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Teaching Resources for Faculy

Integrating sustainability into a course can be as easy as incorporating a "sustainability moment." Discover teaching resources for course subjects, funding/grants, and student project ideas.

Teaching Resources 

This content has been created as part of the 2011 Sustainability Teach-In, co-sponsored by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, the Environmental Studies & Sciences Department, and the Center for Sustainability.

  1. Begin a class with a poem Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry.
  2. Assign your class a business-related case study from CasePlace, by the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education.
  3. Reserve a computer lab and have a class take the Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Footprint Calculator. Or, pilot a new on-line carbon footprint calculator that is being developed by the Markkula Center’s Environmental Ethics Fellows and Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project.
  4. Take your class on a campus sustainability tour.
  5. Have your students research current sustainable practices in a relevant field and prepare a presentation or talking points in advance of the class meeting.
  6. Show the class The Story of Stuff.
  7. Take the class to the  and ask them to do a writing reflection on how to make their eating habits more sustainable.
  8. Have the class translate a paragraph/page of the SCU sustainability website into the language you are studying.
  9. Ask students to critically review SCU’s  and submit comments via the online form.
  10. Choose an animal species or a habitat and prepare a ten-slide powerpoint presentation about how human consumption patterns affect it.
  11. Analyze the life-cycle of a product.
  12. Invite a speaker into your class to talk about a local environmental justice issue.
  13. Have the students attend a sustainability talk and write a personal reflection on it for extra credit.
  14. Have your class tour the sustainability exhibit in the library.
  15. Contact librarian Michal Strutin,, for the library's list of sustainability-related films.
  16. Visit the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability website to investigate your discipline's sustainability initiatives.
  17. Host an in-class poetry slam featuring environmental poetry the students bring in and perform. Award a prize for the poem that best articulates the challenge of living a sustainable lifestyle.
  18. Invite the Director of the Center for Sustainability to give an overview of sustainability initiatives happening on campus. This presentation can be catered to focus on your course/discipline.
  19. Have students write Profiles or Project Highlights for the , interviewing campus community members who are developing sustainability programs and telling their stories.
  20. Watch SCU undergraduate-produced videos or have your class create documentaries about sustainability as relates to your course.


Teaching Resources from the Center for Sustainable Systems

PowerPoint presentations and outlines designed for a post-secondary audience that educate about consumption and pollution topics such as ozone depletion and resource extraction, as well as a very thorough guide to environmental laws.

Voices from the Valley

This website uses photos, theater, stories, and sound to paint a vivid picture of the environmental toxins that "the other Cali­for­nia" lives with every day. Teaching tools introduce environmental justice content into college classes in a wide variety of disciplines.

Sustainable Table

Sustainable Table is a tool for teaching the environmental implications of our diets, has an especially good 360 degree tour of a factory farm and other interactive guides about meat production that students will enjoy exploring.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

Links to websites offering pedagogical guides, workshop ideas for students, and other practical advice from a diverse set of environmental organizations guides to help make campuses more sustainable.

Ideas Worth Teaching

Offers teaching materials and current events articles organized by discipline, industry, topic and region; additionally, Case Place has scholarly articles, books, case studies, course syllabi, teaching modules and helpful links to other websites.

Beyond Grey Pinstripes

A ranking of global MBA programs describing how well each program teaches environmentalism as a best practice in business and how programs foster social, ethical and environmental stewardship; on the site you may access coursework, course syllabi and faculty research projects from over 100 institutions.

Sustainability Research Initiative

SCU hopes to create a dynamic and collaborative research community centered on projects relating to justice and sustainability; the Sustainability Research Initiative has an annual budget of $115,000 to fund research grants, professional development grants, and a research retreat.

Campus Sustainability Investment Fund

The fund is an educational tool to provide hands-on learning and involve our campus community in driving sustainable change at SCU and supports student-, faculty-, and staff-initiated campus-based projects that move SCU toward climate neutrality by reducing campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Have students critically examine several school’s STARS reports.
    • In which areas do universities excel in sustainability? How can SCU improve? How should SCU prioritize to achieve an even better STARS rating?
  • Use the Campus as a Living Lab
    • The Forge Garden located at the corner of Benson and Sherman Streets is an ideal location for a lecture on natural processes or sustainable business and agriculture.
    • Take a walk around campus with students to point out sustainable choices the administration at SCU has made.
    • A discussion of LEED-designed buildings or conscientious purchasing in Benson Memorial Center would help students see their campus in a new way.
  • Integrate a submission process for a proposal to the Campus Sustainability Investment Fund

Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

SCU is a member of AASHE, a professional organization that recently awarded SCU a Silver Rating for the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System. The site offers many ideas regarding how to incorporate sustainability into all facets of higher education.

University Leaders for a Sustainable Future

An association of university leaders which supports sustainable research, teaching, operations and outreach; offers links towards other resources and publications offering practical tips like how to save money by going green.

Strategies for Sustainability in Higher Education

Second Nature, a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance to help universities become more sustainable.