How to Get Involved
GLEI Steering Committee
Peg Cadigan, coordinator
Kit Keller, treasurer
Wes Weinhold, president
Riveredge Nature Center
8975 Fillmore Road
Fredonia, WI 53021
Riveredge Nature Center
Urban Ecology Center
Major Funding Provided by
Riveredge Nature Center
'The curriculum puts people in touch with one of the most powerful tools
for environment change, and at the same time creates community support groups by forming discussion circles.' Don Quintenz, Environmental Educator
NWEI discussion courses provide an enjoyable, supportive setting in which to examine personal values and habits, engage in stimulating discussion, and make personal changes if desired. Since 1993, tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations have been involved in Northwest Earth Institute courses.
Groups consist of 8 to 15 people who meet weekly for about an hour to discuss readings from a course book. Course books, each about 100 to 150 pages in length, contain a diverse collection of essays, articles, and book excerpts organized around weekly themes to create lively discussion. Discussion questions and a suggested meeting format are included as well. The courses may be taken in any order, however we suggest taking either Voluntary Simplicity or Choices for Sustainable Living first because they embrace a wide range of issues and interests, while the other courses are somewhat more focused.
'Sustainable Wisconsin - Building the Legacy', an eight-session course considering Wisconsin's environmental history and the issues facing Wisconsin today.
Available only from GLEI:
'Globalization and Its Critics', a nine-session course designed to look at globalization and its impact on society and culture.
- Section III supplement to 'Discovering Sense of Place'
Available from NWEI:
GLEI Book Discussion Guides
- Voluntary Simplicity,a five-session course addressing the distractions of modern society that keep us from caring for ourselves, our relationships, and our environment.
- Reconnecting With Earth, An six-session course addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the earth. ( *This is the revised edition of "Exploring Deep Ecology." It is available in a paperless PDF format only.)
- Discovering a Sense of Place, formerly called Bioregional Perspectives, a nine-session course focusing on knowing and protecting our place.
- Choices for Sustainable Living, A seven-session course exploring the meaning of sustainable living and the ties between lifestyle choices and their impact on ecological systems.
- Healthy Children - Healthy Planet, a nine-session course designed to create healthy environments for children by developing a child's connection to nature and by recognizing the pervasive effects of advertising.
- Global Warming, A four-session course exploring the history and science of global warming, personal values and habits as they relate to climate change, and personal actions to curb the effects of global warming.
- Menu for the Future, A six-session course exploring the connection between food and sustainability.
- A World of Health: Connecting People, Place and Planet, A six-session course exploring "good health," the connections between human health and the environment, and how we can sustain both. Each session includes readings, video clips, short assignments and accompanying group discussion questions.
- Sustainable Systems at Work A five-session discussion course for the workplace, designed to further organizational sustainability initiatives.
- Just Below the Surface is a one session course that explores the connections between Deepwater Horizon, energy policies and our lifestyles. The course offers an opportunity to reflect further on this historical event and the lessons it holds for us moving forward—individually and collectively. The intent is not to assign blame, but rather to take responsibility—as conscious consumers and concerned, active citizens.
Hungry for Change explores the true meaning of the phrase "you are what you eat." In a flexible four to six session schedule, this discussion course challenges participants to examine their roles, not only as consumers of food, but also as creators -- of food, of systems, and of the world we all live in. Each session includes readings, short assignments and accompanying discussion questions that address the impact of individual food choices on a range of issues, including ecosystem health, the treatment of factory and farm workers, and the global economy. Many sessions also include video clips, podcasts and websites to deepen the learning experience. Hungry for Change helps participants commit to lasting change by developing and sharing personal Action Plans with each session.
Discussion guides are available for:
- 'A Sand County Almanac'
- 'How Much is Enough'
- 'Man's Search for Meaning'
- 'The Ecology of Commerce'
- 'When Corporations Rule the World'
- 'In The Absence of the Sacred'
- 'The Great Work'
How to Take a GLEI Course
The best way to get a feeling for the Great Lakes Earth Institute is to take a GLEI course. You will learn that the focus is on you, your feelings about and relationship to the environment, and what actions (if any) you would like to take in response to what you discover. The course book is $21 and that is your only cost. The GLEI has the books in stock. We are here to answer your questions.
- Host An Organizing Session: Hold a free-of-charge "organizing session" at your workplace, church, club, service organization, etc. Invite members and others* to attend an informational meeting (*These courses are a great way to attract potential members). A GLEI representative will do a presentation about a specific course, people sign up, groups form, a meeting time is picked, the GLEI will assign a mentor for session #1, and the course begins.
- Start Your Own Group: You could simply form a group by inviting friends/acquaintances to participate. Try for a minimum of eight, but it can work with fewer provided they all tend to show up regularly. You need enough people to have a lively discussion.
- Join A Group: All you have to do is tell us which course you want to take, and we will let you know when and where a group is starting.
- What You Can Expect: If you get involved, you will find that the GLEI is really your organization. It is a powerful tool to help you and others make self-directed changes that benefit you, your family, and the planet.
individuals become environmentally aware, make informed environmental
decisions, and take self-directed actions.