Who Is Credited For The Environmental Education In India?
India Overview In India, environmental education is mandated by the Supreme Court of India and overseen by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT). The National Curriculum Framework, developed by NCERT, includes a “Protection of the Environment” component.
- Educators may engage in EE professional development through distance learning, in-service teacher training, conferences, nature camps, and environmental courses.
- They may also engage with national and regional environmental education associations, including the, the, and the,
- Within the national government, environmental education is supported by various ministries, including the, the, and the,
EE activities in India may be funded by a variety of sources, including government grants, foundations, and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Policy & Practice National Legislation EE is compulsory by directive of, The is the nodal agency to oversee the directive.
- The enjoins the state to “take measures to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”(Article 48 -A).
- It also makes it a “fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forest, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have ecological compassing for the living creatures” (Article 51 A (g)).
Education is recognized as a primary means of achieving to environmental protection. The present status of Environmental Education (EE) in schools in India has its genesis in the (modified in 1992), in which “Protection of the Environment” is stated as a common core around which a would be woven.
- EE in K-12 Education
- The is responsible for developing the and reviewing the framework at regular intervals.
- Professional Development
In-service teachers in India may engage in EE professional development though the distance education program, The program was established by the and, In addition, the developed a manual on Environment Education for pre-service teachers. Teachers take part in exposure visits, conferences, nature camps, and specific environmental courses.
- Professional Associations
- Environmental educators in India may engage with the, and regional networks such as the and the,
- EE in the National Government
The at NCERT is a think-tank for Education in Science, Mathematics, Environment and Computer Science at the school stage (Upper Primary to Higher Secondary). It is responsible for carrying out research, development, training, evaluation and extension activities in these areas.
The Department assists and advises the, Government of India and extends its cooperation and expertise to other Departments of NIE as well as other constituents of the NCERT, SCERT’s, State Boards of School Education and other state agencies in matters related to Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.
The has had a division for Environmental Education. EE Campaigns and Funding The government of India, under the and have various schemes through which the projects and programs related to environmental education. also has some schemes and projects to support environmental education. The Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) is a one-of-a-kind mobile science exhibition led by the Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology (DST) and managed by the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC). This case study describes the development, successes, and challenges of a compulsory environmental education (EE) program in India. : India
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- 1 When was the environmental education group established in India?
- 2 What is the introduction of environmental education?
- 3 What is environmental education According to who?
- 4 Who is known as the mother of Indian environment?
- 5 Who is the father of environmental studies?
Learning approaches and impact – Environment education in India was made compulsory in formal education through a Supreme Court ruling in 2003. The ruling has resulted in over 300 million students in 1.3 million schools receiving some environmental education training, according to a UNESCO study, Students from a north Mumbai school collected over 900 packets of multi-laminated plastic packaging for “deposit” in the Safai Bank of India. Photo from Safai Bank. Most educators however push for an integrated approach that uses the strengths of the curriculum and combines it with other educational tools.
- The Upcycler’s Lab board games are based on school curriculum and founder Parasrampuria has found a positive response to the integrated approach.
- She feels that there is an improvement in the entire ecosystem of environment education.
- It is surprising how much more awareness there is.
- Environment education is part of the school curriculum as a subject and not blended with geography or civics or some other subject.
The teachers are putting in a lot of effort. Public policy changes have made the topic of waste management and environment more accessible. Ten years olds are so aware – they are asking questions about manufacturer responsibility in waste management,” she said.
Bahadur of the SDG Academy adds that a blend of knowledge, analytical skills and social and interpersonal skills together can help create future environment leaders. The UNESCO report on Education for People and Planet too recommends a multi-pronged approach towards learning which brings together formal education, traditional knowledge-sharing through community and learning through work and daily life, the latter two already common practices in India on account of cultural traditions.
The Nature Science Initiative in Dehradun for example believes that the earth itself is the great educator. Its programs in the field have turned school dropouts like Taukeer Alam into a field researcher assistant, Educator Narlanka vouches for experiential learning in his Research Matters article, writing, “Facts are easy to ignore, but experiences are not.
We need to heed to this wisdom and revamp our environmental classes to become more personal and experiential to encourage students to find more personal reasons to conserve their environment and progress the country’s environmental efforts in a comprehensive and fruitful manner.” But can experiential learning have any real impact? Or is it, like Mumbai activist Aggarwal said, an opportunity to just to create general nature lovers and “an excuse to buy new gear”? Experiential and community based learning infact could work better in the current scenario where challenges to formal education are many.
