Green Threads: Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Green Threads workshop offers opportunity to weave sustainability into the classroom (UofL News, March 2, 2017)
Read about the experiences of one Green Threads participant, Fine Arts Professor Ying Kit Chan
Recommended Reading: David Orr "What is Education For?"
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 80 UofL professors have participated since the program launched in 2009.
New Green Tapestries!
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. Contact: Dave Simpson (502) 852-8019.
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 just prior to the start 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 (), 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 typically held on the Friday before the start of the Fall semester. Participants receive an honorarium of $500 (for UofL professors 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!
Applications for the 2021 Green Threads Workshop are being accepted through March 31, 2021.
Workshop Applications: Please submit an application () 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 Dave Simpson, (502) 852-8019.
Green Threads participants (new applicants) must agree to:
- Participate in the day-long workshop, from 8:30am – 4pm.
- Read a brief packet of educational materials on sustainability education prior to the workshop.
- Submit a syllabus for the revised/new course and a paragraph describing your proposed course development.
- Attend the Green Threads Reunion and Celebration gathering at the end of the year (typically early December) to report back to the group on progress with a presentation.
Green Tapestries participants (Green Threads alumni, or sponsored applicant) must agree to:
- Identify at least one collaborator (alumni or new participant). You will submit the application jointly. Describe your roles and contributions to the joint project (in the brief proposal).
- Submit a brief 1-page proposal describing the joint teaching activity (e.g., course module, team teaching course) that you wish to develop with your collaborator, and timeline.
- Participate in the day-long workshop, with your collaborator and Green Threads participants.
- Read a brief packet of educational materials, relevant to collaborative teaching in sustainability.
- Attend the Green Threads Reunion and Celebration gathering at the end of the year.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Dave Simpson, Chair, UofL Sustainability Council
Daniel DeCaro, Sustainability Education & Research Committee
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?"
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:
|Name||GT Year||Unit||Department||Willing to Guest Lecture on these topics:|
|Glenn “Boomer” Trujillo||2020||A&S||Philosophy|
|David Wicks||2020||A&S||Honors||The Ohio River, water quality, paddle sports, Ohio River Recreational Trail|
|Cooper Day||2020||Business / A&S||Rhetoric & Composition|
|Katina Lee Kulow||2019||Business||Marketing|
|(William) Paul McKinney||2019||SPHIS||Health Promotion & Behavioral Science|
|Ellen Brehob||2018||Engineering||Mechanical Engineering|
|Kyoungmee (Kate) Byun||2018||A&S||Fine Art|
|Amy Clukey||2018 & 2019||A&S||English|
|Susan Grammer||2018||Dentistry||Oral Health & Rehab|
|Kelly Kinahan||2018||A&S||Urban & Public Affairs|
|Steve Kendra||2018||Business||Computer Information Systems|
|Lavina Myers||2018||Dentistry||Oral Health & Rehab|
|Rachel Singel||2018 & 2019||A&S||Fine Art|
|Tamara Sluss||2018 & 2019||SIGS, A&S||Interdisciplinary Masters in Sustainability, Urban & Public Affairs|
|Joshua Spurgeon||2018||Engineering||Chemical Engineering, Conn Center|
|Daniela Terson de Paleville||2018||CEHD||Health & Sport Science|
|Russ Vandenbroucke||2018||A&S||Theatre Arts|
|Eileen Estes||2017||CEHD||Counseling and Human Development|
|Carol Stellino-Smith||2017||CEHD||Early Childhood and Elementary Education|
|Sheron Mark||2017||CEHD||Middle and Secondary Education|
|Ying (Julie) Huang||2016||Business||Accountancy|
||2016||A&S||Political Science||Environmental Policy|
|Karen Kayser||2016||Kent||Social Work||Cancer disparities & the environment|
|David Buckley||2015||A&S||Political Science|
|Daniel Decaro||2015||A&S; Law||Urban & Public Affairs; Psychological & Brain Sciences; Law||1. Environmental governance; Water governance
