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Sustainability Teach-In, featuring David Orr, Ph.D.

Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2011

Santa Clara's sustainability teach-in will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of Earth Week. The goal of the week is to spur dialogue about issues related to sustainability and environmental justice. The Commons at Kennedy Mall will host open classrooms, where faculty from several disciplines will lecture on a variety of sustainability-related topics, open to all. Events will also take place at Mayer Theatre and the Learning Commons.

The Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education responded to Father Engh's challenge to depend and renew SCU's commitment to sustainability and environmental justice, and to become a major center of innovative practice, study, and debate around issues of sustainability. The Sustainability Initiative at Santa Clara included invited guest speakers Debra Rowe, Ph.D., Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Ph.D., and Sandra Postel. The Sustainability Teach-In during Earth Week will feature pioneering educator David Orr, Ph.D. on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00 pm in the Mayer Theatre.

In preparation for Orr's visit, Environmental Studies lecturer, Patrick Archie will lead a discussion at 4:30 pm on April 19th about SCU's Book of the Quarter, David Orr's "Earth in Mind." Orr is best known for his work dealing with environmental literacy in higher education. In 1987, Orr organized studies of water, energy and material use on college campuses across the country, sparking the modern day green campus movement. In 2000, Orr charged colleges and universities across the country to adapt a plan for carbon neutrality. He organized and funded an effort at his own college, Oberlin, to define exactly what carbon neutrality looks like in high education. Since then, hundreds of institutes of higher education, including Santa Clara University, have made a similar pledge.

Teach-In takes place during Earth Week
Santa Clara's Sustainability Teach-In will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19th and 20th. Teach-In organizers hope to spur dialogue around campus about issues related to sustainability and environmental justice. Faculty are encouraged to include a sustainability "moment" in their spring quarter classes during the campus-wide teach-in. Resources called "Twenty Ways to Add a Sustainability Moment to Your Class" and "Sustainability Toolkit" were developed to assist faculty with creating a moment appropriate to their courses and concerns.

A Campus-Wide Effort
Campus artists and librarians have also been hard at work planning events for the Sustainability Teach-In. The student art exhibit, Reflections on Sustainability, will be on display on the second floor of the Harrington Learning Commons through May 21st.

Science Librarian Michal Strutin will screen two documentaries that deal both with sustainability and environmental justice, "Forces of Nature" and "Fresh", in library viewing rooms A and B throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday.

While Earth Week events are aimed to raise awareness about sustainability and environmental justice, campus understanding and familiarity with sustainability has grown dramtically. "The campus culture of sustainability has become much more intentional in recent years. People talk about it a lot more, and it is factored into campus decisions and facilities operations much more than it used to be," said Leanna Goodwater, Humanities Liaison and Reference Librarian.

A myriad of events across campus
The campus community is invited to attend all of the following events:

Earth Day Festival. The GREEN Club's annual event will feature crafts, games, as well as several local vendors specializing in items made from repurposed materials. Products for sale will include journals, note cards, stuffed animals, used CDs, DVDs, and LPs, and glassware made from wine, beer, liquor, and soda bottles.

Tours of the Solar Decathlon houses, Donohoe Alumni House, and the Forge Community and Education Garden. The Forge will also host free workshops: "Composting" as well as "Starting your organic garden."

Open Classrooms. Faculty will hold regularly scheduled classes in the Commons at Kennedy Mall, and have invited the campus community to attend. Other faculty are encouraged to take their classes to any of the Open Classrooms. To ensure adequate space for entire classes, please RSVP with the lecturer prior to the event. Individuals (staff, faculty, students, and community members) can attend any Open Classroom lecture without an RSVP. Lectures include:

  • Population, Consumption and Lifestyle: Towards an education for sustainable living
  • Mapping the American Environmental Movement: The Diversity of Green Organizations, Networks and Frames
  • Sustainability's Evolution: How the rhetoric about sustainability has evolved since "Our Common Future"
  • STARS Silver: What it means for SCU, and how we can strive for Gold!
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Is Organic Agriculture Sustainable?
  • Spiritual Practices to Cultivate an Intimacy with Nature
  • Sustainable Marketing: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Sustainability in the Americas: The New North-South Debate

For a complete schedule of events, visit the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education's web site.

Tags: Buildings and Grounds, Climate Neutrality, Commitments and Policies, Community Engagement, Curriculum, Education and Research, Environmental Justice, Program Highlights, Student Life



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