Missouri Environmental Literacy Advisory Board

A network of organizations, agencies and businesses working to advance environmental literacy in Missouri.


This work is supported by a grant from the U.S. EPA

Header Picture Captions: Left to Right: Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial S.P. Nature Detectives, Summer 2010; Academie Lafayette, Kansas City, Stream Class; Sustain Mizzou Green Team recycling at an MU home football game, Columbia. If you have pictures of your students learning aout or working in the environment (with permissions) send them to weaverjc@missouri.edu and we will post them.

MELAB Meeting Thursday March 13, 2014

back to Main MELAB page

Location: Runge Nature Center, Jefferson City

Runge Sign Runge Building Runge Observation Deck

Map it: Runge Nature Center

Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Meeting Objectives

  1. Increase participants’ awareness and knowledge of what others are doing in Missouri
  2. Increase the number of acquaintances or contacts each person has
  3. Work on common goals and objectives identified at previous meetings: inspiring stewardship, standards and assessments, green schools, promoting environmental leadership and career education

Meeting Schedule


  1. Andrea Balkenbush, MO DNR (for the morning)
  2. Madeline Beyer, MU Botanic Garden, Campus Facillties, MU Communication
  3. Tina Casagrand, Stream Teams
  4. Amber Edwards, Prarie Fork
  5. Nancy Feakes, US Forest Service (tentative)
  6. Hope Gribble, USGBC Gateway Chapter
  7. Cheryl Hardy, Columbia College
  8. Alicia LaVaute, MU Sustainability Office
  9. Kevin Lohraff, Missouri Department of Conservation
  10. Ken Perdue, Staples
  11. Matt Riggs, Mid-America Regional Council
  12. Tana Pulles, Springfield
  13. Kristen Schulte, State Park Youth Corps
  14. Lydia Toth, Missouri Botanical Garden
  15. Jan Weaver, Missouri Environmental Education Association

Not at this time, but keep me in the loop

  1. Barbara Buffalo, Columbia Sustainability Office
  2. Brandi Cartwright, Raintree School
  3. Melanie Cheney, Missouri River Relief
  4. Erica Cox, Projects WET, WILD, Learning Tree
  5. Theresa Davidson, US Forest Service
  6. Carol Davit, MO Prarie Foundation & Grow Native
  7. Ethan Duke, Missouri River Bird Observatory
  8. Alex Dzurick, Columbia Water and Light
  9. Frieda Eivazi, Lincoln University
  10. Susan Flowers, Washington University
  11. Jim Jordan, University of Missouri St. Louis
  12. Eric Lueders, Parkway School District (tentative)
  13. Jim Lubbers, MO DNR (retired)
  14. Holly Neill, MIssouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition
  15. Charles Nilon, MU Fisheries and Wildlife, Audubon Society
  16. Kendra Swee, Mo State Parks
  17. Greg Swick, Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems
  18. Al Vogt, Conservation Federation of MIssouri
  19. Faye Walmsley,Ozark National Scenic Riverways


Notes from the Meeting

1. Kristen Schulte – State Park Youth Corps – Kristen is charged with recruiting 505 youth 17 to 23 to work 300 hours in parks throughout the state. Activities include trail building and maintenance, habitat restoration, building construction and maintenance, and interpretation. Biggest challenge is that youth need to live near the park they are working in, because there is no housing available in parks and the pay, $7.50, is not really enough to cover possible living expenses. WEBSITE: http://www.thinkoutside.mo.gov/default.aspx

2. Amber Edwards – MU Summer Programs – Summer programs are available in Springfield (GLADE – Audubon and M), St. Louis (SIFT and TERF through Washington University) and MU. GLADE and SIFT and TERF are ecological investigations. MU’s summer programs include a Missouri River Academy, Geospatial Mapping, Forestry, the Weather, and Plant Science. more info: http://www.greenleadershipacademy.org; http://schoolpartnership.wustl.edu/programs-services/sift-terf/ http://cafnr.missouri.edu/summer-academies/; http://muconf.missouri.edu;

3. Jan Weaver – Missouri Environmental Education Association – At the North American Association for EE last fall, Kristen Grimm outlined strategies for communicating about EE. Jan showed 3 short videos and shared 10 ideas – elevator speech, purpose, vision, audience, ask, celebrating success, framing, sins to avoid, spokespersons, doing what works. She handed out a copy of Smart Chart for planning campaigns and walked through the main steps and importance of doing them in order.

