|Submission Date||May 19, 2017|
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses
|2.00 / 2.00||
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):
Beloit College supports the Pathways to Sustainability Leadership Program.
The aims of Pathways to Sustainability Leadership include:
1) embedding sustainability in the liberal learning of our students;
2) preparing our graduates to exercise environmental leadership in their careers through the development of expertise and individual capacity for action around sustainability;
3) linking learning opportunities—including those associated with campus operations, residential living, and the greater Beloit community—with the creation and implementation of solutions in pressing areas of sustainability; and
4) through this synergy, promoting an intentional long-term approach to sustainable living more broadly and deeply among our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the larger community.
Consistent with the developmental approach taken by Beloit College’s Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum, Pathways to Sustainability Leadership seeks the intentional development of students’ capacities by establishing three tiers of increasingly sophisticated project-based student learning pathways, Sustainability Citizens, Sustainability Fellows, and Sustainability Leaders.
I. Sustainability Citizen opportunities include courses, course modules, residential practices, and work/study opportunities that inspire students to care about sustainability and to develop the tools necessary for responsible citizenship as they assume capacity for action with respect to sustainability.
II. The Sustainability Fellows Program gives students the opportunity to contribute their expertise to a sustainability project on campus or in the Beloit community. Fellows are full-time interns for two months during the summer.
III. Sustainability Leaders Teams are three- or four-member collaborative teams charged with completing a sustainability project that is full-time for two months in the summer or part-time for an entire academic year. Student team members consult regularly with their Faculty and Staff Mentors to discuss their projects, including their ethical, creative, economic, and political dimensions, as well as how others may be persuaded to pursue their recommended solution(s).
During the 2014-15 academic year, the following courses were created or modified to include facets of sustainability, with financial resources from the Pathways to Sustainability Leadership Program.
Professor Linda Sturtz: Topics in North American Environmental History
In this course we will investigate the environmental history of North America, focusing on how humans have interacted with the natural world and how the natural world has shaped human endeavors. We will also analyze how humans have understood their roles within the natural world from the colonial period to the present. In addition to considering classic themes and texts in American environmental history, we will study the history of extinction, focusing on the extermination of the Passenger Pigeon which was once abundant in Wisconsin but became extinct when the last Pigeon died in 1914.
Professor Paul Stanley: Environmental Physics
Students will study how physics can be used to understand environmental issues, how to develop reasonable "back-of-the-envelope" estimations of physical phenomena associated with the environment, and how to develop a coherent, critical, physics-based assessment of the environmental impacts of technology. Students will engage in research design and implementation projects related to environmental physics; including lab and field work to verify manufacturer's claims on performance and impact of light bulbs, insulation, and air conditioners as well as doing energy audits. By the end of this course students will have been exposed to the tools to enable them to effectively use physics to address environmental concerns and to have meaningful reasoned dialog with peers and non-scientists on the role of physics in sustainability proposals.
Professor Chris Fink: Writing Wilderness
This course includes two weeks at Beloit College, reading and writing about wilderness—as a place, a concept, and a state of mind—and a one-week “field work” experience, canoeing, camping, reading and writing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, on the US and Canadian border in northern Minnesota.
Professor Gabriela Cerghedean: Intermediate Spanish: Readings in Spanish Civilization, The Culture of Water in Medieval Iberia
The Culture of Water in Medieval Iberia explores the role and traditional use of water in everyday life, from its material to its symbolic functions. The course explores the innovative techniques used in irrigation, the impact of the hydraulic systems on architecture, landscaping, agriculture and organic farming methods. Another goal is to analyze the main factors, the social relations, values, and ideologies that prevailed, governed, and shaped the ultimate success of al-Andalus in achieving a sustainable way of life. Moreover, we will reflect on alternative views or solutions to present-day sustainability issues.
Sustainability Leader Teams during the 2014-15 academic year include:
Professor Jo Ortel, Contemporary Art in an Age of Global Warming
Jo Ortel’s Sustainability Leaders Team will work together to enhance “Contemporary Art in an Age of Global Warming,” a course that explores the potential and efficacy of art to engage meaningfully with substantive, real-world problems. The Leaders Team will develop lab and fieldwork units to complement and augment understanding of the scientific dimensions of specific environmental art interventions made in the last thirty or so years. Our goal will be to expand and enrich the course in ways that challenge students and the community to think about how the creative arts might work in tandem with creative scientific thought to increase environmental sustainability.
Lynn Vollbrecht: Getting Over Posters
As a campus, we seem to be growing increasingly addicted—to paper. In researching the various ways that departments, groups, clubs, and offices get the word out about their events, staff in the college's Communications & Marketing Office have reached the conclusion that there’s a huge reliance on paper posters. A lot of posters means a lot of wasted paper, incurring a lot of expense. Students on this team will tackle the issue this summer, employing research, implementation, and plans for educating campus about any potential reforms and policy recommendations regarding the use of paper/posters in marketing campus events.
Professor Dan Bartlett, Linda Sturtz, Christy Clancy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching and Learning about Extinction
The centennial of the extinction of the passenger pigeon is September 1, 2014. To commemorate this event, an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and students from the fields of history, writing, science, and museum studies will develop and implement interpretive programs and resources for exploring the history of the passenger pigeon locally and examining how the bird’s extinction informs contemporary sustainability issues.
Professor Daniel Youd, Pablo Toral: Rivers in Transition
Over the course of the 2014-15 academic year, this leadership team will create a learning community of students, faculty, and staff who will meet biweekly to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the study of water security with a dual focus on the Yellow River basin in China and the Mississippi River basin in the United States.
Lindsay Chapman: Planning for Earth Week
Every year, Earth Day is a time of reflection on our interaction with our environment and community. Without planning and programming, this day is often an afterthought. This team will plan an integrated week (or more) of events that generate intentional awareness about our relationship to our environment and our community.
A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:
Successful faculty applicants for Beloit College Sustainability Citizen Course and Sustainability Leaders Team projects will receive various levels of support, as follows:
Sustainability Citizen Course
Faculty course modification or development stipend: $1,000
Course budget*: $1,000
Sustainability Leaders Team
--Summer (8 weeks) Team
Faculty mentor stipend: $5,000
Team budget*: $1,000
--Academic year Team
Faculty mentor stipend: $1,500
Team budget*: $1,000
*Alternative budget plans that do not fall within the specified parameters will be considered.
*An expense budget of up to $1,000 per course or team. Budget categories may include travel, supplies, honoraria, etc.
*Faculty or staff members who teach a Sustainability Citizen Course or mentor a Sustainability Leaders team, and students who are members of a Sustainability Leaders Team, will also be eligible to apply for up to $1,000 per person for project dissemination (e.g., travel to professional meetings or workshops).
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.