According to a 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report), the world is lagging behind in its education commitments and while India has achieved “universal primary enrollment with an adjusted net enrollment rate of 98 percent, it has the second-highest number of children out of school among countries with data”.
Additionally, with the growth of technology for learning, the absolute reliance on formal education is seeing a shift. ” The most exciting and innovative development is how young people are teaching themselves — using social media to access content such as ours and creating opportunities to peer learn and create awareness on these issues,” said Bahadur of the SDG Academy.
“We are still in the very early stages of educating our young people on sustainable development. I am deeply optimistic that teaching sustainable development in smart, innovative and fun ways will have a huge effect on the attitudes and aspirations of young people in India and the world and that this young generation will push us all to a more sustainable future.” The Turquoise Change aims at supporting schools on islands like Havelock in the Andamans, taking into consideration their unique and local needs and training them to become changemakers and create “Islands for Sustainability”. Photo from The Turquoise Change.
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When was the environmental education group established in India?
History – The Centre for Environment Education was created in recognition of the importance of environmental education in India’s overall environment and development strategy. The CEE was established as a Centre of Excellence in 1984, supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India.
- Mr. Kartikeya Sarabhai is the director of CEE.
- CEE has inherited the rich multi-disciplinary resource base and varied experience of Nehru Foundation for Development, its parent organisation, which has been promoting educational efforts since 1966 in the areas of science, nature study, health, development, and environment.
At the time it began its activities, CEE was perhaps the only organization actively engaged in environmental education in the country. While carrying out programmes in different parts of the country, it was located only in Ahmedabad. Within five years of activities, it was realized that for a country as vast and diverse as India, physical presence was important for effective implementation.
- Based on this, the first regional office was opened for the Southern region in 1988–89.
- Since then it has been a conscious effort to have an office or presence in the geographical area of work.
- After completing a decade of activities in 1994, it was decided to move more from environmental education to environmental action.
This was an outcome of the learnings and experiences in the first ten years. CEE began more pilot, field-level and demonstration projects towards sustainable development which could be scaled-up and replicated. Within the next ten years, these projects formed a major chunk of the centre’s activities.
Today, CEE works for a wide range of sectors, target groups and geographical areas. CEE sees a major opportunity in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD-2005-14) to further contribute towards sustainable development, CEE is the nodal agency for the implementation of DESD activities in India under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India,
CEE’s programmes in the Decade will focus on Training and Capacity Building, Internships and Youth Programmes, Consultancy Services, Knowledge Centre for ESD, and Journal on Education for Sustainable Development,
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What is the role of environmental education in India?
27 Indian cities are counted amongst the Top 50 World’s most polluted cities in 2019 The rate of urbanization in India is faster than the rest of the world. By 2018, 34% of the Indian population was crammed in the urban regions. This percentage is estimated to increase to 40.76% in the next 10 years.
- Air Pollution :
- Air pollution is responsible for 12.5% of all deaths in India.
- it also kills around 100,000 children less than five years old every year.
- Water Pollution :
- 86% of the water bodies in India are considered “critically polluted”, that is unsafe for drinking or any other domestic purposes.
- The Ganges river tops the list of the world’s most polluted rivers, with Yamuna river being the 10th.
- Groundwater is also exploited, as over 94.5% of all the farming, irrigation, and other activities are dependent on it.
The Ganges being choked with waste (theguardian.com)
- Waste Management :
- Urban India produces 62 million tonnes of trash annually, that is more than 10 times the weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza!
- Out of this, only 70% is collected, 20% is treated while half of the waste is dumped in the landfills
- India has also recorded a 56% increase in the number of hazardous-waste (like pesticides, toxic wastes, heavy metals, etc) generating industries in the last decade
It is estimated that by the year 2030, the waste generated annually in India would increase to 165 million tonnes (that’s more than 27 Great Pyramids of Giza!). BRIDGING THE GAP The Indian administrative has recognized these pressing issues and passed several laws and committees to help the environmental restoration,
- Companies Act, 2013
- The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- The Environment Protection Act, 1986
- The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, etc.
