Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" 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:

Penn Global Seminars

Penn Global Seminars combine intensive semester-long study with a short-term travel component that deepens students' understanding of concepts discussed in the classroom.

Many previous and current Penn Global Seminars have addressed issues of sustainability. One recent example is Byron Pedler Sherwood's Fall 2019 course: "Field Studies in Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation (BIOL165)."

Course Description: "Using Costa Rica’s Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) as a case study, this immersion course will broadly cover four major themes: biodiversity, conservation philosophies and practices, primary ecosystems within the ACG and their major species composition, and fundamentals of field ecology (terrestrial and marine), including the practice and implementation of the scientific method. Students in the course will learn how to develop and conduct research experiments through field-based activities and will gain familiarity with a diversity of terrestrial and marine organisms including insects, endemic and invasive species of terrestrial flora and megafauna, corals, algae, invertebrates, fish, sea turtles, and marine animals. Additional topics will include fundamentals of oceanography, ecological and evolutionary principles as applied to ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity, and environmental and management challenges faced by the ACG and tropical ecosystems globally. The travel component will allow students to visit the ACG’s four major ecosystems, participate in ongoing field biodiversity surveys, work with ACG staff on conservation projects, and conduct independent field research."

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton Center has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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