Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability


We aim to connect faculty with resources to connect your teaching with sustainability. Nearly every discipline touches a sustainability issue. It’s almost a cliché, but it is a truly interdisciplinary concept.

In these pages you will find ample opportunities. You can explore problems, solutions, and ideas. Thinking of climate change again you can find materials on greenhouse gas concentration, renewable energy, and ideas like bridge fuels or climate justice. But you can also identify closely related disciplinary lessons, activities, and syllabi. If you are in English, Education, or Ecology, you should be able to find something. And if you can’t, you can use the “Search” function at the top right of every Field Guide page. You can also contact us at

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In-class (20)

Writing (36)

Business, Governance & Health (35)


Includes topics of business,economic development, governance, individual and community health, management, politics, policy, profit, psychology, regulation and research that informs these topics. Disciplines in this section tend to be from business and the social sciences.

Disciplinary Lenses of the Arts and Science (25)


Sometimes the medium is as important as the message, whether dramatic, musical, narrative, or visual art or a very narrow report from a scientific disciple. A broad range of research and creative work informs sustainability. These include the exhaustive reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that include physical, biological, social and economic assessments and integration to the poetry of Mary Oliver or the documentary photography Penn State students and faculty have done on natural gas development in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale gas fields.

Education for Sustainability (19)


These essays, articles, and documents inform you about how to integrate sustainability deliberately into formal education and life-long learning about and for sustainability.

Environmental Problems and Possibilities (34)


These resources include foundational and important reports on human-environmental problems and possibilities. These include anthropogenic climate change, extinction, deforestation, soil erosion, ocean acidification, and fresh water depletion. We also include work on reforestation, conservation, re-wilding, and other actions taken to bolster ecosystem services and society and economy.

Philosophy of Sustainability (28)


There are a lot of things to consider about sustainability. There are prominent debates about our ethics particularly regarding issues of justice, care, utility, and moral standing. There are also issues of ontology, epistemology, aesthetics and meaning. Many of these sources have a direct bearing on documents in the Deliberation, Governance, and Management section.

Technology (32)


We mean technology as broadly as possible: the techniques, methods or processes we use to accomplish our goals. They range from hand tools to wind turbines and even behavioral technologies like advertising or propaganda and policies that shape our behaviors. You will find resources here on agriculture, the built environment, energy, waste, water, and behavior change.

Arts (14)