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Growing Sustainability Literacy at Northern Arizona University, from the seeds of the Ponderosa Project to the Global Learning Initiative Rod Parnell Academic.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing Sustainability Literacy at Northern Arizona University, from the seeds of the Ponderosa Project to the Global Learning Initiative Rod Parnell Academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing Sustainability Literacy at Northern Arizona University, from the seeds of the Ponderosa Project to the Global Learning Initiative Rod Parnell Academic Affairs, Environmental Caucus, and School of Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability

2 Educational components BA, BS, MS, MA, PhD degree programs in multiple colleges sustainability literacy program for every undergraduate major co-curricular and community engagement programs Leadership components house activities where they developed and where they maintain organic connections with their home units coordinate and integrate top-down strategic planning with grass roots initiatives Leading & managing sustainability education spread across many units on campus

3 President Provost academic sustainability director Sustainability Council sustainability coordinator & office staff faculty students Sustainability leadership components Always Typical Nearly unique environmental caucus community Strategic & climate action plans community engagement

4 The grass-roots Environmental Caucus feeds concepts to the Coordinating Council Many university units support the activities of the members of the Caucus

5 well established environmental programs: applied indigenous studies (BA, BS) environmental sciences (BS) civil and/or environmental engineering (BS) environmental sciences and policy (MS) forestry (BS, MS, PhD) newer or revised sustainability programs: environmental studies with sustainability foci (BA or BS) sustainability minor climate sciences and solutions (PSM) earth sciences and environmental sustainability (PhD) geographic science and community planning (BS) sustainable communities (MA) The educational component I: environmental/sustainability degree programs

6 New

7 The educational component II: Sustainability literacy for every major Evolution of concept Ponderosa Project s environmental consciousness theme in general education courses workshops for faculty interested in exploring that theme in their courses peer mentors with environmental/sustainability expertise work in structured settings with those faculty

8 The educational component II: Sustainability literacy for every major Evolution of concept Global Learning Initiative 2010s diversity, environmental sustainability, and global engagement are mission-central university values environmental sustainability tied to global engagement & diversity site learning outcomes within major program require increasing levels of competence through the major program developed initiative in faculty working groups, adopted by Faculty Senate resources for faculty to develop learning outcomes and assessment

9 1 st year seniors more structured, introduction to co-curricular activities through first year seminars Global Learning Initiative learning outcomes in all majors specific coursework in ENV/SUS majors continuing throughout student career: informal campus/commu nity engagement Senior capstone and/or undergraduate research The educational component III: Co-curricular activities integrated with curriculum Increased levels of competencies

10 course work and related engaged learning opportunities Non-majors ENV/SUSTAIN majors & minors 1 st year seniors First Year Seminars Learning communities: Seeds and ECOHOUSE ENV 181 Environmental Sustainability FOR 222 Environmental Conservation Internships (408)Externships (408) NAU facilitiesCounty SEDI NAU office of Sustain.City of Flagstaff federal & tribal agencies Willow Bend Center/K-12 Short-term projects: Public Lands, Earth Week, Carfree Days Long-term Student activities: Action Research teams Student Green Fund Student Organizations: sustainability consortium, SEC, NetImpact level writing and project intensive classes e.g. ENV 301W Global Learning Initiative learning outcomes in all majors continuing campus/community engagement Senior capstone and/or undergraduate research

11 achieve full participation of academic units in GLI currently around 70% improve opportunities for co-curricular and experiential education at increasing levels of sophistication integration of curricular and co-curricular components consider elective sustainability track for any major combining first-year seminars and experiences general education choices electives within major co-curricular activities The future -

12 the end

13 GLI student learning outcomes for environmental sustainability Students will appreciate what it means to use natural resources in ethical and responsible ways that maintain a sustainable environment. This includes, for example, the following issues: a. how culture determines how we construct the appropriate use of environmental resources. b. the connection between responsible engagement with the environment and global citizenship. c. the scientific basis of environmental sustainability. d. the vocabulary and concepts around environmental sustainability (e.g., finite and renewable resources, environmental footprint, global commons, peak oil). e. the role of human interactions with the environment and its relation to the root causes of many global problems.

