Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ClimateXchange: How’s your world?

Questacon and ASPAC have made a climateXchange website for the Asia Pacific region.

climateXchange is helping to raise awareness of climate change and its impacts on local communities across the Asia Pacific. The site provides a space to gather stories on climate change from schools and communities and to share the great things that schools and communities are undertaking.

Submissions can include pictures, written pieces or videos that examine the effects of climate change both locally and globally.The collection of submissions are presented on the climateXchange website where users click on a location and view a story about climate change in that area. Visitors can see stories from areas as diverse as The Great Barrier Reef, the Snowy Mountain and Antarctica through the eyes of people who live and work there.

Examples of stories include a video from a primary school in Sydney showing what they are doing to make a difference or an interview with a scientist who is battling hard to save the rare mountain pygmy possum.To get involved and share your story go to the climateXchange website

Teaching Resources for the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat has launched an educational module for children and teachers to accompany the 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity. The module consists of an online portal for primary school students and five lesson plans for educators.

The web portal and lesson plans introduce the concept of biological diversity and highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human well-being in the 21st century and beyond.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is on 22nd May 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Green Drinks in Alice Springs

Heard of Green Drinks International?

Every month, in multiple locations across the globe, people who work in or who are interested in environmental and sustainability issues meet up for a drink at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.

Alice Springs Green Drinks is something that a few of us have been talking about for a while - so we thought we'd get it happening. It will be a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone can invite someone else along, people visiting or new to town can find out about us on the web, so there will always be a different crowd, creating an organic, self-organising network.

To kick things off, we're holding a special event - Sustainability in the Pub during the Desert Innovation Festival

There will be an inspiring introduction to the evening from Jimmy Cocking (new coordinator of the Arid Lands Environment Centre ). You can also expect to see some familiar faces representing Afghan Traders, Alice Solar City, Outback Bushfoods and the (old) Centre for Sustainable Arid Towns.

Join us as and be a part of the emerging, creative, organic and unpredictable future of Alice Springs Green Drinks as we share our ideas on What is sustainability? How can we successfully apply it to our lives, homes and businesses? and who knows what else...

When: Tuesday 27 May 2008, 7:30pm

Where: The Firkin and Hound, 21 Hartley St, Alice Springs

Contact: alicegreendrinks@gmail.com for more information

Ghan Learning Challenge

Calling all innovative Primary and Middle years teachers

The Project: In 2007, a group from Anzac Hill High School won the Ghan Road Safety Competition. The prize was 60 seats on the Ghan from Alice Springs to Darwin return. Anzac Hill HS has generously donated these seats to be used as the focus for developing the ‘Ghan Learning Challenge’.

The Plan: In March 2009 a group of students in years 5-8 from Government Schools across Alice will travel, with teachers, from Alice Springs to Darwin for 3-4 days. Along the way they will explore the history, science, environment and language of the landscape they are crossing.

The People: We need a group of 15-20 innovative educators who are willing to come together to plan this exciting educational adventure. We are looking for both Primary and Middle Years teachers from a range of subject areas/specialities.

An AGQTP Grant has been awarded for the development of this project

The first meeting of the Ghan learning Challenge PLC was a great success with lots of exciting ideas being discussed. It’s not too late to get involved!

Come to our second meeting:
Thursday 1st May (Week 3, Term 2) 3:30pm – 4:30pm
All Seasons Oasis, Gap Rd (opposite the hospital)

For more information or to RSVP to meeting 2 contact:
Lisa Hall by emailing lisam.hall@nt.gov.au or by calling 89517007

Rocks and Things

Teaching Geology and don't know where to start?

Firstly there is a great resource Rock Around the Park which you can dowload from the Desert Park Education wiki. This resource was put together by local teacher Mel Phillips in her previous role as the Minerals Education Officer and Anne Scherer.

Secondly, Cathy McKeon, a long serving local teacher now working as an office based Science Teacher for Schools Division, has knowledge of rock, geology and earth science from her uni days. During her time here she has collected a quantity of resources on the local geology and has information on local excursions in the town area. Resources include maps, people, CD, books, posters, games and websites. Cathy is available to help teachers and can be contacted by email cathy.mckeon@nt.gov.au or by calling 8951 7052

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Melaleuca Awards for Environmental Excellence

Entries are now open for the Power and Water Corporation 2008 Melaleuca Awards for environmental excellence. The Awards which have been presented since 2003 recognise the environmental efforts of the community across Territory schools, businesses, community groups and individuals.  It’s expected that with a national focus on climate change, water conservation and recycling these areas of community concern will attract many interesting and innovative entries.

Projects such as stormwater recycling, rainwater harvesting, managing and recycling waste, effective energy management plans and energy saving initiatives are expected to be popular choices among entrants.  Commercial Territory businesses will also have an opportunity to demonstrate trade waste, energy management, environmental site plans and staff training programs as part of their entry.

Entrants can enter one or more award categories - community, commercial/industry, small business and schools.  Separate submissions can also be made to be considered for an environment grant.

