aspen_banner.jpg
Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KNAU 106.1 in Prescott is currently down due to technical difficulties. Our engineer is working toward a solution and expects a solution tomorrow. Thank you for your patience.

Earth Notes: Environmental Literacy Corps

AmeriCorps.jpg
AmeriCorps

Students learn to read and write in classrooms, but in the wider world they can gain a different kind of literacy: a deep understanding of nature.

This is called “environmental literacy.” And what better place to learn than northern Arizona, with a big share of the nation’s national parks and monuments as well national forests ranging from dry deserts to pine-covered mountaintops.

Northern Arizona University’s Center for Service and Volunteerism recently launched a new program called the Environmental Literacy Corps.

Members serve with local agencies and organizations to provide environmental education programs. The goal is to reach 8,000 people a year in places like high school science classes, evening programs in local parks, and garden tours.

The three-year program is funded through a million-dollar grant from the Arizona Governor’s Office, and under the larger umbrella of AmeriCorps.

Members are already at work in Flagstaff, in community gardens, stream restoration programs, public schools, and national monuments. They can design their own presentations, or adapt existing ones.

Anyone 17 or older is eligible to apply for the Environmental Literacy Corps. In exchange for a three-month commitment, they receive a modest living stipend and an education award that can be applied toward tuition or student loans.

Along the way they learn new skills, gain experience, maybe even find a career path—while they share a fundamental understanding of the environment with others.

This Earth Note was written by Rose Houk and produced by KNAU and the Sustainable Communities Program at Northern Arizona University.

donate____.jpg

Rose Houk is a Flagstaff-based writer and editor, specializing in natural history and environmental topics.  Rose was a founding contributor of KNAU's Earth Notes and has written nearly 200 scripts for the series. She is also the author of many publications about national park and monuments, along with audio productions. 

Related Content
  • At dusk on summer nights, white-lined sphinx moths flutter like hummingbirds around flowers of datura and evening primrose. Their dark wings bear light bands, and the underwings are cotton-candy pink. They hover above a flower only long enough to dip their long hollow tongues deep into the sugar-rich nectar stores. Then they fly off to another source, exhibiting some of the fastest flying speeds in the lepidopteran world.
  • Members of the Hopi and Zuni tribes are working alongside archaeologists within the Bears Ears National Monument to preserve masonry structures built by their ancestors hundreds of years ago. Uniquely, they are using methods and materials that reflect traditional perspectives about these places.
  • Most people think of a drought as a long, slow-moving disaster. But there is a growing number of “flash droughts” around the world. Like flash floods, these are short, intense events that arrive without warning. Flash droughts can develop in less than week and bring intense heat and dryness.
  • In the summer of 1963, a cache of five intact pottery jars and bowls was discovered in what is now Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The discovery is unique because the pottery consists entirely of a type known as Hopi Yellow-wares, which is only made on the Hopi Mesas in northeastern Arizona, 200 miles away.