SCC’s Faculty Conference — Event Recap

SCC’s inaugural Faculty Conference, with workshops and panels on SCC’s three themes: pedagogy, content & leadership, featured a content-rich agenda, an evening Town Hall session, a Michael Mann keynote, and a full room of creative, committed sustainability faculty as well as sustainability professionals from outside academia.
penn_state

Co-hosted by the Penn State Sustainability Institute at the Penn State Philadelphia Center, the SCC Faculty Conference began with a welcoming reception at FARMiCiA restaurant on Sunday evening, June 25 and continued throughout Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27.

On Monday morning Philadelphia’s Deputy Sustainability Director Sarah Wu welcomed the SCC Faculty Conference to Philadelphia.  Tom Richard delivered an inspiring and insightful synthesis of the sustainability space in his capacity as Interim Director of the Penn State Sustainability Institute.

After a packed agenda of presentations throughout the day on Monday, at 5PM the participants shifted to a Drinks/Demos/Book Signing break accompanied by food and drink, including Philadelphia classic cheesesteaks, hoagies, soft pretzels, and Tastykakes.  The Penn Book Store set up shop among the exhibitors to offer a range of sustainability titles.

Most attendees remained at the venue into the evening for the optional Town Hall session on “Teaching Sustainability in a Polarized Political Climate,” a lively exchange of perspectives which was facilitated by Peter Buckland of Penn State and Matt Polsky of Erasmus University.

Tuesday morning’s highlight was Michael Mann’s excellent keynote which was followed by an extended Q&A session and a book signing.  The balance of the Tuesday agenda allowed for more interaction including discussion in small groups based on shared interests.  The four break-out sessions offered options on sustainability in the context of business, policy, community and change management (see summaries below).

A closing session took stock of the greatest needs and challenges faced by teaching faculty and considered the findings of the SCC Faculty Survey to inform the next round of SCC activities.

SCC Advisory Council members Debbra Johnson. Peter Soyka, Krista Hiser, Becki Hack and Erik Assadourian were among the notables presenting in Philadelphia. They were joined by Penn State’s Michele Halsell, AASHE’s Julian Dautremont Smith, NWEI’s Lacy Cagle and Daniel Lerch of the Post Carbon Institute.  For the full list of presenters see the final agenda.

The full FINAL AGENDA is available here along with posted presentation files and summaries.

The SCC Faculty Conference PHOTO GALLERY is available here.

With the great success of this event, planning has begun for the next SCC Faculty Conference in Spring 2018, location TBA.

The Program Committee is accepting expressions of interest for presentations, panels and workshops at: <admin@curriculumforsustainability.org>.

Inquiries for exhibitors and sponsors, please contact: <ira@curriculumforsustainability.org>.

A sampling of comments from attendees:

An informative and inspiring conference!

You obviously took great care to develop the best possible content — you achieved your goal.

Congrats again on last week’s very successful SCC conference.

I enjoyed the session — thank you, all….

You did a very good thing in pulling together this successful event!

I enjoyed myself tremendously at this week’s Faculty Conference. I learned so much from (and about) the sustainability education community. I look forward to the second annual conference!

Thanks so much for assembling such a great group of people at the conference! I really enjoyed the discussions you sparked.

thank you again for putting together the terrific SCC conference over the past couple of days. I left not only full of ideas, but also with a pretty clear sense of what I don’t know and need to investigate to continue to move forward as a reasonably effective change agent.  It’s rare leaving any conference with such clarity, so that’s a testament to your vision and the success of your execution as the organizers.

Great conference!  I’m grateful for your leadership in pulling this group of sustainability leaders together.  I look forward to contributing in future iterations.

Thank you so much for an enlightening conference. I decided to be quiet and just listen for this year, as I am still new to sustainability. I learned so much and will be bringing back many ideas and resources to our students and faculty.

I wish to thank you for the successful meeting of Sustainability Curriculum Consortium in Philadelphia.  The work and thought you put into organizing the sessions, speakers, and break-out leaders were clearly evident and obviously vital to the success of the event.  Your leadership helped to keep things lively and running smoothly.  I found the two days to be very useful and thought-provoking, and what I’ve learned will be helpful as we continue to build and organize our degree programs in sustainability.

It was a very committed group of educators at the SCC Faculty Conference — was interesting for me to hear about what they are trying to do.  It’s a great thing you are doing with SCC. 

