Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.00
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Emory University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kelly Weisinger
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
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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):
In 2001, Emory faculty launched a summer faculty development program to infuse sustainability and environmental issues across the curriculum. Called the Piedmont Project, it was modeled after the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University. It later expanded to include a parallel program for graduate students. Each summer, up to 20 faculty applicants from all units and departments of the university are accepted for a four-part program that offers multi-disciplinary brainstorming around sustainability issues, experiential learning about place, and pedagogical exercises designed to help faculty develop new courses or new course modules for existing courses. Participants attend a two-day workshop, develop a syllabus for a new course or a course module that incorporates sustainability or environmental issues appropriate to their field, and participate in a field trip and discussion session at the end of the summer to share their experiences. Participants receive a modest stipend upon the review of their syllabus. Additional meetings, lectures, and lunch discussions allow faculty report on their experiences and intellectual process. Over 250 faculty have now participated in the 20 years of the Piedmont Project.

A brief description of the incentives that academic staff who participate in the program(s) receive:
Each program participant receives a $1,000 summer stipend for the development of a new course or course materials, a two-day interdisciplinary workshop introducing the fundamentals of sustainability and ideas for incorporating sustainability into their classes, and consultations and networking needed to fully develop their new course or new course module related to sustainability. Participants also build community and a sense of place throughout the summer and attend a follow-up local field trip and lunch where they share results of their summer work, and other networking events/dinners thought the year to discuss continuing growth in understandings about sustainability.

Descriptions of all syllabi and courses in the history of the Piedmont Project can be found on the website. For the reporting period, we are proud to list the following:

2016 Courses
* American Environmental Literature (Southern Literature and Ecocriticism)
ENGLISH: In this course, participants explore southern literature through the lens of environmental issues, climate change, and ecocriticism.

* Integrating Sustainability into Beginning French

* Land and Literature in the Congo: Sustainability and Human Rights (Women Writing War: Land and Body Politics), FRENCH: This class will read about violence against women and explore the environmental injustices during times of war.
*History of Hunger, HISTORY: The course will help students grasp the range of ways to understand “hunger” as a technical measure of malnutrition, as a socially constructed status, as a function of historical processes in food systems, as the result of acute environmental and political events, and more.
*Introductory Biology (Concepts in Biology), BIOLOGY: Students will learn the concepts that inform our basic understanding of biology through a sustainable lens, including studying the social, environmental, and economic impacts involved with genetic modification and diversity of place.
* Chemical Biology
CHEMISTRY: The course will explore topics in advanced biology and as a central theme, draw links between chemical biology and all aspects of sustainability, with discussions about the benefits of cutting edge research and technique development to improving sustainability and helping the environment, as well as potential environmental issues.
* Economic Valuation of the Environment (Environmental Economics and Policy, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: This course will cover a range of topics that will help build general understanding about what economics is, the role of economics in achieving environmental sustainability, how economic thinking can (and needs to) inform environmental management, the assumptions that underlie neoclassical (microeconomic) economic theory, and how alternative schools of economic thought (e.g., ecological economics) may diverge in their assumptions and problem-solving prescriptions for achieving environmental and social sustainability.
* Microbiome in Health and Disease, HUMAN HEALTH: This course explores the role of the human microbiome in physical and mental health, with a concentration on how our built environment and our nutrition contribute to our overall well being.
* Real World Modules for Probability and Statistics II (Probability and Statistics II), MATH: Throughout the semester students will analyze Emory’s Sustainability Literacy Survey and learn how to articulate why the statistical methods they use are applicable, discuss what their results show (and don’t show), and make recommendations for future studies based on their findings.
* Environmental Exposures and Parkinson's Disease, NEUROSCIENCE: In this lesson, students will explore the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease symptoms along with the striking evidence that environmental toxins, such as pesticides, can contribute to Parkinson’s disease susceptibility.
* Inequality, Sustainability, and the Sociology of Consumption (Class/Status/Power, SOCIOLOGY: This is a class about inequality: how individuals struggle to distribute scarce resources and the implications of this struggle for future societies including pondering the question: “Is inequality sustainable?”
* Sustainability and Strategic Management, BUSINESS.
* Sustainable Development (Law, Sustainability, and Development), LAW: The course will cover a broad (but by no means exhaustive) set of issues in law and development, taking a critical perspective and will include growing awareness of the importance of sustainability and of the role of law in promoting and safeguarding sustainable development.
* Oceans and Human Health, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: This course provides an overview of several of the connections between the oceans and public health, including a deep look into how the fate of the oceans and the fate of humanity are intertwined.
* Health and Human Rights (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Rights), GLOBAL HEALTH: This graduate seminar examines the theory and practice of global human rights while utilizing a sustainability lens to examine the impacts of labor on the environment, population displacement due to climate change, and the natural resource of water as human rights issues.
* Wellness among Emergency Medicine Physicians (Sustainability and Emergency Medicine), EMERGENCY MEDICINE: In order to sustain ones-self, it is imperative to sustain the people and the environment around you, so in this course will discuss how the built environment affects our wellness, and how we can make connections between a sustained environment and our own personal wellness.

