Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.10
Liaison Francis Mitalo
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Riverside
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Fortino Morales
Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
UC - CSU NXTerra: Transformative Education for Climate Action

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
In Fall of 2019, the University of California (UC) System and California State University (CSU) systems collaborated to launch NXTerra, a Knowledge Action Network (KAN) and digital platform for climate educators. Focusing on themes of climate change, critical sustainability, and climate justice, NXTerra produces educational materials to empower teachers, university professors, and students to take action in building a more sustainable and environmentally just world.

The platform hosts many educational resources including course modules, lesson plans, syllabi, and assignments. NXTerra is different from a massive open online course because rather than enroll students into a one-time course under a dedicated instructor, the project provides a collaborative collection of resources and an online library of materials that address a variety of topics related to the climate crisis for instructors to utilize.

NXTerra takes an innovative approach to education around sustainability by utilizing a close cooperative effort between two of California's largest public-education systems and publicly featuring materials contributed by most of the state’s campuses. The network fosters interaction between the two systems, UC and CSU, and makes it possible for resources to be widely shared. NXTerra emphasizes the role that teachers and students can play in effectively confronting the climate crisis by participating in a global climate justice movement and creating systemic alternatives that will supplant the current toxic economic and political institutions and processes.

The NXTerra mission “to enable and scale up climate change education in California and across the world to reflect the rising urgency of the climate crisis” closely aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 4.7 (By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development) and Goal 13.3 (Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning).
The Global Climate Leadership Council (GCLC) of the UC developed NXTerra as an independent project with start-up funding for the project provided entirely by the UC system. The GCLC’s Faculty Education Engagement Committee (FEE) and the UC-CSU NXTerra Advisory Board provided additional guidance for the project. The digital network is committed to achieving the main objective of the UC Office of the President’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, UC carbon neutrality by 2025.

Both educational systems and each campus within have contributed a significant amount to the project. Here are some of the specific contributions from UC Riverside.

UC Riverside participates in the UC-wide Bending the Curve course. It has contributed one chapter and one lecture set to the series, which is integrated into UCR's Bending the Curve course. Additionally, Prof. Brian Siana actively participates on the Faculty Engagement and Education pillar of the Global Climate Leadership Council of the University of California. This pillar oversees the development and implementation of the NXTerra program system-wide.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Credit prepared by Chelsea Lee.

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