Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Duke offers students two sustainability-focused immersive experiences: civic engagement immersion through DukeEngage and study abroad programs.

DukeEngage, launched in 2007, empowers students to address critical human needs through immersive service (minimum of eight weeks). All student participants are fully funded, and since the program began more than 2800 Duke students have participated.

The civic engagement activities in each DukeEngage program involve at least one environmental, social, or economic dimension of sustainability, including environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, and social justice. Multiple programs involve two or three dimensions. Programs with thematic areas in environmental advocacy and sustainability have been offered in the United States in Louisiana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington State, and internationally in Argentina, Ecuador, India, Jordan, Kenya, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda.

For example, DukeEngage Kenya-Kakamega is organized by the Foundation for Sustainable Development, which promotes collaboration with communities to enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local health, social, environmental, and economic issues for long-term development. Students work with partner organizations on specific projects. Recent students have...
*Designed rain water harvesting systems for local schools and trained schoolteachers to construct and maintain the systems, then conducted hygiene and health workshops with all students and faculty.
*Trained youth groups in waste management theory and how to run a business through turning garbage into income generating materials such as compost and charcoal briquettes.

Since 2010, DukeEngage has supported students in the "Managing Environmental Organizations" program in Portland, Oregon. This program is the first DukeEngage program that systematically fosters a holistic marriage of service to the environment with a personal commitment to voluntary simplicity and sustainable living. Students assess their carbon footprints through a personal carbon calculator, which tracks participants’ behavior and monitors electricity usage, modes of transportation, and dietary decisions. The Portland program educates students on ways to reduce their carbon footprint through the use of public transportation; maintaining a vegetarian, locally focused, organic diet; and additional environmentally focused lifestyle choices. The group also participates in environmental projects in Portland on the weekends to collectively offset carbon that is not eliminated through behavioral changes, including beach cleanups, community gardens, and tree planting.

Duke’s Study Abroad Office has approved several sustainability programs hosted by other organizations. The School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad programs give students the opportunity to grapple with the complexities of critical issues such as global health, sustainable development, biodiversity, human rights, migration, and peacebuilding. Multiple programs engage with all three dimensions of sustainability. For example, major topics of study in the SIT program Peru: Indigenous Peoples & Globalization include "Indigenous rights, advocacy, and policy; Community empowerment; Identity recognition; Historical legacies and contemporary social movements; Impacts of global changes: society, culture, economy, and ecology." The program IHP/Comparative: Climate Change: The Politics of Food, Water, and Energy "examines the interconnections between the economics, politics, geography, and science of climate change and its effects on human society."

The School for Field Studies (SFS) sustainability-focused programs include Sustainable Development Studies in Costa Rica, where students "examine management schemes, identify the benefits of protected areas, and determine which systems offer the best option for economic development, the maintenance of cultural norms, and the preservation of biodiversity."

The website URL where information about the immersive program(s) is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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