But, even after all these efforts, there is a gap between the idea and the action. There are many ecological ‘blunders’ caused in the past due to lack of knowledge and understanding of the environment and sustainability practises in various sectors. For instance,
Faulty plantation drives at Delhi After spending more than ₹ 137 million in planting and replanting trees, the attempts of restoring the forest cover in the country capital was in vain. This was because of improper plantation practices or planting species which were too ‘high-maintenance’.
Promotion of ‘monoculture’ plantation Monoculture aka ‘biological desert’ is a practice of growing only one type of crop or trees in the region for commercial purposes. Although this is counted as ‘forest cover’ the lack of biodiversity is a threat to the environment and people,
The unfortunate lack of biodiversity in monoculture plantation (globaljusticeecology.org)
The disaster of converting Mangrove zones to Shrimp farms More than 80% of the mangrove cover has been converted into Shrimp farms in Sundarbans and Godavari Delta in the east, which is a bad idea as shrimp cultures do not work in the naturally acidic soil of mangrove forest, These shrimp farms are funded by the state as well as the multinational companies. They are a major contributor to the export revenue of the country but an even greater contributor to environmental disaster.
Frauds and loopholes under CSR Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was mandated under the Companies Act, 2013 in India in an attempt to involve social and environmental values into businesses. But this hasn’t stopped the companies from making some profit. Many scams have been exposed where the companies were found to use charities and trusts for money laundering, New rules were implemented in 2020 to curb these frauds but the system is bound to constrict the freedom of CSR implementation.
NEED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN VARIOUS SECTORS Environmental Education is fundamental in understanding the problem and creating a balanced solution between the Social, Environmental and Economical aspects. “Education can play a major part in environmentally sustainable societies” ~ Education for people and planet (UNESCO, 2016) Principle reasons why India needs people trained in Environmental Education in various sectors are,
- For Nature and Conservation
- For the Community
- For Sustainable Development
- For Research and Project Development
And of course, to avoid the blunders and frauds as mentioned above. CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations. People, Planet, Profit (viridis.energy) The corporate involvement in environmental and sustainability practices is seen as a costly burden and ‘not-worth’ the efforts, but the data says otherwise.
- Reduces Business Costs
- Inculcating sustainable practices takes an initial investment, but, over time, it helps save money by prioritizing sustainability
- A survey found that 33% of businesses that were integrating sustainable practices were doing so to improve operational efficiency and cutting costs.
- This includes small changes like shifting to renewable energy like solar, more efficient lighting and appliances, or creatively reusing existing materials.
- Bottom line, the more sustainable the business becomes, the less it will spend on energy and materials.
- Improves the brand value
- With the current trend set for sustainable and ‘green’ products and services, consumers view sustainability as a plus.
- According to a survey, 76% of Americans expect companies to take action against climate change.
- The companies are also eager to showcase these green values as a marketing strategy and improve their brand value.
- These factors provide a competitive advantage as the consumer trend continues to shift towards eco-friendly, sustainable and healthier alternatives.
73% of American Consumers would stop purchasing from a company that doesn’t care about climate change.
- The Environmental Impact
- While the target year for accomplishing the UN Sustainable development growth is in the next 10 years, many Indian companies and industries are still trying to solve the issues of incorporating sustainable methods.
- 95% of plastic packaging — the equivalent of $120 billion annually — is single-use. This is not only a global environmental threat but also a huge waste of potential for revenue generation through a circular economy.
- Over 140 million people will be displaced from their homes by 2050 due to environmental and social impacts caused directly or indirectly but the industries.
Impact of a rabid production-consumerist trend (plasticoceans.org) FEW SUSTAINABLE STEPS TAKEN BY PROMINENT COMPANIES
- INFOSYS has collaborated with the United Nations for awareness about plastic pollution and pledged to make their campuses free of single-use and non-recyclable plastics by 2020 while also reducing the per capita generation of plastic waste by 50%.
- ITC aims to go beyond the requirements of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 to ensure that, over the next decade, 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
COURSES TO UNDERSTAND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES Many institutes are offering an array of courses on environmental and sustainability topics. A better understanding of these topics are is sure to help everyone from any sector. Some of these Certificate courses you might be interested in are,
Strategies for sustainability program offered by Stanford A self-paced online course, which explores frameworks and tools needed to promote sustainability. It is a 3-day course on how you can become a change agent through transformative leadership and design thinking.
