Research Centre of Environmental Communication and Education


The Environmental Education and Communication Research Centre was officially instituted on October 18, 2000 , PD No. 283 in Government Gazette 234 / v. A ‘/ 31.10.2000 , with Director Professor Constantina Skanavis .

The Environmental Education and Communication Research Centre, serves research and educational purposes of the single field of subjects of Environmental Education, Environmental Communication and Interpretation.

In particular, the purpose of the research Centre is to cover under-graduate and postgraduate teaching needs at the Department of the Environment, and other Departments of the University of the Aegean, while promoting research of the theoretical framework and applications in Environmental Education, Communication and Interpretation through interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, research programs that are addressing issues related to the specialist fields of the Centre , such as evaluation, comparison and monitoring of the characteristics and environmental profile (environmental awareness , knowledge, attitude, behavior , action, participation) of the Greeks and generally Europeans citizens are implemented.

Our goal is, once the precise environmental identity and profile of mainly Greek and European citizens is clarified, the to design and implement environmental communication, education and interpretation programs. These programs are implemented in the formal educational system (formal environmental education), at population groups not covered by the formal education (non – formal environmental education including environmental interpretation) and in general in all population groups as recipients of environmental information, as recipients of environmental information through lifelong learning processes based on everyday experience and educational influences of their environment (informal environmental education ) with ultimate goal to strengthen environmentally responsible behavior of citizens.

In light of the above and relying on the logic that the main purpose of environmental education is the remodeling of human behavior, the objectives of our Centre are:

  • the study of the environmental behavior of learners and trainers employed: (a) the formal environmental education (primary, secondary and higher education), (b) non-formal environmental education ( environmental education centers, zoological and/or botanical gardens, museums , protected areas , eco-tourism areas) and (c) the informal environmental education (media , cinema)
  • to use and implement social models of development of environmentally responsible behavior before, after and during the course of environmental communication and especially environmental education and interpretation programs
  • to promote and apply variables/indicators that define, influence and explain the process of environmental awareness and the disposition and participation skills of citizens in environmental decision-making process, thus playing an important role in achieving sustainable management of the environment
  • the production of educational material in order to support, the relevant to the subjects of the Centre, Department courses
  • design and development of training materials and environmental education programs adapted to the needs of specific groups of people (eg students , the disabled , teachers, farmers, tourists , journalists)
  • the promotion of environmental communication and interpretation, as tools for environmental awareness and participation of citizens by encouraging them to take initiatives of action, contributing in this way substantially to the sustainable conservation efforts , and environmental management
  • support and development of training organizations for environmental educators and interpreters employed in national parks and protected areas management entities , museums, non-governmental organizations contributing this way to their education and thereby increasing the environmental awareness of visitors and/or eco-tourists
  • cooperation with other teachers , government and private institutions for the promotion of environmental education objectives. In particular, in the context of lifelong learning, our goal is to develop educational/training programs, and propose better handling and promoting of environmental information, in line with the needs of each operator

In conclusion, the complexity of environmental problems and the seriousness of environmental issues require active citizens with necessary skills and competencies to participate effectively in environmental decision making. The “Research Centre of Environmental Education and Communication” is engaged in research, promotion and support of activities which develop environmentally responsible citizens.

Professor Constantina Skanavis, Director of the Research Centre

Dr. Vaso Petreniti, Senior Researcher

Dr. Christos Giannoulis, Senior Researcher

Yiorgos Antonopoulos, M.Sc. student

Emmanouel Avgerinos, Ph.D. student

Paraskevi Theodorou, Ph.D. student

Aristea Kounani, Ph.D. student

Kalliope Marini, Ph.D. student

Valentina Plaka, Ph.D. student

An organized environmental communication activities center has been set up in the port of Linaria at Skyros Island in cooperation with the Coast Skyros Fund.

The students who are hosted, implement environmental education programs during their internship requirement period.

Two kiosks, specifically designed for activities, like a) environmental camp, b) tourist observatory, c) assessment of responsible environmental behavior, d) environmental seminars etc., of the research team have been installed at the Port.

Under the research activities of the laboratory, population groups have been studied by the Research Centre of Environmental Education and Communication, for setting their environmental profile. The scientific tool used in determining the environmental profile was a questionnaire , the design of which was based on individual behavior models of environmental studies.

Population groups include: journalists in local media of Mytilene, guests in 5 caves ( Dirou , Paiania , Petralona Chalkidiki, Alistrati Serres and Kilkis ) , teachers of primary education Lesvos, the Aegean University students, kindergarten teachers of the Directorate of Primary Education of Athens and employees in eco-tourism businesses in Kerkini lakes and Tavropos.

