Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.79
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

American University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Courtney Stoner
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

The Ann Ferran Conference (AFC), 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. The conference is hosted by AU's Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning.

Relevant workshops:

-2017 AFC
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.

2018 AFC-
106: Our Common Grounds: AU Arboretum and the Airlie Center: AU’s Arboretum and the recently gifted Airlie Center are tremendous resources for teaching, research, and service. Join us to learn how the campus Arboretum and Airlie have been utilized in the past and participate in planning for how they might be used in the future.

2019 AFC-
304: American University Arboretum & Gardens: Resource & Partner & Research Funding Opportunities: In the spirit of the “&” model, AU’s Arboretum is partnering with other organizations to provide avenues for student learning and scholar-teacher and research funding opportunities. Collaborations underway between the Arboretum & Smithsonian Institution, Center for Environmental Filmmaking, and Department of Environmental Science will be featured. The session concludes with an interactive brainstorm focusing on creative ways to forge new opportunities.

Each year, there are more and more faculty who are interested in integrating sustainability in the curriculum through Arboretum and Gardens tours, Sustainability tours, and using parts of campus as a living laboratory for sustainability.

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

Faculty receive professional development training, free of charge, in this subject area at the AFC. The conference is usually held the Friday before classes begin in January, and many faculty attend each year. For staff that attend, it is paid time.

The Office of Sustainability, Arboretum & Grounds, and Facilities staff are available to all faculty to provide sustainability tours, data, and other benefits as requested year-round.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content 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.