The Curator's Blog

The Field Guide Blog

The Field Guide Blog is a forum to help you identify, analyze and discuss sustainability educational and research opportunities. Learn more about the Field Guide Blog here.

A reflection on David Orr’s critique of “technological sustainability”

Posted by on December 6, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

At Penn State, we define sustainability as “the simultaneous pursuit of human health and happiness, environmental quality, and economic well-being for current and future generations.” As many authors, practitioners, and critics note, the term remains blurry. Said another way, any “discussion of sustainability which refers to definitions is pointless without an understanding of how the definitions operationalized.” What are we pointing it at? Since we often orient sustainability toward technologies and technocratic...

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A Student Shares Her First Perspectives on Environmental Justice

Posted by on November 16, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

From time to time we like to share student writing on sustainability. This piece is by Allyson Ulsh, a sophomore majoring in Environmental Resource Management. She is also the Family Relations Captain for the 2018 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. Here, she shares her thoughts about encountering environmental justice and its relationship to sustainable development, race, and poverty in the United States. * * * Previously, I thought that environmental justice referred to speaking up for the trees, much like the Lorax in the beloved...

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What does sustainability mean to students? Vol. II

Posted by on November 6, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

From time to time we like to share student writing on sustainability. Janelle Thompson is a junior in BioRenewable Systems with minors in Economics and International Agriculture. I hope to pursue a career connecting the STEM aspects of environmental science with policy and environmental justice. Overall, I aim to understand and to help in furthering the Sustainable Development Goals. * * * Before this semester, I had heard the word “sustainability” hundreds of time. Since my environmental class in high school, I was told that...

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What does sustainability mean to students? Vol. I

Posted by on November 6, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

From time to time we like to share student writing on sustainability.Haley Stauffer is a BioRenewable Systems major with minors in International Agriculture and Spanish. She is interested in areas of biomass processing for fuel or consumer products and enjoys participating in water sports, hiking, and traveling. Haley is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in a Microbiology Lab, Event Planner of EcoAction Club, Secretary of the Students for Sustainability Advisory Council and on their Food, Water, and Waste Committee Board, Vice President of...

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#WeAreStillIn, Sustainababble, & Manufactured Consent

Posted by on October 20, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

“They believe that edification is more important than veracity. They believe it profoundly, violently, relentlessly. They preen themselves upon it. To patriotism, as they define it from day to day, all other considerations must yield. That is their pride. And yet what is this but one more among myriad examples of the doctrine that the end justifies the means? A more insidiously misleading rule of conduct was, I believe, never devised among men.” Walter Lippman on the newspapers, Liberty and the News — A few months ago, The...

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Climate Stories: “Talk is the basis of solution.”

Posted by on September 15, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

Recently, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute and WPSU completed Climate Stories to get people talking about climate change. As you know, human-caused climate change is one of the most difficult problems we face. We hope you will watch Climate Stories, share it with colleagues and friends, and use it in your classes to get into the issue. This post provides the trailer and a guide for you. The guide is also available as a pdf you can share for free. Climate Stories Funding Trailer from WPSU Creative Services on Vimeo. Climate Stories...

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Strategies for Educating in Perilous Times: Preparing Tomorrow’s Change Agents

Posted by on June 30, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

We are living in a time of intense political fights about major sustainable development issues in the United States. How do we as educators respond? Dr. Neva Hassanein, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, challenges herself, her students, and all environmental studies and sustainability educators to rise to the occasion by being innovative, adaptive, relevant, while being knowledgeable about who we are, our purposes, and what skills we need to develop in future environmental leaders. “Transformative...

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What does the ecological crisis call for from educational leaders? Part III

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

“A keystone species is a species that exerts an impact on its community that is both strong and disproportionate to its abundance.” ~ The Encyclopedia of Earth Today “wicked” and “super wicked problems” like anthropogenic climate change challenge educational leaders to develop their ecological literacy and sustainability competencies. From elementary schools to Research I universities, champions are pushing for fundamental changes. For sustainability, this has meant engaging in a broad swath of literacies. In this series of posts...

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What does the ecological crisis call for from educational leaders? Part II

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

“A keystone species is a species that exerts an impact on its community that is both strong and disproportionate to its abundance.” ~ The Encyclopedia of Earth Today “wicked” and “super wicked problems” like anthropogenic climate change challenge educational leaders to develop their ecological literacy and sustainability competencies. From elementary schools to Research I universities, champions are pushing for fundamental changes. For sustainability, this has meant engaging in a broad swath of literacies. In this series of posts...

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What does the ecological crisis call for from educational leaders? Part I

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

“A keystone species is a species that exerts an impact on its community that is both strong and disproportionate to its abundance.” ~ The Encyclopedia of Earth Today “wicked” and “super wicked problems” like anthropogenic climate change challenges educational leaders to develop their ecological literacy and sustainability competencies. From elementary schools to Research I universities, champions are pushing for fundamental changes. For sustainability, this has meant engaging in a broad swath of literacies. In this series of posts...

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Living in the Age of Consequences

Posted by on April 11, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

Tonight, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with other partners will be hosting a free screening of The Age of Consequences. “The Age of Consequences” investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration and conflict through the lens of U.S. national security and global stability. Whether a long-term vulnerability or sudden shock, the film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather and sea-level rise function as “accelerants of instability” and...

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We are supporting the development of integrative studies in general education (for sustainability)

Posted by on January 17, 2017 in The Curator's Blog | 0 comments

Penn State’s Sustainability Institute is pleased to be collaborating with the Penn State Office for General Education on the Seed Grant initiative for faculty interested in developing a new Integrative Studies General Education course. Integrative Studies courses were not previously designated nor required; therefore the University is preparing the way for their development and incorporation into the curriculum. The Office of the Provost has provided over $400,000 for their development. PSU’s Sustainability Institute is one of thirteen...

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