Education & Research

Expanding the opportunities for students to learn about sustainability from a variety of perspectives.

UofL's New Sustainability Degrees (Nov. 2017)


VIDEO: Wendell Berry spoke at UofL on “Specialization or Fragmentation?”

Law professor’s ‘ecosystem of learning’ resonates with students

UofL-specific, online and in-person Sustainability training is now available to all students, faculty & staff through the UofL EcoReps Program!

The goals of the Sustainability Council's 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:

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.

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)

Video: Why is Education for Sustainability so important? Why focus on the higher education sector?

What is desperately needed are faculty and administrators who provide role models of integrity, care, thoughtfulness, and institutions that are capable of embodying ideals wholly and completely in all of their operations. - David Orr "What is Education for?"