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Sustainability Course Development Fellowship recipients announced for 2013-14

June 13, 2013
Bloomington, Indiana --

This year's recipients are:

  • Tom Evans, assistant professor, Department of Geography, College of Arts and Sciences, "Geo-Literacy: Geographic Reasoning, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking as a Foundation for Sustainability Science."
  • James Farmer, assistant professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, School of Public Health, "Planting the Seed: Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture."
  • Burney Fischer, clinical professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Daniel Cole, professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Maurer School of Law, "Understanding Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems Through Institutions and Collective Action."
  • Rasul Mowatt, assistant professor, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies, School of Public Health, "Foundations of Leisure."

"These projects show the incredible range of topics and problems that are connected to sustainability," said Tom Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "Professors Evans, Farmer, Fischer, Cole and Mowatt should be commended for developing exciting courses that will give their students opportunities to wrestle with real-world problems of immense magnitude."

Evans' proposal is an undergraduate course that will couple sustainability, geographical literacy and geographic information system techniques. It will help students develop marketable software proficiency and critical thinking skills.

Farmer's proposal will act as an introduction to the principles and practices of sustainable farming. It will be open to undergraduates and utilize service learning and field lab techniques.

Fischer and Cole will create a workshop-based class that will utilize the books "Governing the Commons" and "Understanding Institutional Diversity," written by the late IU Distinguished Professor and Nobel Prize laureate Elinor Ostrom. It will cover broad concepts such as public health, digital commons and sustainability.

Mowatt's proposal will aim to locate definitions of sustainability, public health and environmental justice; situate understanding of field experiences that reveal cases of environmental harm, health disparities and social exclusion; and promote activities that reflect a base knowledge of sustainability.

About the Sustainability Course Development Fellowships

The fellowship represents an instructional component of a broad-based initiative originally developed by the Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability and now supported by the Office of the Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and the Office of Sustainability. It is intended to provide support for individual faculty members interested in expanding their teaching into topics related to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Fellowships were awarded for the first time in 2009. Course development of innovative approaches to sustainability instruction of complex, interdisciplinary topics at both undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction are supported. Service-learning courses and those that involve application of principles of sustainability to the IU Bloomington campus are of particular interest.