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Projects Updates for Topic: Education


  1. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project


    Below you will find readings collected from experts associated with the Prairie Project workshop.  The suggestions are intended to provide an introduction to the topic of sustainability, however, some provide greater detail. 

    Is there a suggested reading or other resource you would like to share?  Please let us know.

    Building the Sustainable Community:Is Social Capital the Answer? (PDF)

    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Synthesis report

    Understanding the Social Dimension of Sustainability

    Beyond Fences: Seeking Social Sustainability in Conservation

    The Sustainability Seminar reading list from Spring 2010.

    The Sustainability Seminar reading list from Spring 2011. 

    A very short primer on ecosystem services by the Ecological Society of America (professional organization of ecologists): 

    Ecology of infectious diseases and influences of climate change

  2. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project

    Teaching Sustainability Workshop 2013

    Providing skills, knowledge, and resources for infusing environmental sustainability into your courses

    Sustainability is one of the great global challenges of the twenty-first century. Whether you teach accounting or aerospace engineering, Portuguese or pathobiology, you likely have something to contribute toward addressing this challenge.The Center for a Sustainable Environment will be hosting the Teaching Sustainability Workshop on April 12-13, 2013. Apply here.

    Friday, April 12 - Reception
    Temple Buell Art Gallery, 111 Architecture Building
    Guest speaker David Schejbal, print flyer

    Saturday, April 13 - Workshop
    Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello 

    The workshop will bring together a group of University of Illinois instructors who want to learn more about adding sustainability to the courses they already teach. Participants in the workshop are typically professors and instructors who are curious about sustainability and want to engage it, but who also have too much to do to become experts in sustainability. After participating in the workshop, you will have a:

    • Working definition of sustainability.

    • Framework for understanding the components of sustainability and how each relates to your expertise.

    • List of readings and short videos that you can use to prepare your class or use in your class.

    • Draft of exercises you might use in your classes and examples of how other instructors have incorporated sustainability into their courses.

    • Set of opportunities for exploring sustainability on campus through the landscape, buildings, operations, and transportation.

    • Cohort of colleagues who have similar goals about infusing sustainability into their teaching and on-going support as you test your ideas in the classroom.

    • Stipend of $500 that you can use however you see fit. 

    Our goal is to provide you with a set of ideas, concepts, models, and examples that you can modify to fit your courses. You’ll get a list of readings and short videos that you might want to use in your classes. And we will work to craft some initial ideas for exercises that you might use as you teach. 

    The workshop consists of five components that are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to add sustainability to your teaching.

    1. Teaching Sustainability Reception. There will be a reception on Friday, April 12, 2013 at the School of Architecture, Art Gallery from 4:00-6:30pm. The 2012 participants will receive their certificate for completing the workshop, followed by guest speaker, David Schejbal. This reception will give you an opportunity to network with last year’s participants. 

    2. Teaching Sustainability Retreat. We will meet on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Allerton Park ( from 8:30 to 5:00. This is the main event of the Workshop. We will learn from experts who have the capacity to explain concepts about sustainability in a way that is accessible to those of us who are not experts. During the day, you will develop some initial ideas, lesson plans, and exercises that you can use in your courses. We will serve you a continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks. 

    3. Feedback and Revision. During the summer of 2013, we will get together with sustainability experts to provide feedback on your initial plans and course revisions.

    4. Fall Check-In. Near the end of the fall 2013 semester, we will get together for lunch to learn from the members of the group who taught their revised courses and discuss the lessons they learned and what they might have done differently.

    5. Debriefing. During the spring 2014 semester, we will get together to share experiences, assess results, and make recommendations for how this process might evolve. We’ll get together with next year’s cohort.

    Faculty and instructors will receive a stipend for participating in these five aspects of the Workshop. Graduate students and post-docs who will be assisting with modifications of existing courses or development of new courses are also welcome to attend. 

    By applying for this exciting and interactive opportunity, Teaching Sustainability Workshop participants agree to:

    • Participate in the events above.

    • Commit to preparing and submitting a description of the course modification or creation by the end of the retreat, and revising as needed over the summer.

