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Taking Sustainability Education Out of the Classroom

By Sharon Chen
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The University of Miami is pioneering collaboration between the academic and the practical. Through its free Sea Secrets lecture series, the university’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science invites scientists and experts to provide information to non-scientific audiences about our planet and our changing climate.

This lecture series embodies higher ed’s collaborative power. By working with other institutions of higher ed, partnering with municipalities, or amplifying the voices of an array of climate experts through collaborations like this, higher ed can do much to inspire climate action. Taking sustainability education out of the classroom is an important way to engage our broader communities on climate solutions. For more information about how to empower your campus and community on climate action, please join the Path to Positive.

'Sea Secrets' Explored

Chris Komisarjevsky | Huffington Post | February 3, 2016

With a discussion of El-Nino, climate change, Nor'easters and hurricanes, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami launched its 2016 lecture series "Sea Secrets."

The timing couldn't have been more striking ... within 48 hours, Jonas, the "snowzilla" of a storm, would slam the Atlantic Coast with record snow, paralyzing the nation's capital for days and damaging coastlines with high-tide waves. The deadly blizzard of 2016 would break records, strand motorists, put homes in peril and affect 50 million people.

"While so many of us are fascinated by the unpredictability of our atmosphere, by the mysteries of our seas and by the powerful interaction of the two, science gives us clues to their secrets but not always all the answers," explained Dean Roni Avissar, Ph.D., as he opened the series.

Building on Rosenstiel's global leadership in education and research, the "Sea Secrets" lecture series creates a unique opportunity to bridge the academic and the practical.

And it does so by raising questions that are often on our minds, by challenging preconceived notions and by exploring more than just the science.

The first of "Sea Secrets" featured Bryan Norcross, hurricane specialist at the Weather Channel and internationally-recognized expert on hurricanes and typhoons. Against a backdrop of scientific studies, historic data, predictions gone awry and actual hurricane experience, he honed in on the challenge of how best to create an awareness of the impending dangers of hurricanes, without creating panic.

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