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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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Suggested Citation:"4 Building the Academic Environment." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25821.
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4 Building the Academic Environment The United States has an extensive network of 2- and 4-year colleges as well as universities that create rich learning environments for sustainability education programs to thrive. The proliferation of sustainability education programs pro- vides evidence that many campuses are taking steps to engage students, faculty, and staff on the topic. Learning takes place in the classroom and the lab, but also in the community—whether the community is local or global. Intentional efforts by developers of sustainability curricula are needed to impart the competencies, content areas, and capacities discussed in Chapter 3, against a backdrop of the context of trade-offs and potentially conflicting goals. Chapter 4 examines how the academic environment can foster (or sometimes impede) these connections; function as a “living lab”; overcome the reality of academic silos to strive for interdisciplinarity; embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in sustainability; and interface with federal agencies to leverage resources. COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AS LIVING LABS Higher education institutions can provide students with valuable experiential learning opportunities as accessible living labs. Chatham University in Pittsburgh and Syracuse University in upstate New York provide illustrative examples of liv- ing labs (see Box 4-1). Doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have designed activities that use the campus as a living-learning laboratory for sustainability (University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2017). Sustainability programs can take advantage of the higher education environ- ment to provide students with opportunities for observation, co-creation, experi- mentation, and more. This can be especially useful for evaluating the potential 83

84 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA BOX 4-1 Living Labs at Chatham University and Syracuse University The Falk School of Sustainability and Environment at Chatham University in Pittsburgh offers one baccalaureate and four master’s programs, each with an experiential learning component: bachelor of sustainability, master of arts in food studies, master of sustainability, and two dual degrees in which the latter two are connected with a master of business administration. The campus that houses the Falk School, the Eden Hall Campus, is billed as “the first campus in the world built from below the ground up on the principles of sustainability” (Chatham University, 2019a). Further, Eden Hall is “a vital, interdisciplinary laboratory designed to sup- port collaboration between leaders and learners, academia and business, and the arts and sciences. Here we [Chatham] develop scalable tools and ideas that will drive data-based decision making across the social, economic, and environmental issues we will all face together, and implement them when applicable to not only exhibit their potential, but also serve as an inspiration for the community.” Students learn about alternative energy, stormwater management, agricultural systems, air quality and climate, and natural and built systems in place. For example, the Sustainability Graduate Summer Intensive program in 2019 provided experiential learning resources at Eden Hall Campus for students prepared to study at the graduate level (Chatham University, 2019b). The Sustainability Leadership Acad- emy is expected to provide high school students with an opportunity to explore various sustainability careers during its week-long experiential retreat at Eden Hall Campus (Chatham University, 2020). In an innovative continual loop, Syracuse University in New York uses savings from energy efficiency and sustainability projects to fund new sustainability-related academic research, student projects, and course development. The Campus as a Lab for Sustainability program awards research/seed grants and education/ pedagogy grants to faculty and students for projects that can advance the school’s Climate Action Plan. The projects must have measurable outcomes in reaching the university’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2040. Student examples include a project by an engineering student to use geophysical technologies and drones to identify locations that would benefit from green stormwater infrastructure or retrofits and another to develop an oral history of climate change activism at the university (Syracuse University, 2019). REFERENCES Chatham University. 2019a. Eden Hall Campus: Building a more sustainable and healthy world. https://www.edenhall.chatham.edu. Chatham University. 2019b. Sustainability Graduate Summer Intensive. https://www.chatham. edu/academics/non-degree-seeking/falk-programs.html. Chatham University. 2020. Sustainability Leadership Academy. https://www.chatham.edu/ mission-and-values/sustainability/sustainability-leadership-academy. Syracuse University. 2019. Campus as Laboratory. http://sustainability.syr.edu/cals.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 85 impact of sustainability activities before implementing them in the local or broader community. Oberlin College has been using this approach for more than a decade and is working with the town of Oberlin to provide its students with a real-world educational experience for sustainability (Carlson, 2011). BRIDGING DISCIPLINARY SILOS Part of the committee’s task was to identify knowledge gaps and critical barriers related to the effective development of interdisciplinary sustainability programs. Sustainability is an interdisciplinary field overlapping with nearly ev- ery major and degree program in higher education. Interdisciplinarity facilitates “cognitive advancement in ways that would have been impossible or unlikely through single discipline means” (Spelt et al., 2009, 365). The National Research Council (NRC, 2014, p. 45) defined interdisciplinarity as an integration of information, data, methods, tools, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines focused on a complex question, problem, topic, or theme. The scope and goals of research programs range from incorporating borrowed tools and methods and integrating them into the practice of another discipline to generat- ing a new conceptual framework or theoretical explanation and large-scale ini- tiatives. The key defining concept of interdisciplinarity is integration, a blending of diverse inputs that differs from and is more than the simple sum of the parts. Individuals may work alone, but increasingly research is team-based. Collabora- tion introduces social integration into the process, requiring attention to project management and dynamics of communication. This definition, though focused on research, applies also to integrating knowledge, information, data, and methods from different disciplines when de- veloping a sustainability higher education program. Interrelationships are inherent in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and integration across sectors, countries, and actors is vital to achieving them (Stafford-Smith et al., 2017). A natural follow-on is that sustainability education must be structured as the interdisciplinary field that it is, drawing on theories, bodies of knowledge, and practices across fields. Working across knowledge- based research programs, rather than institutional structures, should be central to interdisciplinary research (Khagram et al., 2010). The competencies and content areas outlined in Chapter 3 suggest a similar need to work across different knowl- edge bases for interdisciplinary sustainability education programs. The Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) pro- gram, launched by a consortium of five universities in the United Kingdom, is one example of the power of bridging boundaries among academic disciplines and between academic and practitioner organizations to scale up training of a new generation of sustainability leaders (Ingram et al., 2020, 10). Since its start in 2015, IFSTAL has taught more than 1,500 students from 45 different univer-

