Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.29
Liaison Allison Mihalich
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Notre Dame
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Mike Seamon
Vice President
Campus Safety & University Operatis
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

1) Washington, D.C. Seminar: Sustainable Development

Immersion Dates: Fall break

The goal of the Washington D.C. Seminar is to provide students with an interdisciplinary perspective of policy issues associated with sustainability in both urban and rural contexts. Utilizing theories of development studies, classes will examine current practices in domestic and foreign contexts. Through lectures, class readings, facilitated discussion, and site visits, students will become familiar with different approaches and definitions of development. Students will reflect on the relationship between sustainable development and the three cornerstone principles of Catholic Social Teaching: human dignity, solidarity, and subsidiarity. During the week in Washington, D.C., seminar participants will meet with elected officials, advocacy groups, and non-governmental organizations that work in the area of U.S. and international development. The follow-up classes facilitate analysis and synthesis of insights gained during the week of experiential learning.

2) University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center – East/West

UNDERC furthers research and education in environmental studies at The University of Notre Dame by focusing activities on unique locations of high environmental quality in the North Central region and northern Rockies of North America. These locations serve as "natural" laboratories for the study of environmental systems that have experienced little or no degradation from humans and as a baseline for comparison with human disturbed systems.
The University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Sciences offers a 9 and 1/2 week summer field-oriented environmental biology course (BIOS 35502-01: Practicum in Field Environmental Biology) to undergraduate students enrolled at Notre Dame, St. Mary's College, and other colleges around the country. The course, which has been offered since 1976 (originally listed as BIOS 569), provides training in aquatic, terrestrial, and environmental biology through lecture and field experience with a variety of aquatic and terrestrial organisms and natural habitats. It also includes an independent research project developed by each student under the direction and with the assistance of a department of Biological Sciences faculty member, graduate student or visiting faculty member. At the end of the summer course, each student prepares an oral presentation and a research paper presenting the results of the summer's field research.

In the UNDERC-West summer (9 weeks), students receive six-credits for a Practicum in Field Environmental Biology (BIOS 35503-01) and to prepare for the program, a 1 credit introductory course (BIOS 35501-02) during the Spring Semester is required (on-campus or on-line). The summer class modules include wildlife ecology, grassland ecology, mountain ecology, Native American ecology, and stream ecology. Each module lasts 5 to 7 days. Furthermore, each student is expected in the remaining time to design and complete an independent field research project under the direction and assistance of the Director and Assistant Director. This project should be more advanced than in the first summer at UNDERC-East and hopefully will be designed to compare results between UNDERC- East and West. Therefore, a portion of the course involves more advanced training in experimental design, data collection, data analysis and presentation of research results (6th module). Each student's research project culminates with a written report and seminar presentation at the end of the course.
An added element of the UNDERC-West program is that students learn about and experience how Native Americans lived off the land and how this created their environmental awareness. This is accomplished through the interactions with Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and by living on their Flathead Reservation.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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