Preparation: Expedition 3 Australia


Location: Learning Technologies Media Lab, St. Paul, MN, USA
Lat/Long: 44° 56′ 39″ N 93° 5′ 35″ W
Weather Conditions:  28F (-2C) Sunny
Kristina and Brad compare notes at an Earthducation meeting.

View the full photo gallery that accompanies this post.

Here We Go!

Overview of the route for expedition 3.

We are thrilled to launch Earthducation’s next expedition – Expedition 3: Australia! In 2011 we traveled to Burkina Faso, Africa for Expedition 1 and Northern Norway, Europe for Expedition 2. To kick off 2012, we are heading “down under” and will be departing Minneapolis, MN, for the island continent of Australia. The primary goal of the Earthducation project is to inspire a global conversation around the intersections and disconnections between education and sustainability. During the next few weeks, we will interview people throughout Australia in order to illustrate the complexities and nuances that geographical location brings to this conversation.

The environmental focus of Earthducation 3: Australia is biodiversity. In addition, a number of other pressing sustainability topics pertinent to the continent will be investigated while we are in the field including mining, sustainable beef production, distance education, and the Great Barrier Reef. We will also highlight the history, contributions, and contemporary issues of the Aboriginal peoples and communities within this ancient and unique land.


Charlie with his tickets and passport ready to board the plane to Sydney.

From February 27 – March 12, 2012, we will travel from the most densely populated region of Australia (the city of Sydney in New South Wales) to the most sparsely populated (the Northern Territory), before heading east to visit the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef and its coastal communities in northeast Queensland. Along the way, we will visit schools and universities, remote Aboriginal communities, small businesses, and environmental organizations, investigating how education and sustainability intersect in the lives of a diverse range of Australians.


Team meeting to review the team's final itinerary.

The entire Earthducation team has been working nonstop from the Learning Technologies Media Lab (LTML) at the University of Minnesota to prepare for Expedition 3. For months, Jeni has been working with Aaron on the logistics and has literally been living on Australia time, logging many hours conversing with folks in Australia about the project and helping arrange logistics and interviews for the team’s visit. She’s also been working with Cassie on the web content and educator resources. There has been endless research and writing about the regions and topics the team will be exploring “down under.” Brad and Charlie have been working on the Expedition 3 website as well as the Earthducation project main hub. We hope you like the new changes! There are numerous new interview videos posted from all of the regions we have traveled to so far (these interviews are at the core of Earthducation’s mission) as well as new trailers that Justin has developed. If you missed any of the past expeditions, these videos provide quick but detailed overviews of what each expedition entailed.

Brad working on the Earthducation website.

Patrick has been in a flurry organizing all the technology needed to deliver a state-of-the-art learning and research expedition from the far corners of globe. For the past few weeks, he could be seen outside in freezing temperatures with a laptop, satellite phone, solar panel, and mobile satellite Internet terminal testing equipment that will be used by the team in Australia. We count on Patrick to ensure the team has power and a high-speed internet connection in even the most remote locations.

Charlie and Aaron head toward their gate at the airport.

Kristina keeps an eye on the financial pulse of the project. To ensure that the expedition has enough AUS$ to conduct its research, she has been securing cash advances for interviews and travel expenses, researching lodging, meal, and incidental costs. Kristina has also been known to tap into her cheerleading skills when we all need some motivation.

Once the team is in Australia (in just a few short hours), the team back at LTML will receive all of the updates that are sent from the field to be posted online here. Cassie, Brad, Jeni, and Patrick work together at LTML while Aaron, Charlie, and Justin are “on location” doing whatever needs to be done – writing field updates, conducting interviews, giving presentations, and talking with locals to learn about unique issues and innovations of each community they visit. The Earthducation team is ready for yet another expedition to gather a tapestry of stories to share with the world on education and sustainability! Are you with us?

We Want to Hear Your Voice!

The Environetwork

Become part of the Earthducation team on the Environetwork!

Our mission is for people ALL AROUND THE WORLD to share ideas on how education and sustainability intersect or disconnect. And where you live changes your experience.

It all starts with your voice. Browse through the Environetwork to view current perspectives and stories, and then add your own.Together, we can explore how education can influence a healthier future for our planet.

Just for Educators

The Environetwork

Earthducation provides a number of educational activities and resources you can use within your K12 classroom that complement the Earthducation project. We have located lessons, activities, curricula, videos, websites, articles, and other resources that address the topics of sustainability, climate change, and cultural generally and specifically to each expedition location. We encourage you to dig in!

Please note that these resources can be used at any time during the expedition. The learning and experiences are NOT limited to when the team is out in the field gathering interviews. Instead, we encourage engagement with the activities, media, and Environetwork at any time.

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