to get involved as a planning team or advisory committee member, please e-mail Project Director, Professor John Foran at foran@soc.ucsb.edu.

Past Call for CSU Collaborators
Past Call for UC Collaborators