Most Recent SCC Webinar

Case Study Teaching for Sustainability and Environmental Education

May 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST

Case-Study-Teaching-for-SustainabilityThese leaders in sustainability education are focusing on case studies and collaborating to describe what they see as the challenges faced in designing cases, building a collection of cases, and engaging faculty and others in the creation and use of these cases.   Their discussions and written commentary about case study teaching are a proxy for broader discussions about the challenges of teaching about complex environmental challenges.

The case study method has long been used as a pedagogical method in fields such as medicine, law, and business, but its use in the fields of sustainability and environmental education is far less established. However, recent efforts by multiple organizations to advance case study teaching and to develop case study teaching resources for sustainability and environmental education suggest a growing recognition of the utility and promise of this approach for these fields. In this webinar, they will discuss efforts by four organizations to develop sustainability and environmental case study resources including: the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)’s Teaching about Socio-Environmental Synthesis with Case Studies short course, the University of Michigan’s Michigan Sustainability Cases initiative, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Case Study Integration Initiative, and the University of California Press’s new online journal, Case Studies in the Environment. They will discuss challenges and approaches in designing and implementing case studies for teaching, insights gained through each of our efforts, and resources for case study teaching.

Cynthia Wei is the Associate Director of Education at SESYNC. In this role, she works to advance the teaching and learning of socio-environmental synthesis by developing, running, and supporting several SESYNC programs and initiatives. Prior to coming to SESYNC, she worked on several national STEM education programs and initiatives related to biology education, climate change education, evolution education, and the role of community colleges in STEM education, work which built on her experiences as a K-12 science teacher and college-level biology instructor. This work was completed during her time as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Undergraduate Education and a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  At Michigan State University, she earned a dual-degree Ph.D. in zoology and ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior. She holds a B.A. in biology (neurobiology and behavior) from Cornell University. She is also a section co-editor for the new journal Case Studies in the Environment.

Minna Brown directs the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Case Study Integration Initiative. In this role, she identifies, develops, and assists with the incorporation of applied case studies into the F&ES curriculum. Working collaboratively with faculty, students, and alumni, Minna builds comprehensive, academically sound, interdisciplinary online case studies covering subjects such as the impacts of palm oil in Indonesia, approaches to urban climate change adaptation, and compromises over water rights in the Klamath River basin. She also provides resources for student case study development and curates a collection of external case studies for FES use. Minna holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from F&ES, where her studies focused on environmental communication and climate change. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Middlebury College.

Meghan Wagner is the Project Coordinator for Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC) at the University of Michigan. In her work with MSC, she facilitates case study production through collaborative partnerships with teams of students, faculty, and practitioners. Her transition into the field of sustainability was catalyzed by her experience teaching environmental science at the community college level, and longstanding interests in climate change and science communication. Meghan holds a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan, where her research focused on trace metal accumulation in marine sediments. She also holds an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University. Prior to graduate school, she served as a Science Resource Volunteer with the Peace Corps in South Africa.

Video recording available at https://youtu.be/0tu4wthorlw

SCC Updates Archive

Past Editions of SCC Updates are available by clicking on the links below. To receive the SCC Update and other announcements, sign up here.

August 3, 2017
June 8, 2017
May 31, 2017
May 23, 2017
May 16, 2017
May 9, 2017
April 25, 2017
March 27, 2017
March 7, 2017

SCC Webinar

The Significance of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

May 16, 2017

Karin-KreiderKarin Kreider leads ISEAL, the organization that coordinates the activities of many of the most recognizable sustainability standards and eco-labels.  Karin will introduce the audience to the complex voluntary standards landscape and explain the role of sustainability standards across various sectors and contexts.  She will present specific case studies illustrating how the initiatives of ISEAL members utilize sustainability standards in the US and around the world.  This webinar will assist sustainability educators in understanding the increasing importance of voluntary standards in the sustainability space, whether because of regulatory roll-backs, or in supply chain management, or as an emerging component of private governance.

Karin Kreider is the Executive Director of the ISEAL Alliance – the global backbone organization for the sustainability standards movement.  She is one of the world’s leading experts on ecolabels, sustainability standards and certification.  Before joining ISEAL in 2009, she was involved in the start-up of Rainforest Alliance, and worked there for more than 20 years, first as Associate Director of the organisation, and then as Director of the Sustainable Agriculture Programme.  Karin holds a BFA and an MBA from New York University and is based in London.

Video recording available at https://youtu.be/qWNhP3fI5zs

SCC Webinar

EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet

April 10, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST

Untitled-7Join Erik and Jonathan as they discuss how to rethink education–and particularly the classroom experience–to prepare students for life on a changing planet. Erik will discuss the broader ideas and strategies that are part of the upcoming State of the World report: EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. Jonathan will discuss his chapter in depth, exploring innovative ways to “bring the classroom back to life,” particularly at the university level.