86 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA sity departments; offered more than 100 graduate degree programs; and fostered collaborations with more than 100 public, private, and nonprofit organizations to “gain a better understanding of food-systems and how to address some of their complexities.” The program uses a flipped-classroom approach, and students’ participation is voluntary and not assessed. At least 350 students during the first 3 years of IFSTAL have transitioned into food systems–related jobs. While interdisciplinary approaches are fundamental to sustainability pro- grams, Clark and Wallace (2015) have noted that building interdisciplinarity and integration into curricula and learning remains a challenge. The reality is that most academic institutions are not set up to foster this interdisciplinarity (Boone et al., 2020). Despite the challenges, colleges and universities are attempting to foster interdisciplinarity in sustainability education using a variety of pedagogi- cal and institutional strategies (described in further detail below).  Sustainability is highly interdisciplinary in nature, therefore it is essential that sustainability programs overcome the separation of academic disciplines, despite the inertia of disciplinary structures. Sustainability programs can be launched and evolve under a variety of institutional arrangements, but a commitment to and value of interdisciplinary approaches is fundamental (Vincent and Mulkey, 2015), particularly from top leaders of higher education institutions (Hart et al., 2016; Boone et al., 2020). Several scholars discuss how transdisciplinarity and sustainability research are closely related (Hadorn et al., 2006; Lang et al., 2012). In an NRC (2014) report related to health, transdisciplinarity is defined and described as transcend- ing “disciplinary approaches through more comprehensive frameworks, includ- ing the synthetic paradigms of general systems theory and sustainability, as well as the shift from a disease model to a new paradigm of health and wellness.” The report goes on to say that by the late 20th century, “transdisciplinarity also became aligned with problem-oriented research that crosses the boundaries of both academic and public and private spheres. In this second connotation, mutual learning, joint work, and knowledge integration are key to solving ‘real-world’ problems. The construct goes beyond interdisciplinary combinations of existing approaches to foster new worldviews or domains.” In these senses, transdisci- plinarity is similar to convergence research, defined by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as “a means of solving vexing research problems, in particular, complex problems focusing on societal needs. It entails integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation.”1 With its focus on dynamics of integrated, complex social-ecological-technical systems, interdisciplinarity, and using problem-based and solutions-oriented approaches, sustainability education aligns with these concepts of transdisciplinarity and convergence. 1  National Science Foundation, Convergence Research at NSF, available at https://www.nsf.gov/ od/oia/convergence/index.jsp, accessed on November 5, 2020.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 87 At the very least, students and practitioners in sustainability fields need to be open to working with researchers and practitioners with different disciplin- ary knowledge and training, complementary skills, and alternative perspectives (Haider et al., 2018). In many ways, as Haider et al. (2018) suggest, doctoral students in sustainability science are no longer just economists, sociologists, or ecologists working together in an interdisciplinary team. Rather, they need to engage with different disciplines, or others with interdisciplinary backgrounds, to address sustainability puzzles and challenges. Balancing methodological ground- ing and epistemological agility can form a basis for achieving rigorous inter- or transdisciplinary sustainability research. Our workshop participants, even as they recognized the challenges of inter- disciplinarity, identified several strategies to foster it in sustainability education: • Train educators about the value of interdisciplinarity, recognizing that most have spent their careers in a disciplinary silo. • Institute team teaching with faculty from different departments that jointly design and carry out a course (this is different from “tag teaching,” where one professor may be responsible for the first half of the semester and another professor for the second half). • Develop an incentive system for collaboration in teaching (e.g., team- taught courses count as one course for both faculty) and research (e.g., seed funding for innovative, interdisciplinary explorations). • Reward and recognize faculty (e.g., faculty honors, travel or research funds, graduate student support) who successfully engage in interdisci- plinary collaborations. • Manage sustainability curricula and education programs across depart- ments to foster interdisciplinary approaches and encourage responsibility for programs across the college or university. • Focus efforts on student goals and learning outcomes, with students en- gaged in the design of their sustainability education goals and working with faculty and staff to overcome challenges to meeting those goals. • Look beyond an environmental lens when considering sustainability to include business, health, politics, and more, which by definition will require bringing in other disciplines. • Understand the need for historical and foundational perspectives; systems thinking; applied knowledge crossing science, business, and policy; story- telling and communications across cultures and disciplines, including to those with little knowledge of sustainability; and practical engagement. • Engage adjunct faculty or guest speakers who can speak about working across disciplines to succeed in their own professional lives. • Work across a diverse range of departments, perhaps starting with co- sponsoring one-time events, such as a lecture or other special event, then maintaining more lasting connections.

