The vision of the Environment Education Center of South Dakota is educated citizens actively and responsibly stewarding a healthy and functioning environment.
Environment education pertains to the study of relationships between and among natural and human systems. For purposes of this organization, environment education includes conservation, environmental and sustainability education which are interrelated sub-disciplines with distinct goals and audiences as well as nuances in philosophies.
- Conservation education focuses on understanding, managing and protecting the outdoors as a source of natural resources.
- Environmental education addresses understanding the functioning of the natural world, the human impact upon it, and consideration of appropriate behaviors.
- Sustainability education develops understanding about systems, practices and paradigms that support concurrent and long term economic, ecological and social flourishing.
The mission of the Environment Education Center of South Dakota is to promote and disseminate environment education through capacity building and educator development.
- Provide the most current resources, frameworks, models and best practices to help agencies, organizations, groups and individuals deliver consistent and coordinated education.
- Participate in national, regional, state or local collaborations that bring funds, personnel, supplies or opportunities to the environment education community.
- Support the integration of conservation, environmental and sustainability education into state educational initiatives (e.g. standards and 21st Century teaching and learning) and outreach plans of agencies and organizations.
- Promote the development of community assets that facilitate and remove barriers to environment education.
- Train and equip formal and informal educators including parents with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to integrate environment education into their settings.
- Network educators with each other and environment education opportunities.
The goal of the Environment Education Center of South Dakota (the Center) is to educate every South Dakota citizen about the environment. The purpose of the Center is education, not advocacy and subscribes to the following values:
- Environment education is age and development stage appropriate.
- Environment education utilizes the best, most widely accepted science about the environment.
- Environment education includes multiple view points and perspectives.
- Environment education seeks to involve the participation and input from families and communities.