Harvard sustainable business strategy course The course explores the different business models that companies can use to drive change and explains why purpose-driven businesses are particularly well-positioned to tackle the world’s biggest problems including environmental problems and climate change.
Circular economy – sustainable materials management by Lund University This course looks at where important materials in products we use every day come from and how these materials can be used more efficiently, longer, and in closed loops. The course also teaches skills and tools for analyzing circular business models in the transition to a Circular Economy.
Certificate Course by Earth5R on Global Sustainability and Climate Change Earth5R Institute of Social and Environmental Sustainability (EISES) offers certificate courses on Global Sustainability and Climate Change. The program blends online and offline learning (within 3 km of your location) with the ongoing projects. Students receive one-to-one learning and experience which offers great flexibility. The course covers topics like Circular Economy, Social Entrepreneurship, Climate Change Mitigation Facilities and more.
ABOUT EARTH5R Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs across India. Earth5R specializes in circular economy based projects.
Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses. Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub is a cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an excellent opportunity for governments and the private sector to engage with communities, use Sustainability-based models to drive economic changes and create social and environmental impact.
Reported by Riya Dani and Aastha Dewan, Edited by Riya Dani
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Who is the father of environmental studies in India?
Ramdeo Misra laid the foundations of ecology and environmental science in the country. He was called as ‘father of Indian ecology’ by the ecologists world over.
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Who is known as the father of environmental studies?
Eugene Odum is lionized throughout science as the father of modern ecology and recognized by the University of Georgia as the founder of what became the Eugene P.
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Who is known as father of environment?
Ramdeo Misra is the father of ecology and environmental science across the world.
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Which is the first country who established environment school?
Eco-Schools Partners and Sponsors –
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- Earth Charter International
- The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC)
- The Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development
- The Wrigley Company Foundation
- Toyota Fund for Europe
What is the introduction of environmental education?
What is Environmental Education? | US EPA Official websites use,gov A,gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Secure,gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the,gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Related Topics: Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment.
Awareness and sensitivity to the environment and environmental challenges Knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental challenges Attitudes of concern for the environment and motivation to improve or maintain environmental quality Skills to identify and help resolve environmental challenges Participation in activities that lead to the resolution of environmental challenges
Environmental education does not advocate a particular viewpoint or course of action. Rather, environmental education teaches individuals how to weigh various sides of an issue through critical thinking and it enhances their own problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Increases public awareness and knowledge of environmental issues
Provides facts or opinions about environmental issues
Does teach individuals critical-thinking
Does not necessarily teach individuals critical-thinking
Does enhance individuals’ problem-solving and decision-making skills
Does not necessarily enhance individuals’ problem-solving and decision-making skills
Does not advocate a particular viewpoint
May advocate a particular viewpoint
to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem. Last updated on July 28, 2022 : What is Environmental Education? | US EPA
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What is environmental education According to who?
Concept of Environment Education – Environment is the source of all our needs. It provides all the things for our livelihood. However, the activities of human beings are not environment friendly. Environment Education is the educational process that teaches everything about the environment.
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Who is famous environmentalist in India?
8. Medha Patkar – She was born in December 1954 in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India. She is an Indian social activist and one of the famous environmentalists who is well known for her role in the Narmada Bachao Andolan, She also launched the “Sutlej Bachao, Punjab Bachao” campaign in Ludhiana.
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Who is known as the mother of Indian environment?
|Narain in 2009
|1961 New Delhi
|University of Delhi
|cseindia,org /page /sunita-narain
Sunita Narain (born 1961) is an Indian environmentalist and political activist as well as a major proponent of the Green concept of sustainable development, Narain is director general of the India-based research institute for the Centre for Science and Environment, director of the Society for Environmental Communications, and editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth,
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Who is known as environmental hero?
Environmental Hero: George Washington Carver Each week One Earth is proud to feature an environmental activist and hero from around the globe who is working to create a world where humanity and nature can coexist in harmony. Born into enslavement, George Washington Carver became the most prominent Black scientist of the early 20th century with his sustainable farming techniques.
- At the age of 12 he left home in search of an education, walking ten miles to school and sleeping in a barn his first night.