88 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA • Utilize the connections forged through interuniversity groups, including many that are student led, such as the climate-focused 350.org or student arms of professional societies.2 Many colleges and universities have used teaching and curricular strategies to develop sustainability programs. Hoffman and Axson (2017) reported that an- other approach to foster interdisciplinarity is through sustainability institutes, and there are about 20 in the 63 institutions that make up the Association of American Universities. The institutes are consciously designed to be cross-disciplinary and include such areas as business, architecture, public policy, public health, engineering, and law, in addition to connections with environmental sciences or studies. Examples include the Earth Institute at Columbia University (see Box 2-3 in Chapter 2 for more detail), the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. Key elements that enable such in- stitutes to function effectively include a service mindset, an aim to “complement not compete” with existing organizations, broad participation, engagement, and relationship building, and careful communication with students and other insti- tutional stakeholders. Another approach to bridge disciplinary silos in sustainability education is to help faculty in other fields introduce sustainability concepts in their courses, even if they are not “sustainability professors” offering an explicit “sustainabil- ity course.” A pioneer is the Piedmont/Ponderosa Model of Faculty Develop- ment at Emory University and Northern Arizona University (NAU) (Barlett and Chase, 2012). The Ponderosa Project began at NAU in 1995 and trains faculty in a range of disciplines to revise their syllabi to integrate sustainability aspects. The Piedmont Project was launched at Emory in 2001 with help from the NAU organizers. Other institutions have since used the model, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education offers it to faculty who are interested but whose home institutions do not provide their own programs. Other examples include providing flexibility to students to build their own in- terdisciplinary major out of multiple minors or certificate programs for a highly specialized experience. For example, the University of Texas at Arlington offers an Interdisciplinary Studies program within the Honors College that includes an environmental and sustainability studies minor and sustainable engineering minor (University of Texas at Arlington, 2020). Involving undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research is well suited to sustainability. Aktas (2015) highlights the value of interdisciplinary research in sustainability where “bringing different backgrounds and perspectives to a project enables a big picture view of problems at hand and leads to better solu- tions that are more in line with the three pillars of sustainability, while at the 2  See 350.org, available at https://350.org, accessed on March 11, 2020.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 89 same time providing valuable hands-on experience to undergraduate students.” Undertaking sustainability research may require different approaches from tradi- tional disciplinary research. For instance, Aktas suggests that faculty should not refrain from working with students from different backgrounds and disciplines. Bolger et al. (2018) went further by organizing an entire study-abroad course for undergraduate students conducting community-based research on a sustainability challenge with the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre in the Namib Desert of Namibia and nearby settlements of the Topnaar Indigenous people. To accomplish this, they prepared students beforehand for collaborative research, encouraged student ownership of their learning, intentionally linked different areas of theory to the research, anticipated and navigated time constraints, and emphasized program-level and student-level engagement with the Indigenous community to prevent becoming “helicopter researchers.” These kinds of experiences underline the importance of sustainability research as more than knowledge generation: it should be problem based and solutions oriented, effectively engage stakeholders in authentic and supportive ways, and be undertaken with an explicit attention to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Peer-to-peer networks that bring together sustainability educators across institutions and across academic disciplines can also foster interdisciplinarity on their own campuses. The Alliance of Sustainability and Environmental Academic Leaders, National Council for Science and the Environment, and North American Association for Environmental Education are a few examples that offer national or global conferences, networking, and information sharing for researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines.3 Another example is the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, established as an academic home for envi- ronmental studies, sciences, and sustainability faculty and students. Given the highly interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, it is essential that sustainability programs overcome the artificial separation of academic disci- plines, including curriculum planning, such as the definition of content, learning outcomes, assessments, and goals of the academic programs. Therefore, the com- mittee makes the following recommendation: Recommendation 4.1: Academic leaders should encourage the devel- opment of, implementation of, and participation in interdisciplinary sustainability programs that bridge disciplinary silos by fostering effective strategies such as team teaching, curriculum planning, interdisciplinary advising and preparation of graduate students, and educator trainings across departments about competencies and content areas of sustainability. Sustainability programs can be launched and evolve under a variety of institutional arrangements, but a commitment to and value of inclusivity and interdisciplinar- 3  See http://ncseglobal.org and http://www.naaee.org, both accessed on March 11, 2020.

90 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA ity is of fundamental importance, particularly from top leaders of higher education institutions. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION Key to promoting workforce diversity in sustainability careers is the integra- tion of inclusiveness and equity in student educational experiences. To support sustainability actions across different communities and regions, identify and address global scientific or equity issues, and collaborate effectively with com- munities of all types requires a diverse workforce and network of professionals. Additionally, reducing inequality is embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Most directly, SDG 10 calls for reducing inequality within and among countries. Specifically, Target 10.2 aims by 2030 to “empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status” (UN, 2020a). Additionally, Goal 8 calls to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustain- able economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all,” while Goal 16 focuses on promoting “peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, ac- countable and inclusive institutions at all levels” (UN, 2020a). The importance of sustainability and social justice has been emphasized in several documents, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007 (UN, 2020b), as well as the Principles of Environmental Justice (NRDC, 2016). Extensive discussion among workshop participants reflected on the impor- tance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in sustainability education, both in the student and faculty population and as key concepts in sustainability. Workshop participants were in agreement that, to achieve the SDGs and other sustainability goals, the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion must be infused into sus- tainability education. Graduates of sustainability programs will engage a broad range of community, government, and corporate stakeholders and work in virtu- ally every job sector identifiable; therefore, preparing a diverse workforce for sustainability careers across the globe is essential to the success of sustainability actions. As highlighted in Chapter 2, the current faculty, student, and workforce populations in most interdisciplinary environmental, sustainability, and energy programs do not reflect the national demographic proportions. Improving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout sustainability educa- tion programs requires higher education institutions to recruit and retain diverse students, staff, faculty, administrators, and boards, being inclusive of racial, eth- nic, socioeconomic, sexual, gender, age, cultural, disability, and other diversity factors. As noted in Chapter 2, with the overview of science and engineering students, the situation on most campuses lags behind stated goals for initial en- rollment and retention.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 91 One notable area for sustainability education efforts is the nation’s minority- serving institutions, which according to a National Academies of Sciences, En- gineering, and Medicine report (NASEM, 2019), enroll about 5 million students, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. undergraduate college population. The report iden- tifies minority-serving institutions as an “underutilized resource” critical to the national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Historically Black colleges and universities that provide sustainability programs include the School of the Environment at Florida A&M University; the Forestry, Ecology, and Wildlife Program at Alabama A&M University; the College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University; the Marine Sciences Program at Savannah State University; and the Department of Marine and Environmental Science at Hampton University.4 High-Hispanic- enrollment institutions also have well-established environmental programs. NAU houses an Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and the Department of Applied Indigenous Studies.5 Tribal colleges also offer sustainability-related programming. For example, the College of Natural and Social Sciences at Haskell Indian Nations University supports “Indigenous-centered teaching and learning initiatives to advance systems of life-enhancement for all peoples and places on our Mother Earth” (Haskell Indian Nations University, 2020). In addition, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) promotes programming at tribal colleges that encourages students to pursue STEM education (AIHEC, 2019). AIHEC has been involved in NSF-funded projects to advance climate change education that integrates traditional knowledge and western science. AIHEC is also collaborating with the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Tribal Resilience Program and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate Adaptation Science Centers to support tribes developing and implementing climate resilience strategies to address their climate response priorities. Community colleges—whether formally designated minority-serving institu- tions or not—educate many underrepresented minority students and can involve a more diverse population in sustainability education and careers. At the Santa Cruz, California, workshop, the committee learned about education efforts of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.6 The Leadership Group connects technol- 4  See Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University School of the Environment, available at http:// www.famu.edu/index.cfm?environmentalscience; Alabama A&M University Bachelor of Science in Forestry, available at https://www.aamu.edu/academics/undergraduate-studies/bachelor-science- forestry.html; Tuskegee University College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, available at https://www.tuskegee.edu/programs-courses/colleges-schools/caens/caens-departments; and Hampton University Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, available at https:// science.hamptonu.edu/mes, all accessed on March 11, 2020. 5  See NAU Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, available at http://www7.nau.edu/itep/ main/Home; Applied Indigenous Studies, available at https://nau.edu/ais, both accessed on March 11, 2020. 6  See Silicon Valley Leadership Group, available at https://www.svlg.org, accessed on March 11, 2020.

