University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Sustainability Across the Curriculum: Workshop for Faculty, Summer 2012

Sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the EnvironmentCedar Creek Ecosystem Science ReserveInstitute for Advanced Study and many of the region’s colleges and universities engaged in sustainability through the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS), the workshop took place at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve located 35 minutes north of the Twin Cities.  Individual faculty members as well as departmental and interdisciplinary faculty teams were encouraged to use the workshop as a chance to start the work of integrating sustainability themes into their teaching.

Faculty who wish to develop courses, course components or an entire curriculum around sustainability should apply to the workshop, which will include two days of presentations, exercises, discussions, reflection and planning. Participants will hear success stories from faculty colleagues across disciplines who have already infused sustainability into their courses and programs, connect with community experts in sustainability, enjoy outdoor place-based experiences, and benefit from activities and dialogue to help them write or adapt a syllabus, create new course activities or elements, develop readings and envision learning outcomes for future sustainability students.

Cost for the workshop: $200.  One night of on-site lodging, meals and all activities are included.  A full scholarship and a small honorarium are available to University of Minnesota faculty who enroll and agree to develop a sustainability component within an existing or new course.

Who should attend:  Tenured or tenure-line faculty from any college or university, adjunct faculty and instructors who are teaching on an on-going basis and advanced graduate students already engaged in teaching and recommended by a faculty mentor are invited.   Faculty teaching in humanities, arts, social sciences and the professions are especially encouraged to imagine connections between their work and sustainability and to attend.

Please note that graduate student applicants must submit a letter of support from a faculty member familiar with their experience with and interest in teaching sustainability courses.  This letter may be emailed to

More about the workshop:  The program will begin at 9 am Thursday, June 7, with a keynote address covering sustainability research and teaching as well as some more personal perspectives, a holistic outdoor tour along a path through the three Minnesota “biomes” present at Cedar Creek, presentations by current University of Minnesota faculty teaching sustainability in different disciplines, dialogue and discussion about different approaches to sustainability and its place in curriculum, time for both personal reflection and for individual or team discussion with colleagues, field visits to the biodiversity experiment, cedar swamp and tall grass prairie, and a reception, dinner and panel discussion with sustainability experts from the corporate, non-profit and governmental sectors.  The workshop will end at 2 pm, Friday, June 8.

About the Workshop Site, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Cedar Creek is a research station operated by the University of Minnesota. Located 35 miles north of the Twin Cities in East Bethel, MN, Cedar Creek’s 5400 acres contain over 20 different plant communities including tall grass prairie, deciduous hardwood forest, marsh, bog, and white cedar swamp. Trails wind through forest and bog, around lake and savanna. Current research includes studies on plant diversity and productivity and how they are changing under human pressures.

The highly-cited David Tilman has his plant biodiversity experiment here, alongside that of Peter Reich. A visit to the visually appealing research sites provides the background to fuel productive sustainability discussions.


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