    • Provide a final syllabus, course modifications, and brief summary of outcomes from the experience.

    Please follow up with Amy Rosenbery ( if you have questions about this opportunity. Based on current plans, we anticipate that 20 instructors will be accommodated. Applicants will be notified by mid-March if they have been selected to participate.

    Participant Agenda
    Teaching Sustainability Workshop Reception
    Friday, April 12, 2013, 4:00-6:30pm, Temple Buell Hall Art Gallery, 111 Architecture Building
    4:00pm - "The Changing Nature of Higher Education and the Role of Sustainability Education in the Process" presented by David Schejbal. Print flyer

    Sustainability Curriculum Retreat,
    Saturday, April 13, 2013 
    8:30am-5:00pm, Allerton Park & Retreat Center
    More details to come!

    This event is supported by the Center for a Sustainable Environment and the Office of the Provost.

    Attached Files: 
  3. Archived web info - CSE Prairie Project

    Faculty Resources

    The Office of Sustainability has collected information from a variety of sources that are useful to faculty who are considering adding sustainability to courses.  The OS has co-sponsored the Prairie Project in 2010 and 2011 with surprising results.  Combined statistics indicate participation by more than 30 faculty, instructors, lecturers from nearly every college.  This translates into teaching some facet of sustainability to 6,500 students per year!  The suggested readings are primarily those recommended to participants of the curriculum workshop.  The courses and syllabi page provides examples from our campus as well as from external sources.  The last section on design and assessment includes valuable resources shared by the Center for Teaching Excellence.


  4. Archived web info - Scholarship of Sustainability

    Associated Project(s): 

    Scholarship of Sustainability - Spring 2014

    Campus Series on the Scholarship of Sustainability begins Thursday, February 13

    The Scholarship of Sustainability is a series of presentations and discussions that welcomes students, staff and the general public to explore the cultural contexts of contemporary environmental problems. The series is generously sponsored by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment (iSEE), with contributions from the School of Earth, Society and Environment (SESE), the College of Law and the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics (SLCL).

    The nine sessions will be held on Thursdays from 4-5:30pm at Room 149 of the National Soybean Research Center, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana, beginning on February 13. (There is a one-session hiatus on March 27, which coincides with spring break.) Ample metered parking is available nearby.

    The 2014 Scholarship of Sustainability campus series begins with a recognition that human behavior underlies all environmental problems and that our behaviors are complexly linked with cultural patterns and the social institutions based on them. It will probe the root causes of our misuses of nature; consider the tension between animal-welfare and ecological perspectives; take a critical look at market capitalism and its embedded values; consider environmental justice in its broadest meanings; and ask whether and how religious thought can help and hinder environmental reform efforts. The final session will consider new directions for conservation. 

    The series leader is Eric T. Freyfogle, Swanlund Chair and Professor of Law. His many relevant writings include Justice and the Earth (The Free Press), On Private Property (Beacon Press), and Why Conservation is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground (Yale Univ. Press). Sessions will also feature other UIUC faculty and community conservation leaders as well as several special guests. All nine sessions are open to the public, and UIUC faculty and graduate students are especially encouraged to participate. The Series is cosponsored by the School of Earth, Society, and the Environment; the College of Law; and the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics.

    Readings: Participants can access readings for the series via links at the descriptions of individual sessions below. Readings are also available in spiral-bound form (317 pp.) for $24 from the College of Law Bookstore, 504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, Champaign (basement SE corner; open from 9-12 and 1-4 M-F). They will also be available for purchase by cash or check at the first two sessions.

    Three U of I courses are associated with the series:


    Graduate-level students can participate in the series for academic credit by enrolling in Law 792JJ Scholarship of Sustainability; those interested in doing so should contact Professor Freyfogle at

    Outline of Readings


    February 13 :: Beginning the Search.  Environmental ills involve human misuses of nature.  But how might we distinguish between legitimate use and misuse?  How might we best think about the proper human role in nature?  Is sustainability a useful measure, and what alternatives goals have been proposed? Ultimately, what are the root causes–cultural, cognitive, and material–of our misuses of nature? Speaker: Bill Sullivan, Department of Landscape Architecture. 

