Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)

Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) Logo

Basic Information

Address: 60 Blueberry Hill Road Hope, Maine 04847
Phone Number: 207-230-4025
Fax Number: 207-763-2750
Director: David Oaks
Duration: Ongoing

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Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)
Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)
Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)
Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)

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Additional Information

School Information:

Who are we?

The Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) offers life-changing college-credit sustainability education programs for students who believe that they can make a difference in the world: students who would like to play an active role in creating long-term solutions to problems facing our local and global communities and environment.  CELL offers college semester (and short course) programs focusing on a theme of sustainability through community. Our Middle East Program has a more specific theme of sustainability and peace through community. The purpose of any CELL experience is to ignite a life-long commitment to living sustainably and to giving and receiving support for this commitment through community. During the course of a semester program, students learn about the concepts of sustainability while living in eco-villages and learning from internationally recognized partners who are modeling how a “small group of committed people” can make a big difference in achieving local and global sustainability. At the end of a CELL program, students develop action plans that empower them to return home and employ what they have learned in their own lives and through implementing sustainability initiatives in their own communities. This individual and collective action is at the heart of what CELL is all about!  

CELL currently offers programs in Iceland, Central America, and the Middle East. We are developing new programs in East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) and a new U.S. based program that will showcase exemplary sustainable initiatives taking place in our own country.

Although our programs have a sustainability theme, they are interdisciplinary by design and emphasize:
Transforming how students view themselves, their relationship to community, and their role as change agents.
Teaching college students (our future leaders) how problems can be solved through the application of critical inquiry, imagination, ingenuity, and individual and community commitment.
Modeling creative, systemic solutions that are being successfully practiced at the local and global levels.
Demonstrating, through thought-provoking readings, deep reflection exercises, challenging course content, and experiential and service-learning, how learning is not a spectator sport and how students can integrate sustainable practices into their individual lives and current and future leadership roles.
Collaborating with internationally recognized organizations committed to building sustainability through community.
Partnering with colleges and universities committed to taking a leadership role in offering internationally recognized sustainability education programs that maintain academic rigor and dovetail with institutional curricula.

Tuition:

See our website at www.cellonline.org

Financial Aid:

Limited

Curriculum Highlights:

Sustainability education, experiential education, service-learning, international travel.

School Setting:

International travel to other countries (see our website at www.cellonline.org)

Program Information: Who are we? The Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) offers life-changing sustainability education programs for students who believe that they can make a difference in the world: students who would like to play an active role in creating long-term solutions to problems facing our local and global communities and environment.  CELL offers college semester (and short course) programs focusing on a theme of sustainability through community. Our Middle East Program has a more specific theme of sustainability and peace through community. The purpose of any CELL experience is to ignite a life-long commitment to living sustainably and to giving and receiving support for this commitment through community. During the course of a semester program, students learn about the concepts of sustainability while living in eco-villages and learning from internationally recognized partners who are modeling how a “small group of committed people” can make a big difference in achieving local and global sustainability. At the end of a CELL program, students develop action plans that empower them to return home and employ what they have learned in their own lives and through implementing sustainability initiatives in their own communities. This individual and collective action is at the heart of what CELL is all about!   CELL currently offers programs in Iceland, Central America, and the Middle East. We are developing new programs in East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) and a new U.S. based program that will showcase exemplary sustainable initiatives taking place in our own country. Although our programs have a sustainability theme, they are interdisciplinary by design and emphasize: Transforming how students view themselves, their relationship to community, and their role as change agents. Teaching college students (our future leaders) how problems can be solved through the application of critical inquiry, imagination, ingenuity, and individual and community commitment. Modeling creative, systemic solutions that are being successfully practiced at the local and global levels. Demonstrating, through thought-provoking readings, deep reflection exercises, challenging course content, and experiential and service-learning, how learning is not a spectator sport and how students can integrate sustainable practices into their individual lives and current and future leadership roles. Collaborating with internationally recognized organizations committed to building sustainability through community. Partnering with colleges and universities committed to taking a leadership role in offering internationally recognized sustainability education programs that maintain academic rigor and dovetail with institutional curricula.
Referrals:

Contact us at info@cellonline.org

Notes/Information:

 

What do we believe?

