RCE Greater Portland - 2018

GPSEN Fellows Program
Basic Information
Title of project : 
GPSEN Fellows Program
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Portland
Contributing organization(s) : 
GPSEN, Portland State University, Clackamas County Water Environment Services, and Community Energy Project, outreach@communityenergyproject.org
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Frank Granshaw
Organizational Affiliation: 
Portland State University
Zahra Golshani
Organizational Affiliation: 
Neeraja Havaligi
Organizational Affiliation: 
Gail Shaloum
Organizational Affiliation: 
Clackamas County Water Environment Services
Sherrie Smith
Organizational Affiliation: 
Community Energy Project
Format of project: 
Research papers and presentations
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
GPSEN Curriculum Development
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Greater Portland Region
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Community Energy Project, 2900 SE Stark St A, Portland, OR 97214
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Greater Portland is known as one of the greenest metropolitan areas in the United States. Yet our green reputation does not mean the region is free of challenges. In fact, we struggle in at least four major areas of sustainable development: environment, education, economics, and equity. With water and air pollution, struggling schools facing tightening budgets, unemployment, and racial discrimination and inequities, we recognize the need to collaborate to address these challenges.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
There are twenty-nine colleges and universities and twenty K–12 school districts, within the greater Portland region. This network offers an array of talent and innovation in ESD research and practices. The challenge is connecting the various sustainainability education efforts and providing a home where they can thrive. This offers an opportunity to coalesce and support individals from different organizations, disciplines, and sectors, with varying experiences, diverse ideas, and limited resources, who can improve the effectiveness, rigor, and reach of local efforts to deliver education for sustainable development to our community and beyond.
October, 2017 to October, 2018
The GPSEN Fellow Program is a regional network of professionals who are interested in advancing sustainability education in their work and in the community. Beyond an internship or graduate studies, these professionals are experts in their fields and, generally, are unaffiliated with an academic institution. Our sponsorship offers them a professional title, a sustainability education network, a fiscal sponsor for grants, a research home within our Think Tank, and an opportunity to present at events and our Symposium. Fellows identify that the benefits they seek include: participation and networking opportunities in the GPSEN community; discounted rates at GPSEN events; event-planning support; collaboration on research and international work; project and program development support; letters of support for grants, projects & initiatives; opportunities to co-sponsor GPSEN events; training and professional development opportunities; and possible funding to achieve objectives.
GPSEN Fellows offer diverse expertise to increase our collective impact in areas of sustainability research, teaching, and/or applied learning within the greater Portland region and beyond. Each Fellow brings his or her research background, areas of interest, and goals for advanced research or community engagement that advance sustainable development topics. Per their work, research findings can help develop sustainability-related curriculum, trainings, event-planning, and/or advising strategic policies or actions.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Our four Fellows have completed the following:
Neeraja Havaligi has extensive experience with the UN, has published several papers and has given multiple presentations, in addition to running a research program focused on food and biodiversity.
Frank Granshaw is a retired geology professor, an adjunct Instructor, and a Faculty Fellow in Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions. He is conducting an extensive "walk-about project" where he and assistants film and document regional areas of interest.
Zahra Golshani is a post-doctorate focused on interdisciplinary studies, linking economics and communication theories in the context of stormwater management. She completed a grant this year with Clackamas County Water Environment Services where she worked with Muslim communities to assess conservation practices.
Felipe de Souza Ferreira focuses his research on social justice and critical sustainability theory and hopes to help build our collective partnerships with a broader emphasis on equity and inclusion.
Size of academic audience: 
Neeraja Havaligi published several papers and has given multiple presentations, including at Global PDX, GirlFest, and Earth Week, in addition to running a research program focused on food and biodiversity in Portland and Seattle Community Gardens
Frank Granshaw is a retired geology professor, and an adjunct Instructor, at Portland State University. He is conducting an extensive "walk-about project" where he and assistants film and document regional areas of interest.
Zahra Golshani completed her research on “Minorities Participation In River Health Stewardship” and published her work, with funding by Clackamas County.
Felipe de Souza Ferreira continued his research on social justice and critical sustainability theory and got published in Northwest Earth Institute's new "Choices for Sustainable Living" book.
Lessons learned: 
Funding can be limited from academic institutions, so having non-profit fiscal sponsorship increases application opportunities.
Having Board policies on Fellowship relationships and grant sponsorships are necessary.
Access to libraries and research databases is needed, so partnerships with higher education institutions are important.
Publications have strict guidelines, with extra time required for editing.
Grant rules need to be followed closely, including insurance policies.
Setting up processes for engagement and resource sharing is helpful.
Key messages: 
The GPSEN Fellows Program offers opportunities for experts in their fields to advance sustainability education, with the benefits of a professional title, a sustainability education network, a fiscal sponsor for grants, a research home within our Think Tank, and an opportunity for presentations and publications.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The Fellows Program is part of our Research & Curriculum Committee, working with higher education institutions in our region and our co-hosted Think Tank. Fellows offer presentations at regional events and at our Sustainability Symposium and help highlight curriculum resources for our website and newsletter.
The Fellows positions are non-paid, but they frequently apply for grants that fund their specific research projects. For example, Clackamas County Water Environment Services funded Zahra Golshani's research on “Minorities Participation In River Health Stewardship.”


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Frank Granshaw.png (158.32 KB) Frank Granshaw's Portrait Frank Granshaw
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level