At a time when Californians are dismayed about closures of state parks, and protected lands around the globe are under increasing stress from reduced government resources, an innovative institute is arming parks leaders with new information and approaches to sustainability.
The National Parks Institute Executive Leadership Seminar is a collaboration between UC Merced, the National Park Service, the Great Valley Center, the Institute at the Golden Gate, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Stanford Graduate School of Business that aims to connect park and protected area leaders from around the world.
Milton Chen, an international authority on mass media and education, suggested that it’s time for leaders to use a range of tools that cross boundaries and learning styles.
"When we talk about a new frontier in environmental education, these new assessments will head straight toward the kinds of authentic learning that we know happens in environmental education and that happens in our national parks," Chen said, adding that he anticipates these standards to be adopted by a majority of states by 2014. "I expect to see a change in what education is about, where it happens and when it happens."
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