Environmental Literacy Council

  • DC


1625 K Street NW, Suite 1020
United States

About Us

Since its creation in 1997, the Environmental Literacy Council has worked to support the teaching of science related to environmental issues. The Environmental Literacy Council is a non-profit organization whose membership is drawn from the life, physical, earth, mathematical, and social sciences of prestigious institutions to reflect the cross-disciplinary nature of environmental concerns. The Council is the only national organization that is dedicated solely to improving the teaching of the environmental sciences in elementary and secondary schools.

We provide a wealth of resources for teachers and students free of charge. The Council's award-winning website is one of the most substantive sites on the Internet for researching and teaching environmental issues. The site receives millions of visits from teachers, students, and the public each year.

The environmental sciences have become an integral part of the K-12 curriculum, and for good reason. No choices are more important than those we make about the environment – and few are more complex and challenging. Yet the actions we take can have a permanent, powerful impact, upon human well-being and the face of nature on earth. Health, living conditions, transportation infrastructure, technologies, economic future and our relationship with nature are all shaped by environmental actions.

As our future business and community leaders, today’s students will someday make critical environmental decisions. Yet, studies show that many are unprepared. Textbooks often provide little detail of the scientific and economic concepts behind environmental issues. Teachers struggle with out-of-date resources and inadequate training and support.

If we are to protect the Earth and our future, we need to equip today’s students to be tomorrow’s environmental stewards. Our classrooms must become places where students achieve a deep understanding of complex environmental issues. A forest, for example, may be at one and the same time a place of great beauty; a natural resource critical to the health and well-being of neighboring communities; a local ecosystem, supporting rich plant and animal life; and a vital component in the planet’s great bio-geo-chemical cycles for regulating global climate. The Council seeks to help teachers and their students see this forest and its trees: to analyze and evaluate risk, and to understand the limits and impact of our actions.