Matching Items (15)

Evaluating Whole-School Sustainability

Description

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of Sustainability considers environmental impact and efficiency, a healthy and safe school environment, sustainability and environmental education, and engagement and empowerment as four key pillars of whole-school sustainability. Each pillar is composed of elements and rubric items, which are reviewed, totaled, and colored in on the front page of the tool to help educators visualize and evaluate the current state of sustainability at their school. Since its first iteration completed in May 2017, the tool has been used by 300 educators throughout the United States during ASU's Sustainability Teachers' Academy (STA) workshops. Circles of Sustainability is completed as part of an activity called "Evaluating Your Community," where educators complete the tool and then brainstorm sustainability projects and solutions for their school and community. This paper is a review and discussion of the research, informal feedback and formal feedback used to create the second iteration of the tool. A second iteration of the tool was created to make the tool more user-friendly and ensure each pillar, element, and rubric item are based in research. The informal feedback was conducted during STA workshops in Tempe, Arizona; Abingdon, Virginia; Princeton, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The formal feedback was conducted using a survey distributed to teachers who participated in the Tucson and Charlotte workshops. Overall, educators have responded positively to the tool, and the second iteration will continue to be used in future STA workshops throughout the United States.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

Biomimetic Design Inspired through Macro-Ecological Photography

Description

This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the

This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the organisms pictured in them, were hand selected for this project to form one cohesive, aesthetic set. The appeal of the colorful pictures captured the attention of audience members so they felt more inclined to learn about the informational content accompanying the art. Each picture is coupled with a scientific explanation as to how the pictured organism relates to the field of biomimicry, including concrete examples of its application. To maximize exposure of the project, I published my photos through a website and an e-book, and also presented them as a live photography exhibit on campus at Arizona State University.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Effects of Environmental Education on Students During a Pandemic

Description

This project consisted of creating at-home lesson plan activities for middle school sixth-grade students centered around environmental education topics. The lesson plan activities were informal for students to do

This project consisted of creating at-home lesson plan activities for middle school sixth-grade students centered around environmental education topics. The lesson plan activities were informal for students to do at home by themselves or alongside their parents. I focused on Environmental Education topics such as awareness, animal and plant life so that students can learn more about the environments that surround them. Environmental Education invites students to look closer at the environment surrounding them while also helping them develop a sense of place and respect for their environment. My lesson plan activities encouraged students to go outside and learn more about their surroundings, developing an awareness and an appreciation for their natural setting. After implementing the lessons, I surveyed the students on the following 1) engagement: was the activity enjoyable 2) knowledge: what did you learn? and 3) the ease of the activity directions: what challenges did they face. After collecting the surveys, I analyzed them to see what went well, and changes I would make to future activities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Emotion and learning in children attending summer science camp

Description

With the overall health of the environment rapidly declining \u2014 mostly due to human behaviors, solving the problem of nature deficit disorder and getting more children interested and aware of

With the overall health of the environment rapidly declining \u2014 mostly due to human behaviors, solving the problem of nature deficit disorder and getting more children interested and aware of nature could be paramount to improving the environmental health of our planet. In this study, the relationship between children's learning and emotion is explored. Pre- and post-tests were given to children attending a week-long summer freshwater ecology camp; their knowledge of and emotional connection to different ecological concepts were measured. Two separate ecosystems were tested \u2014 a freshwater ecosystem that was taught over the course of the week, and a marine ecosystem for comparison. Increases in knowledge and emotion were seen in every freshwater ecosystem concept. Additionally, the knowledge and emotion scores were correlated, suggesting a positive relationship between them. The marine ecosystem did not show improvements in concrete knowledge, but showed increases in abstract learning, indicating that the abstract concepts learned about the freshwater ecosystem were able to transfer to the marine. Overall results show the ability of a hands-on learning experience to foster an emotional connection between a child and the subject matter. However, long-term studies are needed to track the relationship between children and their knowledge of and emotional connection to the subject matter.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Sustainability is a Spiritual Journey

Description

Predominant sustainability pedagogy and science largely focus on fixing existingproblems via solutions external to humans (e.g. carbon sequestration, renewable energy).
While external or outer interventions can support a transition to