 

Programs

  • EU PROMETHEUS 2014-Forest Fire Emergency Response in Wildland-Urban Interface (participated in the development of the forest fire model to be used in the seminars), 2014
  • E-learning, Life Long Programs, Universityof the Aegean, 2013-2014 (Seminars on: α) Active citizen Participation, Civic ecology β) Social Media and Resilience in Natural Disasters and Environmental Accidents
  • Life Long Learning Programs and adult Education: Support and Education of Local CommunitiesΙ (ESPA), Development of skills for environmental Communication in order to create environmentally resilient communities, 2013
  • Unitfor Innovation andEntrepreneurship, University of the Aegean, The effectivenessof communication ingreen growth, 2012
  • Environmental Communication Evaluation of The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) school gardening partnership between the Garden’s Education and Bronx Green-Up departments, 2012
  • Counseling on Environmental Education, Civic Academy, 2011
  • Assessment of Needs/Development of Seminars and Specialized Curriculum on Environmental Counseling and Promotion of Responsible Environmental Behavior for Educators who work with Students with Disabilities, Station of Counseling Department, University of Aegean, 2009-2011
  • Integrated Multiple Level Wetlands Monitoring System using Innovative Technologies (WETMUST), Regional Development Office, Central Macedonia, 2008
  • Evaluation of Environmental Education Program of Greek Ornithology Society at the Environmental Sensitivity Park, A. Tritsis, Attica, Greece, 2008
  • Development of Environmental Education Seminars for the Ministry of Defense, 2007
  • Interreg, MANWATER (Management of Water Resources and Wetland protection in tourism developing areas), 2007
  • Environmental Education Training of Educators, National Technological Institute of Greece, (EPEAEK), 2006-8
  • PENED: 1000 Euros, from the GSRT for “Planning of models for active participation in the environmental decision-making of women and sensitive social groups of the population”, 2005
  • ISTOS, “Innovation for Sustainable Tourism and the Services in Aegean”, Act 4.1. “Developing two Local Agendas 21 in two islands of S. Aegean”, Act 7.1 “Innovation – Sustainability and Local Agenda 21”, 2005
  • Evaluation of creating appropriate schools in Pafos, Cyprus, 2004
  • Research Grant from Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Program of Volunteering, Organization of Scientific Meeting on Protection and Promotion of the Protected area of the NATURA 2000 network, at the Kalloni gulf of Lesvos Island, Mytilene, 2004
  • Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, Operational Program for Education and Initial Vocational Training (O.P. “Education”), Cooperation in Pythagoras Project (Natural Environment, Agriculture and Biodiversity in Agro- systems and Natural Ecosystems in Islands of Northern Aegean), 2004
  • Hellenic Ministry of the Aegean, Thrace- Aegean- Cyprus program, Environmental Education as a factor of Sustainable Development of Local Communities, Cooperation with the Experimental High School of Mytilene, 2004
  • ΝΑΤΟ Science Program, Advance Training Course in Science Policy, Support and Development of the R&D and the Innovation Potential of Post-Socialist Countries, 2003
  • The Christopher Reynolds Foundation-Cuba project, 2003
  • Operational Program for Education and Initial Vocational Training (O.P. “Education”) Working Party , Environmental Education Curriculum Programs, 2002-2004
  • Environmental Management of Cyprus, Environmental Awareness based on the requirements of the European Community Directive guidelines, 2002
  • Network Creation entitled «Aegean: Environment and Culture», Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, 2002
  • Cavern of the Ermakia Community, Environmental Communication, 2001
  • EPA Scholarship for Environmental Education Training: Guidelines for the Initial Preparation of Environmental Educators, National Conservation Center, Shepherdstown, West Virginia 2000
  • Goulandri Museum, Gaia Centre: Evaluation of the Environmental Education Curriculum Programs, Athens 2000
  • Funding from the Ministry of the Aegean, Intrasoft and Municipality of “Evergetoula” for the organization of International Scientific Meeting in Environmental Education in Lesvos, Hellas and the World, Mytilene, 2000
  • Operational Program for Education and Initial Vocational Training (O.P. “Education”), Development of Educational Material for the Environmental Education, 2000
  • Goulandris Museum, Gaia Center: Evaluation of Environmental Education Materials, Athens, 2000
  • Ministry of Aegean grant, Intrasoft and Euergetoula for International Seminar on Environmental Education, Mitilini, 2000
  • EPEAEK, Development of Specialized Environmental Education Material, 2000

Plaka, V. and Skanavis C. 2015. The Feasibility of School Gardens as an Educational Approach in Greece: A survey of Greek Schools, International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, in press 

Giannakopoulou, H. and Skanavis, C. 2014. Creating Buzz by Using Media to Make School Gardens Communication Happen, Studies in Media and Communication 2(2):36-48

Sakellari, M. and Skanavis, C., 2013, Environmental Behavior and Gender: An emerging area of concern for Environmental Education Research, Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 12(2):77-87

Sakellari, M. and Skanavis, C., 2013, Sustainable tourism development: environmental education as a tool to fill the gap between theory and practice, International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 12(4):313-323

Skanavis C. and Sakellari M., 2012. Free-choice learning suited to women’s participation needs in environmental decision-making process, Environmental Education Research, 18(1), pp. 1-17