Green Threads

Weaving sustainability into the curriculum across all disciplines at UofL.

Green Threads: Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Green Threads is an annual workshop and cohort open to all UofL faculty and GTA Academy participants organized by the Sustainability Council's Education & Research Committee. The program is designed to expose faculty to sustainability issues and to help them weave sustainability themes into existing courses or to create new courses with sustainability content. Over 70 UofL professors have participated since the program launched in 2009.

New for 2019!
Green Tapestries
is a new program added in 2019 that links Green Threads alumni, new participants, and their courses through collaborative teaching. Participants identify a collaborator and a collaborative teaching project (e.g., course module or team-taught course), which they plan to develop with at least one other Green Threads alumni or new participant. Green Tapestries participants receive individualized attention and resources for their collaborative project.

Participants receive inspiration, resources, and mutual support. Incentives also include an honorarium of $500, a series of workshops including tours, meals, and resource materials on sustainability. ContactDaniel Decaro (502) 852-2927.

Invitation to Participate

Are you interested in sustainability issues related to environmental, social, and economic stewardship? Are you thinking of adapting a course to incorporate such concerns or creating a new course to focus on issues of sustainability? If so, we invite you to participate in Green Threads: Sustainability across the Curriculum. This faculty development workshop, sponsored by UofL’s Sustainability Council, has been run annually since 2009. We begin recruiting a new group of participants each spring.

Green Threads is a one-day workshop held at either the end of the spring or the beginning of the fall semester, with a follow-up reunion later in early December.

This workshop is open to part-time and non-tenure-track faculty, as well as GTA Academy participants!

The Sustainability Council invites full- & part-time faculty as well as GTA Academy participants from all disciplines to participate in the Green Threads workshop. The process of bringing faculty together to discuss sustainability across the curriculum was pioneered at Northern Arizona University (Ponderosa Project) and Emory University (Piedmont Project), and their approach has garnered national attention for engaging faculty in collegial experiences leading to curricular change. In this workshop, we will explore a variety of ways to embed issues of sustainability into the curriculum and into our classrooms.

Green Threads is an all-day workshop that is held at the end of each Spring semester. Participants receive an honorarium of $500 (for UofL faculty only), information on local and regional sustainability issues, local sustainability tours, and resource materials. Previous participants have evaluated this workshop as intellectually stimulating, exciting, and providing a valuable new network of faculty interested in sustainability from across the disciplines!

Application deadline for the August 16, 2019 workshop has been extended to August 1, 2019.

Workshop Applications: Please submit an application (download here) with your department Chair’s approval that includes a description of how you’re considering changing an existing course or the new course you’d like to develop to Daniel DeCaro daniel.decaro (at), (502) 852-2927.

Green Threads participants must agree to:

(1)  Participate in the day-long workshop.
(2)  Read materials prior to the workshop.
(3)  Submit a syllabus for the revised or new course and a paragraph on the intellectual process involved.
(4)  Report back to the group on progress during an August field trip and at a Spring presentation for the university community.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Daniel DeCaro, Sustainability Education & Research Committee
Dave Simpson, Chair, UofL Sustainability Council
Russ Barnett, Envirome Institute
Justin Mog, Assistant to the Provost on Sustainability Initiatives

All education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded we teach students that they are part of or apart from the natural world... No student should graduate without understanding how to analyze resource flows and without the opportunity to participate in the creation of real solutions to real problems.
- David Orr "What is Education for?"

Green Threads Faculty Alumni & Guest Lecturer Pool

Those who have gone through the Green Threads program come from many disciplines and are great people to ask about weaving themes of sustainability into your courses. Many have also offered to guest lecturer in your classes on the topics listed below. Feel free to contact them directly for help. Green Threaders include:

