Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

Penn State offers a number of courses with sustainability-focused immersive experiences. Listed below are some examples:

The Pittsburgh Landscape Architecture Studio (LARCH 414.2) provides Penn State students with real-life design experience while also providing valuable help to local communities. Students engage local communities to address issues such as re-greening of depopulated neighborhoods, use of vacant lots, and use of community parks and other green spaces.

A summer program for incoming freshman - Sustainability Research in Jamaica - introduces students to basic concepts in sustainability principles and provides them with tools to aid in understanding the challenges of sustainable development. Students then travel to Jamaica for 7 days to live in a self-sustaining community, work on sustainability related research and service learning projects along with Penn State faculty and local collaborators.

The Adventure Literature series of courses - offered as ENGL 181 - explores the relationship between culture and nature through reading and place-based experiences. In one course, Sailing the Chesapeake: Cultural and Natural Landscapes, students read classic texts about the Bay while participating in a series of weekend trips meant to deepen their knowledge of the Bay and its watershed. In another, The Beach: Cultural Artifact/ Environmental Reality, students read and study the nature and culture of the shore, with specific attention to the South Carolina Low Country.

GEOG 493, Sustainability Issues Across the Americas, is a service learning experience based on an interdisciplinary team-based, problem-solving, project-driven approach to sustainability issues. Students travel to Peru for 3.5 weeks and investigate the human health and happiness, environmental, and economic dimensions of critical issues such as water resources, gold mining, sustainable development, biodiversity, ecotourism, and human migrations.

Students enrolled in ME 442/ 443, Advanced Vehicle Design, participate in the EcoCAR Challenge, where student teams construct vehicles that employ innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions and petroleum consumption while maintaining consumer acceptability and usability.

In ENT 518, Insect Natural History, students engage in experiential learning in field ecology highlighting insect dynamics, diversity and adaptations in terrestrial and aquatic systems.

The American Indian Housing Initiative (AIHI) is a collaborative research and education program focused on applying sustainable building technologies such as strawbale construction and solar energy systems on American Indian Reservations.


The website URL where information about the immersive program(s) is available:

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