92 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA ogy companies with the 19 community colleges in Silicon Valley and supports a student body that is 77 percent students of color. While sustainability is not the exclusive focus of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the initiative is an example of a way to create a more diverse sustainability workforce by providing graduates with certification in a related field (such as facilities management or energy technician) or with an associate’s degree to move on to a bachelor’s de- gree or beyond. The National Council for Science and the Environment provides The Community College Handbook for Sustainability Education and Operations, a report for sustainability education and operations at community colleges in the United States (NCSE, 2020). This iterative handbook provides information for community college faculty, administrators, staff, students, and community partners while inviting campuses to participate in a dialogue about their effec- tive practices. Environmental diversity pathway programs are another avenue to help stu- dents enter the field. Many such programs are housed in environmental nonprof- its, community centers, neighborhood groups, and government entities. Diversity pathway programs help participants learn about career opportunities, engage in educational activities, and receive mentorship and other support. A relevant na- tional program is the SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) program of the Ecological Society of America, established in 1996 to “reduce, over time, the serious under-representation within the field of ecology of individuals from certain minority groups” (ESA, 2020). One study of 1,039 environmental or sustainability-related organizations and agencies found that 173, or 16.7 percent, provided a diversity pathway program (Taylor et al., 2018). Most of those programs targeted younger students (as young as kindergarten), but about one-third were set up for college students or recent graduates. However, few of these programs reported offering career development, academic prepara- tion, networking, or job market assistance as part of their programs. Similarly, very few offer post-program support in any of these areas. Understanding what is working with the initiatives that are going on—some of which were represented at the workshops—could be a way to build on these efforts for more expansive contributions to sustainability education. NSF’s Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science, or INCLUDES, program focuses on inclusive change in diversity in STEM education and leadership. Although the program is not focused on sustain- ability, it could be a useful resource for the sustainability community. To help boost the number of underrepresented minority students, low-income students, and first-generation students who embark on sustainability careers, some colleges and universities are providing sustainability-related diversity pathway programs and leadership opportunities. Box 4-2 highlights two such programs at the University of Michigan. Substantial research has been conducted in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, and several studies discuss the need for effective pedagogy

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 93 BOX 4-2 National Sustainability-Related Diversity Pathway Programs Housed at the University of Michigan The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program The University of Michigan provides sustainability leadership opportunities for undergraduates from around the United States. The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) is a two-summer opportunity for students who are his- torically underrepresented in the conservation field, as well as allies. The program hosts 40 students each year. These scholars participate in the program because they (1) are interested in pursuing careers in conservation and sustainability, (2) have demonstrated leadership and want to continue enhancing those skills, (3) want to learn how to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion in their conservation and sustainability work, (4) want to mentor and be mentored, and (5) are inter- ested in building a multicultural network of people who can support each other’s academic pursuits and careers as they move through the professional ranks. Each scholar spends two summers at the University of Michigan. During the first summer, scholars conduct research with a faculty member or research scientist who mentors them. In the second summer, scholars intern in conservation and sustainability nonprofits or government agencies in Southeast Michigan. Each scholar is assigned an internship site mentor. All faculty, research scientists, and internship site supervisors receive diversity, equity, and inclusion training from the DDCSP staff before they begin work with the scholars. The program also provides extensive diversity, equity, and inclusion training as well as career and leadership development training for scholars. All scholars participate in an end-of-summer capstone conference where they present the results of their research or assess their internship experiences. Research mentors, internship supervisors, faculty, and staff at the university’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS); students; and family members attend the capstone conference. During the school year, scholars participate in monthly webinars organized by DDCSP staff, meet with their campus mentors, make presentations about their summer experiences, and attend and make presentations at the New Horizons in Conservation Confer- ence. The DDCSP experience culminates with a week-long capstone retreat that is held in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the surrounding national forests. Scholars go on to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in conserva- tion and sustainability at SEAS and other graduate programs. They also work in conservation and sustainability-related jobs, and have held prestigious fellow- ships such as the Environmental Leadership Program’s RAY Marine Conservation Diversity Fellowship, Swarthmore College’s President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship, the Smithsonian Institution’s internship in marine sciences, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. The University of Michigan is one of four institutions that participate in the DDCSP program, along with the DDCSP Collaborative, University of California, Santa Cruz, and University of Washington (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, 2020). continued