14 Achieving change: university-wide drivers focus on change within degree programs Global Learning Initiative build competencies throughout degree program (not gen ed) three interrelated themes interdependence of human experience on a global scale significance, options for & ethics of sustainability nature & consequences of diversity in the society & environment curriculum redesign process ID learning outcomes map curriculum revise teaching/assessment revise curriculum

15 Map current knowledge and abilities through the curriculum related to GLI understandings and knowledge outcomes – system structure, function, resilience and stability/sustainability across all scales from the local to the global, including biotic, abiotic, and cultural components – science/policy interface – principles and applications of biogeochemical cycling – We will add principles and applications of environmental justice ability outcomes – systems modeling using quantitative reasoning including basic statistical analysis, error analysis – understand & explain the science behind the science of environmental change – apply an understanding of principles of resource management and environmental policy at all scales – apply an understanding of ecosystem services

16 Objectives improve interactions between curricular & co-curricular activities by developing more permanent internship and externship programs encourage local problem-solving: university mission for outreach and technical assistance address university-wide focus on sustainability through the Global Learning Initiative promote better collaboration and integration of disciplines across campus Curriculum goal: incorporate concepts & practice of sustainability and social & environmental justice in traditional environmental sciences curriculum

17 Some ENV programs GLI sustainability learning outcomes (pre-GLI effort in italics) Understand key environmental sustainability principles from natural and social sciences perspectives. Refine and make explicit existing GLI related core course learning objectives Define Environmental Sustainability from Environmental Sciences Perspective Develop and Promote Diversity opportunities promote diversity courses and study especially related to environmental justice Increase Opportunities for Co-Curricular Global learning Maintain extracurricular and co-curricular learning opportunities attendance at community and university lectures, internships, and campus extracurricular involvement

18 Course level: systems thinking and analysis describe environmental issues with systems tools scientific method & traditional ecological knowledge in environmental management climate-appropriate agriculture and water resource use Program level: interdisciplinary analysis work with others in application of multiple disciplines to analyze complex biophysical/culture issues informational literacy media searches, source discrimination, literature analysis Example learning outcomes

19 Develop additional GLI learning goals for ENV programs Enhancing awareness of relationships between human and non-human components of the environment at local to global scales Generating environmentally aware citizen who are inspired, committed, active, participatory, persuasive and influential.

20 Multiple levels of competencies Introductory, “novice” levelAdvanced, senior level Interdisciplinary analysis Work in small group to understand and communicate a local resource issue Interdisciplinary analysis apply expertise in small group to use multiple perspectives to analyze a resource issue Systems analysis Understand concepts of system components/structures and functions/interactions Systems analysis Working with others, develop a quantitative (e.g. STELLAII) analysis of a linked natural/social system

21 NAU academic programs School of Earth Science & Environmental Sustainability Program for Community, Culture & the Environment Masters of Sustainable Communities NAU research environmental, ecological, and energy research centers Sponsors in the community Coconino County Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) City of Flagstaff Flagstaff Foodlinks Northern Arizona Interfaith Council Willow Bend Environmental Center USFS, NPS, USGS Navajo Nation Hopi Tribe a local culture of sustainability provides student opportunities Flagstaff/NAU Environmental Caucus NAU campus services Office of Sustainability Residence Life Campus Dining Capital Assets Climate Action Plan Carbon Footprint Student Organizations Student Green Fund Action Research Teams

22 Components of a vibrant academic sustainability community institutional leadership – Long-term planning incorporating sustainability actions – Campus climate commitment and/or energy efficiency initiative – Engaging students, faculty, and staff in planning and decision- making Student controlled sustainability fund funding for student research – Integration of separate sustainability efforts in operations/facilities with academic affairs and community – Promoting faculty and student research/scholarly activities

23 mechanisms for sustainability leadership Long-term planning – Campus climate commitment and/or energy efficiency Campus point person (vp, dean, director, or czarina of sustainability) Engage students, faculty, and staff in planning and decision- making – Student controlled sustainability fund – Central council on sustainability – Campus-wide discussion/networking group Office of sustainability (usually coordinator level in facilities) Programmatic initiatives (e.g. general education or new degree programs)

24 Components of a vibrant, sustainable academic community academics – Weave sustainability throughout the student experience general education, major programs, co-curricular activities – Develop student access to decision-makers/decision making student work presented to Boards of Regents/Trustees Student controlled sustainability fund – Promote faculty involvement sustainability Enhance support for curricular and co-curricular development and for networking Facilitate research and scholarly activities related to sustainability

25 Components of a vibrant academic sustainability community Infrastructure facilities & operations – showcase facilities and operations – walking the talk: pervasive institutional practices Energy generation and use, residence life, dining, buildings and grounds, purchasing etc institutional leadership academics – curriculum, research/scholarly activities and co-curricular activities

26 If either dominantly top-down or bottom up, initiative design tends to suffer. Brinkhurst et al 2011 International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education


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