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Association of American Geographers Sustainability Education. Jean McKendry, Senior Researcher UCGIS 2013 Pre-Symposium Workshop. Selected AAG Activities: Geography, GIS, and Sustainable Development. Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technology

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Association of American Geographers Sustainability Education

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Association of American GeographersSustainability Education

Jean McKendry, Senior Researcher

UCGIS 2013 Pre-Symposium Workshop

Selected AAG Activities: Geography, GIS, and Sustainable Development

  • Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technology

  • Geoinformation for Sustainable Urban Management

  • Development of Fundamental Geospatial Datasets in Africa

  • Teaching about Global Climate Change

  • The Geographic Advantage: An AAG Companion Website for Understanding the Changing Planet

  • AAG Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE)

  • My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE): Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development

MyCOE: Background and Purpose

  • Established in 2001 as US Public-Private Type II WSSD Partnership

  • Engage youth worldwide to use tools and concepts of geography to see how their communities can be made more sustainable

  • Raise awareness of the importance geographic and space technologies to issues of sustainable development by linking to global objectives such as Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals, UNCSD, etc.

MyCOE: Background and Purpose


  • Foster critical thinking and stewardship by youth around the world

  • Association of American Geographers, Secretariat and Founding Partners Esri, National Geographic Society, and UNEP

History of MyCOE

Outcomes of First Phase

  • 2091 Resource Kits sent out to 103 countries

  • 218 Student Projects submitted from 27 countries

  • 514 Mentors registered from 63 countries

  • Showcased at many international events

    • WSSD in Johannesburg

    • UNCSD series of meetings in New York

    • IDB Annual Meeting in Milan

    • ESRI International User Conferences

    • AAG Annual Meetings, etc.

History of MyCOE

MyCOEEngagement Objectives

  • Where we’ve been…

    • Showcase past decade of sustained programs, activities, youth and mentor networks, and resources that have been developed by this public-private-NGO partnership and by respective MyCOE partners

    • emphasize sustainability and flexibility of the MyCOE framework, which has successfully served a number of different partner needs and focus areas with a wide variety of projects over the course of the past ten years

MyCOEEngagement Objectives


  • Where we’re going…

    • Expand and engage new participants and partners in interactive ways using social networking and online GIS tools

    • Focus on a set of priority areas of importance to the partnership and to Rio+20

    • Continue to develop the framework to make resources more widely available and integrated, reinvigorate the partnership, synergize ongoing activities, and establish a platform for ongoing and future MyCOE activities for Rio+20 and beyond

MyCOE / SERVIR Partnership

  • Initiated in 2008 – new phase 2012-2014

  • Support long‐term local capacity to use geography and geographic technologies for sustainable development

  • Facilitate applications of geographic data and tools to critical needs across developing regions

  • Strengthen linkages with and among new and future user communities in SERVIR-serving Regions

  • Expand and enhance successful program model developed through AAG and NASA partnership

MyCOE /US Department of State

  • Global Connections and Exchange Program

  • “EMPOWER youth to use technology to tackle universal issues such as gender equity, health, environment, diversity and human rights. These programs EDUCATE schools to benefit from Internet access and resources by ENGAGING participants in dialogue with the international community. Through this EXCHANGE of information, students are able to expand their world vision and gain perspectives that will help them succeed in the international arena.”

Participating MyCOE-GCE Sites

MyCOE / GCE: Themes of Supporting Materials

  • Geography and Geographic Technologies

  • Climate Change

  • Green Economy

  • Food Security / Natural Hazards

  • Youth Leadership

  • Successful International Online Exchanges

(English and Español)


  • Cumulative Confirmed Number of Participants to Date:193 Teachers (estimated 16,395 students)

  • U.S. students (estimate): 4,550

  • Foreign students (estimate): 13,492

  • U.S. educators: 166 in 32 states

  • Foreign educators: 113 in 4 countries

  • 3,000+ Person-hours of live exchange

  • 500+ new youth-led projects

MyCOE Global Engagement

Map: P.Solís

~600 individual youth-led projects in 100+ countries

Major SD Themes include Biodiversity, Climate Change, Green Economy, Food Security, etc.

Changing Lives

  • Peter Nduda (Kenya): 2002

    • one of four international students with sponsorship to attend the 2002 Esri UC

    • 2004 began MS in GIS program at the University of Redlands

    • World Bank consultant

    • GIS Consultant with Kenyan-based Green Belt Movement

Changing Lives

  • Blanca Vazquez (Mexico): 2008

    “Participating as a MyCOE Fellow for me was an experience that created a personalized vision towards international cooperation… As a [now] professional I am enormously grateful to AAG and MyCOE because with this support I was able to complete my research and won a national environmental prize. I would like to participate again, this time as a mentor, to be able to pass on this unforgettable experience to students…”




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