94 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA BOX 4-2 Continued The Environmental Fellows Program is a graduate internship that is housed at SEAS. The program grew out of a collaboration between SEAS and the Environ- mental Grantmakers Association. The Environmental Fellows Program provides internships to 30 fellows each summer. After an intensive diversity, equity, and inclusion and environmental philanthropy orientation, fellows intern in environmen- tal grantmaking foundations or with the grantees of foundations that sponsor the fellowships. Grantees range from the largest environmental organizations, policy groups, and environmental justice organizations to local government entities. Since 2016, more than 20 foundations that do environmental and sustainability grantmaking have sponsored more than 100 fellows to participate in the program. Fellows are drawn from graduate sustainability-related programs from around the United States. They are both master’s and doctoral students. Foundations and internship host-site mentors receive diversity, equity, and inclusion training before fellows begin the internship. Each year fellows attend the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s Annual Fall Retreat. While at the retreat, fellows make presentations about their research and internship experiences, meet with their foundation mentors, and build their network. REFERENCE Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. 2020. Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. http:// uwconservationscholars.org, accessed on July 16, 2020. and continuous support and mentoring. NRC (2013) states that programs that have increased the number of minority students graduating in STEM fields pro- mote a comprehensive approach by integrating students into college academic and social systems, developing knowledge and skills, and supporting mentoring, monitoring, and advising. It also suggests that collaborations with professional societies focused on diversity could help connect minority students to education and training opportunities. For example, SACNAS, a professional society whose mission is “fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM,” runs multidisciplinary conferences, leadership and professional programs, and other initiatives to support underrepresented stu- dents and professionals.7 McDaris et al. (2019) suggest an attract-support-prepare framework to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in the field of geosciences. They discuss that the adoption of research-based educa- tional practices is needed, including (1) attracting a diverse group of students, (2) supporting them through graduation, and (3) preparing them for career success. 7  See SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Sci- ence), available at https://www.sacnas.org/who-we-are, accessed on July 20, 2020.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 95 The Teach the Earth web portal (2020) provides access to extensive resources, models, and strategies to attract, support, and prepare students, as well as for faculty and the education community for broadening participation. Several transuniversity programs were identified by workshop participants as well. The Global Sustainability Scholars program trains and supports undergradu- ate students and early-career professionals from underrepresented groups to work with leading scientists on critical sustainability challenges that face communities and environments in the future.8 The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center has a program to foster and support interdisciplinary, team-based synthesis research specifically for advanced graduate students, with the aim to develop a cohort of researchers committed to socio-environmental synthesis.9 These approaches will enhance the education of all sustainability students. But as an added benefit for increasing underrepresented minority populations, researchers Juan Garibay and Shirley Vincent (2018) observed, through a national sample of 343 degree programs, that environmental and sustainability programs “with a more inclusive curriculum and greater student compositional diversity are significantly more likely to report an increasing enrollment of students of color.” Garibay et al. (2020) find that the relationship between faculty values toward diversity content and its inclusion is greater at master’s colleges and universities, based on a national sample of 227 interdisciplinary environmental and sustain- ability programs within 149 higher education institutions. Workshop participants noted that many sustainability programs are housed in universities that are located in urban areas populated by diverse communities, yet these surrounding communities are sometimes overlooked by faculty and students who favor traveling to distant places for educational and research experiences. Workshop attendees urged sustainability educators to collaborate with both local and distant communities to enhance student learning experiences. A comment echoed many times during the course of the workshop was to find ways to truly partner with a community—giving in addition to extracting, learning in addition to imparting theory-based knowledge, and, as one participant stressed, “being hum- ble.” The community collaboration program Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future, or InTeGrate, provides models from university partners for broadening student participation in the geosciences and emphasizes how cultural relevance and community involvement are crucial for engaging student interest.10 Additionally, early recruitment strategies at the precollege levels contribute to success in STEM fields for students of color and could be useful to consider for 8  See Global Sustainability Scholars, available at https://www.gsscholar.org, accessed on March 11, 2020. 9  See National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, available at https://www.sesync.org/for-you/ educator/programs/graduate-programs, accessed on March 11, 2020. 10  See InTeGrate, available at https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/implementation/index. html, accessed on November 5, 2020.

96 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA incoming students into sustainability programs (NASEM, 2019). In 2017, Wells Fargo committed $50 million to American Indian/Alaska Native communities focusing on environmental sustainability, economic empowerment, and diversity and social inclusion, including leadership and career development training (Wells Fargo, 2017). Tribal governments and sovereign Nations could also provide intern- ship and job opportunities in sustainability for undergraduate and graduate students. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Learning Outcomes Sustainability is a normative science, meaning it explores not just possible futures but also desirable futures (van der Hel, 2018). With a commitment to well- being across generations (Matson et al., 2016), sustainability must tackle issues of fairness, difference, inclusion, and justice embedded in notions of well-being. The normative or values-thinking sustainability competency urges students to think what the present and future should be, to negotiate different and potentially competing values systems, and to search for solutions that are inclusive, just, and fair (Wiek et al., 2011). A focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in sustain- ability education is driven by normative notions of the future we want, but also recognizes the practical value of embedding these principles in decisions to foster innovation and community buy-in for effective, enduring sustainability strategies. For students wishing to transform organizations, it is important they understand how values-thinking, including around diversity, equity, and inclusion, are impor- tant motivators of behavior and change (Frisk and Larson, 2011). Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into sustainability education provides a basis for understanding sustainability challenges rooted in inequity and injustice, but also provides a tool kit for students to develop solutions with great transformative potential. Many workshop participants stressed that diversity, equity, and inclu- sion and explorations of justice should be a fundamental part of sustainability education for these reasons. One faculty member urged sustainability educators to go beyond “the usual 20 papers,” that is, to expand course and program content to include broad perspectives and areas of expertise. Several institutions have incorporated Indigenous knowledge into their sus- tainability programs. The University of Montana offers an Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Sustainability focus area within its environmental studies master’s program,11 and NAU has a tribal elder on campus every semester to share insights and work with students and faculty.12 It is essential to have greater emphasis on U.S. Indigenous populations for sustainability and equity issues, and the researching, understanding, teaching, and eventual implementation of sustainability practices. 11  See University of Montana Environmental Studies, available at https://hs.umt.edu/evst/graduate/ focus-areas/indigenous-knowledge/default.php, accessed on March 12, 2020. 12  Described by Rod Parnell in his presentation at the Washington, D.C., workshop on February 13, 2019.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 97 Workshop participants also urged sustainability educators to incorporate rel- evant history into the curriculum. They suggested that students graduating with sustainability degrees should have an understanding of the role that processes such as colonialism, conquest, land ownership and appropriation, segregation, and racism play in contemporary sustainability challenges. It is critical for sus- tainability students to understand the legal and public policy systems that underlie inequities. One workshop participant thought the process of anchoring the cur- riculum in relevant historical events is one way to “ground-truth” the curriculum. Beyond increasing the numbers of diverse students enrolled, workshop partici- pants urged that sustainability education incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into learning, engagement, and implementation processes by doing the following: • Developing courses, field experiences, internships, stakeholder engage- ment, community partnerships, research, and other educational activities that are underpinned by knowledge of and understanding of social dynam- ics and social/environmental justice. • Developing authentic, long-term partnerships that are reciprocal and re- spectful with communities, government, and nonprofits and for-profit organizations. • Recognizing the existence of sustainability-related knowledge systems and expertise that exist outside of the academy. Promoting strategies to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion in sus- tainability education is critical to addressing underrepresentation in both the academic programs and the workforce. Additionally, addressing sustainability challenges requires a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and expertise and an understanding of how values can impede or motivate change. To this end, the committee offers the following recommendation: Recommendation 4.2: Sustainability education programs should prioritize attracting and supporting students with varied back- grounds and lived experiences, supporting them for success in a variety of sustainability careers. This also requires attracting and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds in sustainability educa- tion programs, with additional attention to equity, inclusion, and local and Indigenous knowledge in the content of the curriculum and the institutional settings. FEDERAL SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS IN HIGHER EDUCATION Policy makers have recognized the role that campus sustainability programs have in achieving societal goals. In 2008, Congress passed the Higher Education