2. Public participation
3. Environmental decision-making & psychology
4. Cooperation; Community-based environmental governance; Social dilemmas
|Nisha Gupta||2015||Delphi/i2a; A&S||Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation|
|Benjamin Leamon||2015||A&S||Political Science; Urban & Public Affairs||(left UofL)|
||2014||A&S||Geography & Geosciences|
|Christopher Fulton||2014||A&S||Fine Arts|
|Carol Stinson O'Neal||2014||CEHD||Health & Sports Sciences|
|Sherri Wallace||2014||A&S||Political Science|
|Dave Simpson||2012||A&S||Urban & Public Affairs||1. Sustainability process & initiatives at UofL
2. Dogs and sustainability (can bring golden retriever)
3. Environmental hazards, disasters & sustainability
|Ingrid Weiland||2012||CEHD||Teaching & Learning||(left UofL)|
|Paul Salmon||2012 & 2009||A&S||Psychological & Brain Sciences|
|Scott LaJoie||2012||SPHIS||Health Promotion & Behavioral Science|
|Sharon Moore||2012||Kent||Social Work|
|Jessica McCarty||2011||A&S||Geography & Geosciences||(left UofL)|
|Kristi King||2011||CEHD||Health & Sport Science|
|Margath Walker||2011||A&S||Geography & Geosciences|
|Frank Goetzke||2010||A&S||Urban & Public Affairs|
|Roman Yampolskiy||2010||Engineering||Electrical & Computer Engineering|
|Sumei Zhang||2010||A&S||Urban & Public Affairs||1. Planning efforts to promote sustainability
2. Program evaluation of UofL Earn-A-Bike Program
|Tamara Yohannes||2010||A&S||English||(left UofL)|
|Terry Edwards||2010||A&S||Justice Administration|
|Cate Fosl||2009||A&S||Women's & Gender Studies|
|Clara Leuthart (emeritus)||2009||A&S||Geography & Geosciences||(emeritus)|
|Geoff Cobourn||2009||Engineering||Mechanical Engineering|
|Kathy Rudasill||2009||CEHD||Educational & Counseling Psychology||(left UofL)|
|Keith Lyle||2009||A&S||Psychological & Brain Sciences||cognitive biases in information processing|
|Mehmed Kantardzic||2009||Engineering||Computer Engineering & Computer Science|
|Moon Baik||2009||A&S||Fine Arts|
|Pat Cerrito||2009||A&S||Mathematics||(left UofL)|
|Sarah Emery||2009||A&S||Biology||Restoration 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)||2009||CEHD||Teaching & Learning||(emeritus)|
|Suraj Alexander||2009||Engineering||Industrial Engineering|
|Ying Kit Chan||2009||A&S||Fine Arts|
1. Sustainability at UofL, in Louisville, or in KY
2. Environmental justice
3. Air & water quality
4. Citizen science (environmental monitoring)
|Organizer||Provost's Office||Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives||1.
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
- - 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.
Interested in Campus As A Living Lab projects?AASHE's Guide for Applied Sustainability Learning Projects: Advancing sustainability outcomes on campus and in the communityprovides a step-by-step framework for how applied learning for sustainability programs can be designed, built and scaled around two interconnected goals:
- Provide students with exceptional learning experiences in sustainability;
- Contribute to workable solutions that support tangible sustainability outcomes on campus and the surrounding community.
- 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.
- Sustainability Improves Student Learning (SISL) - a select group of academic associations/disciplinary societies working together to increase students’ learning in undergraduate courses, and better prepare students for the 21st-century big questions that relate to real-world challenges such as energy, air and water quality, and climate change. Here you will find helpful teaching resources and information on workshops and events.
- 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. Climate Change & Energy related resources;
5. Economy resources that explore what a more justice, sustainable economy might look like;
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 links that help us explore how to get around with lower impact
10. Understanding Sustainability links to help provide the bigger picture; and
11. Waste & Recycling resources for improved handling of solid waste.
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) louisville.edu and leave your campus mail address. Course books available include:
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