Earth Week: Online Programs Offer Environmental Education

April 25, 2024  |  by Heidi Wells, Global Campus

Earth Week is celebrated around the world in many ways.
Photo by University of Arkansas
Earth Week is celebrated around the world in many ways.

Many of us remember Earth Day field trips as kids in elementary or junior high. Some of us took those lessons to heart and learned all we could to take care of the planet. And, some made it our profession, working and volunteering in positions that help preserve our planet.

Earth Day is April 22 each year, according to, and has grown into a full week's celebration known as Earth Week.

The University of Arkansas offers online education for anyone who would like to learn more about many ways to protect the environment. The Graduate School and International Education's Environmental Dynamics graduate program and the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design collaborated on these offerings.

The master's degree in environmental resiliency is delivered online, along with a series of online graduate certificates and microcertificates on environmental resiliency and sustainability. Online coursework allows students to work on the degree and certificates from anywhere and students enrolled in fully online programs pay in-state tuition, regardless of where they are. In addition to being accessible, some of the programs allow students to gain proficiency quickly with just three courses, or nine hours, required for each microcertificate.

“If you're passionate and want to make change through sustainability and environmental resilience, this is an opportunity to convene with a group of people that have that same passion,” says Professor Ken McCown. “I think everybody says, well, I'll recycle, but this is for people who really, really want to step forward and help.”

McCown is head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and the director of the sustainability and environmental resilience curricula at the University of Arkansas.


Earth Day 2024

This year's theme, Planet vs. Plastic, is all about reducing plastic production. offers an action toolkit that gives groups and individuals suggestions on what they can do to join in the effort. There is also a social media toolkit with downloadable material for people who want to participate in that way and suggestions on how to plan your own Earth Day event.

The website for, which describes itself as the global force behind Earth Day, recommends three actions: support the U.S. Global Plastic Treaty, reject fast fashion and join the Great Global Cleanup. The website also offers information about many topics such as climate education, quizzes and fact sheets.


What else can I do? offers nine ideas of what you can do to get involved this week in the workplace:

  1. Desk plant care workshop
  2. Virtual Earth Day mini games
  3. Workplace fundraiser for environmental causes
  4. Develop a workplace eco-guide
  5. Sustainable cocktail-making class
  6. Organize a volunteer day for community clean-up
  7. Plant trees and flowers
  8. Implement recycling systems and waste reduction challenges
  9. Host educational workshops

The Sierra Club offers five things to do for Earth Day that you can read more about on their website:

  1. Get the whole family outside
  2. Donate to protect public lands
  3. Connect with the next generation
  4. Attend a local Earth Day event
  5. Take action to support clean energy

The Youth Earth Week website also provides information and resources for getting involved.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offers Project WILD, an education program to help educators bring the outdoors to their students. More information is available on the website.

Photo of Heidi Wells

Heidi Wells

Content Strategist

Heidi Wells is the content strategist for the Global Campus at the University of Arkansas and editor of The Online Learner. Her writing spans more than 30 years as a communicator at the U of A and a reporter and editor at Arkansas newspapers. Wells earned two degrees from the U of A: a master's in 2013 and a bachelor's in 1988.

Wells can be reached at or 479-575-7239.

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Environmental Resiliency Online Programs

These online programs are designed for professionals who already work in a field in which environmental issues are important or for those who want to pursue careers that address such issues. The University of Arkansas offers different online graduate programs for the advanced study of resiliency in the context of sustainability, climate and environmental change.

Program Page


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