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Building Sustainability into Your Courses and Bucks Culture

Faculty Center Presentation by members of Bucks Sustainability Team 3 October 2013

Marianne Kepler, Social & Behavioral Science, Co-Chair of Sustainability Team: Update on state of sustainability at Bucks Do YOU have sustainability assignments / activities? Pat Engle, Language & Literature: Overview workshop experience: Teaching Climate Change

Aligning environmental literacy with student learning needs

Plan / vision Kathi Knight & Michael Babij, MaST; Deb Sedik, Soc./Behavioral: Sample assignments Audience contributions & feedback Steve Bacher, PR & Marketing: The Climate Reality Project

State of Sustainability at Bucks

Ongoing practices Web page: About Bucks > Sustainability Water-filling station Logo contest Eco Club

Board of Trustees Presentation

Montgomery CCC Workshop Experience

Pre-Reading: The Psychology of Climate Change Working in teams encourages long-term thinking Need to address finite worry factor: WIIFM? Environmental literacy meets cultural perspectives core requirement as economic good (2012 award). Network of environmental partners in campus communities service learning projects, field work.


Aligning Environmental Literacy with Student (esp. Millennial) Needs

Preference for cool technological tools (see Resources) Attention & empathy deficits from excessive technology usage: Attention Restoration Theory (ART): When someone interacts with a natural environment their attention is captured in what is referred to as a bottom up process, meaning that it is driven by calming external stimuli seen in nature, allowing the parts of the brain that are overworked to recover (Rosen 204).

Prioritization of social needs over academic needs + narcissistic individualism: Project teams, community service, role-play.

Our Workshop Exercise: The Great Inter-Collegial Sustainability Project

BEGINS with instilling a culture of sustainability at Bucks:
Assemble / revive dedicated project team: Done Workshops: Starting with this one Volunteers to develop awareness-raising tools in classes & clubs: YOU?

Build up to a Year of Sustainability Thinking, including friendly competitions

Extend competition and event-planning with area colleges: Sustainable Christmas Camp Out: Great American Lights Out Area Student Research Conference on Sustainability (CCP) Earth Day / Month Battle of Bands, etc.

Sample Assignments in Courses TEACHING Environmental Literacy

Intro to Environmental Science: The Lorax Environmental Education Program Forest Stand Maintenance and Restoration Service Learning Project Time and Environment, Integration of Knowledge: Environmental Group Project: Town Council Meetings

Art for Earths Sake

Sample Assignments / Activities in Courses NOT Primarily Environment-Related Intro to Psych Statistics: Usage Projection Project Art sculptures from recycled materials . . .

NEEDED: More Sample Assignments & Activities for Courses NOT Primarily Environment-Related
Examples: Business, Economics: externalities, environmental ethics . . . Art, Advertising: posters, billboards, slogans, logos . . .
Image juxtapositions in time & place slow students down

COMP: research, power of narrative / story CCP plan Computer classes: apps, social media, games . . . Math: game theory to predict consumption choices? Culture Studies, Theology, History: worldviews, indigenous traditions, dominion thesis . . .

What Suggestions Do YOU Have?

The Climate Reality Project

Web Links
Psychology of Climate Change:

American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (MontCo 2012 award):
Bucks Sustainability web page: Climate Reality Project: Work Cited Rosen, Larry. iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.