the

PBEL Initiative

Place-based experiential learning

What is Place-Based Experiential Learning?

Place-based experiential learning is an approach to education that combines teaching methods from the separate fields of place-based education and experiential education. As such, it can be defined as an educational methodology that engages people in hands-on learning activities that empowers them to observe and reflect on topics centered around a specific location.[3,4]

 

Place-based experiential learning immerses people in the local history, culture, and ecosystems of a certain region, while also promoting interactive experiences.[3,4]

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Why Place-Based Experiential Learning is Important for Sustainability

Place-based experiential learning programs are versatile and adaptable because they can be applied on a local and a global scale. We believe that place-based experiential learning can help foster connections between humans and nature, as well as equip proactive individuals with the how-to knowledge and decision-making skills necessary to make them successful sustainability leaders and practitioners. Place-based experiential learning is designed to build resilience, sense of place, and human-nature connections that will be transformative and make a lasting impression.

 

In doing so, more people will focus on the bigger picture and act accordingly in the present to have a lasting, more environmentally-friendly future. Education about resource protection, conservation, and management can also help ensure that place-based experiential learning programs will be accessible to future generations.

The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has created new opportunities to highlight the interdependencies among all people and has shown the impact a shared global environmental event can cause.

How HTBG’s Unique “PBEL Initiative” Is Transformative

The “PBEL Initiative” aims to create an opensource community platform that contains a sharable and leverageable toolkit to promote the development, distribution, and use of place-based experiential learning on both local and global scales. This project is spearheaded by HTBG and Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability (ASU GIOS). While utilizing structures of programs already active and in place, we hope to develop a unique initiative to specifically encourage, educate, and train leaders in the field of sustainability.

One main focus is to teach proficiency in the five sustainability competencies: systems thinking, futures thinking, values thinking, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills.[1,5]

Additionally, the PBEL Initiative will include indigenous perspectives and be centered around the seventeen UN SDGs, specifically those related to climate change, biodiversity, partnerships, and the relationships between social, terrestrial, and marine systems.

We believe...

PBEL programs can strengthen an individual’s sense of place, grant them a more profound appreciation for nature, and equip them with the how-to knowledge and decision-making skills necessary to make them successful sustainability leaders and practitioners.
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Team Members

Dan Lutkenhouse Jr.

  • President and Executive Director at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden
  • Expanding HTBG’s mission to include sustainability education and a shift towards a more global/systems perspective
  • Pushing toward recognizing HTBG as a bioreserve and educational facility that reconnects people with nature
  • Encouraging a focus on sustainability with the Sustainable Development Goals as a guide

Kate Logan

  • Ambassador of Experience & Advancement at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden
  • BS Tropical Horticultural, University of Hawaii
  • Professional Certificate in Sustainable Strategy focused in Sustainability from Arizona State University

Dr. George Basile

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Chair, Master of Sustainability Solutions Curriculum Committee, School of Sustainability
  • Professor of Sustainability and Enterprise, The Global KAITEKI Center
  • Director, eEcosphere
  • Internationally recognized creative thinker and practitioner in the field of sustainability working to reframe sustainability as a “decision challenge”.
  • Focuses on how to plan and act strategically for sustainability opportunities by developing novel insights , methods and tools for effective and sustainable practices.

Paul Prosser

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Project Partner Liaison, Master of Sustainability Solutions Program
  • Instructor, Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability
  • Learning Projects Program Manager, Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability
  • Connects graduate students with hands-on sustainability learning experiences and guides them though the development and execution of sustainability projects to fulfill their degree requirements.
  • Builds relationships with clients, multi-disciplinary teams, regulatory agencies, non-profits and academics.

Christa Burgess

Intern

  • Graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability and a Minor in Biological Sciences
  • Master of Sustainability Solutions Student, Arizona State University
  • Education and Outreach Intern, Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

Amber Rogers

Intern

  • Graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Philosophy
  • Education and Outreach Intern, Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

Alliances

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