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InTeGrate's Model Programs that bring an Earth-focus to the Undergraduate Classroom
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This program description is part of a collection of institutional models which explore ways of bringing a geoscience-informed approach to sustainability to a diverse range of disciplines, institutions, and networks. These model programs also provide the documentation and resources necessary to help other groups implement similar programs.
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University of South Dakota - Sustainable Rivers: Integrating Earth Science and Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Dr. Mark Sweeney, University of South Dakota
Dr. Meghann Jarchow, University of South Dakota
Initial Publication Date: June 22, 2015


The Sustainable Rivers program worked to increase student understanding of and interest in Earth science and sustainability by spreading sustainability content from InTeGrate throughout the undergraduate curriculum at the University of South Dakota. This broad interdisciplinary approach would also expose a larger number of women and underrepresented minority students to Earth science. To accomplish this, participants used the Missouri River as the common theme running through courses in biology, history, English, economics, education, anthropology, communication, Native American studies, as well as Earth science. The faculty members teaching courses associated with the program used InTeGrate materials to explore the connections between the river and their disciplines.Learn more about University of South Dakota's
Department of Sustainability & Environment »

About the Program

The Department of Earth Sciences and the Sustainability Program at the University of South Dakota is increasing earth literacy across the liberal arts curriculum. Our approach employs place-based learning focused on the Missouri River, a vital part of South Dakota's people, history, economy, geography, and environment. Many students have a connection to the river, and faculty across the Vermillion campus are incorporating earth science and sustainability topics related to the river into their curriculum, thus helping students gain a better understanding of how those topics affect their lives.

Program Goals

  1. Increase science literacy among undergraduate students
  2. Foster interest in Earth Science and Sustainability programs on campus
  3. Increase faculty knowledge and awareness of earth science and sustainability through networking

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This program description is part of a growing collection of models of ways to bring learning about the Earth to a diverse range of disciplines, institutions, and networks, as well as provide the documentation and resources necessary to help other groups implement similar programs..
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