United Earth Fund Student Initiative /EnviroNotice

With thousands of plants, animals & species going extinct & human rights at risk across the nation & world, nonprofit UEF is setting up a national organization of student chapters to focus on investigative reporting, biodiversity and human rights in the public interest, establishing a sustainable student news operation at universities in all the 50 states. It will generate ongoing multilingual news, education, and investigative reporting in the public interest, ultimately generating worldwide multicultural news.

Our Initiative:
United Earth Fund (UEF) is setting up a national organization of nonprofit student chapters which will focus on investigative reporting, ecology and human rights. This initiative will educate the public and establish a sustainable student research, development and news operation at multiple universities beginning in the United States. The focus of this initiative is to create a sustainable student enterprise that generates ongoing news, education and investigative reporting in the public interest and not for profit.

United Earth Fund (UEF) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded in 1978. With the help of many contributors over the years, we developed this student initiative. A successful United Earth News (UEN) pilot ran at the UEF student chapter at the University of California, Davis. UEF also ran a successful student pilot with the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, School for Environment and Sustainability (SNRE is now SEAS). We are drawing on long range planning, the lessons learned, success achieved and newer digital technology.

In 1978 UEF began working on an international human rights initiative for the indigenous Hopi Indians. This issue revolved around the Black Mesa Strip Mine and energy developer Kennecott Copper. This is UEF’s model for students to support or advance civil and human rights locally and globally. Human Rights Great Lakes Clean-up/EPA 

UEF is a founding partner in establishing the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR). UEF won international web-site awards for its news and content coverage of the American Heritage River Initiative. The DRIWR’s process is UEF’s model for students to create more biodiversity refuges. International Wildlife Refuge 

UEF initiated, funded and managed a successful Thames River Cleanup centered in Glastonbury, Connecticut. This is UEF’s community watershed clean-up prototype for future works. Grade schools, high schools, colleges and local businesses joined in to have fun and clean up. Major contributors were Connecticut Light & Power and Pfizer.

Work Plan:
Three simplified steps outline how UEF will set up a sustainable student research, development, and news operation at multiple universities. (Detailed work-plan and budgets available.)

(1) Establish the communications backbone at the central hub in Ann Arbor,
(2) roll-out student chapters nationally, and
(3) then scale up to multinational student chapter participation.

All Life Matters:
The student teams research, develop, collaborate, peer-curate, and report on vital news, and assigned topics. Students create and publish ecology, energy, human rights, and related content to students and the general public locally and globally. UEF Student Chapters  United Earth News 

UEF Student Chapters:
Each UEF student chapter is given all the digital tools and resources they need to participate; a complete digital editing and production system. Each chapter contributes student produced news, research, and related data in their own native languages. The central hub manages the digital process of indexing and translation into multilingual news, documentaries, and vetted factual content for internet distribution.  UEF Student's & Team Guidelines 

Central Processing Hub:
Ann Arbor’s UEF Chapter, at the University of Michigan (UofM), is best suited for the central hub operations and global digital content management tasks. It is a major digital communications hub and, with Internet2, it has the connectivity capacity to handle national and multinational participants. The central hub sets up the digital management processes that sort, index and process the content from student chapters. It is also an international campus that will help expand the operation trans-nationally. This UEF student chapter will do the heavy lifting to set up and manage the flow of digital assets and communications.

Student teams are tasked with (collaborative and independent) production of public interest, and investigative news reporting, in their local areas, contributing on a regular basis. UEF matches the individuals aptitude and interests with assignments.

Local Native Voices, at each student chapter, will be able to report in their own words, and languages, without filters, on local topics and issues.

One of the core student initiatives (tasks) for each is called EnviroNotice: it’s a student-sourced, peer-curated, and globally-distributed online calendar of biodiversity, ecological, and human rights groups. Students source, build, and maintain a comprehensive online central calendar and index of local regional, national and international groups that currently does not exist. This serves the public, and the groups alike, by keeping this data accessible, and up-to-date.  (See EnviroNotice's YouTube Video)

This initiative can be achieved and operational within a short time frame; from the startup to “broadcasting” in under one year.  Step one is set-up hub operations and the U.S. university chapters. The second-step is to scale up U.S. operations to bring on the multinational chapter participants.

Flexible Budget:
Our budget is modest for the work we will accomplish. Our design is flexible enough to manage emerging opportunities. As student university chapters come online, daily news production and other content will drive donations, revenue, and “student industry” to support and sustain the ongoing initiative.

Costs will change over time as more UEF student chapters come online and access to university resources* defray expenses. UEF’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) status is a significant bonus, as a significant percentage of the student work-study cost is reimbursed back to further support the student chapters. (*such as communications costs and access to digital production equipment, research tools and so forth.)

One work-study student costs UEF $3,800USD in student hourly salary per semester paid through the participating University. That yields sixteen, 20 hour weeks of student research, production, and development work each semester. Work-study student tasks can include digital content production, investigative research, reporting, project development, volunteer management, and collaborative team assignments.

Each UEF student chapter gets one “team seat” that connects all the chapter productions together digitally; locally and globally. Each “team seat” allows for audio, video, and digital print content sharing. It costs only $34 per month per chapter using Adobe Cloud for Teams. Video programs, news and documentaries are made ready there for distribution and collaboration between the central hub and other student chapters. Student Team Participation Regions Map 

Start-up Scenarios:
The minimal funds needed to kick-start are $9,000 to get the central hub student chapter open in Ann Arbor. However a more robust start up costs $90,000 to establish the central hub, plus five UEF student chapters covering five regions. Optimal budget to establish all nine regions with at least one student chapter is a cost of $190,000.

As more student work-study chapters come online, central hub operations costs stay relatively stable. At full national output with 50+ chapters, operational costs for the hub are leveraged using AI (Artificial Intelligence), with modest addition of work-study and volunteer students to manage the flow and production.

Kick Start-Up:
Initial working capital comes from donations, then revenue streams will grow from data sales, student fund raising, and product sales (T-Shirts, hats, backpacks, etc.). “Student industry projects” plans include inter university contests to design eco-friendly and innovative products to fund UEF operations. UEF funds the work-learn and work-study chapters, paying personnel, digital communications and related operations costs.

Anticipated Benefits Are Multifold:
UEF will make a sustainable impact on biodiversity, investigative news and human rights, through education and expanded public awareness.

Melvin Claxton, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former Investigative Reporter for the Detroit News writes:

UEF's  “Allen Licari is onto something that could help revolutionize journalism. The idea of college and high school students from across America and around the world producing investigative reports for one Internet network is simply brilliant.

The educational, news-gathering and financial possibilities presented by such a network are limitless.”

-Allen Licari

President and Founder UEF
United Earth Fund Web Site


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Allen Licari 
Ann Arbor, MI
United Earth Fund 
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