Erik Assadourian is a Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute. Over the past 15 years with Worldwatch, Erik has directed two editions of Vital Signs and five editions of State of the World, including the 2013 edition: Is Sustainability Still Possible? and the upcoming 2017 edition: EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet.  Erik also directs Worldwatch’s Transforming Cultures project, and designed Catan: Oil Springs, an eco-educational scenario for the popular board game Settlers of Catan. Over the past few years, Erik has also been working to produce Yardfarmers, a reality TV show that follows six Millennial Americans as they exit the consumer economy to live with their parents and become sufficiency farmers.

Jonathan Dawson is a sustainability educator, currently working as Head of Economics at Schumacher College in Devon. Until recently a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, he has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.  Jonathan is the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum <www.gaiaeducation.org>, drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

The video recording is available at: https://youtu.be/C4OZBg7RX-Y

 

SCC Webinar

Mauō webinar series #2:
The Meeting of Wisdoms

March 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST

In this webinar, Krista Hiser & Matt Lynch share lessons from an ongoing  dialogue in the University of Hawaii system about global sustainability and indigenous wisdom in the context of localized climate impacts. A concept paper from Hawaii’s statewide summit on Sustainability in Higher Education will be shared, with links to a panel of scholars representing indigenous and western frameworks. Krista will share a synthesis of sustainability learning outcomes, pedagogical practices, and suggestions for mutual strengthening of indigenous communities and approaches to sustainability in higher education.

Krista Hiser is Professor of Composition & Rhetoric at Kapiʻolani Community College, where she team teaches the learning community course: “Decade Zero: Understanding the Science & Rhetoric of Climate Change.” Her research in Educational Administration focuses on Higher Education for Sustainable Development. She has published on community engagement, service-learning, organizational change, post-apocalyptic and cli-fi literature. She is a recipient of the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching and the University of Hawaii President’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability.  Currently serving as the University of Hawaii’s Interim System Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator, Dr. Hiser’s current work is to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and professional development opportunities for faculty to update and transform their courses and help the University of Hawaii system to ho’omauō *

Matthew Kamakani Lynch is the System Sustainability Coordinator for the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii. He is also founder of of the Honolulu based nonprofit Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Kahumana Organic Farm, Slow Food Oahu, and Hawaii Green Growth. He has worked in a broad range of community-based sustainable development projects from Mongolia to Australia and throughout the Pacific, from building rural community resilience through farmer trainings, to sustainable economic development, to catalyzing institutional change through policy work and collaborative leadership. Matt’s talent for energizing communities and individuals has re-humanized urban and institutional systems in the developing and developed worlds, and works towards restoring & regenerating the ecological systems upon which these social systems depend.

Mauō = the perpetuation of our well-being
ho’omauō = to perpetuate our well-being

The video recording is available here: https://youtu.be/MUA_TepsFBQ

SCC Webinar

“Connecting Transformative Learning & Behavior Change”

Tuesday, March 14 at 2PM Eastern

030817Deborah McNamara and Lacy Cagle
Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI)

Sustainability education at its best should address the “say-do gap,” which behavior change experts cite as being the difference between saying what we believe and actually doing it. This webinar will provide resources for moving beyond knowledge acquisition to application, shared learning and shared action – thus enabling more effective sustainability education and engagement grounded in a transformative, participatory learning process developed by the Northwest Earth Institute, a non-profit organization offering a series of discussion-based course books as well as a complementary online action EcoChallenge platform for educators, sustainability officers, students and higher education staff alike.

Webinar participants will identify new tools that address connections between transformative learning and behavior change and will learn how to implement any NWEI program on their campus or in the classroom.

Recording available at: https://youtu.be/Q5YbSKkvVsw

SCC Webinar

“Leading Change: Leveraging Change Management to Achieve Your Goals”
with Becki Hack
Monday, February 13, 2017
2PM Eastern time

BeckiHackIntegrating sustainability into curricula represents a significant change to the way educators think, work, and, often, organize.

So how can change agents—whether leading a grassroots initiative or driving an institutional mandate—increase the probability of achieving their ESD goals? By equipping themselves with a structured change management methodology routinely used and proven successful in organizational change.

“Change management” focuses on the “people side of change” and provides the discipline for preparing, equipping, and supporting individuals in adopting the change that drives desired outcomes.