NameGT YearUnitDepartmentWilling to Guest Lecture on these topics:
Mina Kwon2019BusinessMarketing
Katina Lee Kulow2019BusinessMarketing
2019SPHISHealth Promotion & Behavioral Science
Ellen Brehob2018EngineeringMechanical Engineering
2018A&SFine Art
Amy Clukey2018 & 2019A&SEnglish
Susan Grammer2018DentistryOral Health & Rehab
Kelly Kinahan2018A&SUrban & Public Affairs
Steve Kendra2018BusinessComputer Information Systems
Lavina Myers2018DentistryOral Health & Rehab
Rachel Singel2018 & 2019A&SFine Art
Tamara Sluss2018 & 2019SIGS, A&SInterdisciplinary Masters in Sustainability, Urban & Public Affairs
Joshua Spurgeon2018EngineeringChemical Engineering, Conn Center
Daniela Terson de Paleville2018CEHDHealth & Sport Science
Russ Vandenbroucke2018A&STheatre Arts
David Dubofsky2017BusinessFinance
Eileen Estes2017CEHDCounseling and Human Development
Per Fredriksson2017BusinessEconomics
Carol Stellino-Smith2017CEHDEarly Childhood and Elementary Education
Sheron Mark2017CEHDMiddle and Secondary Education
Nick Paliewicz2017A&SCommunication
Lynda Mercer
Ying (Julie) Huang2016BusinessAccountancy
Melissa Merry
2016A&SPolitical ScienceEnvironmental Policy
Karen Kayser2016KentSocial WorkCancer disparities & the environment
David Buckley2015A&SPolitical Science
Daniel Decaro2015A&S; LawUrban & Public Affairs; Psychological & Brain Sciences; Law1. Environmental governance; Water governance
2. Public participation
3. Environmental decision-making & psychology
4. Cooperation; Community-based environmental governance; Social dilemmas
Linda Fuselier2015A&SBiology
Nisha Gupta2015Delphi/i2a; A&SPeace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation
Sarah Miller2015A&SCommunication
Benjamin Leamon2015A&SPolitical Science; Urban & Public Affairs
Mark Running2015A&SBiology
Jeneen Wiche2015A&SAnthropology
Wei Song
2014A&SGeography & Geosciences
Christopher Fulton2014A&SFine Arts
Carol Stinson O'Neal2014CEHDHealth & Sports Sciences
Sherri Wallace2014A&SPolitical Science
Brian Barnes2014A&SPhilosophy/Business
Dave Simpson2012A&SUrban & Public Affairs1. Sustainability process & initiatives at UofL
2. Dogs and sustainability (can bring golden retriever)
3. Environmental hazards, disasters & sustainability
Ingrid Weiland2012CEHDTeaching & Learning(left UofL)
Jianhua Zhao2012A&SAnthropology
Mary Ashlock2012A&SCommunication
Paul Salmon2012 & 2009A&SPsychological & Brain Sciences
Scott LaJoie2012SPHISHealth Promotion & Behavioral Science
Selene Phillips2012A&SCommunication
Sharon Moore2012KentSocial Work
Harry Pickens2011A&SHonors
Jessica McCarty2011A&SGeography & Geosciences(left UofL)
Kristi King2011CEHDHealth & Sport Science
Margath Walker2011A&SGeography & Geosciences
Sharon Kerrick2011BusinessEntrepreneurship(left UofL)
Bob Carini2010A&SSociology
Frank Goetzke2010A&SUrban & Public Affairs
John Cross2010LawLaw
Kathleen Bean2010LawLaw
Roman Yampolskiy2010EngineeringElectrical & Computer Engineering
Sumei Zhang2010A&SUrban & Public Affairs1. Planning efforts to promote sustainability
2. Program evaluation of UofL Earn-A-Bike Program
Tamara Yohannes2010A&SEnglish
Terry Edwards2010A&SJustice Administration
Cate Fosl2009A&SWomen's & Gender Studies
Clara Leuthart (emeritus)2009A&SGeography & Geosciences(emeritus)
Geoff Cobourn2009EngineeringMechanical Engineering
Jonathan Haws2009A&SAnthropology
Kathy Rudasill2009CEHDEducational & Counseling Psychology(left UofL)
Keith Lyle2009A&SPsychological & Brain Sciencescognitive biases in information processing
Lauren Heberle2009A&SSociology
Mehmed Kantardzic2009EngineeringComputer Engineering & Computer Science
Moon Baik2009A&SFine Arts
Nan-Ting Chou2009BusinessEconomics
Pat Cerrito2009A&SMathematics(left UofL)
Sarah Emery2009A&SBiologyRestoration ecology; invasive species; perennial bioenergy; plant biology; agricultural ecology; prairie/grassland restoration; soil ecology; Great Lakes ecosystems (20-60 min. depending on needs)
Sheri Moore (emeritus)2009CEHDTeaching & Learning(emeritus)
Suraj Alexander2009EngineeringIndustrial Engineering
Ying Kit Chan2009A&SFine Arts
Russ BarnettOrganizerEVPRIKentucky Institute for the Environment & Sustainable Development1. Sustainability at UofL, in Louisville, or in KY
2. Environmental justice
3. Air & water quality
4. Citizen science (environmental monitoring)
Margaret CarreiroOrganizerA&SBiology

1. Causes and consequences of global climate disruption (global climate change)
2. Sustaining human-nature relationships in cities: creating win-win situations for nature and people
3. Urban effects on plants and soils in natural woodlands  (How cities affect nature)
4. How invasive species threaten the sustainability of urban natural areas and their ecosystem services
5. Causes and consequences of exotic species invasions

Justin MogOrganizerProvost's OfficeAssistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives1. Campus Sustainability Tours
2. Sustainability initiatives at UofL
3. Individual and group actions for sustainability
4. UofL greenhouse gas emissions & Climate Action Plan
5. Car-free living & safe cycling

Resources for Teaching about Sustainability

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 502-852-8575 or justin.mog (at) and leave your campus mail address. Course books available include:

Garden Commons - Bess McLaughlinVOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY

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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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.