Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College

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Seasonal Jobs with Friends of the Forest Preserve, Cook County!

Below are links to three different positions within the Friends of the Forest Preserve Conservation Corps.  They are looking to hire a Crew Manager and Assistant Crew Manager for their BRAND NEW North Branch crew.  They will also have 4 open 2018 Crew Member positions on that crew, as well as, some open 2018 Crew Member positions on all of the other crews.  Please share these positions with anyone that you think would be a good fit in one of these roles.  These are incredible opportunities to get out in nature, learn more about restoration, develop leadership skills, and mentor others during the process!
New this year: They are offering $1000 bonus to any 2018 Crew Member that stays for the entire length of the program year and finishes the year with a positive review.  How cool is that?   
Click on the titles below for full job postings and application details.

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Doris Duke Conservation Scholars–Deadline 2/8/17

We would like to let you know about an exciting program at the University of Michigan–the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP UM). DDCSP UM is an exciting two-year research and internship opportunity for bright, curious undergraduate students interested in conservation, nature, and the environment. The program is aimed at bringing more undergraduates currently underrepresented in the environmental field into the conservation arena.

In addition to a $4,250 stipend, accepted students will also receive room and board and travel expenses to and from Ann Arbor, Michigan each summer.

Please note that the application opens November 15, 2016 and the deadline is February 8, 2017. The program dates are June 4-July 29, 2017. Detailed program information and application are available on our website at

Please feel free to contact program administrators at (734)936-0900 if you would like to discuss the DDCSP UM program further or e-mail

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#Oakemon: Discovering Nature on Oakton’s Campuses through New Eyes

Things tend to slow down here during the summer–but this week, you wouldn’t know it by taking a look outside. Swarms of folks are walking through campus on this sunny day, hanging out by the lake, walking along the forest preserve’s edge, observing the wetland, and gathering around the many outdoor sculpture pieces. Why you ask? Perhaps it has something to do with the 15 Pokéstops on our Des Plaines campus or the two gyms (which are currently held by yellow and red…but have seen some fluctuation).  Pokémon Hunters who have downloaded Pokémon Go have plenty of opportunities to explore, capture, and refuel while on campus (in between classes of course). You’ll find your fair share of common urban Pokémon like Pidgey and Rattata and discover Horsea and Magikarp down by the water but with our 147 acres and natural landscape you have an increased chance of discovering some rarer individuals too. Find them in the woods, in our prairie restoration sites, and gardens.  I haven’t yet made it out to our Skokie campus–but I would be surprised if there weren’t a few Pokéstops there as well given the more urban setting.

2016-07-12 17.46.19.jpgBumblebee and Beedrill

So why would Oakton’s Green Committee  devote time and energy to sharing the details of Pokémon Go? Because a big part of being green is getting out and experiencing nature. It involves appreciating the diversity of plants and animals that abound, the variety of ecosystems and environments that are able to provide shelter to wildlife, the trees that generate the air we breathe. Our staff naturalist, grounds crew, facilities, and sustainability staff together with our students in courses like Environmental Science and those in Ecology Club, spend time all year restoring, preserving, and enhancing these beautiful spaces. Continue reading

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SCA Summer Calumet Crew Program

TheSCA, in partnership with the Chicago Park District Natural Areas,  currently has positions available for the 2016 Young Adult Calumet Crew.

SCA Summer Calumet Crew Program

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s #1 conservation service organization Currently seeking Young Adult applicants, ages 18-25 to help conserve the Calumet Region’s Natural Areas in partnership with the Chicago Park District.

Diverse applicants from the South and West side of Chicago are encouraged to apply.

Responsibilities: work alongside a crew of 10 crew members, while completing various conservation service projects in the Natural Areas of the Calumet Region. The experience is designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. Projects include using manual and mechanical tools to complete a range of projects such as trail and park maintenance, habitat restoration, and tree care. The crew will also participate in Environmental Education Workshops and Outdoor Recreation opportunities throughout the 8 week program.