Again this year, a Chairman’s Prize of $1,000 will be awarded to one entrant for donation to an environmental organisation of the winner’s choice.

Entries close on May 16 and the winners will be announced at a presentation on June 18. Information and entry forms are available on-line
or from any Power and Water Customer Service Centre.

Desert Innovation Festival

The Desert Innovation Festival begins on 25th April 2008, in association with the Australian Innovation Festival. It features a series of local and cross border events spanning desert Australia. Events in the festival are organised by Desert Knowledge Australia and other partners in the desert knowledge movement.

Highlights among the 19 listed events include a videoconference link-up involving researchers and businesspeople in the food industry to explore Desert Food Innovation (1 May), a virtual event discussing 4WD tourism in desert Australia; a cross desert conversation about innovative models, partnerships and approaches in the arts industry (21 May); and sharing experiences of local community sustainability initiatives to conserve energy and water (22 May). Download your copy of the 2008 Desert Innovation Festival program here.

Now in its fourth year, this festival celebrates how people in desert Australia are meeting desert challenges through partnerships, desert ideas, desert know-how and desert innovation.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

101+ Web Resources for Students | studenthacks.org

This link will take you into a post on another blog - I think you could find several useful things here if you have a moment to take a look. Some of the content is geared towards American students, but lots is universal

101+ Web Resources for Students | studenthacks.org

Friday, April 18, 2008


The Australia Institute, sponsored by Australian Ethical Investment co. has recently released this great free, web-based resource. It includes nine modules for teaching climate change including up-to-date, local data, student questions and activities. It covers the environmental, scientific, political, economic and ethical aspects of climate change and would be most suitable for humanities, science or integrated classes.


Know a Young Environmentalist Deserving of Recognition?

For the first time in 2008 Australia’s leading young environmentalists aged 15 to 25 can apply or be nominated for the Environment Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Award.
Banksia is once again looking to inspire and be inspired by examples of environmental excellence in Australia’s most prestigious environmental awards and urge education professionals leading the way in environmental sustainability to enter the awards.
There are ten Categories featured in the 2008 Awards Program such as the Education Award, Indigenous Award and the Community Award. We also offer the Mercedes Benz Research Award which carries with it $30 000 prize money.
The Awards Honour Australian Businesses, Community groups, individuals and public bodies that are reducing their environmental footprint and using resources in innovative ways and educating others to do the same. The Awards provide an invaluable opportunity for recognition and presents others with the inspiration to follow.
For further information, contact, or download an entry kit visit www.banksiafdn.com

Awards close 5th May 08


Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia's most comprehensive science awards and the largest award scheme for research into critical environmental sustainability issues facing the country.
Entries and nominations are now invited for $60,000 in prizes dealing with environmental issues:
• Environmental Journalism
• Environmental Research
• Environmental Sustainability Education
• Innovative Solutions to Climate Change
• Water Research and Innovation
• Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change

The Eureka Awards close 2 May 08



Teaching for Uncertain Futures is the work of teachers and principals from around Australia who were involved in a national scenario building project, the Open Book Scenarios. The central question of the project was “What will the Australian teaching profession have to do to be successful in 2030?” The work provides a catalyst for schools to plan and reflect on how they can best prepare students for the future. It is a great starting point to heighten awareness of future influences and to explore ways in which the teaching profession can maximise the opportunities of the future, for students and for the nation.
Teaching for Uncertain Futures is available on request from Teaching
Australia, email info@teachingaustralia.edu.au www.teachingaustralia.edu.au


Learn about the Earth Charter, the consensus-building process, and the activities that Earth Charter in Action is undertaking. Visit the Web site to check out their educational materials and resources available, actions you can take, and subscribe to their newsletter. Earth Charter just released the guidance paper Earth Charter in Business: New Guidance Paper on the Earth Charter, GRI and Global Compact


In 2001 the Powerhouse Museum developed the first online ecological footprint calculator for individuals in Australia. It estimates the size of your ecological footprint from your answers to 15 questions. Bigfoot uses Australian data and

The calculator has been upgraded using the latest current Australian data.
The web address for the new calculator is:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Threatened Species Network Community Grants

Round 11 of the TSN Community Grants program is now open. Community groups are invited to apply for up to $50,000 to conduct on-ground conservation work for the ongoing health of our natural environment, specifically targeting the needs of nationally threatened species and ecological communities. Funding is available for activities such as habitat restoration, weeding, feral animal control, population surveys and monitoring, fencing, and fire management.

Copies of the Program Guidelines, Application Form and Guide to Completing
an Application may be obtained from the TSN website or phone the Program Officer Grants on 1800 032 551; or contact the TSN Coordinator for your region (Arid rangelands: Andy Vinter.8952 1541).

Original signed applications must be submitted by mail. Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 30 May 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Your Sky - Planetarium on the web

Your Sky is an interactive planetarium on the Web. You can produce maps for any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location.

Your Sky provides three ways to view the sky - as sky map, horizon map and telescope view. You simply enter your latitude and longitude and select the map you want.