Education & Research
Integrating sustainability into what we teach and study.
Watch video of the lecture here.
The goals of the Education & Research committee are to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability and to weave sustainability into the curriculum and research agenda at the University of Louisville. We seek to provide students, faculty and the public with a diversity of opportunities to study and investigate the most pressing sustainability challenges facing society through:
- Our Academic Programs and courses in sustainability;
- Our Green Threads faculty workshop for those interested in integrating sustainability themes into courses of any discipline;
- Interdisciplinary Research in sustainability;
- Our Sustainability Scholars Roundtable designed to connect sustainability researchers across disciplines;
- Continuing Education offerings open to the public to learn about sustainability; and
- A wide variety of Events and Service Opportunities throughout the year to get everyone engaged in thinking critically about sustainability concerns and taking action to meet the challenges.
Resources for Teaching about Sustainability
- UofL's EcoReps Program - provides a series of short online training videos and supplementary readings on a variety of sustainability topics which can easily be incorporated into courses. The program also offers a certification program and service opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.
- Campus and Course Conversations - an adaptation of Living Room Conversations that offers a practical and powerful approach to support the rising spirit of citizens coming together, outside of the partisan bickering, to create new relationships, to spark opportunities and to encourage sustained engagement to address local and national challenges.
- Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Center - offers an online resource center featuring curricular materials and more organized around 7 sectors: Solar, Wind, Green Building, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Agriculture/Food/Land, Transportation&Fuels, Clean Tech, and Sustainability Education.
- Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, E-Learning (CAMEL) - A free, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, multi-media online resource of credible content and curricular tools to help educators more effectively teach about climate change.
- Giving assignments in sustainability to your students? Check out these Key Components of Quality Sustainability Assignments - focus on solutions and systemic change, rather than disempowering "doom and gloom." Make the work relevant to the skills of being change managers (key sustainability learning outcomes). Evaluate your students using the International Sustainability Literacy Test to measure knowledge of sustainability issues and the skills required to make change.
- Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS) and the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) have created the Sustainability Learning at Colleges and Universities discussion forum where you can post questions, discuss ideas, and get insights from colleagues around the world.
- Check out our Links page for more great online resources to engage your students and to make teaching about sustainability issues easy and fun. Topics include:
1. Tools & Footprint Calculators which can be used for assignments and demonstrations;
2. Local Organizations engaged in sustainability which may provide guest speakers or service learning opportunities;
3. News, Articles & Stories covering the pressing sustainability issues of our time in all forms of media;
4. Energy & Climate Change resources;
5. Food related sites that make connections between food, health, economy, justice, and environment;
6. Products & Services guides to local, green businesses;
7. Social Justice issues and organizations working on the social side of sustainability;
8. Sustainability at Other Kentucky Schools to find out what other schools are doing to address this issue;
9. Transportation resources;
10. Understanding Sustainability links to help provide the bigger picture; and
11. Waste & Recycling resources for improved handling of solid waste.
Sustainability Course Books Available!
The Education & Research committee has acquired the full set of excellent course books produced by the Northwest Earth Institute and is eager to loan them out to anyone at UofL interested in weaving sustainability into their courses or educational events. To borrow the books, contact Justin Mog at 502-852-8575502-852-8575 or justin.mog (at) louisville.edu with a campus mail address. Course books available include:
This course explores the personal and environmental benefits of simplicity. Topics covered include: The Meaning of Simplicity ♦ Living With Less ♦ Making a Living ♦ Do You Have the Time? ♦ Living Simply on Earth ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
DISCOVERING A SENSE OF PLACE
This course considers the potential benefits of knowing and protecting our place. Will a commitment to the local bioregion affect our willingness to accept responsibility to care for the Earth? Topics covered include: A Sense of Place ♦ Responsibility to Place ♦ Knowing Your Bioregion ♦ Living in Place ♦ Mapping Your Place ♦ Building Local Community ♦ Empowerment ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
CHOICES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Each of us makes choices that have an impact on the Earth. In this course, learn about which options are more sustainable than others. Topics covered include: A Call to Sustainability ♦ Ecological Principles ♦ Food ♦ Buying ♦ Communities ♦ Business and Economy ♦ Visions of Sustainability ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
MENU FOR THE FUTURE
This course explores food systems and their impacts on culture, society and ecological systems. Participants will gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being. Topics covered include: What’s Eating America ♦ Anonymous Food ♦ Farming for the Future ♦ You Are What You Eat ♦ Towards a Just Food System ♦ Choices for Change ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
HEALTHY CHILDREN—HEALTHY PLANET
This course explores the influence our fast-paced, consumer-oriented society has on children, and how families can deal with these influences. Topics covered include: Cultural Pressures ♦ Family Rituals and Celebrations ♦ Advertising ♦ Food and Health ♦ Time and Creativity ♦ Technology and the Media ♦ Exploring Nature ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
GLOBAL WARMING: CHANGING CO2URSE
Learn more about the history and science of global warming. Explore personal values and habits as they relate to climate change and consider actions to curb global warming. Topics covered include: Off Course ♦ Collision Course ♦ Changing Course ♦ Setting a New Course ♦ Celebration & Call to Action
SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS AT WORK
This five session course for the workplace is designed to further organizational sustainability initiatives. Session topics include: Seeing the Big Picture ♦ Taking a Closer Look ♦ Framing Sustainability ♦ Seeing It Through ♦ Focusing on Action
A WORLD OF HEALTH: CONNECTING PEOPLE, PLACE, AND PLANET
A six-session discussion guide that explores "good health," the connections between human health and the environment, and how we can sustain both. Session topics include: Redefining Health ♦ Eating Well ♦ Building Healthy Communities ♦ Curing Consumption ♦ Healthy Planet-Healthy People
RECONNECTING WITH EARTH
A six-session course addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the Earth. This discussion course is designed to: clarify values through discussions about our relationship to Earth; discover how personal beliefs and values affect the way we view and treat the earth; and explore what it means to take personal responsibility for Earth. Session topics include: Wild Nature ♦ Shifting Paradigms ♦ Nature and Spirit ♦ The Universe Story ♦ Ecopsychology ♦ Bringing it Down to Earth
JUST BELOW THE SURFACE: PERSPECTIVES ON THE GULF COAST OIL SPILL
A one session discussion guide that explores the connections between Deepwater Horizon, energy policies and our lifestyles. The course offers an opportunity to reflect further on this historical event and the lessons it holds for us moving forward—individually and collectively. The intent is not to assign blame, but rather to take responsibility—as conscious consumers and concerned, active citizens.
Other Books Available To Loan:
- Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect. David W. Orr (10th Anniversary Edition, 2004, Island)
- Sustainability On Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change. Edited by Peggy F. Barlett & Geoffrey W. Chase (2004, MIT).
- Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts. Marc J. Epstein (2008, Greenleaf).
- The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift. Andres R. Edwards (2005, New Society).
- Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Richard Louv (2006, Algonquin Books).
- Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World. Paul Hawken (2007, Penguin).
- The Earth Charter in Action: Toward a Sustainable World. Edited by Peter Blaze Corcoran, Mirian Vilela & Alide Roerink (2005, KIT).
- Household Detective: Protecting Your Children from Toxins at Home. (2000, Children's Health Environmental Coalition)
Books Available for Environmental Education with Children:
- The Man Who Planted Trees. Jean Giono (2005, Chelsea Green)
- The Greening Book: Being a Friend to Planet Earth [& Teacher's Guide]. Ellen Sabin (2008, Watering Can Press)