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Earthducation Expedition 3 heads to Australia

U of M adventure learning team will explore the links between education and sustainability in far-reaching outposts of the driest inhabited continent

February 20, 2012

How can education advance sustainability? Led by Aaron Doering and Charles Miller of the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, the Earthducation team is traveling to climate hot spots on each continent in search of local answers to this question—and to share what it learns with teachers, students and the general public around the world.

For its third expedition, Earthducation is heading Down Under to the driest inhabited continent on Earth: Australia. Home to plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet as well as the world’s largest coral reef system. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries on Earth. Unfortunately, the continent also has one of the highest extinction rates, and is typically cited as being one of the countries most at risk from climate change.

Doering, who has explored the entire circumpolar Arctic over the past 10 years addressing the issue of climate change, said, “The environment is continually changing, and we are documenting how people on every continent are adapting to this change to secure a sustainable future. Our goal is to create a global tapestry of voices throughout the world around this important issue.”

The expedition is the third in a series of a seven-continent exploration investigating the intersection between education and sustainability. The Earthducation team will travel from the most densely populated region of Australia (the city of Sydney in New South Wales) to the most sparsely populated (the Northern Territory), before heading east to visit the Great Barrier Reef communities along the Queensland coast from February 27 to March 12. During Expedition 3: Australia, topics investigated will include biodiversity, uranium mining, sustainable tourism, the School of the Air (a government-sponsored distance education program for students living in remote communities), the worldwide importance of the Great Barrier Reef, the role of reconciliation in the recent history of Australia, and the contributions and insights of the Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities to both the environment and the culture in this ancient and unique continent.

Visit http://lt.umn.edu/earthducation/ to join the conversation and view the archived expedition field reports and media scrapbooks from Earthducation 1: Burkina Faso and Earthducation 2: Norway.

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