- He was accepted into Highland University in Highland, Kansas, but upon arrival was turned away due to his race.
- After working as a farm hand planting rice, corn, fruit trees, and flowers, he began studying piano and art at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
His botanical project was exhibited at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and his art teacher encouraged him to pursue a degree in horticulture. In 1891, Carver became the first Black student to attend Iowa State University in Ames. Gaining his bachelors in agriculture and masters in science, he then became the first Black faculty member at the college. Image credit: Creative Commons In the early 1920’s, the boll weevil beetle migrated to the United States from central Mexico and infested all of the cotton-growing areas in the country. Devastating the industry and those working in the American South, Carver decided to put his methods of crop rotation that he developed as a professor to work.
- Introducing several different cash crops to the area, farmers could now not only grow food and be profitable again, but also improve the quality of the soil by restoring vital nutrients.
- Peanuts became his crop of choice and he’s reputed to have come up with more than 300 uses to help southern farmers maximize their crop profits.
His widely distributed research paper,, provided instructions on how to separate the peanut’s fats, oils, gums, resins, and sugars for use. Three American presidents —Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt — as well as Crown Prince of Sweden, Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison all sought Carver’s advice on agricultural methods.
He additionally invented hundreds of uses for soybeans, pecans, sweet potatoes, and over 500 different shades of textile dye to replace ones unavailable from Europe during World War II. In 1941 Time magazine the “Black Leonardo da Vinci”. Carver was also an early leader in promoting environmentalism with his sustainable farming techniques and outspoken beliefs on conserving American wildlands.
Located in his birthplace of Diamond, Missouri, George Washington Carver National Park is named after him. : Environmental Hero: George Washington Carver
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Who is the father of environmental studies?
Editor’s Note: This is the second story in a new series, called Georgia Groundbreakers, that celebrates innovative and visionary faculty, students, alumni and leaders throughout the history of the University of Georgia — and their profound, enduring impact on our state, our nation and the world. Eugene Odum was not given to fits of anger, but this time he was furious. It was the fall of 1946. Odum, then a young associate professor in the University of Georgia’s biology department, had taught a course on ecology for several semesters and was passionate about the subject. In a meeting with his colleagues, Odum suggested that his ecology class be required of all new biology majors.
- His fellow scientists looked at him and laughed.
- Odum stormed out of the room but was not deterred.
- That night, he began writing a guiding set of principles that would ultimately serve as the foundation for the discipline’s first textbook.
- Today, no one laughs about Odum’s work.
- He is lionized throughout science as the father of modern ecology and recognized by the University of Georgia as the founder of what became the Eugene P.
Odum School of Ecology — the world’s first stand-alone college of ecology, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Before lead was banned from gasoline, before Rachel Carson published Silent Spring about the dangers of pesticides and before the U.S.
created Earth Day, Odum’s research and advocacy inspired the modern environmental movement. “He was a true visionary; he saw things that others didn’t,” said Betty Jean Craige, University of Georgia Professor Emerita of comparative literature and the author of “Eugene Odum: Ecosystem Ecologist and Environmentalist.” “He spoke intensely and passionately about saving the environment, but he used his model as a way of thinking about the world.” “Fundamentals of Ecology,” which Odum published in 1953 with his younger brother and fellow ecologist Howard, was the discipline’s only textbook for more than a decade.
This book was the first to suggest that scientists approach nature “top-down.” Eugene Odum traveled far and wide to lecture about the science of ecology. Eugene Odum pioneered the concept of the ecosystem — the holistic understanding of the environment as a system of interlocking biotic communities. These ideas were inspired in part by Odum’s father, Howard W.
Odum, a renowned sociologist at the University of North Carolina, who taught his sons to never lose sight of the big picture, and who urged Eugene to write his textbook. “What if I don’t know enough yet?” Odum recalled asking his father, in an interview with Craige. “You’ll learn as you write,” his father responded.
“What if I make mistakes?” he asked. “You’ll correct them in the second edition.” But there were not many corrections to make. In his landmark book, Odum argued that we cannot hope to understand the environment without first appreciating the complex biological economy of shared resources, competition and cooperation.
The ecosystem, he was fond of saying, is greater than the sum of its parts. “We would not first bring the student the liver of the frog, have him study that, then the next day bring him the isolated stomach or each individual muscle one by one — and finally during the last week of the course attempt to assemble all the parts into a frog,” he wrote.
