Seeds of Resilience

Seeds of Resilience is a free service to teachers connecting the academics of the California Common Core State Standards with real-world examples and sustainability issues in Sonoma County and abroad. Accessing over 450 experts from the Institute’s Fellows Network, Seeds of Resilience connects classrooms with local, regional, and national experts in sustainability-related industries and fields. The Institute, essentially acting as a speakers bureau, facilitates 2 hour seminars and hands-on activities that use issues such as energy use and behavior, land use decisions, environmental conservation, and disadvantaged communities to achieve desired curriculum outcomes. High schools participating in this program deepen their students’ understanding of key public policy issues and career opportunities while gaining a clear vision for a just and sustainable future.

Seeds of Resilience is part of embedding sustainability into the educational system. 


Program Mission
To educate and empower emerging leaders to expand their capacity for leadership, social change, and community transformation.


Program Goals

  1. All high school students and teachers in Sonoma County will have access to professional networks that foster responsible community engagement and leadership.
  2. All high school students understand the interdisciplinary nature of local issues that are of direct concern to them, their communities, and the world at large. 





Sample Seminar

Topic: Watersheds

Speaker: Ryan Pedrotti, Principal Program Specialist at Sonoma County Water Agency (Leadership for Sustainable Future graduate '11)

The students were separated into 8 groups and each assigned a section of the Russian River watershed. Each group, with their map, then began measuring the bodies of water and topography, identifying features, and researching landmarks in order to identify what might drive the economy in their section. These watershed stakeholders included a Lumber Mill, Dam, Residential Neighborhoods, Urban Industry, and the Environment. Students researched their stakeholders and collected the water they needed for their stakeholder from pitchers labeled Russian River and Lake Sonoma. 

The activity is designed so that the Russian River and Lake Sonoma pitchers are empty before the Environment group is invited to collect their water. Students are then sent back to their groups to figure out how their stakeholder can save water so that the Environment in included in the watershed.

Students practiced and learned:

  • the definition of a watershed
  • how to read maps and measure map topography
  • how to identify and assign land-use based on watershed and map topography, features, and landmarks
  • how to identify watershed stakeholders and water use
  • water use politics and stakeholder interconnectedness/dependence





If you have questions about the program, please contact the Leadership Institute at (707) 578-9133, or email Kristina Jacobsson, Program Manager, at