- Using the data to develop strategies; Snapshot and the King County Environmental Behavior Survey
- How cities measure improvements in sustainable community conditions
- Correlating Snapshot and Green School Certification actions
- STAR Community Rating System – A new “Sustainability Report Card” for American Cities
- One Planet Communities – A world-wide development group creating a network of Earth’s greenest neighborhoods
- What’s happening at the Puget Sound Regional Scale?
- What’s happening in State Government?
- What’s happening at the Pacific Northwest Scale?
- What’s happening globally?
- Timeline Patterns - Charting Behavior over Time
- Systems Thinking Inquiries
- Four Scenarios for the Future - Backcasting Policy Decisions
Snapshot Data Analysis and ActionLesson Ideas for the Classroom
What does the Snapshot data show?
1. What environmental topics did the survey focus on? Make a list.
- Attitudes about our role in maintaining a healthy environment
- Ideas about how government can best ensure a healthy environment
- Waste management: recycling, composting, dog waste, e-waste, packaging
- Lawn and garden care
- Food purchasing and consumption
- Energy conservation
- Water conservation: Leaking toilets
- Toxic chemicals in the water or in consumer products
- Knowledge about pollution in Puget Sound and stormwater
- Transportation choices
2. As you study the aggregated results for each topic, what does the data tell us about the collective knowledge and behavior of students in our school?
3. Where are we strongest in our collective knowledge and behavior? Where are the gaps?
4. Are there any results that surprise you?
5. Which topic areas seem pretty obvious? Which ones are confusing? What would you need to research to improve your understanding?
6. Are there other demographics within and beyond our school that reveal different data? Does it matter what city we live in? Whether we own or rent a house or apartment? Does gender reveal any difference in knowledge or behavior?
Using the data to develop strategies; Snapshot and the King County Environmental Behavior Survey
7. The questions you answered in Snapshot mirror many of the questions in the King County Environmental Behavior Survey. What do you notice about the structure of this site? http://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/measures/2012/performance/en-resident-stewardship.aspx
8. For a closer look at the data on the King County 2011 Environmental Behavior Survey look for the heading “Technical Notes.” Click on “King County Environmental Survey Report 2011”. It will take you to a pdf of the full 2011 survey with all of the questions. Choose a few topics from the King County Environmental Behavior Survey to compare to our Snapshot data. How do students in 2014 match up with adults surveyed in 2011? (Note that King County is currently conducting their own 2014 update so it will be interesting to compare when the data comes online.)
9. Based on what you discover, how would you prioritize actions to improve knowledge and behavior at home, at school or in your community? Where would you start? What strategies do you think would work? How would you budget for these efforts?
10. Compare the strategies you developed for your home, school or community with the 5-Year King County Strategic Plan. What are the County’s goals and how will they do them? What do you notice about what the County has chosen to prioritize? What process did they use to decide what to prioritize? Which of these strategic actions overlap most with actions you can take at home, at school or in your community? http://www.kingcounty.gov/exec/PSB/StrategicPlan/CountyStratPlan.aspx
How cities measure improvements in sustainable community conditions
11. Here are some useful entry points for analyzing how local cities use data to drive improvements in sustainable community conditions. Take some time to study each city website to improve your own understanding of the strategies that governments are using. How do the different cities structure their webpages? What behaviors are emphasized? How do they gather data? How do they use used data to improve decision making?
City of Issaquah: “How Sustainable Are We? http://www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/index.aspx?NID=373
City of Kirkland: “Green Kirkland” http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Community/Kirkland_Green.htm
City of Redmond “Community Indicators” (digital book)
City of Seattle: “Office of Sustainability & the Environment” http://www.seattle.gov/environment/
Also check out the impressive list of Seattle’s sustainability accomplishments in 2013. http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/OSE/OSE-2013Accomplishments%20Report_FINAL.pdf
12. Now that you have compared a few cities, try conducting the same analysis for another city or for your own city if you don’t live in Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond or Seattle. Search for: City (name) / sustainability / green / environment / comprehensive plan / community indicators
Correlating Snapshot and Green School Certification Actions
13. How does the Snapshot data from our school correlate to Green School Certification actions? When you compare the two, which actions does the data suggest we should prioritize?
a. King County Green Schools: For King County schools excluding Seattle: http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenschools/index.asp
b. Washington Green Schools: For Seattle schools and any Washington State school outside of King County: http://www.wagreenschools.org/
c. Seattle Schools Resource Conservation Office: Annual data from each school here: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?
d. Green Ribbon Schools: The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honors schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide goal of increasing energy independence and economic security. http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html
STAR Community Rating System A "Sustainability Report Card" for American Cities
14. How does the data from our school correlate with the seven goals and 44 objectives of the STAR Community Rating System? STAR stands for “Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating” and it is the first set of national standards for tracking sustainability actions at the community scale. It is like a sustainability report card for every city in America. STAR was piloted in 2013 by King County and the cities of Seattle and Tacoma plus 27 other communities around the nation. By the end of 2013, Tacoma was the first city in the country to achieve a STAR rating.
