Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Hannah Moskowitz
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

The Ann Ferran Conference, an annual conference open to all faculty and staff includes workshops on integrating campus sustainability into the curriculum and creates incentive for new sustainability courses. Relevant workshops:

105: Connecting Campus Sustainability with the Classroom: The Office of Sustainability is tasked with guiding American University to carbon neutrality over the next three years. To monitor its progress, the office gathers large amounts of data related to transportation, waste, energy consumption, etc. The data gathered for tracking greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, and engagement on campus are all available for use in classes. In addition to annual data going back to 2005, the sustainability office also uses many online tools including a ride sharing platform called Ride Amigos, a dashboard for real-time monitoring of solar panel production and energy consumption by building, and STARS, which helps evaluate progress on campus sustainability. Staff from the office will introduce participants to the data and tools available and provide examples of using these tools in the classroom.

308: Learning Beyond Classroom Walls: Using AU's Arboretum and Gardens: American University’s campus is an accredited arboretum and recognized as one of the most beautiful and sustainable in the country. This landscape is not only a beautiful setting, but is also an exceptional resource for experiential learning. This panel unites faculty and staff to reveal how your colleagues are already taking advantage of this readily accessible opportunity. Research will be presented showing how AU’s Arboretum and Gardens is a successful teaching tool that has been incorporated across disciplines to provide students with a broad understanding of issues important to a liberal arts education and preparation for life after college. Through the arboretum, stress reduction, diversity and inclusion, history, international relations, policy making, environmental science, film and media arts, and music are all topics currently being explored in courses for everyone from first-year students to graduate students.

307: More Than a Scenic Backdrop: The AU Campus as a Teaching and Learning Resource: The AU campus is a natural treasure. It is an accredited arboretum and recognized as one of the most beautiful and well-tended college campuses in the country. This landscape is more than a scenic backdrop: It can be an exceptional resource for experiential learning. This panel brings together faculty and staff in an imaginative and interactive discussion about how AU’s Arboretum and Gardens can be, and have been, integrated creatively and effectively into classes. The campus environment lends itself well to exploring such topics as biodiversity, water management, sustainable development, and urban agriculture. Memorable moments in the University’s history also can be revisited in the arboretum: for example, President Kennedy’s 1963 commencement speech. Following the presentations, panelists and the audience brainstorm about opportunities and connections that can serve to enhance faculty and student familiarity with the campus and enrich the classroom experience.

407: Teaching Environment and Sustainability across the Curriculum: This session seeks to engage and collaborate with faculty who want to learn about incorporating issues relating to conservation, climate change, and/or sustainability into their courses. These are key challenges of our times and teaching these issues enhances students’ knowledge and capacity to make a difference. Attendees learn strategies for including environmental examples, topics, speakers, projects, assignments, current events, and site visits in any course. Participants who have never taught these topics before but who are interested in interdisciplinary teaching are encouraged to attend. The session focuses upon sharing ideas and discussion of opportunities for including environmental topics across the curriculum.

Additionally, a full day workshop has been provided to faculty who wish to incorporate sustainability into their courses.

A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty receive professional development training, free of charge, in this subject area. The Office of Sustainability staff is available to all faculty to provide sustainability tours, data, and other benefits as requested.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.