Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainability

Thursday, February 15, 2018

10:00 am PT | 11:00 am MT | 12:00 pm CT | 1:00 pm ET

Presenters: Ellen Metzger (San Jose State University) and David Blockstein (National Council for Science and the Environment)

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

Registration is closed.


Addressing complex and solution-resistant ("wicked") challenges to sustainability arising at the intersection of natural and human systems is an inherently interdisciplinary pursuit demanding not only scientific understanding of the biophysical environment, but consideration of the human institutions and values that underlie unsustainable ways of living. However, research shows that students in the physical sciences recognize the environmental aspects of sustainability but often have trouble understanding its societal dimensions. This has important implications for geoscience educators who wish to help their students develop a more a holistic understanding of sustainability, but may themselves be less familiar with its social, ethical, and economic dimensions.

This webinar will highlight strategies and instructional resources that can be used at the course or program level to connect the science-relevant aspects of sustainability with its interlinked social and economic dimensions using examples from:

  1. a collection of articles in a recent theme issue of the Journal of Geoscience Education devoted to interdisciplinary teaching and sustainability (Volume 65, Issue 2, May 2017) and
  2. the NAGT/InTeGrate Traveling Workshop Program.


At the end of this webinar, participants will have:

  • greater familiarity with sustainability as a multidimensional concept that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries
  • examples of teaching approaches and instructional materials that provide K-16 teachers and students with opportunities to investigate sustainability issues from multiple perspectives
  • information on the InTeGrate/NAGT Traveling Workshop Program and how to apply to host a traveling workshop for a department or interdisciplinary academic unit.


Time - 10:00 am PT | 11:00 am MT | 12:00 pm CT | 1:00 pm ET
- 1 hour
- Online web presentation via Zoom meeting software with questions and discussion. Go to the webinar technology page for information on using Zoom. Detailed instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar.
Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Registration is closed.

Please email Mitchell Awalt ( if you have any questions about this event.


Ellen Metzger, Professor, Geology and Science Education, Director of Science Education, San Jose State University

David Blockstein, Senior Scientist and Director of Education, National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)

Tentative Program

InTeGrate Webinar Slides - EM (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 8.1MB Feb16 18)

InTeGrate Webinar Slides - DB (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 13MB Feb16 18)

1) Welcome and introductory remarks - Mitchell Awalt, SERC staff

2) Webinar presentation - Ellen Metzger (San Jose State University) and David Blockstein (National Council for Science and the Environment)

3) Discussion

4) Synthetic remarks - final remarks by presenters

5) Opportunities for further interaction – Mitchell Awalt, SERC staff

6) Webinar Evaluation


Click to watch the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 619.2MB Feb15 18).