The basic framework of goals and objectives is outlined on this page: http://www.starcommunities.org/rating-system/framework
In order to develop the STAR Framework the national steering committee needed to first agree on the principles that define a sustainable city. They came up with ten:
You or your teacher can download the free Rating System Overview here which explains what a city needs to do to achieve a rating in each of 44 indicators:
Check out the map at this link to see which cities are participating in the STAR Rating System so far. http://www.starcommunities.org/communities
In 2014, Seattle was rated the most sustainable city in the United States. When you view the Seattle Rating Report you can pull down each menu to learn what Seattle is doing to lead the nation. https://reporting.starcommunities.org/communities/31-seattle-washington
One Planet Communities – A world-wide development group creating a network of Earth’s greenest neighborhoods
15. A One Planet Community is a development where not only are the buildings designed to be as energy efficient as possible, but where there are also the services, infrastructure and design features that make it as easy, attractive and affordable for people to do the environmentally friendly thing. The program uses 10 One Planet principles to structure a holistic response to the unique sustainability challenges of a development project. As an open source framework, the 10 One Planet principles can be used by anyone to structure their approach to sustainable development.
How does our Snapshot data, the STAR Community Rating system, or your own city’s community indicators relate to the actions needed to be registered as a One-Planet Community? http://www.oneplanetcommunities.org/about-2/approach/the-10-principles/
What’s happening at the Puget Sound Regional Scale?
16. Puget Sound Regional Council: (Four Counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap)
How does the data from Snapshot correlate with the 2040 Vision established by the Puget Sound Regional Council, an association of cities, towns, counties, ports, and state agencies that serves as a forum for developing policies and making decisions about regional growth management, environmental, economic, and transportation issues in the four-county central Puget Sound region of Washington state? http://www.psrc.org/growth/vision2040/
a. How is the Puget Sound Regional Council organized?
b. At what geographic scale?
c. How does the 2040 Vision for regional scale strategies inform local decision making?
d. How does it relate to our city or my neighborhood?
17. Puget Sound Partnership – Sound Behavior Index: The index is based on a survey of 3,600 Puget Sound residents. The first survey was in 2012. The survey asked questions about 28 indicator behaviors, each of which has the potential to impact the health of Puget Sound and its tributary streams and rivers. These behaviors were selected because they are repetitive, individual or residential scale practices that can be tracked using standard survey methods. View the data table here: http://www.psp.wa.gov/vitalsigns/sound_behavior_index.php#!
For a full review of the data including all of the question asked and the methodology used see:
a. What indicators for the Sound Behavior Index overlap with King County’s Environmental Behavior Survey and with Snapshot? How does our school rank?
b. How are Puget Sound residents doing?
c. Do you notice significant differences from county to county?
d. What is meant by “Social Capital?”
e. What does the Puget Sound Partnership do with the data they collect?
18. Puget Sound Partnership – Vital Signs Dashboard: How does the data from our school correlate with the Vital Signs Dashboard developed by the Puget Sound Partnership to track progress towards restoring the Puget Sound ecosystem based on 6 goals and 21 objectives? http://www.psp.wa.gov/vitalsigns/index.php
a. What indicators on the Vital Signs Dashboard overlap with the Sound Behavior Index, King County’s Environmental Behavior Index and Snapshot?
b. Scanning the Project Atlas page, what do you notice about the distribution of projects? Are there a significant number of projects in your area? What projects might you design to contribute?
c. How does data on the Puget Sound Report Card page relate to your own report card?
