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Green Threads

by Mog,Justin M last modified Jul 07, 2016 08:33 PM

Weaving sustainability into the curriculum.

Green Threads: Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Green Threads is an on-going series of workshops for all UofL faculty sponsored by the Sustainability Council's Education & Research Committee. The program is designed to expose faculty to sustainability issues and help them weave sustainability themes into existing courses or to create new courses focused on sustainability. Download 2016 Green Threads Invitation & Application here.

Green Threads TourParticipants receive inspiration, resources, and mutual support. Incentives also include an honorarium of $500 (for UofL Faculty only), a series of workshops and tours with local food meals, and resource materials on sustainability.

Sustainability in the Classroom

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, and we are currently recruiting a new cohort of participants for 2016-2017.

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

Green Threads is an all-day workshop typically held on Spring Reading Day.

Recommended Reading: David Orr "What is Education For?"

Green Threads 2016The 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 will be held on Friday, April 15, 2016. Participants will 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!

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 by Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 to Margaret Carreiro <>.

Green Threads participants must agree to:

Green Threads Workshop
(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 a Fall gathering of all Green Threads alumni.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Margaret Carreiro, Chair, Education and Research Committee
Dave Simpson, Chair, Sustainability Council
Russ Barnett, Director, Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development

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:
Lynda Mercer
A&S Humanities

Ying (Julie) Huang 2016 Business
Melissa Merry
2016 A&S Political Science

Karen Kayser 2016 Kent Social Work
David Buckley 2015 A&S Political Science
Daniel Decaro 2015 A&S; Law Urban & Public Affairs; Psychological & Brain Sciences; Law
Linda Fuselier 2015 A&S Biology
Nisha Gupta 2015 Delphi/i2a; A&S Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation
Sarah Miller 2015 A&S Communication
Benjamin Leamon 2015 A&S Political Science; Urban & Public Affairs
Mark Running 2015 A&S Biology
Jeneen Wiche 2015 A&S Anthropology
Wei Song
Geography & Geosciences

Christopher Fulton
Fine Arts

Carol Stinson O'Neal
Health & Sports Sciences

Sherri Wallace
A&S Political Science

Brian Barnes
A&S Philosophy/Business
Dave Simpson 2012 A&S Urban & Public Affairs
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
Jessica McCarty 2011 A&S Geography & Geosciences (left UofL)
Kristi King 2011 CEHD Health & Sport Science
Margath Walker 2011 A&S Geography & Geosciences
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
Sumei Zhang 2010 A&S Urban & Public Affairs
Tamara Yohannes 2010 A&S English
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
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
Nan-Ting Chou 2009 Business Economics
Pat Cerrito 2009 A&S Mathematics (left UofL)
Sarah Emery 2009 A&S Biology invasive species, 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
Margaret Carreiro
A&S Biology
1. Causes and consequences of global climate disruption (global climate change)
2. Urban effects on plants and soils in natural woodlands  (How cities affect nature)
3. How invasive species threaten the sustainability of urban natural areas and their ecosystem services
4. Causes and consequences of exotic species invasions

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.

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. Contact Justin Mog at 502-852-8575null502-852-8575 or justin.mog (at) 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


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

RECONNECTING WITH EARTHGreen Threads III Tour - Green Wall

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.

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