Grant to allow university to integrate sustainability into programs

A national grant will allow Shippensburg University to more fully integrate sustainability both inside and outside of the classroom.

The $49,000 InTeGrate Teaching for a Sustainable Future in Undergraduate Courses grant is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP). It is through the Science Education Research Center at Carleton College.

The grant will engage faculty to enhance and integrate active, high-impact strategies into courses from multiple disciplines to infuse sustainability in the context of societal issues across the undergraduate curriculum. The goal is to develop a citizenry and workforce that is knowledgeable of environmental and natural resource issues facing society today.

Members of the team implementing the program are Dr. William Blewett, chair and professor of geography/earth science; Dr. Sean Cornell, associate professor of geography/earth science; Dr. Benjamin Galluzzo, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Tim Hawkins, professor of geography/earth science; Dr. Claire Jantz, professor of geography/earth science; Dr. George Pomeroy, professor of geography/earth science; Dr. Heather Sahli, associate professor of biology; Dr. Richard Stewart, professor of biology; Dr. Nathan Thomas, associate professor of biology; Dr. Tim Maret, professor of biology; and Dr. Kay Williams, associate professor of geography/earth science.

The grant also provides funding for co-curricular activities to engage students and the campus community in stewardship activities to put theory into practice. In addition to promoting a student-led initiative to create a community-wide sustainability pledge, major components of the program will be implemented beginning this month and continue through the Fall semester.

This month will feature “StewardSHIP Week” with events every day from April 16 through April 23. The schedule includes:

  • Michaux State Forest cleanup on Ridge Road beginning at Hammonds Rocks, April 16, from 8:30 a.m. to noon  
  • Campus-Community Sustainability Forum, 6:30 p.m., Old Main Chapel, April 18  
  • Minds@Work Conference, April 19; CUB MPR. Student researchers will showcase learning outcomes some of which illustrate stewardship and sustainability.
  • Earth Day, April 20; Library Quad from 10 a.m. to 4 p,m,
  • Campus-Community Farm Day, April 21
  • Ship Shape Day, April 23   

Participating in the forest cleanup are Roy Brubaker of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry District 1, Marci Mowery of the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation;; Michaux Forest Association; Citizens Fire Company of Mount Holly Springs; and the university’s student Geography & Earth Science Organization (GESO).

The sustainability forum will include panelists with a range of expertise in the areas of sustainability and conservation. Panelists at the forum include Anais Beddard from Lady Moon Farms a wholesale organic farm that supplies produce to Whole Foods; Brandon Hoover, director of sustainability at Messiah College; Marci Mowery president of the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation; Allison Trinkle a National Chef of the Year from Chartwells (the university’s food service provider); Phil Wolgemuth, assistant to the borough manager/land use & development for Chambersburg Borough; and Derek Wadlington, Shippensburg Produce and Outreach an organization that works to provide fresh, local produce to community members in need.

Also planned is a sustainability field conference in May with field trips to various locations in the region to highlight projects that are innovative, cross-disciplinary, and show sustainability in real world practice. The conference goal is to provide faculty, staff, and interested members of the community with opportunities to engage in discussion and professional development to support development of coursework, university-community partnerships, co-curricular programming, and career training opportunities.

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