Author Archives: janisselbyjones

Inspiring Civic Engagement and Environmental Advocacy

A defining moment of my long career in education occurred in March 2017. I had been working with colleague Ann Zivotsky and her 5th grade class as we developed an opinion/argument writing unit on marine debris that delved into the problem … Continue reading

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Skull and Crossbones

During the Middle Ages, the skull and crossbones symbol represented death and was often placed on grave markers. In the 18th century “Jolly Roger” flags were flown on pirate ships during an attack and/or as a warning of an impending … Continue reading

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Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Vista Take Action; Escondido and Oceanside Lag Behind

A group of North County residents and I first spoke to the Carlsbad City Council about the plastic pollution problem during a Council meeting in February 2019. That evening, Council Members voted unanimously to place single-use plastics on the legislative … Continue reading

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Leading with Climate Justice

During a recent Portrait of a Graduate Student Summit held in Oceanside, young people were asked what skills they thought would be needed in the future. One high school senior replied, “I need to know how to live in a … Continue reading

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Making to Make a Difference

I was part of virtual environmental literacy conversation this morning through the California Writing Project and left the meeting feeling inspired by colleagues from across the state who are engaging students in meaningful climate change discussions. As I was thinking … Continue reading

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Into the Current

Into the Current highlights the plastic pollution problem by showcasing photographs, 3-D objects, and sculptures created with plastic debris found on North County San Diego beaches. The installation is on display at the Hill Street Country Club gallery at 530 … Continue reading

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Plastic Plankton

According to a study conducted in 2020, the prevalence of microplastics in the ocean has been significantly underestimated, and the number is at least double previous estimates. Professor Pennie Lundeque, who led the research, stated that “…microplastic concentrations could exceed … Continue reading

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I hate to burst your balloon, but…

Mylar balloons have really been blowing this week! In fact, I picked up six during my beach walk in North County on Wednesday. By now, most people realize that when released, helium-filled balloons will eventually burst or deflate and will … Continue reading

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I have picked up more than my fair share of plastic forks and spoons while cleaning the beach. In fact, I recently collected an assortment of eleven plastic utensils during one walk along the shoreline. Nevertheless, I was surprised by … Continue reading

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Playing with Plastic

Sand toys found on the beach make fun designs, but plastic toys can be harmful to children. According to new research from the Technical University of Denmark, “Out of 419 chemicals found in hard, soft, and foam plastic materials used … Continue reading

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