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NEW Environmental Studies Concentration at Oakton

Oakton Community College is excited to announce our NEW Environmental Studies Concentration. Registration for Fall 2016 is now open!

Join us Wednesday, April 20th in room 1604 of the Des Plaines Campus to hear more about this exciting opportunity!

The Environmental Studies Concentration is a nineteen (19) semester hour concentration designed to provide an interdisciplinary framework that promotes understanding of humanity’s impact on the natural environment and how the natural environment impacts human development; a critical appreciation of the importance of sustainability; and the central importance of integrating the work of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities for a holistic and meaningful understanding of any environmental issue or problem.

The disciplinary approaches of the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities are all essential to a full appreciation of the relationships between human systems and natural systems and any attempt to think critically and productively about how we can best meet our current environmental challenges.

The Environmental Studies Concentration prepares students for transfer into a variety of majors dealing with the environment, such as sustainability; environmental philosophy, law, and policy; environmental art and literature; environmental engineering and chemistry; conservation biology and natural resource management; and environmental journalism.

Most courses in the concentration meet the general education requirements and have IAI transfer codes. However, students should consult with the Environmental Studies Coordinator to ensure that they are taking the necessary courses in each general education area and are not taking more than one course with the same IAI number.

Students meeting the requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration will have a notation added to their transcript indicating successful completion. In order to receive this designation, students must complete an Environmental Studies Concentration Completion form and meet with the Environmental Studies Coordinator.

Required Courses:

  • BIO106: Introduction to Environmental Science (4 credits)
  • PHL204: Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

 Of the remaining 12 credits:

  • at least three must come from a social science course with an ESC designation
  • at least three must come from a humanities course with an ESC designation (other than PHL204)
  • at least three must come from a natural or physical science course (other than BIO 106).
  • The last 3 credits can come from any class with an ESC designation.

To check available courses for Fall 2016, click here, select the term and then “Environmental Studies Concentration” in the Category section.


For more information, contact ESC co-coordinators, Paul Gulezian, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Marian Staats, Professor of English, at and


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Alternative Spring Break: Cook County Forest Preserve

The Forest Preserves of Cook County would like to invite your students to join us for a unique volunteer opportunity: Alternative Spring Break- Land Management Crew Volunteer. Please help us spread the word.

 Alternative Spring Break

Dates: Choose a week from March 7 to March 28th

Description: Spend your spring break in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) working alongside our Land Management Crews. Learn about how the FPCC manages natural resources on our holdings, the tools used to do the job and ways we are adapting to environmental changes in a highly urbanized environment. Typical work days include invasive species removal, brush pile burning, tree care and removal, herbicide application and other general land management responsibilities.

Requirements/Duties (full list on job description): Typical work days include: invasive species removal, brush pile burning, tree care and removal, herbicide application, prescription burning and other general land management responsibilities. Continue reading

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Doris Duke Conservation Scholars–Apply by February 8th

The School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan has launched a new program to introduce greater diversity into the environmental conservation workforce. The program is funded by a generous grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) teaches an approach to conservation in which diversity and inclusion are integral. The first cohort of Doris Duke Conservation Scholars – to be named in April 2016 – will comprise 20 undergraduate students chosen through a nation-wide competition.
The multi-year program provides participants with an immersive learning experience on and around the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as in other parts of the state. The curriculum incorporates minority history, culture, and experiences into students’ understanding of conservation practices.
Participants will complete eight weeks of lab research at SNRE’s facilities in June/July 2016, as well as an eight-week internship at an area environmental organization the following year. Each scholarship provides for travel expenses, room and board, a $4,000 stipend, and a $250 discretionary supplement per summer.
Successful applicants must demonstrate a passion for conservation, nature, and the environment, and must desire a career aligned with that passion. By February 8, 2016, applicants must complete an online application form and three essay questions, and secure two letters of recommendation.
For more information about the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, please contact Dr. Dorceta E. Taylor ( Information is also available at