E6: Educating Future Decision-Makers: Sustainability as a Pathway K-12 to University

There are many policies that do not solve public problems and many problems that are not being addressed with good policies. As the planet faces challenges to house and feed healthy communities, we can ask the following questions:


  • Why is science being done in prestigious institutions and the policy makers are not using this data for decision making?
  • Why is the media and policy makers paying attention to Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old climate activist from Sweden-?
  • Are we creating viable pathways for our children who are in K-12 to succeed in a community college and then transfer to 4 year universities and forming them as good stewards of our planet?
  • How can we all contribute to the formation of future citizens that can influence policy makers?
  • How can we form our future policy makers to understand the benefit of making science based decisions?
  • Why does the gap or bridge between science and policy making vary from one state to another in the US?
  • Are there best practices of forming students to bridge science and decision makers?

The answers to these questions will be addressed by a panel of educators of higher education (community College and Universities) from the states of Hawaii, Florida and Texas where mayor floods, droughts and storms have affected the livelihood of these communities.


  • Maria Boccalandro, Director of Sustainability, Cedar Valley College
  • Dr. Krista Hiser, Professor, University of Hawaiʻi
  • Brandon Morton, Sustainability Project Coordinator, North Lake College
  • Kara Casy, Senior Manager of Grant Project, El Centro College
  • Marianella Franklin, Chief Sustainability Officer, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Stephen Summers, Associate Vice President School of Arts & Sciences, Seminole State Community College of Florida