98 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA Sustainability Act (HESA) of 2007 as part of the Higher Education Act (H.R. 4137),13 which established a competitive grant program through the Department of Education, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, for universities and places of higher education to establish sustainability research programs, such as developing new alternative energy sources; develop and imple- ment sustainability practices on campus; and create academic programs (AASHE, 2008). The intent of this legislation was to support and advance sustainability curriculums at colleges and universities to develop a workforce trained to be sustainable through multidisciplinary education, research, and outreach programs that address environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Although the Higher Education Act was passed, HESA itself was only appro- priated funding for 1 year, and no assessment or evaluation of the program is available. However, in November 2019, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize HESA through what the bill sponsors titled the Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2019 (S. 2928).14 The proposed legislation states the following: From the amounts appropriated to carry out this section, the Secretary, in con- sultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall make grants to eligible entities to establish sustainability programs to design and implement the teaching and practice of sustainability, including in the areas of staff and faculty professional development, energy management, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, green building, waste management, transportation, resilience, green workforce, and other aspects of sustainability that integrate the local community with multidisciplinary academic programs and are applicable to the private and government sectors. A member of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s staff, legislative assistant David Caruolo, spoke virtually to the committee and attendees of the Santa Cruz work- shop. He noted that one change in the current legislative proposal is the inclusion of development of the “green workforce” as an area eligible for a grant. This addition seems to be in keeping with workplace trends over the last decade that include the growth of the sustainability profession. He also noted that the issue of connecting local communities with universities frequently arose in deliberations around reauthorization, a theme that reflects comments made to the committee throughout its workshop process. The committee noted that since 2008, the federal agencies that support sustainability research and initiatives have broadened beyond the Environmental Protection Agency, the only agency designated in the legislation as a collaborat- 13  Higher Education Opportunity Act, H.R. 4137, 110th Congress (2007–2008), Public Law No: 110-315, available at https://www.congress.gov/110/plaws/publ315/PLAW-110publ315.pdf, accessed on March 11, 2020. 14  Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2019, S. 2928, 116th Congress (2019–2020), available at https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s2928/BILLS-116s2928is.pdf, accessed on March 11, 2020.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 99 ing entity with the Department of Education, a grant administrator. Other federal agencies currently support a variety of programs inclusive of sustainability activi- ties, including the following: • National Science Foundation: Environmental Engineering and Sustain- ability Cluster;15 its Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainabil- ity activities previously supported sustainability research and education.16 • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Office of Sustainable Fisheries; Climate Program Office; Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; National Sea Grant College Program.17 NOAA supports U.S. engagement strategies for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science; Earth Sciences Division.18 • Department of Defense: National Defense Education Program for Sci- ence, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Outreach, and Workforce Initiative Programs; U.S. Army Corps of Engi- neers Institute for Water Resources.19 • Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program; Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.20 • National Institutes of Health: Global Health Research; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 21 • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Research, Education, and Economics.22 • U.S. Geological Survey: Science and Decisions Center.23 15  See NSF: Environmental Engineering Sustainability Cluster, available at https://www.nsf.gov/ funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505483, accessed on March 11, 2020. 16  See NSF: Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES), available at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504707&org=NSF, accessed on June 9, 2020. 17  See NOAA: Fisheries, available at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/about/office-sustainable- fisheries; CPO, available at https://cpo.noaa.gov/Funding-Opportunities/FY-2020-Notice-of-Funding- Opportunity; OAR, available at https://research.noaa.gov/UN-Decade; Sea Grant, available at https:// seagrant.noaa.go; all accessed on March 11, 2020. 18  See NASA: ROSES, available at https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary. do?solId=%7bBCEE336B-D550-CCBA-1C8C-7A866DB06F45%7d&path=&method=init, accessed on March 11, 2020. 19  See DOD: NDEP, available at https://www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencyCode=DOD; USACE, available at https://www.iwr.usace.army.mil; both accessed on March 11, 2020. 20 See DOE: EECBG, available at https://www.energy.gov/eere/wipo/energy-efficiency-and- conservation-block-grant-program; EERE, available at https://www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy- efficiency-renewable-energy; both accessed on March 11, 2020. 21  See NIH: Global Health Research, available at https://www.fic.nih.gov/ResearchTopics/Pages/ default.aspx; NIEHS, available at https://www.niehs.nih.gov; both accessed on March 11, 2020. 22  See USDA: REE, available at https://www.ree.usda.gov, accessed on March 11, 2020. 23  See USGS: SDC, available at https://www.usgs.gov/energy-and-minerals/science-and-decisions- center, accessed on March 11, 2020.

100 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA • U.S. Agency for International Development: Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment; Office of Education.24 The range of federal programs and grants that support sustainability is larger than identified in the list. Fellows et al. (2018) provide a comprehensive listing of environmental research and development programs that support areas related to economic, societal, and environmental security and leadership, and many of these programs are broadly oriented toward improving sustainability. The NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education (2015) presents both a decadal vision and recommendation for environmental research and sus- tainability education at NSF. The Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2019 under consideration by Congress recognizes the role that universities play to “design and implement the teaching and practice of sustainability, including in the areas of staff and faculty professional development, energy management, greenhouse gas emissions reduc- tions, green building, waste management, transportation, resilience, green work- force, and other aspects of sustainability.” Given the range of federal programs that currently support sustainability-related activities, other agencies would also be suitable to support grant programs for sustainability education and research. In addition, it is critical to ensure that minority-serving institutions, as codified by the U.S. Department of Education,25 can compete effectively for access to the grants. This is consistent with the intent of the statement in Executive Order No. 12898, titled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Popu- lations and Low-Income Populations: “Each Federal agency shall make achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appro- priate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States and its territories and possessions, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.” (The White House, 1994). Therefore, the committee offers the following recommendation: Recommendation 4.3: Federal agencies should increase their sup- port for sustainability education programs, and they should include provisions for minority-serving institutions to apply for and receive grants to establish or revise sustainability education programs. 24  See USAID: E3, available at https://www.usaid.gov/who-we-are/organization/bureaus/bureau- economic-growth-education-and-environment; E3/ED, available at https://www.usaid.gov/who-we- are/organization/bureaus/bureau-economic-growth-education-and-environment/office-education; both accessed on March 11, 2020. 25  For a description of what constitutes minority-serving institution, see https://www2.ed.gov/about/ offices/list/ocr/edlite-minorityinst.html, accessed on March 11, 2020.