2017 Courses
*Introduction to Papermaking Studio, ART HISTORY: This course will explore the historical production of paper as well as a material from which to make art and will include a section on natural and invasive plants as pulps, in which students will be able to create their own local dyes.
* Writing Skills in French: Focus on Sustainability, FRENCH: In this course, students will drastically expand their vocabulary, close reading, analytical, stylistic, and grammatical skills in French as they learn about environmental and sustainability “cases” from around the world.
* Noodle Narratives on the Silk Road: A Cultural Exploration of China and Italy through Noodles, REALC: The course introduces students to a theoretical framework that looks at food cultural practices, forms of cooking, and cultural variations of shared ingredients as important and often undervalued vehicles of cultural memory and communal identification while creating their own recipes based on seasonal and local ingredients.
* Advanced Portuguese Practice, PORTUGUESE: This course aims to further develop communication skills in Portuguese and explore the issue of sustainability in the Portuguese speaking world by studying websites, videos, fiction, poetry, and other sources and conduct personal conversations to learn how Portuguese speakers have faced challenges such as transportation in major cities, culturally authentic and sustainable food in immigrant communities, and the effects of drought.
* Introduction to Theatre, THEATRE: This class will observe how the elements of theatre exist in the world around you already and by highlighting texts from the world of conflict resolution and medical practice in addition to texts from theatre and performance, the class incorporates the interdisciplinarity that sustainability uplifts.
* Introductory Biology (Concepts in Biology with Lab), BIOLOGY: The course will explore introductory biology topics and how they relate to the world around us through various labs testing hydroponic media, lectures on climate change, and discussions on the nature of biological research.
*Environmental Economics, ECONOMICS: This course will deal with the fundamental question of how the economic system shapes economic incentives in ways that lead to environmental degradation as well as improvement.
* Fostering Sustainable Behavior Change (Fostering Behavior Change), SOCIOLOGY: In this course, we will address strategies to promote sustainability and reduce inequality through individual behaviors as well as larger scale policy changes.
* Perspectives in Professional Nursing: Global Health, NURSING: This course will take a particular focus related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and nursing’s ethical mandate to contribute to advancing these goals.
* Concepts and Methods in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, EPIDEMIOLOGY: This course covers a range of methodological approaches and concepts for infectious disease epidemiology including: natural history, environmental determinants, household transmission studies; concepts of dynamic modeling; seroepidemiology; vaccines and vaccine epidemiology; molecular epidemiology and pathogen strain dynamics; and emerging infectious diseases.
* Megacities and Slums: Global Health and Sustainable Development, GLOBAL HEALTH: This course takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the challenges that rapid urbanization poses for progress in global health and sustainable development worldwide with a focus on how Megacities and Slums are fundamentally un-sustainable urban forms in their current contexts, and seeks to identify more sustainable future pathways.
* Women and Gender in Christian-Muslim Relations, THEOLOGY: In examining women and gender in Christian-Muslim relations, this course concentrates on two types of sustainability: social (liberation, social justice, community empowerment, human diversity, inclusion, and equality) and ecological (environmental restoration, food justice, and protection of water, air, soil, forests, and biodiversity).
* Bio-hacking in Reverse: An Exploration of Human Sustainability, MEDICINE (PSYCHIATRY): This course examines the evolution of the biohacking movement and explores its philosophical, moral and political implications for the sustainability of the human being and the biosphere.