Predominant sustainability pedagogy and science largely focus on fixing existingproblems via solutions external to humans (e.g. carbon sequestration, renewable energy).
While external or outer interventions can support a transition to a sustainable future,
internal or inner developments should also be highly valued. For this dissertation, I define
sustainability as the ability of any individual, community or country to meet their needs
and live happily without compromising the ability of other individuals, communities,
countries and future generations to meet their needs and live happily. Framed this way, a
sustainable and happy life should focus on both outer and inner development, the latter
largely unconsidered in sustainability science and scholarship.
I propose that emphasizing spiritual wellbeing and spiritual practices can support
individuals and communities to act with mindfulness, awareness, compassion,
connection, and love, transitioning to a more sustainable existence. This dissertation
consists of three studies: (1) the development of a theoretical framework identifying
spirituality as the missing link between sustainability and happiness, (2) an empirical
pilot study testing the theoretical framework via contemplative practices in a
sustainability classroom, and (3) an autoethnography exploring my inner development
and transformation as a sustainability and spirituality researcher over the past four years.
The theoretical framework found and posits, based on existing literature, that
spirituality indeed may be the missing link between an unsustainable existence and a
sustainably and happy future. Results from the empirical study suggest that a focus on
spirituality leads students to develop inner traits necessary for sustainable behavior and a
deeper understanding of sustainability. My autoethnography demonstrates the spiritual
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transformation possible from integrating spiritual well-being and intellect, while striving
to embody sustainability as a spiritual journey. My research supports further studies and a
greater understanding of the importance of spiritual well-being to sustainability and the
incorporation of contemplative practices in sustainability classrooms. Finally, I hope this
dissertation will (1) inspire sustainability scientists, researchers, and students to integrate
spiritual well-being as an important part of their lives and work, and (2) encourage deeper
conversations about the radical inner shift we need to achieve lasting sustainability for all
beings.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Urban development and sustainable water management of southwest cities

Description

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The outlook for having access to sustainable sources of water to support this growth is not promising due to water demand and supply deficits. Regional water projects have harnessed the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers to maximize the utility of the water for human consumption and environmental laws have been adopted to regulate the beneficial use of this water, but it still is not enough to create sustainable future for rapidly growing southwest cities. Future growth in these cities will depend on finding new sources of water and creative measures to maximize the utility of existing water resources. The challenge for southwest cities is to establish policies, procedures, and projects that maximizes the use of water and promotes conservation from all areas of municipal users. All cities are faced with the same challenges, but have different options for how they prioritize their water resources. The principal means of sustainable water management include recovery, recharge, reuse, and increasing the efficiency of water delivery. Other strategies that have been adopted include harvesting of rainwater, building codes that promote efficient water use, tiered water rates, turf removal programs, residential water auditing, and native plant promotion. Creating a sustainable future for the southwest will best be achieved by cities that adopt an integrated approach to managing their water resources including discouraging discretionary uses of water, adoption of building and construction codes for master plans, industrial plants, and residential construction. Additionally, a robust plan for education of the public is essential to create a culture of conservation from a very young age.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Assessing the Development of Key Competencies in Sustainability

Description

Making significant progress on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs change agents equipped with key competencies in sustainability. While thousands of sustainability programs have emerged at various educational levels

Making significant progress on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs change agents equipped with key competencies in sustainability. While thousands of sustainability programs have emerged at various educational levels over the past decade, there is, as of yet, no reliable way to assess if these programs successfully convey key competencies in sustainability. This dissertation contributes to addressing this gap in three ways. First, it reviews the body of work on key competencies in sustainability. Based on broad agreement around five key competencies as well as an emerging set of three, an extended framework is outlined that can be used as unified set of learning objectives across sustainability programs. The next chapter reviews the scholarly work on assessing sustainability competencies. Based on this review, a typology of assessment tools is proposed offering guidance to both educators and researchers. Finally, drawing on experience of the four-year “Educating Future Change Agents” project, the last chapter explores the results from a diverse set of competency assessments in numerous courses. The study appraises assessment practices and results to demonstrate opportunities and challenges in the current state of assessing key competencies in sustainability. The results of this doctoral thesis are expected to make a practical and scholarly contribution to the teaching and learning in sustainability programs, in particular with regards to reliably assessing key competencies in sustainability.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Energy and the environment: electrochemistry of electron transport pathways in anode-respiring bacteria and energy technology and climate change in science textbooks

Description

The finite supply of current energy production materials has created opportunities for the investigation of alternative energy sources in many fields. One example is the use of microorganisms in

The finite supply of current energy production materials has created opportunities for the investigation of alternative energy sources in many fields. One example is the use of microorganisms in bioenergy applications, such as microbial fuel cells. Present in many types of environments, microorganisms with the ability to respire solid electron acceptors have become of increasing relevance to alternative energy and wastewater treatment research. In this dissertation, several aspects of anode respiration are investigated, with the goal of increasing the limited understanding of the mechanisms of electron transport through the use of advanced electrochemical methods. Biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens, the model anode respiring organism, as well as its alkaliphilic relative, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus, were investigated using chronoamperometry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry.

