2016 Sustainability Summit > Synergy Sessions > Synergy Session 8: Education, Curriculum and Sustainability

Synergy Session 8: Education, Curriculum and Sustainability

Driving Climate Studies Curriculum Through a High Traffic Texas Common Course Numbering System Environment 

Brett Cummins

Brett CumminsCourse offerings within accredited and participating institutions in Texas are primarily limited by the Texas Common Course Numbering System. This study is being conducted to determine how to introduce and implement the American Meteorological Society’s Climate Studies curriculum at Brookhaven College. This instructor attended the 2015 AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project in Silver Spring, Maryland, to be further introduced to current data and research on climate studies and course offering and implementation. Detailed information regarding the AMS Climate Studies course highlighted the project with the intent of increasing climate science offerings to minority-serving institutions. Ideas were gathered on how to implement the course at local colleges and universities facing varying challenges of including more earth science curriculum, including face to face, hybrid and online formats. The geology department, which offers earth science courses for majors and non-majors, has been active on Brookhaven College's campus since the college's inception. I plan to share ideas gained from the Diversity Project with faculty members in the geology and other physical science departments. The challenge faced by Brookhaven is finding a code in the Texas Common Course Numbering System in which this Climate Studies course can be offered. Currently, every code available to Brookhaven for earth science courses is in use. I plan to find ways to integrate portions of the curriculum from the course into pre-existing courses in geology and the physical sciences. I am proposing to present the Project’s findings, mission and takeaways at the college's Math and Science Academy this fall. This will be another method of introducing and advertising climate studies and climate change curriculum as a supplement to current curriculum. Another option that will be explored is to create a Continuing Education course. Finally, we look ahead to the spring and summer semesters with the possibility of making the climate studies curriculum the laboratory portion of the current meteorology (AMS Weather Studies) course. It is our hope to increase the focus on climate studies in our department and increase the number of minority students with interest and participation in the earth sciences as a whole at Brookhaven College within two years.

SFA’s Sustainable Community Development Program    

William Forbes

The presentation will summarize: 1) one of the few programs in Texas that offers a bachelor’s degree in sustainability, along with a minor, undergraduate and graduate certificates in sustainable community development; 2) recent interdisciplinary research on livability of two Texas cities through analysis of economic, environmental and social amenities. 

William  ForbesWilliam Forbes is an associate professor of geography at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Dr. Forbes is also director of the university’s Center for a Livable World, facilitating interdisciplinary research on livability of small cities through analysis of economic, environmental and social amenities. He is co-editor of three recent anthologies on sustainability and the social sciences. Dr. Forbes has also researched integrated conservation and development in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He received his Ph.D. (2004) and M.S. and M.A. (2002) from the University of North Texas and his B.S. and B.A. (1990) from Humboldt State University. He was previously director of environmental resources for the Town of Flower Mound, and a professional forester in Oregon.