Across the disciplines, students and faculty are incorporating sustainability into their learning with innovative programs and projects. Here are just a few of the creative ways in which sustainability is woven into academics at Empire State College.
Green Pens and Thumbs: Students at the Metropolitan New York Center take to the streets armed with pens and gardening gloves to record the goings on in urban environmentalism and sustainability underway in New York City. As eco-journalists, they write about their experiences in multiple forms.
Educational Garden: At the Central New York Center In East Syracuse, a small plot of land has been turned into a flourishing raised bed garden and composting site. Students learn about horticulture and the basic principles behind agro-ecology. Starting from seed, students grow the garden from start to finish. Employees tend to the compost, which enriches the soil and reduces the environmental footprint of the center.
Water: Local and Global Perspectives: This is a featured course from Empire State College's Center for Distance Learning. Students examine a range of tales about water that promote divergent values and beliefs, that translate into actions with ecological effects, that arouse political responses. Learning about diverse ways of “telling the story” students will develop media and public sphere literacy and apply this to water issues in their own neighborhood.
Citizen Science Citizen Science: projects provide students with potentially long-term, interactive means of learning about their local environment, environmental change and scientific research. These projects include creative strategies for educators who would like to design curricula which actively engage all students in sustainability. Incorporating field and laboratory experiences which relate to specific environmental challenges facing regions, communities and individuals, and which introduce students to monitoring and data analysis technologies, can be effective ways of increasing student interest and participation in sustainability studies.