19. The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound a website maintained by the Puget Sound Institute, is the collective knowledge of leading experts from state and federal agencies, academic institutions and local tribes. It is a primary source for synthesized scientific information about Puget Sound with content built around seven broad topics that cross academic disciplines including: Biology, Chemistry, Physical Environment, Climate Change, Ecosystem-Based Management, Social and Economic Sciences, and Threats. http://www.eopugetsound.org/
20. Puget Sound Ecosystem Services: Earth Economics is a non-profit located in Tacoma providing robust, science-based, ecologically sound economic analysis, policy recommendations and tools to positively transform regional, national and international economics, and asset accounting systems. Read the ground-breaking economic assessment of the dollar value of Puget Sound ecosystem services. Click on “See the Report.” http://www.eartheconomics.org/Page131.aspx
What’s happening in State Government?
What’s happening at the Pacific Northwest Scale?
22. How does the Snapshot data from our school correlate with the Cascadia Scorecard administered by Sightline Institute? http://www.sightline.org/pubtype/scorecard/
a. What does the Cascadia Scorecard measure?
b. At what geographic scale?
c. Who is the intended audience?
23. Climate Change Impacts in the Pacific Northwest: The Climate Impacts Group (CIG), based at the University of Washington, is an interdisciplinary research group studying the impacts of natural climate variability and global climate change. Research at the CIG considers climate impacts at spatial scales ranging from local communities to the entire western U.S. region, with most work focused on the Pacific Northwest. Through research and interaction with stakeholders, the CIG works to increase community and ecosystem resilience to fluctuations in climate. Key areas of the group's collective expertise include but are not limited to: downscaling global climate model data; regional climate modeling; hydrologic modeling; water resources and terrestrial/aquatic ecosystem modeling and impacts assessment; coastal impacts assessment; climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning; and outreach and education. http://cses.washington.edu/cig/pnwc/ci.shtml
What’s happening globally?
24. Worldwatch Institute: How does the data from our school correlate with the Vital Signs global trend reports researched by the World Watch Institute? http://vitalsigns.worldwatch.org/
25. Earth Policy Institute: Publishes blueprints for how to create a sustainable future including excellent, readable trend reports on a range of critical topics. Updates are released as new developments and initiatives occur and are available in a number of languages. http://www.earth-policy.org/
26. Millennium Development Goals: How does the data from our school correlate with the eight Millennium Development Goals coordinated by the United Nations? http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml25
Timeline Patterns - Charting Behavior over Time
1. How would these data look in your grandparent’s day?
a. What do you think would be the crucial environmental questions, issues and drivers?
b. What were the social and economic mental models for environmental issues when your grandparents were your age?
2. How about in your parent’s day?
a. What were the crucial questions, issues and drivers?
b. What were the social and economic mental models for environmental issues when your parents were your age?
3. How about in your lifetime?
a. How do you think these issues, drivers and leverage points will shift?
b. What will be the time sequence? Sudden, gradual, sequential, leap frog?
c. What are the most promising leverage points in the system?
d. How would you describe your mental model of the relationship between environmental, social and economic systems?
4. And in your children’s lifetime? What do you think will be the key issues, drivers and leverage points one or two generations out, say the year 2100?
Systems Thinking Inquiries
1. How might we correlate our environmental behavior data with economic and social system considerations? What’s the triple bottom line here?
2. Who are the stakeholders related to the environmental, economic and social system considerations revealed in our data analysis?
3. What are the major drivers of these systemic challenges?
4. Where are the leverage points for potential systemic solutions?
Four Scenarios for the Future – Backcasting Policy Decisions
Lesson plans on “scenario planning” can support classroom and community discussion on what people think is the preferred scenario, and if so, how do we “backcast” from that future picture to the right policy shifts today?
“Business as Usual” There is no radical near term change in environmental or economic policy and the trend in implementing sustainability practices continues along at its current pace, largely led by the Pacific Northwest and a few European countries.
“Federal Policy Leap-Frogs to Green Collar Economy” The National political process comes out of gridlock and a sudden rush of policies at the Federal level generates a ”New Green Deal” around middle class jobs, green energy, smart grid, green buildings, electric transportation, and environmental protection.
“The New Oregon Trail” Over the next several decades drought in the southern half of the United States sets in motion mass migrations to perceived “water-rich” territories like Puget Sound. Population pressure forces bleated policy changes which work but cause social unrest because of the forced pace of rapid change.
“Educating for Sustainability Takes Root” STEM learning, Common Core, environmental literacy and sustainable systems thinking become the new norm for 21st Century teaching and learning. Well-informed students grow to adulthood creating a steady shift in the collective mental model concerning the interdependence of social, economic and ecological systems.
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