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The world of environmental education continues to grow – as does the importance of the subject matter - and Canadians are leading the way. And two leading organizations are partnering to create opportunities for all stakeholders in our community. They will be announcing a slate of exciting new partnership elements including editorial collaboration and event outreach and engagement.

As many of you know, Alternatives Journal (A\J) was founded as an academic transfer journal in the new study area of ‘environment’ in 1971, only a few years after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring ignited our interest and the same year that Greenpeace was founded. Needless to say, we’ve watched, with incredible admiration, as environmental educators have continued to meet the changing needs of both students and society.

Today, more than 115+ Colleges and Universities offer environmental programs across the country, with more than 1100+ courses to choose from. And the savviest educators have understood that they need to continue to ensure the relevancy of their programs and courses while providing the best pathways to employment for graduates.

With this in mind, the team here at A\J was very excited to enter into discussions with the Canadian College and University Environmental Network (CCUEN-RCCUE), an organization established to bring together environmental educators at universities, colleges, CEGEPs, technical institutes, and similar organizations that offer educational programs in any environmental field.

The mission of the CCUEN-RCCUE is closely aligned with ours: “To facilitate communication, information sharing and collaborative action among post-secondary environmental educators.” And the mandate of the organization, as stated by the Board of the CCUEN-RCCUE, is also closely aligned with A\J’s core mission: “A network that effectively promotes, enhances and advocates for quality environmental post-secondary education and programs in Canada.”

Sounds like a great fit, right? The correct answer, to steal a line from the environmentally-challenged Sarah Palin, is YOU BETCHA! And, as a result, we are very pleased to announce that A\J has become a Founding Partner of the CCUEN-RCCUE. We are very honoured to be included in such illustrious company.

From editorial development to knowledge mobilization to employer engagement to public outreach and events, the opportunities for collaboration to foster a more robust environmental education community are numerous and very exciting. And, during our conversations with the team from CCUEN-RCUE, we came to realize that they shared our excitement about pioneering new ways and new solutions to enhance the overall impacts of our work on these endeavours.

Professor Stephen Bocking (Trent University) and CCUEN-RCCUE’s Co-Chair believes that this partnership with A\J will provide important benefits to his membership, stating “our network of college and university environmental programs is, like Alternatives Journal, committed to strengthening environmental education across Canada. We're delighted to be partnering with a publication that has become, after 45 successful years, essential to the Canadian environmental community. We look forward to sharing ideas and working together to build a better future for our students and the planet.”

A\J’s long-time Publisher, Marcia Ruby, added that “I see this partnership as a logical extension of our on-going work to support environmental education and, I believe, it will allow both partners to grow the overall awareness of this vital and important study area. Today, more than ever, Canada and the world need a wealth of bright minds to recommend and implement new solutions to address the current impacts of climate change. Together with the CCUEN-RCCUE, we look forward to growing the footprint and the impact of the Canadian environmental education community for the better of all Canadians.”

Our first public collaboration will occur in the run up to – and during – CCUEN-RCCUE’s annual conference, scheduled this year for Halifax, NS on May 12th-13th. The 2016 Conference Theme is ‘The Environment and Sustainability Across the Campus and Curriculum’. A\J is looking forward to working with the team from CCUEN-RCCUE to develop and deliver a compelling presentation/panel discussion – and to get a chance to meet all the members of this national organization to share ideas, innovation and inspiration.

Stay tuned for more exciting news about the many opportunities implicit in this new and exciting partnership. Together with the CCUEN-RCCUE, we are excited to be pondering ways to build more communications capacity for our community AND to help build a strong and vibrant ‘jobs pathway for our graduates.

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