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Participants at the April conference. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

By Susan Jane Gentile, STARS Content Specialist
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

The Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum: Best Practices and Pedagogical Resources conference was held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa April 3-4, 2011. Each participant received a copy of Jim Farrell’s book, The Nature of College: How a New Understanding of Campus Life Can Change the World, and Jim was the keynote speaker on Sunday.

Discipline groups met at the beginning and end of the conference to discuss sustainability in the curriculum in their fields. On Monday the following presentations were offered in three concurrent sessions:

  • Using STARS to Evaluate and Enhance Sustainability in the Curriculum,
  • Sustainability in General Education,
  • Using Campus Operations as a Teaching Tool,
  • Place-based Education as Pedagogy for Sustainability,
  • Curriculum Component of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and Climate Action Plans,
  • Faculty Development for Sustainability,
  • Learning Outcomes for Sustainability.

Keynote James Farrell (center), St. Olaf College in a small group discussion with Kent Simmonds, Luther College and Candace Eudaley, East Central Intergovernmental Association. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

Also, Luther College’s director of sustainability gave a brief presentation on sustainability on their campus. There were about 60 participants at the conference from a number of Midwest colleges and universities, most in Iowa and Minnesota.

The conference was co-sponsored by Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS). Participants from the workshop will continue to share information and work together informally while using existing gatherings like the UMACS and AASHE conferences to continue the dialogue.

Participants at the April conference. Photo courtesy of Craig Mosher, Luther College.

For more information about the conference and the Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum project, visit: http://serc.carleton.edu/acm_face/sustainability/

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