“advancing curriculum and faculty development
sustainability in higher education”


SCC Update – July 2016

In this issue:

  • Announcing details for the upcoming SCC Online Dialogue on the UN 2030 Development Agenda 
  • Two down, two to go -- the SCC-AASHE webinar series on pedagogy in EfS/ESD continues, recordings now available
  • An invitation to contribute to the SCC strategic planning process -- we want your ideas for the 2016-17 academic year!
  • SCC Leadership updates
Registration open for the next SCC Online Dialogue:
The 2030 Development Agenda (SDGs, Paris and Sendai)

SCC's next scheduled Online Dialogue will launch later this month and will focus on the key components of the 2030 Development Agenda -- the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sendai Framework on disaster risk.

This professional development offering is based on the premise that teaching faculty need to understand the fundamentals of the governing framework for sustainable development for the next 15 years.

SCC Director Ira Feldman will moderate the dialogue that will engage leading experts and stakeholders.  The SCC Online Dialogue process includes:
  • webinars (listed below),
  • access to relevant resources,
  • facilitated Q&A on the Collaborase platform, and
  • co-creation of a "synthesis document" by all registrants.* (See details of our full Online Dialogue process in the box following the webinar descriptions.)

Registration: One registration includes all 3 webinars and access to all other Online Dialogue components. Registrants will receive a follow up invitation to access the Collaborase platform. Click here to register.

This Online Dialogue will include three webinar sessions:
  • Tuesday, July 26, 2PM Eastern -- The first webinar will cover the concept of "planetary boundaries" in the Anthropocene as a basis for understanding the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Presenters will include Kevin Noone (Stockholm University), a co-author of the seminal Rockstrom planetary boundaries paper, and Ashwani Vasishth (Ramapo College and SCC Advisory Council member), who actively participated in the UN's SDG stakeholder process.
  • Tuesday, August 9, 2PM Eastern -- The second webinar will cover elements of the Paris Climate Agreement.  Presenters will include Mark Trexler (the Climatographers); Wil Burns (the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment and past president of AESS); and Don Brown (Widener Law School).  Selected topics to include: the role of business & industry; geoengineering; mitigation, adaptation, and loss & damage; and climate ethics.
  • Tuesday, August 23, 2PM Eastern -- In the final webinar of this series, Debbra A.K. Johnson (DAKJ LLC and SCC Advisory Council member) and Aris Papadapoulos (founder of the Resilience Action Fund), both leaders in ARISE: the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies, will explain the basics of the Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction and its relevance to broader sustainability issues. Debbra and Aris will emphasize the linkages between all three components of the 2030 Development Agenda, which, taken together, can serve as a comprehensive game plan for sustainable development.
* What is SCC's process for Online Dialogues?  

We are developing a multi-part process that can be applied to any relevant theme or topic of interest to sustainability educators. Our Online Dialogue process combines key readings, expert-led webinars, interactive Q&A sessions on Collaborase, and the co-creation of a synthesis document into an integrated process. SCC's innovative approach offers sustainability educators a quick and credible means to become conversant with emerging trends, frameworks, and hot topics and to keep pace with developments in sustainability. We are facilitating this exchange of knowledge to bridge the gap between the sustainability practitioner/policymaker and educator communities, and thereby advance faculty and curriculum development for education for sustainable development (ESD).
The SCC-AASHE webinar series on Pedagogy for ESD continues...

There is still time to register for the remaining two webinars in the SCC-AASHE series on pedagogy in education for sustainable development. To register, simply send an email to SCC with the subject line "pedagogy" and include your name, email address, phone number, and institution/organization affiliation.

Webinar 3 – Tuesday, July 12 at 2PM Eastern/11AM Pacific
Sustainability at the Heart of Learning: Aligning sustainability with institutional, departmental, and classroom values for better student outcomes
Facilitator: Jess Gerrior, SCC Director of Learning & Practice
Description: The intellectual work of designing, delivering, and evaluating transdisciplinary sustainability curriculum, together with the practical work of enacting sustainability knowledge and skills in the physical environment are both essential to education for sustainability. But unless the "head" and "hands" are connected with the "heart" - the cultural, sociopolitical, moral values of learning communities - they can only reach so far. Here we will exchange ideas and practices for tapping into what moves educators/leaders - teaching sustainability from the inside out.