In G. sulfurreducens, two distinct pathways of electron transport were observed through the application of advanced electrochemical techniques on anode biofilms in microbial electrochemical cells. These pathways were found to be preferentially expressed, based on the poised anode potential (redox potential) of the electrode. In Glk. ferrihydriticus, four pathways for electron transport were found, showing an even greater diversity in electron transport pathway utilization as compared to G. sulfurreducens. These observations provide insights into the diversity of electron transport pathways present in anode-respiring bacteria and introduce the necessity of further characterization for pathway identification.

Essential to science today, communication of pressing scientific issues to the lay audience may present certain difficulties. This can be seen especially with the topics that are considered socio-scientific issues, those considered controversial in society but not for scientists. This dissertation explores the presentation of alternative and renewable energy technologies and climate change in undergraduate education. In introductory-level Biology, Chemistry, and Physics textbooks, the content and terminology presented were analyzed for individual textbooks and used to evaluate discipline-based trends. Additional extensions were made between teaching climate change with the active learning technique of citizen science using past research gains from studies of evolution. These observations reveal patterns in textbook content for energy technologies and climate change, as well as exploring new aspects of teaching techniques.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Identifying barriers to field based environmental education in K-8 public elementary schools in Arizona

Description

The purpose of this case study was to explore the barriers, or constraints, to the integration of field-based environmental education (EE) programs in K-8 public elementary schools in Phoenix, Arizona.

The purpose of this case study was to explore the barriers, or constraints, to the integration of field-based environmental education (EE) programs in K-8 public elementary schools in Phoenix, Arizona. Research continues to show that field based EE programs improve student outcomes (Bartosh, Tudor, Ferguson, & Taylor, 2006; Cole, 2007; James and Williams, 2017). Despite the empirical evidence, there appear to be obstacles to integrating field based EE into school curriculum. This study used Hierarchical Leisure Constraints Theory (HLCT) to identify and understand these constraints. There were 22 focus group participants and 13 interviewees from ten different schools and five school districts within the Phoenix area. Looking at the constraints identified by all participants, funding and the availability of transportation play a major role barring the use of field based EE programming. However, when applying HLCT, both of these barriers are structural in nature. This means these are constraints beyond the control of the individual but are negotiable. According to HLCT, you must first understand intrapersonal and interpersonal constraints and the effect they have on overcoming barriers. This study found that perception and prior knowledge emerged as the root of most constraints. In other words, while structural constraints are named as the primary issue in integrating field based EE in public schools, this study concludes from the findings that human nature and human values influence whether teachers and administrators participate in field based programming with their students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Inside-Out Pedagogies: Transformative Innovations for Environmental and Sustainability Education

Description

Institutions of higher learning can be centers of meaning-making and learning and are expected to play a pivotal role in a global shift toward sustainability. Despite recent innovations, much sustainability

Institutions of higher learning can be centers of meaning-making and learning and are expected to play a pivotal role in a global shift toward sustainability. Despite recent innovations, much sustainability education today is still delivered using traditional pedagogies common across higher education. Therefore, students and facilitators should continue innovating along pedagogical themes consistent with the goals of sustainability: transformation and emancipation. Yet, more clarity is needed about pedagogical approaches that will transform and emancipate students, allowing them to become innovators that change existing structures and systems. My dissertation attempts to address this need using three approaches. First, I present a framework combining four interacting (i.e., complementary) pedagogies (transmissive, transformative, instrumental, and emancipatory) for sustainability education, helping to reify pedagogical concepts, rebel against outdated curricula, and orient facilitators/learners on their journey toward transformative and emancipatory learning. Second, I use a descriptive case study of a sustainability education course set outside of the traditional higher education context to highlight pedagogical techniques that led to transformative and emancipatory outcomes for learners partaking in the course. Third, I employ the method of autoethnography to explore my own phenomenological experience as a sustainability student and classroom facilitator, helping others to identify the disenchanting paradoxes of sustainability education and integrate the lessons they hold. All three approaches of the dissertation maintain a vision of sustainability education that incorporates contemplative practices as essential methods in a field in need of cultivating hope, resilience, and emergence.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019