This session will help participants look at their institutions’ ESD change initiatives using the lens of a leading change management framework and immediately begin applying those concepts to their respective organization’s unique vision, structure, culture, people, and circumstances.

By understanding change management as a leadership tool, change agents can design a plan to achieve their vision, accelerate change toward success, mitigate risks, and build institutional competency for the ongoing leadership critical to ESD.

Recording available at: https://youtu.be/d6AP3TA3OJU

SCC Webinar

“Better Messages for Sustainable Behavior”
with Wade Ferguson
Executive Director of Vermillion Institute
January 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm Eastern

wadeWhy do so many messages about sustainability seem to fall on deaf ears? And why do the graduates of our sustainability programs get resistance to initiatives with clear benefits (that they were often hired to enact)? For purposes of curriculum development, what else do our students need to know to succeed?

Educators can agree that a useful approach in ESD would include recognizing and avoiding pitfalls and promoting success. So this session will examine which messages are most likely to succeed in motivating people to act and sustaining their behavior.

Through an exploration of both moral development science and the real-world experience of experts, Vermillion discusses these questions to help faculty gear their courses and curricula towards useful learning outcomes for their students – the future leaders in business, government and NGO sectors. In light of new awareness, faculty will be better empowered to guide their students, their peers, and the community groups they mentor towards messages that improve public literacy about the issues and commitment to positive action.

Click here for the video recording of “Better Messages” with Vermillion Institute (January 10, 2016).

Creating Coherence

First webinar in the series “Mauō: the perpetuation of Well-Being”
with Krista Hiser, Professor of Composition and System Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator, University of Hawaii System
November 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm EST

November 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm EST

Mauō Webinar, “Beyond Green Workforce” (sharing new conceptualizations of educating for sustainability careers in Hawaii)

Mauō Webinar, “Island Sustainability” reports from the 5th annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit, focusing on the meeting of wisdoms, where indigenous and global perspectives on sustainability meet.

Mauo Webinar “Creating Coherence: Implementing a System-Level S Designation,”  (December 12, 2016) Krista Hiser tells the epic tale of a ten year implementation of a system-wide designation for sustainability-focused courses. Any campus implementing or considering implementing similar STARS-based criteria at a campus or system level will relate to the ups, downs, and details of an S Designation. The UH system is currently benchmarking courses throughout the system with a goal to catalyze a rapid diffusion of sustainability content, pedagogy, research, and cultural and community engagement.
This webinar is the first in a three-part series to be led by Krista Hiser, based on sustainability curricula at the University of Hawaii’s ten-campus system. In 2015, President David Lassner signed Executive Policy 4.202. This series presents the story of how this policy helped catalyze a rapid diffusion of sustainability content, pedagogy, and cultural and community engagement.

The video recording of this webinar is available on YouTube at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lADBVtgvcYc&feature=youtu.be

Teaching for Sustainability: Curriculum Integration, Instructional Design, and Emerging Faculty Cohorts

Pedagogy follow-up activity with Susan Santone and Jess Gerrior
November 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm EST

SCC will be following up our successful sustainability pedagogy webinar series by launching an interactive online forum for higher ed teaching professionals. As our next step in that direction, please attend this next webinar, in which we will lead a cohort-style discussion on faculty-identified issues that emerged in our AASHE 2016 conference session around the three main themes – content, pedagogy, and leadership. We’ll draw on your questions and experiences to generate a facilitated dialogue among colleagues, also including insights from conversations between Susan Santone (SCC Advisory Council member) and Jess Gerrior (SCC Director of Learning & Practice). Susan will provide her expert overview of curriculum integration and instructional design, and Jess will introduce SCC’s plans for 2017, including the development of our cohort model and skilled support for institutional sustainability education efforts.  Participation by pairs or teams of colleagues is encouraged.

The video recording of this webinar is available on YouTube at:  https://youtu.be/KjJH6QfQj_4

Stop ‘Dooming & Glooming’: Engage Students in Solutions

Timely perspectives on climate and policy with Debra Rowe
December 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm EST

Debra Rowe has long been recognized as one of the leaders in the sustainability in higher education movement in the US.  Her tireless work for our community of practice has been an inspiration for us all. Debra has agreed to share her perspectives on the current state of ESD at this critical juncture, especially with respect to climate policy after the Paris Agreement and the transition to the Trump administration. Pre-register now to participate in this compelling dialogue to move beyond the “doom and gloom.”

The video recording of this webinar is available on YouTube at:  https://youtu.be/SAFiUnWjIo4