Colleges and universities

Are students getting the sustainability skills they need?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Today, Net Impact publishes its ninth annual survey of social and environmental graduate school programs, called “Business As UNusual” (download). The title notwithstanding, it reveals that such programs have become woven into the fabric of many college and university curricula — that teaching sustainability is, indeed, business as usual on campuses these days.

That doesn’t necessarily mean these programs are equipping today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges.

Sustainability studies: Something for everyone

Read the full post from the University of Minnesota Institute on Environment. Although the post focuses on the sustainability minor at UM, there are some good, general takeaways here.

Sustainability. It has become such a common word, we take it for granted that everyone knows what it is and how to practice it. But what is it, really?

Sustainability is the concept that humans use natural resources to meet current physical, social and economic needs while maintaining adequate resources for future generations.

In our homes, schools, communities and businesses we incorporate sustainability into our day-to-day lives. Some things are so ingrained we hardly think about them anymore: flipping off the lights when we leave the room; tossing bottles into the recycling bin; taking shorter showers. University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergrads from any major who want to do even more can make sustainability part of their academic program — and eventually, their career — through the sustainability studies minor.

Climate Change Education: Preparing Future and Current Business Leaders: A Workshop Summary

Download the document.

Climate change poses challenges as well as opportunities for businesses and, broadly speaking for the entire economy. Businesses will be challenged to provide services or products with less harmful influence on the climate; respond to a changing policy, regulatory, and market environment; and provide new services and products to help address the challenges of a changing climate. Many businesses are beginning to see climate change as another context within which they need to consider their core functions of strategy, finance, operations, marketing, and their regulatory environments, a context that poses both risks and opportunities.

Climate Change Education: Preparing Current and Future Business Leaders is the summary of a workshop hosted by the National Research Council’s Board on Science Education in March 2013 to explore issues associated with teaching climate change-related topics in business schools. The workshop focused on major gaps in understanding of climate and sustainability education in postsecondary professional schools of business. The workshop also connected the topic of climate education for current and future business leaders with a broader discussion on climate change education and how they influence and can benefit each other. This report discusses the role that business schools could play in preparing future corporate leaders for the challenges and opportunities that climate change poses.

Job announcement: Grant Writer, Center for Energy Research, Education, and Service, Ball State Univ.

Professional contract position available immediately.

Major responsibility  research, write, and facilitate comprehensive external grant proposal development and submission to sustainability-related funding opportunities with federal, state, local, international, corporate, and on-profit funding agencies.

Minimum qualifications:  bachelor’s degree; at least two years of experience in having written and submitted at least one proposal to funding agencies that were granted/issued in excess of $100,000; have knowledge and/or experience with organizations that solicit sustainability-related research, education, and service projects; excellent managerial, technical, and organizational skills; knowledge of various funding agency requirements and proposed submission procedures; excellent writing and research skills; working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, Adobe Professional suite of products, and an understanding of Grants.gov submission process; ability to work effectively under the pressure of deadlines; excellent attention to detail.

Preferred qualifications:  Research Administrator’s Certificate (CRA); have an understanding of the needs of developing sustainability-related research, education, and service projects; familiarity with other data base search tools such as COS Pivot, Grant Select, Grants Resource Center, and the Foundation Center.

Candidates for searches must have current authorization to be employed in the U.S. without employer sponsorship.

Send letter of application, resume, transcripts, and the names and contact information for three references to:

Professor Robert Koester, Director
Center for Energy Research, Education, and Service
Ball State University
Muncie, IN  47306

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. www.bsu.edu/ceres,  www.bsu.edu/sustainability

The university offers an excellent benefits package, including health care and retirement plans, tuition assistance for employees and dependents, and generous time off with pay.

Ball State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.

Complete position description: 104086 Position Description

University of Illinois Extension Announces Successful Awards

University of Illinois Extension recently announced awards for six collaborative projects, totaling over $1.2 million, to interdisciplinary teams of faculty and staff. The awards were part of the University of Illinois Extension and Outreach Initiative, a special partnership between U of I Extension, the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES), and the Office of the Provost. The six awards were selected from a pool of 71 pre-proposals from 16 different campus units.

“We were very pleased with the number and quality of the proposals we received from across campus in response to this initiative,” said Robert Hauser, Dean of ACES. “The six projects moving forward are outstanding examples of the impact and value that extension and outreach can provide to a variety of disciplines throughout the University.”

University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach arm of the University. Extension’s statewide network of educators and county-based offices provide programming in economic development, health and nutrition, agriculture and natural resources, and youth development. Traditionally, most Extension programs are related to departments within the College of ACES. This Extension and Outreach Initiative was aimed at establishing programs with departments and units elsewhere on campus.

Principal investigators and project titles:

  • Jon Gant, Library of Information Science and Illinois Informatics Institute, Graduate School of Library and Information Science. “Enhancing Economic Development in Illinois with Digital Tech Hub Creativity Studios.”
  • Kevin Hamilton, Department of Art and Design, Fine and Applied Arts. “Designing for Health in Central Illinois.”
  • Lenny Pitt, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering. “4-H Computing Connections.”
  • Aric Rindfleisch, College of Business. “Marketplace Literacy and 3-D Printing: Enabling Economic Development for Impoverished Communities.”
  • Kim Sheahan, Spurlock Museum, Liberal Arts and Sciences. “An Artifact Speaks.”
  • Wei Zheng, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute. “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products: Extending Knowledge and Mitigation Strategies.”

Hauser explained that the Initiative was intended to expand Extension’s research base across the Urbana campus, raise awareness of Extension among faculty and stakeholders, and advance the University’s land grant mission through new, innovative partnerships.

“This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Smith Lever Act, the federal legislation that launched Cooperative Extension at Land Grant institutions nationwide,” Hauser said. “We are working to broaden our approach to provide research-based information from the whole University.”

For more information about University of Illinois Extension, visit extension.illinois.edu. University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs and research-based information to help Illinois residents improve their quality of life, develop skills and solve problems.

Webinar: Planting the Seeds for Sustainable Chemistry

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 1-2 pm CDT
Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/705583810

What can be done to incorporate green chemistry in to all parts of the industry? Join us to learn about the Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientist and Engineers (NESSE) and how they are working to build a community of confident and able early-career sustainable scientists; connected across disciplines, sharing knowledge and resources, forging collaborations, and finding solutions towards making research and its outcomes greener and more sustainable.

 

Becoming a Change Agent for Sustainability

Read the full post at the Community College Sustainability Collaborative.

A few summers ago, I attended a week-long training on campus sustainability at the University of Vermont. It was one of the best trainings I’ve ever attended and the facilitator (Debra Rowe) at one point, after I had described some of the things I had accomplished in my career, congratulated me on being a successful activist for sustainability. That’s when the trouble started; you see I have never considered myself an activist, to me an activist spends way too much time screaming and making other people feel bad. I have always preferred to consider myself a subversive, someone who works somewhat under the radar to make change. The fact is though, that the term subversive carries a heavy negative connotation so it’s not a label I use for myself very often. In Vermont our disagreement resulted in me coming to a change in how I should refer to myself, so I’ve come around to the term change agent. I don’t think that labels are nearly as important as actions but this particular label got me thinking in a couple of ways. First, really what is a change agent? Secondly, at the encouragement of the facilitator, to really take a look at how in fact you do make change happen within an organization or community. The result of course is what follows.