This talk discusses and defines Earth Literacy and its role in the Earth Ethics Institute mission as well as the Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Studies (GSELS) learning network at Miami Dade College. Connections will be made to the Southeast Florida bioregion and the Everglades in particular as the concepts embedded in Earth Literacy are illustrated by examples from our own backyard.
Mike Matthews is an environmental educator interested in how human society and culture interface with and affect the natural world. He has an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Florida International University and his thesis research looked at the efficacy of experiential teaching techniques as used in environmental education. Other areas of study include environmental ethics, ecology, environmental policy and sustainable development. Matthews has held a visiting instructor position at Florida Gulf Coast University where he taught Environmental Biology, Global Environment and Society, Deep Ecology, and FGCU’s University Colloquium (which focuses on sustainability issues, educational reform, and the Earth Charter). He has also taught for Florida International University’s Department of Earth and Environment, Johnson & Wales University, and worked as a naturalist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center in Crandon Park. Matthews has sat on the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s Miami Group and is currently with the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College where he serves as the campus representative at InterAmerican Campus, coordinates the Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Studies learning network, is co-advisor to the YES! Club, co-chair of the campus Green Team, oversees the campus Zen Garden, develops and runs professional development workshops for faculty, and explores other ways to integrate environmental sustainability into the Miami Dade College curricula.