Initial Publication Date: August 29, 2016

Teaching Sustainability and Environmental Justice in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Next Webinar

The Importance of Diversity and Equity in Supporting the Whole Student
Thursday, September 22
1:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm MT | 3:00 pm CT | 4:00 pm ET

Wednesday, September 7th

9:00 am PT | 10:00 pm MT | 11:00 am CT | 12:00 pm ET

Presenters: Kate Darby (Western Washington University), Sarah Fortner (Wittenberg University), Ruth Hoff (Wittenberg University)

This webinar is part of a series supporting teaching with InTeGrate principles, using InTeGrate-developed and curated materials as tools.


Bringing the grand challenge issues that face society to the undergraduate classroom requires an interdisciplinary approach that creates faculty buy-in and builds connections between departments, colleges, and the broader community. Including these issues in humanities and social science enriches and deepens the conversation and creates connections. Interdisciplinarity also introduces complications that need to be addressed. These may include gaps in language, interest, or comprehension. This webinar will highlight teaching strategies and examples that have been incorporated into humanities and social science courses. Sarah Fortner, a Wittenberg University Implementation Program leader will discuss their program on engaged sustainability, and Ruth Hoff, also a leader of the Wittenberg University Implementation Program will discuss her Spanish-language adaptation of the "Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources" module. InTeGrate module author Kate Darby will discuss the module "Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception". The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentations and 25 minutes of discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences teaching sustainability and environmental justice.


At the end of this webinar, participants will have:

  • strategies to leverage grand challenge issues to build interdisciplinary connections for program growth.
  • models to make geoscience concepts engaging to non-science majors.
  • better familiarity with InTeGrate teaching principles and materials.


Time - 9:00 am PT | 10:00 am MT | 11:00 am CT | 12:00 pm ET
- 1 hour
Format - Online web presentation via Adobe Connect web conference software with questions and discussion.
Go to the webinar technology page for information on using Adobe Connect.
Detailed instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar.

Registration is closed.

Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Please email Rory McFadden ( if you have any questions about this event.


Kate Darby, Environmental Studies, Western Washington University

Sarah Fortner, Geology and Environmental Sciences, Wittenberg University

Ruth Hoff, World Languages, Wittenberg University


Powerpoint slides: ITG webinar Teaching Sustainability and Environmental Justice in the Humanities and Social Sciences (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 10.3MB Sep7 16)

1) Welcome and introductory remarks - Rory McFadden, SERC staff

2) Developing buy-in and momentum using societally relevant questions at Wittenberg University Implementation Program – Sarah Fortner

  • Linking across perspectives to grow
  • Supporting faculty teaching interdisciplinary content
  • Building connections with campus initiatives and the community
  • Q & A

3) Creating an interdisciplinary language course using InTeGrate materials – Ruth Hoff

4) Exploring societally relevant geoscience issues with non-geoscience students – Kate Darby
  • Implementing the Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception module in an alternative education program at Western Washington University's Fairhaven College
  • Addressing issues of language and interest of science-averse students
  • Creating sensory maps to better understand the experience of environmental justice communities
  • Q & A

5) Reflections by participants

  • Prompt: How do you envision applying what you learned today to your situation in your class, department/program, or university/college?

After reflecting for a moment, please use the chat to share something about where you are in your teaching, how you would move forward, and why this is a strong move. You can also enter questions for discussion into the chat at this time.

7) Synthetic remarks - final remarks by presenters

The conveners will reflect on the chat and each provide a synthetic remark. The chat and final remarks will be discussed further in the InTeGrate webinar discussion thread. This online interest group is aimed at providing you with a platform for continuing discussion and exchanging ideas with your new colleagues about teaching sustainability and environmental justice in the humanities and social sciences, as well as broader InTeGrate principles that will continue to be discussed throughout the webinar series.

8) Opportunities for further interaction – Rory McFadden

9) Webinar Evaluation


Click to watch the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 578.3MB Sep7 16).