Photo: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve
University faculty have the ability to transform how students view sustainability, and can help connect students with opportunities to put it into action. In order to take advantage of this unique potential, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment will host “Sustainability and Social Action,” a two-day workshop focused on how professors and instructional staff can incorporate the many facets of sustainability both in and out of the classroom to help students promote sustainability in their communities. This year’s workshop will take place on June 17 and 18.
Students can play a major role in the future of sustainability if they have the necessary cross-disciplinary and communication skills. They must understand balance among environmental, economic, and social needs, and be able to combine types of thought including scientific, creative, and systems-based thinking. Faculty can enhance these skills by moving beyond summarizing global challenges to helping students analyze and invent solutions. At this workshop you will explore networks of local experts and contributors to the sustainability movement to find your own way to promote sustainability among students.
The Sustainability and Social Action workshop welcomes faculty who want to integrate sustainability and justice into their curriculum, or create experiential opportunities for students to channel social concern into social action. This is also an opportunity for faculty teaching themes within sustainability, such as renewable energy or food systems, to learn about real-world applications for their subject matter. During the workshop participants will also have time to network and develop ideas for future cooperation.
The workshop will begin at the Gandhi Mahal Indian restaurant in Minneapolis. After a one-hour interactive session with Julia Nerbonne of the Higher Education Consortium of Urban Affairs (HECUA) and Kris Igo of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, LaDonna Redmond will speak about her work establishing two organic markets and an urban farm staffed by inner-city youth on the South Side of Chicago. Her presentation will be followed by a tour of an urban farm in Minneapolis.
The rest of the workshop will take place at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. After some time to settle in and enjoy the outdoor scenery, everyone will gather for dinner and a bonfire to discuss the ideas presented at the workshop. The following morning will provide more opportunity for reflection with faculty and community partners, as well as presentations by some participants.
The workshop will provide a valuable opportunity for faculty to strengthen their own knowledge of sustainability in a way that helps them inspire students to take action. By learning to combine ways of thinking and hearing from people who have already put solutions into action, faculty can instill in their students a lifetime of commitment to sustainability.
For more information, visit the workshop page.
Written by Madeline Giefer
Here are several new funding opportunities from the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Due Date: 05/22/2013
Summary: EarthCube is a community-driven activity sponsored through a partnership between the NSF Directorate of Geosciences and Office of Cyberinfrastructure to transform the conduct of geosciences research and education. EarthCube aims to create a well-connected and facile environment to share data and knowledge in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, thus accelerating the ability of the geosciences community to understand and predict the Earth system.
Due Date: 11/19/2013
Summary: The CNH Program is one of a portfolio of existing and new programs and competitions that are part of an NSF-wide investment effort focusing on Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES). SEES aims to generate the discoveries and capabilities in climate and energy science and engineering needed to inform societal actions that lead to environmental and economic sustainability. CNH proposals consistent with SEES objectives are encouraged to articulate the connections to SEES. (For more information about SEES, click here.) The CNH Program aims to support basic research and related activities that enhance fundamental understanding of the complex interactions within and among natural and human systems, with special emphasis placed on the coupling between human and natural systems.
Due Date: 11/21/2013
Summary: Through the SEES Fellows Program, NSF seeks to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges. The Program’s emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs.
Due Date: 06/28/2013
Summary: Program is designed to encourage the integration of Earth system research and education/outreach by scientists and engineers at the early stage of their professional careers (Ph.D. received no more than 5 years prior). The research Focus Areas appropriate for the NIP are Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Climate Variability and Change, Water and Energy Cycle, Atmospheric Composition, Weather, and Earth Surface and Interior.
Due Date: 09/10/2013
Summary: The goal of the Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) solicitation is to enhance the understanding and predict the interactions between the water system and land use changes (including agriculture, managed forest and rangeland systems), the built environment, ecosystem function and services and climate change/variability through place-based research and integrative models.
Due Date: 12/03/2013
Summary: The Cyber-Enabled Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES) program aims to advance interdisciplinary research in which the science and engineering of sustainability are enabled by new advances in computing, and where computational innovation is grounded in the context of sustainability problems.
Due Date: 12/02/2013 (Step 1)
Summary: LC/LUC in mountainous regions and Synthesis of LC/LUC studies (focus would be on integration and synthesis of existing results rather than development of new data, models, or studies).
Due Date: TBD
Summary: Successful projects will advance organizations’ use and application of Earth science observations and models in decision making associated with Health and Air Quality. Projects are encouraged to include modeling capabilities and predictions, data fusion and interoperability techniques, visualizations, or other Earth science products and capabilities to complement use of an array of Earth observations.
Due Date: TBD
Summary: Program promotes the routine integration of NASA Earth science into water resource management for sustainable use of water. The Water Resources Applications area primarily focuses on drought, streamflow and flood forecasting, water supply and irrigation, water quality, and climate impacts on water resources.
NSF and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation launched the BREAD (Basic Research to Enhance Agricultural Development) Ideas Challenge on April 1 2013. Applicants should state in 100 words or fewer what they believe are the most pressing challenges facing farmers in developing nations. Up to 25 winners will receive $10,000 each and have their ideas receive international attention on the BREAD Ideas Challenge website.
Faculty as well as graduate and postdoctoral students are invited to apply. Submissions are due April 30 at 4:00 pm (Central Time).
The Institute on the Environment’s Acara program is hosting three social venture workshops in IonE’s seminar room (R-380) this spring. The workshops will take place on February 14, March 7, and April 4 from 6:30-8:30 PM.
Social ventures focus on the idea that you can change the world and make a living doing it. Acara’s Program Director Fred Rose has been running international courses for the past several years on developing social ventures. He is now offering his expertise on this matter in a series of evening workshops.
Coming up on January 25th, the Learning Abroad Center, along with CEHD and CFANS, will be hosting a U-Lead workshop focusing on providing faculty and teaching-staff with information that can be utilized to develop successful Study Abroad initiatives.
Lecturers will work with the Learning Abroad Center and will share their experience and insights about topics, including:
- Criteria for site selection
- The world as your classroom
- Budgets and marketing strategies
- Health and compliance
- Travel grants
Workshop participants will become part of an engaged community of practitioners benefiting from sharing ideas and learning from each other. Participants will be given hand outs and the “Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad”, 2nd Edition.
Participation is limited to seven members from each college, and we are asking interested faculty and staff to send a short essay sharing your ideas about an initiative they would like to develop. The application deadline for this event is January 18, 2013.
Who: Faculty/Teaching Staff
What: U-Lead Workshop for Study Abroad Programs
When: January 25th, 9:00 A.M.
Where: Cargill Building, St. Paul Campus
Application Deadline: January 18, 2013