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Sustainability Essays

These essays were submitted by faculty in preparation for the Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences workshop in July 2012. Participants were asked to share their approaches to teaching sustainability in an interdisciplinary context and ideas for exploring opportunities for enhancing the integration of geoscience and sustainability.



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Sustainability Education within an Earth Science Course at a Small Liberal Arts Institution
Becca Edwards, Southwestern University
Becca Paulsen Edwards, Department of Physics, Southwestern UniversityOne of the benefits of teaching at a liberal arts college is the diverse makeup of the students in each class. Teaching these students, who are ...

Geosciences in Sustainability: Upstream, Downstream, and in Between
Laura Webb, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
Laura Webb, Geology, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College I am relatively new to teaching about sustainability and one year ago I wouldn't have predicted being on this path. The inspiration to ...

Keeping it lively: Incorporating readings, research, films, speakers, and writing into sustainability courses
Katherine Straub, Susquehanna University
Katherine Straub, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Susquehanna University My experience teaching sustainability in an interdisciplinary geoscience-based context is based on two courses I have taught at ...

Interdisciplinary Environmental Science Reflection and Communication
Kathleen Phillips, Stanford University
Kathleen Phillips, Earth Systems, Stanford UniversityMy approach to teaching sustainability in an interdisciplinary context is to engage the students as both active learners and teachers in class. I teach ...

Modeling Interdisciplinarity
Ed Barbanell, University of Utah
Ed Barbanell, Philosophy, University of Utah Any sensible discussion about "sustainability" must, by its very nature, be inclusive, requiring interactive dialogues with a broad array people about a great ...

Teaching Approaches for Sustainability Education
Bruno Borsari, Winona State University
Bruno Borsari, Biology, Winona State University My proposed model of instruction for sustainability education is focusing on learning about the natural resource base, which provides food, fiber, renewable energy ...

Using process-focused assessments for teaching sustainability
Meghann Jarchow, University of South Dakota
Meghann Jarchow, Interdepartmental - sustainability, University of South Dakota Thinking about how we assess students is as important as the methods that we use to convey the course content. I think that most ...

Market Based Economies and Sustainability
Chris McIntosh, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Chris McIntosh, Economics, University of Minnesota-Duluth Sustainability must be taught in an interdisciplinary context due to the three major perspectives it encompasses: environmental, financial, and social. I ...

Using Small Team Presentations to Examine Energy Production and Energy Utilization
Tom Termes, Black Hills State University
Tom Termes, Industrial Technology, Black Hills State University I provide the students with the following topics (all of these questions relate to energy in the United States of America):Where does our energy come ...

Eating for a Healthy You and a Sustainable Planet
Benjamin Cuker, Hampton University
Benjamin Cuker, Marine and Environmental Science, Hampton University For the last three years I have co-taught an honors seminar called "Eating for A Healthy You and a Sustainable Planet." I teach the ...

Instilling a sense of sustainability in a large introductory course
Brooke Crowley, University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
Brooke Crowley, Geology and Anthropology, University of Cincinnati My philosophy has been defined both by my experiences as an instructor and as a student. I am fortunate to have been strongly influenced by ...

One economist's approach to interdisciplinary teaching and exploration of sustainability
Morris Coats, Nicholls State University
Morris Coats, Management, Marketing and Business Administration, Nicholls State University"The Theory of Economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a ...

Making Sustainability Visible
Thomas Beery, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Thomas Beery, Center for Environmental Education, University of Minnesota-DuluthSustainability is about people and the choices they make, ultimately it is a question of human behavior. A deliberate effort to ...

Approach and Challenges to a General Undergraduate Sustainability Science Course
Lisa M.B. Harrington, Kansas State University, Geography I teach a mid- to upper-division course on sustainability, which I introduced as "Sustainability Science," oriented around the recommendation that ...

Teaching Sustainability Through History
Derek Larson, Saint Johns University
Derek Larson, Environmental Studies, The College of St. Benedict/St. John's UniversityOur environmental studies department was created 20 years ago with the specific intention of interdisciplinarity in its ...

The Relevance of Place and Sense of Place to Sustainability
Steven Semken, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Steven Semken, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State UniversityIn response to sprawl and globalization that challenge integrity of ecosystems and diversity of cultures (i.e., environmental ...

How do we teach the science of sustainability?
Noah Snyder, Boston College
Noah Snyder, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Boston College The workshop introduction begins with the statement: "Sustainability is emerging as a central theme for teaching about the environment, whether it ...

Sustainability in Geosciences in a Liberal Arts Curriculum
Jeff Walker, Vassar College
Jeff Walker, Earth Science and Geography, Vassar CollegeSustainability for me encompasses two important concepts. It is the merging of environmental, fiscal, and social concerns to help create an equitable ...

The Sustainability Challenge in the Classroom
Tim Lutz, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Tim Lutz, Geology & Astronomy, West Chester University of Pennsylvania "...to suggest the possibility and the importance of the restoration of disturbed harmonies..."George Perkins Marsh, Man and ...

Sustainability: The Key To Student Engagement
Ben Fackler-Adams, Skagit Valley College
Benjamin Fackler-Adams, Physical Sciences, Skagit Valley College As an "Instructor of Interdisciplinary Science" at a community college that teaches numerous interdisciplinary, team-taught learning ...

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