2018 Courses
* Poetry and the Natural Environment: Toward a Sustainable World, ENGLISH: In this course we will explore how poetry has become, from the Romantic period through the contemporary era, the site of a philosophical contemplation about the relationship between man and nature.
* Ancient Greek and Medieval Philosophy, PHILOSOPHY: The main general goal of this course is to acquire familiarity with the ways in which philosophers of the past approached the study of nature, ethics, and political theory as intimately interconnected topics.
* Religion and the Environment, RELIGION
* Freshman Seminar: Theatre + Ecology (Ecotheatre), THEATRE: Through the critical reading of plays from around the world, students will examine how drama is being used to bring awareness to environmental issues including extinction, climate change, environmental justice and sustainability.
* Foundations of Modern Biology, BIOLOGY
* Introduction to Environmental Studies, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: This course should highlight the necessity of sustainable practices for students and allow them to define their own sustainable priorities and lifestyle through lectures and case studies on Earth's Systems, resource allocation, and individual actions.
* Mathematics of Voting and Elections, MATH: This course looks at mathematical models of voting methods and procedures related to voting, including social justice issues like gerrymandering, in a mathematically rigorous and precise way to allow us to understand problems that can arise in elections and related procedures in real life, and possibly find better procedures.
* Introduction to Statistical Computing II, QTM: This course provides a practicum of skills for data science and an introduction to how to do data science with R through the use of Emory’s Sustainability Literacy Survey.
* Queer and Feminist Legal Theory, LAW: This course will explore central aspects of the American legal system from a queer and feminist perspective, and ask how we might approach questions of gender, race, sexuality, sustainability, and ability in relation to justice.
* The Age of the Anthropocene: What Nurses Need to Know about Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, NURSING: Nursing students will learn about how humans impact ecosystems and how they, in turn, are impacted by disrupted ecosystems while asking themselves “what can nurses do to effect change?”.
* Contemporary Topics in Nursing: Contemporary - China, NURSING: Nursing students will explore cultural and health care issues, nursing and nursing education, and the provision of health care to citizens of China while abroad and analyze a variety of topics from historical, economic and social perspectives, thus preparing them to critically examine the projected effects of the topic on clients, the profession of nursing, and the individual nurse.
* A Sustainable Approach to Global Health, MEDICINE: The curriculum for this course is built around the ambitious and laudable SDGs and we will use them to foster a comprehensive way to think about Global Health through topics such as ecological and social determinants of health, role of climate change and inequities in disease and health outcomes, which we hope will spur innovative thinking about how to develop novel and sustainable solutions to disease prevention and management.
* Climate Change and Global Health, MEDICINE: Through modules integrated into quarterly half-day sessions over the three years of residency, pediatric residents will study the impacts of climate change on global child health in 4 key domains (Changing patterns of infectious diseases, increasing natural disasters and disaster preparedness, air pollution and respiratory illness, and scarcity of natural resources such as food and water) and will demonstrate ability to adapt their medical practice to our changing environment.
* Greening the Barkely Forum, CAMPUS LIFE: Over the course of two years, the BF will produce a series of debates and dialogues featuring enhanced awareness of sustainability as a primary learning objective and reform its purchasing, office maintenance, and event hosting procedures to bring them in line with the core principles of the Emory Office of Sustainability Initiatives.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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