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 101 SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION RESEARCH AGENDA The committee’s statement of task includes a discussion of research agendas related to sustainability and the SDGs and the role of academic institutions to inform post-2030 processes. Just as Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability (NRC, 1999) advocated for research into sustainability science as an interdisciplinary field, this committee recommends a sustainability education research agenda that addresses how the field has evolved and how it will con- tinue to evolve. We suggest a focus on three broad themes that concern existing knowledge gaps in relation to sustainability education.   First, research is needed on the effectiveness of sustainability curricula, both for the purpose of program-level evaluation and as part of a global community of practice. Despite the growth in sustainability programs, both in the United States and internationally, there remains a gap in how to evaluate these programs (O’Byrne et al., 2015; Vare et al., 2019). While some programs may gauge their own efficacy or commission independent reviews, there is a dearth of shared criteria, indicators, or benchmarks by which to measure success. During the committee’s third workshop in January 2020, participants discussed these gaps in evaluation, and identified several programs where individual evaluations are undertaken, or even commissioned by external evaluators, but without internal synthesis, public release, or reference to standardized criteria, limiting their rel- evance outside the institution. Research is also needed to understand what effect the addition of new sustainability curricula may have on higher education institu- tions overall, specifically considering funding and grants, the distribution of stu- dents among programs, and on academic or other practice-based collaborations. A second gap concerns the sustainability workforce. A more systematic understanding of the current marketplace for sustainability jobs and pathways for students graduating from higher education institutions is critically needed.  More and better data will allow educators to make sense of the increase in and diversity of sustainability-related jobs.  Mapping those jobs into an ontology of the workforce may help distill new roles, point to trends, and note changing ter- minology, if they are monitored over time.  Central to this research is to define what constitutes a sustainability job, who belongs to the sustainability workforce, and what data (with disaggregation) must be captured. Such research could also uncover the evolving definitions of a sustainability job and career path by differ- ent employers, from well-established public and private entities to start-ups led by recent graduates. This report also notes the lack of data on the career pathways of sustainabil- ity graduates, and on whether these graduates feel prepared for the professional fields they enter.  Likewise, little research exists about how persons currently working in sustainability fields were trained, and what aspects of a formal sus- tainability program may have been most beneficial.  What influence does a sus- tainability curriculum—considering the diversity of concentrations, certificates, minors, majors, or graduate-level study—have on the employment patterns and

102 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA career decisions of graduates? Now that some sustainability programs have been in place for more than a decade, it should be possible to track post-graduation employment trends.  Research is needed to understand how core competencies in sustainability education programs may be converging, diverging, or otherwise evolving, and their relationship to a post-2030 agenda (Brundiers et al., 2020). It is also im- portant to ascertain how the core competencies are translated into program-level learning outcomes, assessment tools, and effective curricula for a broad array of institutions of higher learning. Finally, research is necessary into sustainability education itself to better understand how contextual factors enable and affect outcomes of these programs. Corcoran (2010) pointedly noted that “changes are necessary in curricula, peda- gogy, policy, and institutional structures” in order for education to address the challenges of unsustainability. Sterling (2004) argued that addressing the current challenges of unsustainability requires change in educational culture that “builds on and goes beyond the traditions of environmental education and subsequent expressions of sustainability education.” Other researchers have made similar calls for change in sustainability education (Dawe et al., 2005; Cotton et al., 2009; Hart et al., 2016). A wide range of student-centered, interactive, and inquiry-based pedagogies for sustainability education are already in place (Cotton et al., 2007; Cotton and Winter, 2010). Some are participatory and inclusive processes, transdisciplinary cooperation, experiential learning, service learning, community engagement, and organizational learning (see Chapter 3). However, research on the effectiveness of different pedagogies in sustainability higher education remains a very real and important need. Such research is necessary because “many of the core principles of integrating sustainability into higher education require substantial shifts in thinking and practice that may be out of reach of the individual lecturer and more challenging for some disciplines than others” (Cotton and Winter, 2010). Thus, research on sustainability pedagogies would produce a body of knowledge that individuals, institutions, and disciplines can utilize to strengthen their ability to successfully educate students to become effective change agents for sustainability (see Chapter 5). The evolution of sustainability programs will include emerging areas high- lighted during the committee’s workshops, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data, and questions of ethics and bias within these enablers. Research is needed on how these tools may be used to assess sustainability and the performance of organizations (Nilashi et al., 2019; How et al., 2020), to advance or inhibit progress toward sustainable development and the SDGs (Goralski and Tan, 2019), and on whether mainstream application of these tech- nologies may exacerbate existing inequalities based on embedded bias (Vinuesa et al., 2020). 

