Weaving sustainability through the undergraduate curriculum
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Weaving Sustainability Through the Undergraduate Curriculum. Chad King, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science John Marazita, Professor of Psychology Ohio Dominican University. Educating for sustainability across the undergraduate curriculum. Which comes first:

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Weaving Sustainability Through the Undergraduate Curriculum

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Weaving Sustainability Through the Undergraduate Curriculum

Chad King, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

John Marazita, Professor of Psychology

Ohio Dominican University


Educating for sustainability across the undergraduate curriculum

  • Which comes first:

    • the culture or the courses?

    • the courses or the programs?


Overview

  • Building a culture of sustainability

  • Increasing sustainability education

    • Independent study, course projects, to new courses

    • Examples

  • Outcomes

  • Added bonuses


Building a culture of Sustainability


Reporting


Identifying faculty champions

  • Meetings, meetings, meetings…

  • Campus as the laboratory

  • Course as the medium

  • Contribution to campus sustainability as the result


Infusion across disciplines

  • Independent study projects

  • Course projects

  • Research projects

  • Capstone courses


Independent Study Projects


Course Projects


Biology and environmental science

  • Design of a butterfly habitat

  • Habitat restoration

  • Proposal for a zero waste student center


Political Science

  • Moving to a green dorm

  • Campus policies on recycling, composting and e-waste disposal.

  • Characterizing the university waste stream


Analysis of waste randomly sampled from dumpsters across campus


Projects in research methods courses


Sociology Research Methods

  • Surveys

  • Student perceptions on the environment and sustainable university practices


Selected survey results


Capstone course projects


Natural Sciences Capstone

  • Habitat restoration and creation of a campus nature trail.

  • Integrated Project:

    • Biology, Science Education, Environmental Studies, Graphic Art and Design


Outcomes

  • Management plan

  • Advertising campaign

  • Exercise science research: Outdoor activity and change in body fat percentage

  • Baseline for long-term restoration study


Psychology and the Environment

  • Senior capstone seminar on current issues in psychology

    • Invitation for a research team to contribute to a multidisciplinary sustainability project

    • What can a psychological perspective offer?

      • Better understanding of the mental processes that affect environmental attitudes, beliefs, and behavior


Project Goals

  • Descriptive:

  • To understand relations among college students’ environmental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors as a function of academic discipline, sex, and political preference.


Project Goals

  • Experimental:

  • To understand how the framing of environmental issues impacts students’ environmental attitudes

  • Findings discussed in terms of initiatives to educate and modify behavior.


Key Findings: Environmentally Friendly Attitudes and Behaviors

  • Environmental-friendly attitudes was significantly stronger than engaging in such behavior.

  • Attitudes predicted recycling behavior

  • Women expressed stronger attitudes than men

  • Democrats expressed stronger attitudes then Republicans.


Framing matters (e.g., using strong imagery, politically-charged terminology)


New Courses


ENG279: Conflict & Community:Reflections on the Common Good

  • This course will investigate our never-ending conflict with Nature… We will explore recent writings from prominent scientists and naturalists… and challenge our preconceived notions about Nature and ourselves.


ENV279: Applied Sustainability

  • Understanding how sustainability across disciplines contributes to the common good.

  • Community projects:

    • Built environment

    • Business

    • Transportation


ART 212: Green Art

  • A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. (Aldo Leopold)

  • To address green initiatives in the context of art history and production… a very dynamic/kinetic class … in the community…


Outcomes


The Added Bonuses

  • Complexity: Complex problems cannot be solved by single disciplines working in isolation of one another.

  • Authenticity: Students are energized by the direct application/implications of their work. 

  • Motivation: Complexity + Authenticity

  • Active citizenry: contributions to the common good

  • Critical self-reflection: personal views, institutional views

  • Challenges

  • Learning

  • Collaboration

  • Communication


Questions?

  • Chad King

  • [email protected]


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