“Our poor frog would be most incomplete and probably bear little resemblance to the real frog when we tried to assemble the parts we did study! Yet amazing as it may seem, many attempt to teach ecology using this backwards ‘parts-before-the-whole procedure.’ ” Throughout his career, Odum imparted his wisdom to thousands of students, both in the classroom and the field. But Odum’s ideas were not simply theoretical concepts; he leaped at every opportunity to put his ideas into practice. With a small team of graduate students and a modest grant of $10,000 from the Atomic Energy Commission, Odum began work at what would later become UGA’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory,
- Now spanning more than 300 square miles, this facility still serves as a unique outdoor lab where researchers study energy technologies and the effects of human activities on the natural environment.
- He was also instrumental in developing the University of Georgia Marine Institute, where he began a long-term analysis of salt marsh ecology and coastal food webs that inspired generations of wetland scientists.
Today, the Marine Institute provides researchers with ready access to coastal habitats and long-term data on the state’s estuaries and barrier islands. Learn more about the outstanding UGA men and women in the Georgia Groundbreakers series. While Odum was a careful and thoughtful researcher, his work often blurred the lines between science and advocacy. “Eugene Odum has had an important influence on the world by his insistence on the value of a quality environment. His pioneering work in ecology has changed the way we look at the natural world and our place in it.” — President Jimmy Carter on presenting him with the Tyler Ecology Award in 1977 at the White House.
“We must begin to devote more of our human wealth, energy and engineering skills to servicing and repairing our ‘big house,’ the biosphere, which provides not only a place to live and enjoy but also all of our life-support needs,” Odum wrote in his book “Ecological Vignettes: Ecological Approaches to Dealing with Human Predicaments.” Odum would spend decades refining and spreading his holistic model of ecosystem ecology, which found a captive audience in the burgeoning environmentalist movement.
In many ways, Odum had become the face of the movement, and his excitement was infectious. “He would wave his hands around while he talked like a maestro in front of an orchestra,” said David Coleman, UGA Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Ecology, who worked closely with Odum at the SREL.
“He was a master at getting people to think about things in different ways.” Odum’s name began to appear in popular media like Time and Newsweek, where reporters asked him questions about the fate of humanity and the importance of environmental stewardship. In all his public commentary, Odum never strayed far from his concept of holism.
People in the university system were taking note of his accomplishments as well. Twenty years after his colleagues laughed him out of a departmental meeting for suggesting that his class become part of the required biology curriculum, the board of regents granted approval for UGA’s Institute of Ecology in 1967, with Odum serving as its first director.
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Who started the first environmental movement?
Environmental rights – Perhaps the first real environmental activists were the Bishnoi Hindus of Khejarli, who were slaughtered by the Maharaja of Jodhpur in 1720 for attempting to protect the forest that he felled to build himself a palace. The 18th century witnessed the dawn of modern environmental rights.
After a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin petitioned to manage waste and to remove tanneries for clean air as a public “right” (albeit, on land stolen from Indigenous nations). Later, American artist George Catlin proposed that Indigenous land be protected as a “natural right”.
At the same time in Britain, Jeremy Benthu, wrote An Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation which argued for animal rights. Thomas Malthus wrote his famous essay warning that human overpopulation would lead to ecological destruction. Knowledge of global warming began 200 years ago, when Jean Baptiste Fourier calculated that the Earth’s atmosphere trapped heat like a greenhouse. Hikers on a tour in the Spessart Mountains. Trees with first leaves, deadwood with moss. © Andreas Varnhorn / Greenpeace A few decades later, George Perkins Marsh wrote Man and Nature, denouncing humanity’s indiscriminate “warfare” upon wilderness, warning of climate change, and insisting that “The world cannot afford to wait” – a plea we still hear today.
- At the end of the 19th century, in Jena, Germany, zoologist Ernst Haeckel wrote Generelle Morphologie der Organismen in which he discussed the relationships among species and coined the word ‘ökologie’ (from the Greek oikos, meaning home), the science we now know as ecology.
- In 1892, John Muir founded the Sierra Club in the US to protect the country’s wilderness.
Seventy years later, a chapter of the Sierra Club in western Canada broke away to become more active. This was the beginning of Greenpeace.
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