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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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Productive sustainability discourse through insisting on diverse perspectives
Hitesh Soneji, City College of San Francisco
Hitesh Soneji, Engineering and Technology, City College of San Francisco Perhaps the most important step in making a course interdisciplinary is to attract students with a variety of interests and disciplines ...

Sustainability, Collaboration and Complexity Science
John Motloch, Ball State University
John Motloch, Landscape Architecture & Land Design Institute, Ball State University We are living in an exciting, unprecedented time, when the world within the mind (of an individual or culture) and the world ...

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 ...

Feeding the World - Teaching Sustainability in a Plant Biology Course
Susan Singer, Carleton College
Susan Singer, Biology, Carleton College Plant Biology at Carleton is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of plant anatomy, morphology, evolution, biochemistry, physiology, and development in the ...

Sustainability and Understanding Time
Mary Savina, Carleton College
Mary Savina, Geology, Carleton College When I'm talking with students in geology courses about sustainability, I don't use the word much. As one of my colleagues, Aaron Swoboda, puts it, we know ...

Service Learning in Interdisciplinary Courses
Maureen Padden, McMaster University
Maureen Padden, School of Geography Earth Sciences, McMaster University I began to teach sustainability when I started my present position at McMaster University. Because I was moving from a different province, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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 ...

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