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Grants help UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education promote sustainability

March 12, 2012

Susan Salterberg, program manager, Center for Energy & Environmental Education, 319-337-4816,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) recently received three state grants totaling almost $80,000 to promote sustainability. According to Susan Salterberg, the program manager at the CEEE, two of the three grants will be aimed at educating trainers to help Iowans reclaim their winter holidays by making them meaningful and environmentally friendly.

The CEEE will educate new trainers and assist existing ones over a two-year period, continue to build its website,, and conduct a K through 12 needs assessment. Salterberg said the CEEE plans to serve 125 new educators and continue to engage 108 existing trainers, all of whom will eventually reach an estimated 15,000 Iowans. Primary partners for the project are Iowa State University Extension, Cool Congregations and Willowwind School.

"Our goal is for trainers to create more environmentally friendly holidays and educate others about how to do this as well," said Salterberg. "We hope that those reached by the trainers will create more environmentally friendly winter holiday seasons and eventually greener holidays all year long."

The third grant will fund a two-year initiative to reach 525 teachers. Three graduate-level courses will provide educators with a deeper content understanding of global consumption and waste issues. These teachers will reach more than 9,500 students. The grant will also provide funds for introducing environmental lesson plans to 450 pre-K through 12 educators.

The grants are from the Resource Protection and Enhancement Program (REAP), Conservation Education Program and the Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program. For additional information, contact Salterberg at 319-273-4816 or