 

CELL believes that problems can be solved through the application of critical inquiry, imagination, ingenuity, and individual and community commitment. CELL further believes that true education should spur an inner transformation that impels life-changing action. CELL’s educational programs stir and spur students to think more deeply and more broadly about themselves, their connection to community (locally and globally), and the leadership role they can play in living more responsibly as a global citizen. CELL’s experiential programs not only increase students’ awareness, knowledge, and skills; more importantly, they empower students to “…be the change they wish to see in the world” (Gandhi).

What are some of our core educational values? The following principles provide a foundation upon which our programs are developed.  CELL …

…in sustainability and peace through community. We believe that an individual can make a big difference in her/his life, but when we work together to galvanize the energy and resolve of a community, then anything is possible. We believe that there is no peace or sustainability without community. 

 

…that we need to live within our means. We believe that we cannot continue to deplete our natural capital (i.e. the consumption of our forests, clean water, minerals, etc.), if we desire to sustain our economic development. We should not deplete our natural capital faster than it can replenish itself annually; otherwise, we are living unsustainably. The solutions to our environmental and economic crisis are directly related and require us to bring Nature within the accounting framework. This assumes that forests, seas, mineral resources, wild animals, etc. have not only an environmental value, but also an economic value.

 

…in the concept of development, as opposed to growth. We believe, for example, that a library can develop by replacing outdated volumes with new ones. The total volumes in the library may not necessarily “grow,” but the library can “develop” itself through the updating of better resources. Similarly, we believe our social, economic, political, and environmental systems can do the same – logical and balanced development as opposed to growth.

 

…that it is also our moral responsibility to consider the natural capital and people beyond our borders and be mindful of the ethics regarding the impact of our use of worldwide resources both on the people and the natural capital of the planet. As a member of a worldwide community, we cannot ignore the fact that what we do to the world's resources and people directly impacts, not only ourselves, but also our global neighbors.

 

…that our current capitalist economic model should be worked with, and not opposed as fundamentally anti-ecological. We can, for example, stimulate our economy, provide new jobs, and enable our people to meet their needs through the development of sustainable businesses and other innovations (e.g. solar and wind technologies, efficiency technologies, etc.).

 

…in eliminating waste. When we eliminate waste, it is good for the environment and it makes good economic sense - as more profit is made while reducing pollution.

 

…that we can’t turn to the government for all the answers. We need to combine "responsible government" with "vital entrepreneurship.” We need to spur greater entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.

 

…that learning is not a spectator sport. As participants in a CELL sustainability education program, students learn by doing and are challenged to integrate classroom knowledge with real-life applications.

 

…that learning is not selfish. Through service-learning experiences, students expand their understanding and appreciation of themselves, their relationship to other cultures and their environment, while, for example, helping to install a solar electric system for a remote rural village or working hand-in-hand with community partners to build a biodigester for renewable fuel production, or assisting with the restoration of endangered sea turtles.

 

…that learning requires understanding wholes as well as parts. CELL’s sustainability education programs are interdisciplinary. Students learn critical-thinking skills while examining various sides of issues. Students learn about win-win solutions that benefit local communities and the environment.

 

…that an individual, when working in community, can make a big difference. A key component of all of our programs is assisting participants in designing and implementing community action plans that build upon what they have learned during the semester program and provide an opportunity to apply creative, systemic solutions to social, economic, political, and environmental problems back home.

 

We believe that it is time for educational organizations and institutions to take a leadership role in teaching, not only the principles of sustainability, but also the community building, and leadership skills needed to effectively implement sustainable initiatives.

 

With increasing global deterioration of social, economic, political, and environmental systems, and a failure of governments to adequately respond, people around the world are coming together, forming communities, and taking proactive actions to solve the problems our planet is facing. Higher education institutions have a unique opportunity to take a critically important leadership role in teaching/modeling, not only the principles of sustainability, but also the community building, and leadership skills needed to effectively implement sustainability initiatives. This commitment to sustainability ultimately needs to be implemented through people working together in community. And that is what CELL is all about and why we are interested in working with other academic institutions committed to sustainability to offer sustainability education programs – programs that are designed to dovetail with college curriculum, attract students, and empower them to become future leaders who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitment necessary in promoting healthy, economically viable, sustainable  communities. The work we are proposing is more than an educational program; it’s our future.