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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: Teaching for a Moving Target
Julie Maxson, Metropolitan State University
Julie Maxson, Natural Sciences, Metropolitan State University "You ever wonder what global warming is going to look like? In its early stages, exactly like this."Bill McKibben on the recent Colorado ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Value of Co-Teaching, Project-Based Learning, and Common Communication for Teaching Sustainability to an Interdisciplinary Class
Steven Burian, University of Utah
Steve Burian, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Utah Teaching sustainability to students from different disciplines requires new approaches to course planning, lesson planning, pedagogy, student ...

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 ...

Crossing Disciplinary Borders for Sustainability Education
Ellen Metzger, San Jose State University
Ellen Metzger, Geology and Science Education, San Jose State University My relatively recent interest in teaching about sustainability was catalyzed by an unexpected opportunity to reconnect with an old friend ...

Credibility as a Challenge in the Integration of Science and Sustainability
Holly Ewing, Bates College
Holly Ewing, Environmental Studies, Bates College I teach interdisciplinary courses in the sciences (combining geology, ecology, and chemistry) within an environmental studies program, and I would describe my ...

Service as Means of Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Maureen Muldoon, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Maureen Muldoon, Geology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Most of my interdisciplinary teaching on sustainability topics takes place outside the context of traditional classroom courses. Budget constraints at ...

Making Connections between Geoscience and Sustainability
Laura Rademacher, University of the Pacific
Laura Rademacher, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of the Pacific My approach to teaching sustainability in an interdisciplinary context has evolved out of years of teaching about the Earth and the ...

Fundamentals of Sustainability at the University of Arkansas - Emphasizing Institutional Strengths
Stephen Boss, University of Arkansas Main Campus
Stephen K. Boss, Environmental Dynamics, University of Arkansas Main Campus Fundamentals of Sustainability is an interdisciplinary course designed to introduce undergraduate students to basic concepts and theories ...

Questions about application, theory, and engagement with sustainability
Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
Mary Ann Cunningham, Earth Science and Geography, Vassar College The issues that currently puzzle me about teaching sustainability are (1) what seems like a gulf between those who are enthusiastic and those who ...

Teaching Sustainability in a Study Abroad Course
Lori Troxel, Vanderbilt University
Lori Troxel, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University As a structural engineering professor I wanted to incorporate more about sustainability in my courses. Because of limited class time, I was ...

Integrating sustainability in its social context
Pablo Toral, Beloit College
Pablo Toral, Political Science, Beloit College My course pushes students to integrate the knowledge, methods and skills that they develop in the natural sciences in a broader social context, by considering the ...

The imperative for chemists to teach about sustainability
Scott Cummings, Kenyon College
Scott Cummings, Chemistry, Kenyon College Chemistry plays a central role in many of the global and local aspects of sustainability: with problems of continued dependence on fossil fuels, and with the promise of ...

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