College of Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts Faculty Garner Sustainability Awards

Mon, Jul 6, 2015
Seven UT Austin faculty won the 2014-15 Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards.
Seven UT Austin faculty won the 2014-15 Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards.

Five faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts won 2014-15 Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards that will support new sustainability courses or course conversions to a Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying (PLUS) model. To be eligible for either award, faculty members had to demonstrate how their courses address issues related to sustainability and fulfill the requirements for one or more flags. Award recipients received $6,000 for new course development and $2,500 for PLUS course conversions.

Out of a total of seven awards campus-wide, five went to faculty from the College of Liberal Arts including Kelley Crews and Thoralf Meyer (Geography & the Environment); Erika Bsumek (History), William Swearingen (Sociology), and Craig Campbell (Anthropology).

Swearingen will develop a new course titled Creating the Sustainable Society, helping students connect local environments and human practices with global economic and equity issues.

Campbell also received new course award funding to create, Cultures and Ecologies: The Anthropology of Nature and Natural Resources, which will explore the anthropology of “nature” and “natural resources,” with particular attention to communities in the arctic and subarctic regions that are disproportionately affected by climate change and the energy economy.

Crews and Meyer will use the PLUS model to convert their course, GRG 304E: Environmental Science: A Changing World, to support three flag areas that will give students opportunities outside of class to discuss ethical issues, work together on difficult quantitative assignments, and engage in peer-review sessions focused on improving writing skills.

The PLUS model will be used in Bsumek’s course, HIS 317: Building America: Engineering Society and Culture, 1868-Present, to provide additional opportunities for students to integrate cross-disciplinary perspectives as they grapple with America’s complex infrastructure challenges.

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