Webinar 4 – Tuesday, July 19 at 2PM Eastern/11AM Pacific
Course Redesign Strategies
Facilitator: Susan Santone, Creative Change Educational Solutions
Description: ‘Integrating sustainability’ into a course means adapting both content and pedagogy to create a learning experience that is more interdisciplinary, experiential, and focused on authentic problem-solving. How can instructors juggle all of these demands without designing a syllabus from scratch? This session will present a step-wise instructional process for meeting this challenge. This approach, used with colleges and universities across the country, results in high-impact courses that integrate core sustainability concepts; promote civic involvement; and align outcomes, assessment and instruction. Attendees will walk away with a design framework that brings learners through a process of engagement, deep inquiry, decision-making, and positive action. The webinar will illuminate that ‘integrating sustainability’ is fundamentally about effective teaching and learning. Therefore, this session is especially recommended for faculty development specialists—especially those who may falsely believe that sustainability is environmental education.

The recorded transcripts of the first two webinars are now available on the Sustainability Curriculum Consortium YouTube channel. 
If you participated in our first two SCC-AASHE webinars or viewed the webinar recordings, please click this link to participate in a brief (5-10 minute) survey about your experience. 
SCC invites you to
share your input
Together with our Advisory Council, SCC is entering a strategic planning process for the upcoming academic year. Now is an opportune time for you to provide us with your thoughts as we prioritize activities and resources for higher education sustainability curriculum and professional development in 2016-2017 and beyond.  We strive to be responsive to the curriculum and faculty development needs of sustainability educators, so we are always interested in your response to two threshold questions:
  • What is the biggest challenge you face as a sustainability educator?
  • What do you need to support your work as a sustainability educator in terms of faculty and curriculum development?
Please use the form on the CONTACT US page of the SCC website with your feedback, suggestions and questions.  
SCC leadership updates 
Ira Feldman
Ira participated on the plenary panel at the AESS Conference in Washington, DC on June 6 which featured UNEP-RONA Deputy Director Fatou Ndoye (see photo below).  As a prelude to the upcoming SCC Online Dialogue on the 2030 Development Agenda, Ira's comments emphasized that teaching faculty should now recognize that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are fundamental in framing courses and curricula for the next generation of sustainability leaders.

L to R: Alden Meyer (Union of Concerned Scientists), Ira Feldman (Sustainability Curriculum Consortium), Julie Robinson (Pima County, Arizona), Fatou Ndoye (UNEP-RONA), Jim MacMahon (AESS Conference Chair)

During the week of July 11, Ira will be at United Nations headquarters in New York City to attend the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development.  The HLPF sessions include a series of workshops on learning, training and practice for the SDGs.  Finally, at the end of the month, Ira will travel to Kelowna, British Columbia to participate in AASHE's Sustainability Officers Retreat.

Jess Gerrior
On June 14, Jess presented at the University of Vermont Food Systems Summit with colleagues from Antioch University New England's (AUNE) Community Garden Connections. Based on the Summit theme of "What Makes Food Good?" she co-presented a panel and participatory session, "Tending Gardens, Raising Resilience: A Recipe for Community Served Three Ways." See the session description and details at the Food Systems Summit website.

L to R: Jess Gerrior (Sustainability Curriculum Consortium/AUNE), Jennifer Trapani (AUNE), Tori Dahl (AUNE)

Throughout this summer, Jess will continue her research training and fellowship, completing a Learning Domain involving a community-based photovoice project to explore and highlight the experiences of workplace gardeners. Her proposal to present "Framing Food Resilience: Photovoice, Workplace Gardens, and Community-Based Participatory Research" has been accepted at the 2016 NAAEE Research Symposium on October 18-19, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. 
Our closing note…

We have included you in our distribution of this SCC Update because we have identified you as a leader in higher education for sustainability. Many of you have either attended one of our sessions or spoken with us about curriculum and faculty development issues at recent sustainability in higher education events.

We believe institutions and their academic leaders must address the professional development and curriculum development needs of a dynamic, diverse, and intellectually rich community that is being called to step up to serve the greater global good. Moreover, we sense that despite institutions’ best efforts to embrace sustainability, curriculum development and faculty professional development have lagged behind other initiatives such as carbon/climate impact reduction, environmentally responsible purchasing, and campus greening. 

We hope that if these messages resonate, you will join us and our partners as we proceed with a range of focused and responsive activities to advance the curriculum and faculty development state of play. Your views on the greatest challenges facing sustainability educators will continue to inform our path forward.

Ira & Jess
Ira Feldman
SCC Founder & Managing Director

Jess Gerrior
SCC Director of Learning & Practice

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