4. WhipRound the Table News

Work Group Reports(several groups used a SmartChart for developing their goals - download copy here)

1. Stewardship
Alicia LaVaute, Madeline Beyer, Tina Casagrand
goal -  Increase recycling in MO from current low level of 30%
objective -  establish baseline data, create recycling culture in education institutions, using MU as a model
decision maker -  sustainability office
internal assets – system in place, supportive community, media access
internal challenges  - budget/funding, appropriate messaging, resistance from staff
external assets – city recycling program, existing competitions
external challenges – city recycling program, current culture
position – fortify and amplify
audiences – 1. new students, 2. existing students, 3. staff & faculty
readiness – 1. sharing, 2. building will, 3. building will
core concerns – 1. fitting in, openness/different culture, 2. appeal to $/apathy, too much work, 3. appeal to $/overworked
themes – values, consumerism
message – 1. recycling is the norm, 5 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, and rot) 2. recycling revolution 3. setting a good example
messengers -  1. peers, 2. athletes, local celebs, 3. chancellor and people of power
strategies -  1. social media, summer welcome, midnight bbq, summer welcome leaders, Sy $0, 2. social media, table everyother workweek @ student center, Sy office, $0 3. staff advisory board, staff appreciation days, Sy $50 MU info
outputs – media campaigns
outcomes -  increase in recycling and decrease in solid waste bill, positive editorials, people wanting to volunteer

2. Standards & Assessments
Jan Weaver, Kevin Lohraff, Cheryl Hardy
goal -  gather information on H.S. students’ environmental commitment that educators can use to move the needle on stewardship
objective -  gather information from ~400 students using a revised version of environmental commitment survey
decision makers -  ~ 80 H.S. teachers, who would distribute test to their classes, folks to contact decision makers
internal assets – some dedicated staff, possible participation by MEEA members, MELAB participants
internal challenges – only some staff
external assets – earth day coming, up good tie in
external challenges – test fatigue
audience – HS teachers
audience readiness – sharing knowledge
core concerns – hope in future, belief in education
theme – making a difference?
messengers – people who know HS teachers
tactics – ask MEEA and MELAB members to ask teachers (need to figure out how to message them
outputs – quiz that would be interesting, relevant and positive for HS students to take
outcomes – results from 400 quizzes

3. Green Schools
Tana Pulles, Matt Riggs, Hope Gribble
goal 1 -  have a Missouri green schools awards program to recognize schools’ good efforts, increase networking (as schools turn to local resources) and have case studies and models for schools to follow
objective 1 – decide levels of awards that schools could achieve (using work that Tana and Debbie Brunner did last year), ensure that awards are aligned with Green Ribbon Schools so if and when MO participates schools don’t need to duplicate efforts.
objective 2 – decide how awards would be decided, by whom they would be decided and when they would be decided
objective 3 -  set up a website that would provide consistency for the program (info all in one place and written down) and links to resources for schools that wanted to participate
objective 4 – develop a communication plan that incorporates health or healthy human, economic and environmental systems in its messaging
tasks - Matt will meet with Kansas Green schools, Tana will compile the materials she and Debbie put together

goal 2 – work with DESE to persuade them to sign up for Federal Green Ribbon Schools
tasks - Matt will talk explore ways to influence DESE leadership

4. Environmental Leadership and Career Awareness
Amber Edwards, Kristen Schulte, Nancy Feakes, Lydia Toth, Ken Perdue

goal 1  – engage youth in meaningful service
objective – involve youth in various outdoor service programs throughout Missouri
decision makers – youth, parents and other caregivers, school counselors
internal assets – some funds, some interest in the organization
internal challenges – not the organization’s main focus, it is no one’s number one job
external assets – network of organizations for spreading the word
external challenges – network is not that strong
audience - 17 to 23 year olds in rural areas (to start)
audience readiness level - sharing
core concerns of audience – make a commitment, reap the benefits, beauty, making friends
messaging – we need you, work that matters
messengers – alums of programs, alum advisory board or network
social media is a challenge
alum involvement, more active, ambassadors
connecting with parents and caregivers
outputs – social media
outcomes – filling positions!

goal 2 - career pipeline
need to decide where to house the information
messaging - healthy environments, nature-based
audiences - State-wide, parents, students