Integrating Sustainability: Adapting InTeGrate Modules for Sustainability Pathway courses to Engage Students in Societal Issues at CSU, Chico

Monday 1:45pm Weeks Geo: 140
Oral Session

Session Chairs

Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
Colleen Hatfield, California State University-Chico
Bruce Grelle, American Geophysical Union
Janine Stone, California State University-Chico
Eric Willard, California State University-Chico
Lee Altier, California State University-Chico
Don Hankins, California State University-Chico
Philip Clements, California State University-Chico
The Integrate Sustainability project at CSU, Chico is a collective effort of eight faculty to incorporate InTeGrate curriculum in lower and upper division courses in a GE Pathway focused on Sustainability. Online materials have been adapted to engage students in societal challenges from interdisciplinary perspectives in courses including Agriculture, Economics, Environmental Literacy, Geography, Geological & Environmental Science, History and Religious Studies. Students explore topical themes throughout the Pathway so they can learn to critically assess the issues and possible solutions related to climate change, water resources, sustainable use of soil and mineral resources and environmental justice. The curriculum incorporates authentic data sets that students use to address problems and foster systems thinking. The project has also resulted in an effective faculty learning community across the Sustainability Pathway. Faculty collaborations include assessment of data and peer review of curriculum and instruction. Since fall 2015, faculty have adopted InTeGrate modules and are quantitatively measuring data on student learning and attitudes. Early interpretations suggest that some lower division students have good working knowledge of climate change events such as ENSO (approximately 66% of students) and in the types of environmental problems associated with mining (94% of students). Similarly, upper division students have good understanding of adaptation vs. mitigation strategies that might help reduce impacts of climate change in developed societies. In areas of climate change and use of resources, survey data reveal significant learning gains in some topics, while others have lower learning gains. Ongoing administration of student surveys before and after using InTeGrate modules will help faculty identify areas of the Sustainability Pathway that can be bolstered with more in- depth examination of societal issues our students' generations will face as they move through their academic programs and into their professional careers, civic responsibilities and as voting members of society.