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 100 UofL professors have participated since the program launched in 2009.

The deadline has been extend! Applications for the 2024 workshop to be held in August are now due June 1, 2024 (download application here).

Green Tapestries is an extension of our original program that was added in 2019 to link 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. Apply now!  ContactBrent Fryrear (502) 852-8854.

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 just after the spring semester, or just prior to the fall semester, with a follow-up reunion for all alumni held 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 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!

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 Brent Fryrear (502) 852-8854.

Green Threads participants (new applicants) must agree to:

  1. Participate in the day-long workshop, from 8:30am – 4pm.
  2. Read a brief packet of educational materials on sustainability education prior to the workshop.
  3. Submit a syllabus for the revised/new course and a paragraph describing your proposed course development.
  4. 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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Participate in the day-long workshop, with your collaborator and Green Threads participants.
  4. Read a brief packet of educational materials, relevant to collaborative teaching in sustainability.  
  5. Attend the Green Threads Reunion and Celebration gathering at the end of the year.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Brent Fryrear, Chair, UofL Sustainability Council, and Director, Partnership for a Green City
Justin Mog, Assistant to the Provost on Sustainability Initiatives

Note: We also encourage faculty to participate in the Office of Community Engagement's complimentary annual Community-Based Learning Institute, a three half-day program designed to assist faculty in developing a new community-based learning course or modify an existing course to include a service-learning component. At the end of the three days, you will have ideas and plans for your course to give you a jump start for the next semester. Learn more.

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:

Name GT Year Unit Department Willing to Guest Lecture on these topics:
Katherine Cox 2023 A&S Fine Arts
Tami Harbolt 2023 A&S Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies 1. Women and the Environmental movement
2. Sustainability and pet keeping
3. Animal sheltering and its environmental impact (public health)
4. Climate change and animal consumption
5. Dog bite prevention (public health)
6. WAGS Pet Therapy
Laura Krauser 2023 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences Sustainability-related mapping and spatial data
Sherri Brown 2023 CEHD Special Education, Early
Childhood & Prevention Science
Jasmine Whiteside 2023 A&S Sociology
Tharshikka Vickneswaran 2023 Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering
Charlie Zhang 2023 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences Sustainability in the built environment and UN Sustainable Development Goals
Jeffery Masters 2023 A&S Biology Native species and ecological functions. Community science.
Rachel Pigg 2023 A&S Biology
Joseph Turner 2023 A&S English
Amy Lawyer 2022 Business Management / Equine Industry Program
James Richie 2022 A&S Comparative Humanities
Derek Carpenter 2022 A&S Comparative Humanities
Mark Mattes 2022 A&S English
Tyler Mahoney 2022 Engineering Civil & Environmental Engineering
Susan Rhema 2022 Kent Social Work
Stephanie Grace Prost 2022 Kent Social Work
Terri Burch 2022 Business Equine Industry Program
Megan Poole 2021 A&S English
Kristi Maxwell 2021 A&S English
2021 & 2022 A&S Philosophy; Humanities
Andrea Gaughan 2021 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences
Jennifer Potochnic 2020 Music Music
Glenn “Boomer” Trujillo 2020 A&S Philosophy
Angela Storey 2020 A&S Anthropology
David Wicks 2020 A&S Honors The Ohio River, water quality, paddle sports, Ohio River Recreational Trail
2020 Business / A&S Rhetoric & Composition
Mina Kwon 2019 Business Marketing
Katina Lee Kulow 2019 Business Marketing
2019 SPHIS Health Promotion & Behavioral Science
Ellen Brehob 2018 Engineering Mechanical Engineering
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 (left UofL)
Steve Kendra 2018 Business Computer Information Systems
Lavina Myers 2018 Dentistry Oral Health & Rehab
Rachel Singel 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 & 2023 A&S Fine Art Sustainable, non-toxic printmaking & paper-making
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
David Dubofsky 2017 Business Finance (emeritus)
Eileen Estes 2017 CEHD Counseling and Human Development
Per Fredriksson 2017 Business Economics Environmental economics
Carol Stellino-Smith 2017 CEHD Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Sheron Mark 2017 CEHD Middle and Secondary Education
Nick Paliewicz 2017 A&S Communication
Lynda Mercer
2016 A&S Humanities
Ying (Julie) Huang 2016 Business Accountancy
Melissa Merry
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
Linda Fuselier 2015 A&S Biology
Nisha Gupta 2015 Delphi/i2a; A&S Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation (left UofL)
Sarah Miller 2015 A&S Communication
Benjamin Leamon 2015 A&S Political Science; Urban & Public Affairs (left UofL)
Mark Running 2015 A&S Biology
Jeneen Wiche 2015 A&S Anthropology
Wei Song
2014 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences
Christopher Fulton 2014 A&S Fine Arts
Carol Stinson O'Neal 2014 CEHD Health & Sports Sciences
Sherri Wallace 2014 A&S Political Science
Brian Barnes 2014 A&S Philosophy/Business
Dave Simpson 2012 A&S Urban & Public Affairs (left UofL)
Ingrid Weiland 2012 CEHD Teaching & Learning (left UofL)
Jianhua Zhao 2012 A&S Anthropology
Mary Ashlock 2012 A&S Communication
Paul Salmon 2012 & 2009 A&S Psychological & Brain Sciences
Scott LaJoie 2012 SPHIS Health Promotion & Behavioral Science
Selene Phillips 2012 A&S Communication
Sharon Moore 2012 Kent Social Work
Harry Pickens 2011 A&S Honors (left UofL)
Jessica McCarty 2011 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences (left UofL)
Kristi King 2011 & 2021 CEHD Health & Sport Science Physical activity & public health
Margath Walker 2011 A&S Geography & Environmental Sciences
Sharon Kerrick 2011 Business Entrepreneurship (left UofL)
Bob Carini 2010 A&S Sociology
Frank Goetzke 2010 A&S Urban & Public Affairs
John Cross 2010 Law Law
Kathleen Bean 2010 Law Law
Roman Yampolskiy 2010 Engineering Electrical & Computer Engineering Artificial intelligence and the role of digital technology in sustainability
Sumei Zhang 2010 A&S Urban & Public Affairs Sustainable cities - urban planning, transportation, etc.
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 & Environmental Sciences (emeritus)
Geoff Cobourn 2009 Engineering Mechanical Engineering
Jonathan Haws 2009 A&S Anthropology
Kathy Rudasill 2009 CEHD Educational & Counseling Psychology (left UofL)
Keith Lyle 2009 A&S Psychological & Brain Sciences cognitive biases in information processing
Lauren Heberle 2009 A&S Sociology
Mehmed Kantardzic 2009 Engineering Computer Engineering & Computer Science
Moon Baik 2009 A&S Fine Arts (emeritus)
Nan-Ting Chou 2009 Business Economics
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
Russ Barnett
Organizer EVPRI Envirome Institute (emeritus)
1. Sustainability at UofL, in Louisville, or in KY
2. Environmental justice
3. Air & water quality
4. Citizen science (environmental monitoring)
Margaret Carreiro
Organizer A&S Biology

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 Mog Organizer Provost's Office Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives 1. 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.