    Session One Readings


    February 20 :: The Costs and Possibilities of Capitalism.  Much environmental change is driven by businesses and other market participants. We’ll consider calls for a new, green industrial revolution.  We’ll also consider ecological critiques of capitalism and market competition and calls for major changes in our economic system. Speaker: Eric Freyfogle, College of Law.

    Session Two Readings


    February 27 :: Fragmentation and Cultural Flaws. According to environmental historians a major driver of our uses and misuses of nature has been the tendency to fragment landscapes and treat nature's parts as market commodities. We'll look at the issue of fragmentation–physically, legally, and intellectually–and its resulting problems while also considering the limits on our knowledge and its implications.

    Session Three Readings


    March 6 :: Other Forms of Life. A critical modern assumption is that humans are the only species to possess moral value. Is this morally defensible? We'll explore the considerable differences between animal-welfare and ecological modes of thought, while paying attention generally to the many ways we benefit from other life forms and how we might best think about them. As we'll see, our varied reasons for wanting to conserve other life forms can lead to widely differing policies and actions. Speaker: Dale Jamieson, New York University, Environmental Studies Program. Lecture: "Grass Fed Environmentalism: Living Responsibly in the Anthropocene"

    This special event is part of campus Ethics Awareness Week. Ethics Awareness Week is an initiative of the National Center for Professional & Research Ethics and is sponsored by the Graduate College and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, with support from the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society.

    Session Four Readings


    March 13 :: Climate Change and the Role of Science. Climate change is perhaps the most serious of today's environmental ills. We'll consider the problem and its many implications. While doing so we'll also consider the common claim that environmental policy should be based on sound science. What is science, what are its proper roles, and how and why do we regularly misuse it? Speaker: Eric Snodgrass, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

    Session Five Readings


    March 20 :: Seeing and Valuing Nature. Connections with the natural world play a significant role in human well being, and our dealings with nature are shaped by the ways we perceive it and value it. Better ways of living in nature will likely require us to see nature in new, more ecological ways and to appreciate the value of its countless living components and their complex interdependencies. Speaker: Rob Kanter, School of Earth, Society, and Environment.

    Session Six Readings


    April 3 :: Sharing the Earth. The good use of nature inevitably means sharing the planet in responsible ways. How should social justice enter into environmental issues? How should we divide up the earth's resources and capacities, and what weight should be given to historic patterns of use? Of special interest: sharing the atmosphere and its limited ability to absorb climate-changing gases–the particular topic of this session. Speaker: J. Michael Scoville, Eastern Michigan University, History and Philosophy Department.

    Session Seven Readings


    April 10 :: Otherworldly Religions. How have religious views affected our uses of nature, and how might religion today push us in good or bad directions? We'll consider historian Lynn White's famous argument and responses to it and also look at how we might evaluate religions–even individual congregations—based on environmental factors. Speakers: Robert McKim, Department of Religion, and Brian Sauder, incoming Director of Faith in Place. 

    Session Eight Readings


    April 17 :: New Directions for Conservation. Efforts to address environmental ills, off to a promising start in the 1970s and 1980s, have greatly slowed in recent decades, with major problems largely unaddressed and with Congress in political deadlock. We'll look at ideas for a revitalized citizen-led movement to bring about needed major changes and some of the challenges that such a movement would face.

    Session Nine Readings


    Attached Files: 
  5. Archived web info - CSE Education page

    Sustainability education is thriving across many disciplines at Illinois.  Through the efforts of the education task force, the Office of Sustainability provides information on sustainability coursework for both undergraduate and graduate students.  

    The Office of the Provost, and the Center for Teaching Excellence assisted in providing the second offering of the Prairie Project workshop,  which helps instructors integrate sustainability into their courses.  The resource pages for faculty include information that was either distributed or collected as a result of participation in the Prairie Project.  

    We hope you find these resources helpful.