BUILDING THE ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT 103 During the committee’s report review process, the novel coronavirus pan- demic has sparked concerns about the significant impact of health- and disease- related shocks on the sustainability of existing economic and social organizations within the United States and abroad. COVID-19 is a system “shock” in the parlance of resilience (Walker et al., 2004; Walker and Salt, 2006), one that has exposed and exacerbated existing racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health care, employment, education, and housing.  The response to, and recovery from, COVID-19 will shape the next decade and impact the ability to achieve the SDGs by 2030.  This presents further opportunities for sustainability education research, particularly around effective ways to educate students to address sys- temic inequalities, collective action and public goods, and the role of cities and subnational government within the multilateral system.  Such research may also help sustainability education programs to better prepare students for a post-2030 agenda (Susskind et al., 2020). Hence, the committee makes the following recommendation: Recommendation 4.4: To strengthen and support sustainability edu- cation programs, research should be conducted on (i) the effective- ness of sustainability curricula for achieving program-level goals and contributing positively to communities of practice, along with impacts on activities within higher education institutions overall; (ii) the marketplace for sustainability jobs and pathways for students to secure those opportunities; (iii) how core competencies and content areas in sustainability programs may be converging, diverging, or otherwise evolving; and (iv) how these programs will prepare stu- dents for a post-2030 agenda for sustainable development. REFERENCES AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability for Higher Education). 2008. Congress Passes Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA). Available at https://www.aashe.org/higher- education-sustainability-act, accessed on June 9, 2020. Aktas, C. 2015. Reflections on interdisciplinary sustainability research with undergraduate students. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 16(3), 354–366. DOI: 10.1108/ ijshe-11-2013-0153. AIHEC (American Indian Higher Education Consortium). 2019. AIHEC holds Indigenous STEM Pedagogy Institute. Tribal College: Journal of the American Indian Higher Education (July 31). https://tribalcollegejournal.org/aihec-holds-indigenous-stem-pedagogy-institute. Barlett, P. F., and G. W. Chase. 2012. Curriculum innovation for sustainability: The Piedmont/Ponderosa Model of Faculty Development. Liberal Education 98(4), 14–21. https://www.aacu.org/ publications-research/periodicals/curricular-innovation-sustainabilitythe-piedmont-ponderosa- model. Bolger, D. T., K. H. Bieluch, F. E. Krivak-Tetley, G. Maggs-Kölling, and J. Tjiteku. 2018. Designing a real-world course for environmental studies students: Entering a social-ecological system. Sustainability 10, 2546. DOI: 10.3390/su10072546.

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106 STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS AND CURRICULA NSF. 2015. America’s Future: Environmental Research and Education for a Thriving Century: A 10 Year Outlook. https://www.nsf.gov/ere/ereweb/ac-ere/ac-ere_thriving_century.pdf, accessed on June 9, 2020. O’Byrne, D., W. Dripps, and K. A. Nicholas. 2015. Teaching and learning sustainability: An as- sessment of the curriculum content and structure of sustainability degree programs in higher education. Sustainability Science 10 (1), 43–59. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-014-0251-y. Spelt, E. J. H., H. Biemans, H. Tobi, P. A. Luning, and M. Mulder. 2009. Teaching and learning in interdisciplinary higher education: A systematic review. Educational Psychology Review 21(4). http://edepot.wur.nl/54426. Stafford-Smith, M., D. Griggs, O. Gaffney, F. Ullah, B. Reyers, N. Kanie, B. Stigson, P. Shriv- astava, M. Leach, and D. O’Connell. 2017. Integration: The key to implementing the Sus- tainable Development Goals. Sustainability Science 12(6), 911–919. https://doi.org/10.1007/ s11625-016-0383-3. Sterling, S. 2004. An Analysis of the Development of Sustainability Education Internationally: Evolu- tion, Interpretation, and Transformative Potential. In The Sustainability Curriculum: The Chal- lenge of Higher Education, edited by J. Blewitt and C. Cullingford. Sterling, VA: Earthscan. Susskind, D., J. Manyika, J. Saldanha, S. Burrow, S. Rebelo, and I. Bremmer. 2020.  Life Post– COVID-19. Finance and Development 57(2).  https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/ fandd/2020/06/how-will-the-world-be-different-after-COVID-19.htm, accessed on August 5, 2020. Taylor, D. E., K. Price, and E. McCoy. 2018. Diversity Pathways: Broadening Participation in En- vironmental Organizations. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, School for Environment and Sustainability. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329222642_Diversity_Pathways_ Broadening_Participation_in_Environmental_Organizations. Teach the Earth. 2020. https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/index.html. Accessed July 15, 2020. The White House. 1994. Presidential Documents: Executive Order 12898 of February 11, 1994. Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. Federal Register 59(32). https://www.archives.gov/files/federal-register/executive- orders/pdf/12898.pdf, accessed on June 22, 2020. UN (United Nations). 2020a. Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org, accessed on July 10, 2020. UN. 2020b. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. https://www.un.org/ development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html, ac- cessed on July 15, 2020. University of Texas at Arlington. 2020. Interdisciplinary Studies. https://www.uta.edu/honors/ints/ index.php, accessed on May 18, 2020. University of Wisconsin–Madison. 2017. “Living laboratory” for sustainability comes to a national conference. https://sustainability.wisc.edu/living-laboratory-for-sustainability-comes-to-a- national-conference, accessed on June 8, 2020. van der Hel, S. 2018. Science for change: A survey on the normative and political dimensions of global sustainability research. Global Environmental Change 52, 248–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. gloenvcha.2018.07.005. Vincent, S., and S. Mulkey. 2015. Transforming US higher education to support sustainability science for a resilient future: The influence of institutional administrative organization. Environment, Development and Sustainability 17, 314–363. Walker, B., C. S. Holling, S. R. Carpenter, and A. Kinzig. 2004. Resilience, adaptability and trans- formability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2), 5. Walker, B., and D. Salt. 2006. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington, DC: Island Press. Wells Fargo. 2017. Wells Fargo commits $50 million to American Indian/Alaska Native communi- ties. https://stories.wf.com/wells-fargo-commits-50-million-to-american-indianalaska-native- communities, accessed on July 15, 2020.

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Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in sustainability education in colleges and universities across the United States, with a marked increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research institutes, and centers focused on sustainability. Evidence-based core competencies for interdisciplinary sustainability programs can provide suitable guidance for curricular and program development, research, policy, communication, and pedagogical approaches at academic institutions. They can also serve as a guide for students to select academic programs and potential career options, a reference for employers to understand qualifications of graduates, and the foundation for a potential specialized accreditation for interdisciplinary sustainability programs. The growing demand for well-qualified sustainability professionals within the public, private, and nonprofit sectors also points to the value of developing core competencies.

Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels provides expert insights for strengthening the emerging discipline of sustainability in higher education in the United States. This report describes the local, national, and global landscape related to sustainability education; examines the history and current status of sustainability education programs in the United States and globally; discusses employment prospects for sustainability graduates in terms of the opportunities and the skills that employers seek; and addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion in sustainability-related education and employment.

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