CGEE's History

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Read our overview of CGEE's Work: 

33 Years of Educational Innovation and Environmental Stewardship!

The Center for Global Environmental Education's History

Early History

Twenty-five years ago, the seeds of the Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) began with the interest and excitement surrounding the 1989-90 Trans-Antarctica Expedition led by explorer Will Steger. As part of that effort, Antarctic Institutes were held at Hamline University in 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991. The institutes were inspired by Diedre Kramer, then Director of Continuing  Studies at Hamline; they were developed by Jennifer Gasperini, Communications Director for Will Steger’s 1989-90 Trans-Antarctica Expedition, and Dave Chittenden, Education Director at the Science Museum of Minnesota.  During the 1989 institute, the expedition team, including members from six different countries, packed for the expedition in the ballroom of the Bush Center on Hamline’s campus. A Russian Illyusian aircraft, the first Soviet plane ever allowed in US airspace, came to Minneapolis/St. Paul to pick up the team.

When the expedition ended in March 1990, teachers were begging the education team to continue developing adventure learning projects for their classrooms. Gasperini began discussing the creation of CGEE with Hamline at that time; in November of 1990, CGEE was born as part of the then Graduate School of Continuing  Studies.

CGEE went on to embrace learning inspired by expeditions and adventures.