  6. Archived web info - ECI Courses and Programs

    Associated Project(s): 

    Courses & Programs

    During the first year of operation Environmental Change Institute awarded $25,000 for the development of new courses related to one of the domains established by the ECI. The following is a listing of courses and course instructors. Follow the link to view the course syllabi.

    • Development of a Renewable Energy Law Course (funded 2009) Instructor: Dr. Jay Kesan, Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Economics and Business Administration. Co-Instructor: Dr. Bryan Endress, ACE. Syllabus (PDF)
    • Global Warming, Biofuels and Food; Plants and Global Change Instructor: Dr. Andrew Leakey, Department of Plant Biology and Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB). Co-Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Ainsworth, Department of Plant Biology and IGB. Syllabus (PDF)
    • Climate and Social Vulnerability: Concepts and Policy Approaches Instructor: Dr. Jesse Ribot, Beckman Institute. Syllabus (PDF)
    • Environmental Sustainability – A Global Perspective Instructor: Dr. William Sullivan, Department of Landscape Architecture.Syllabus (PDF)
    • Design and Evaluation of Green Roof Systems at the University of Illinois Instructor: Dr. David Kovacic, Department of Landscape Architecture
    • LINC Bike Sharing (funded 2010) Instructor: Dr. Bruce Litchfield, Engineering Administration

    Landscapes, Sustainability, & Human Health Instructor: Dr. Bill Sullivan, Landscape Architecture


  7. LINC Class

    Associated Project(s): 

    This semester there are 7 students registered for the LINC UI Bikes Section  and 2 project managers. Their main project involves thinking of innovative and creative ideas for increasing the number of registered bikes on campus. Their goal consists of registering 3,000 bikes by the end of the semester!    

  8. University Sustainability Program

    From: []
    Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 9:23 AM
    Subject: University Sustainability Program

    Dear colleagues,

    I am writing to ask for your help in reauthorizing the University Sustainability Program (USP) at the Department of Education.  It is part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which is set to expire this coming August. This is the only federal sustainability education funding program in existence, and it is imperative that we keep it alive. 

    As you know, USP only received partial funding one year, as part of the FY2010 Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education appropriation (generating over $4 million in grants for sustainability projects). This fact makes USP vulnerable to being dropped out of the new reauthorization bill.

    USP's original House sponsor, Representative Earl Blumenauer, has proposed to make a push for funding USP as part of the FY14 federal budget, and has recently sent a "Dear Colleague" letter (attached) to House Members asking them to join him in this request. He would be the first to admit that securing funding for USP in these tough times is a long shot at the moment. But he feels that a push for FY14 funding will at least help to start building momentum for reauthorization now by getting USP back on Congress's radar screen. And while it is also likely that action on the new Higher Ed act will be delayed beyond the August expiration date, hearings on the bill are being held now, and so we need to get our position regarding USP on record in a timely manner.

    Towards that end, I have drafted two letters of support (attached), one for a FY14 appropriation and one for reauthorization, which I hope you'll help circulate to your networks for co-signing by college presidents and national NGOs. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. I have put a somewhat arbitrary deadline of May 30 for signing on. If you need help drafting a cover note for these letters, I'll be happy to help. We generated over 300 signatories the last time around, and I'm hoping we can do better this time.

    Many of us worked hard to get USP passed five years ago, and a time will come when we have a good shot at getting it more fully funded. So it would be a major setback to have it fail to be included in the new higher education bill, and then have to start all over from scratch in trying to get a new authorization bill passed.

    Thank you as always for your help!

    Best wishes,


    James L. Elder, Director
    The Campaign for Environmental Literacy
    14 Jersey Lane
    Manchester, MA 01944
    978-526-7768 (office)
    978-609-2892 (cell)


    Attached Files: 
  9. IL Center for a Smarter Electric Grid (ICSEG)

    Professors Bill Sanders and Tom Overbye received funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the Illinois Center for a Smarter Electric Grid (ICSEG). The ICSEG is a 5-year project that is helping to provide services for the validation of information technology and control aspects of Smart Grid systems.