Initial Publication Date: March 14, 2019

Students as Bridges Between Disciplines and Across Campus for Sustainability

Thursday, March 28, 2019

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

Presenters: Barbara Elliot (Fleming College), Melinda Laituri (Colorado State University), Michael Fraser (Fleming College), Sophia Linn (Colorado State University), and Student Presenters from Fleming College and Colorado State University

This webinar is sponsored by the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). This webinar is part of a series supporting teaching with InTeGrate principles, using InTeGrate-developed and curated materials as tools.

Registration is closed.


Students can often help to facilitate communication between disciplines and across campus units. Students engaged in sustainability and environmental projects and internships generally collaborate outside their major. Students may work with campus facilities units and with community partners. Among the many benefits of these student enrichment activities is that they help faculty to build their networks and help the institution achieve its goals for sustainability as well as improved student achievement.

This webinar presents two examples of student-centered programs and will include discussion of lessons learned and recommendations for enhancing collaboration at other colleges and universities. Students from each school will comment on how these experiences have enhanced their education.

The Geospatial Centroid at Colorado State University is a resource and service center in the main campus library that supports the learning and application of geospatial technologies across campus. As such, it provides a venue for students, researchers, and faculty to interact beyond disciplinary boundaries because the technologies are universal and spatial thinking can be applied anywhere. The Centroid's flagship initiative is our internship program where we provide students with the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects--ranging from alternative transportation to public health-- with both on- and off-campus entities. In this way, interns are exposed to fields entirely unrelated to their majors and often gain insight into their own subject areas from surprisingly unrelated sources. We have learned that students are the best "bridges" between disciplines and provide a means to coordinate across campus.

For the past 13 years, teams of students in the third year Ecosystem Management Technology Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, have presented posters and served as conference volunteers at the National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, DC, organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). The poster projects, completed in student teams, are a major project option for students in the Urban Ecosystems course during their fall semester. The students attend the NSCE conference as a mandatory element of the Ecosystem Health Course, which they complete in the winter semester. The students then, as an entire class, build on their experiences in DC to design and present a one-day conference at the end of the winter term, as the capstone project in the Ecosystem Health course.

The Ecosystem Management Program has been in existence for the past 24 years and has a rich history of producing top quality, environmentally minded graduates. Graduates from this program are sought after across the country (Canada) and in some cases around the world, partly because of the multi-disciplined, "systems thinking", and experiential learning approach to curriculum design and delivery.


By the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • recognize how students can serve as bridges across disciplines, campus units and across campus to advance sustainability
  • learn how student projects and internships are used at a college in Canada and at a university in the US to develop and refine communication, partnership, and entrepreneurial skills
  • develop ideas on how to use these approaches at their own institutions


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. We encourage participants to view the websites of the organizations mentioned in the workshop summary.

Registration is closed.

Please email Monica Bruckner ( if you have any questions about this event.


Barbara Elliot, Professor, Ecosystem Management Program, School Liaison, Fleming College/Kawartha Conservation, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fleming College

Melinda Laituri, Professor, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Director, Geospatial Centroid at CSU, Colorado State University

Michael Fraser, Professor, Ecosystem Management Program, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fleming College

Sophia Linn, Assistant Director, Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University

Camille Cooper, Chantal Doyon, and Mara van Meer, Students, Ecosystem Management Technology Program, Fleming College

Ned Molder, Josh Reyling, and Tabitha Covey, Centroid Interns

Tentative Program

  1. Welcome and Introduction of speakers – David Blockstein, Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS)
  2. Geospatial Centroid at 
Colorado State University (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 9.3MB Mar27 19)
    • Colorado State University - Melinda Laituri and Sophia Linn, Colorado State University
    • Student Experience at CSU - Ned Molder, Josh Reyling, and Tabitha Covey, Centroid Interns
  3. Fleming College (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 6.4MB Mar27 19)
    • Fleming College - Barbara Elliot and Michael Fraser, Fleming College
    • Student Experience at Fleming - Camille Cooper, Chantal Doyon, and Mara van Meer, Students, Fleming College
  4. Discussion and questions – moderated by David Blockstein, AESS
  5. Opportunities for further interaction - David Blockstein, AESS
  6. Webinar Evaluation


Click to view the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 122.7MB Mar28 19)