Matching Items (9)

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Beyond Interpersonal Competence: Teaching and Learning Professional Skills in Sustainability

Description

Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement,

Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement, among others. These professional skills extend beyond content knowledge and methodical expertise. Current sustainability programs do not sufficiently facilitate students’ acquisition of such skills. This article presents a brief summary of professional skills, synthesized from the literature, and why they are relevant for sustainability professionals. Second, it presents how these skills have been taught in an undergraduate course in sustainability at Arizona State University, USA. Third, it critically discusses the effectiveness and challenges of that exemplary course. Finally, the article concludes with outlining the lessons learned that should be incorporated into future course offerings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-03-07

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The Role of Transacademic Interface Managers in Transformational Sustainability Research and Education

Description

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack capacity and time needed for negotiating different agendas, languages, competencies, and cultures among faculty, students, and stakeholders. Management approaches and quality criteria have been developed to cope with this challenge, including concepts of boundary organizations, transdisciplinary research, transition management, and interface management. However, few of these concepts present comprehensive proposals how to facilitate research with stakeholder participation while creating educational opportunities along the lifecycle of a project. The article focuses on the position of a transacademic interface manager (TIM) supporting participatory sustainability research and education efforts. We conceptualize the task portfolio of a TIM; outline the capacities a TIM needs to possess in order to successfully operate; and propose an educational approach for how to train students in becoming a TIM. For this, we review the existing literature on TIMs and present insights from empirical sustainability research and educational projects that involved TIMs in different functions. The article provides practical guidance to universities on how to organize these critical endeavors more effectively and to offer students an additional career perspective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-30

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Do We Teach What We Preach? An International Comparison of Problem- and Project-Based Learning Courses in Sustainability

Description

Problem- and project-based learning (PPBL) courses in sustainability address real-world sustainability problems. They are considered powerful educational settings for building students’ sustainability expertise. In practice, however, these courses often fail

Problem- and project-based learning (PPBL) courses in sustainability address real-world sustainability problems. They are considered powerful educational settings for building students’ sustainability expertise. In practice, however, these courses often fail to fully incorporate sustainability competencies, participatory research education, and experiential learning. Only few studies exist that compare and appraise PPBL courses internationally against a synthesized body of the literature to create an evidence base for designing PPBL courses. This article introduces a framework for PPBL courses in sustainability and reviews PPBL practice in six programs around the world (Europe, North America, Australia). Data was collected through semi-structured qualitative interviews with course instructors and program officers, as well as document analysis. Findings indicate that the reviewed PPBL courses are of high quality and carefully designed. Each PPBL course features innovative approaches to partnerships between the university and private organizations, extended peer-review, and the role of knowledge brokers. Yet, the findings also indicate weaknesses including paucity of critical learning objectives, solution-oriented research methodology, and follow-up research on implementation. Through the comparative design, the study reveals improvement strategies for the identified challenges and provides guidance for design and redesign of PPBL courses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-04-23

Mitigating Urban Sprawl Effects: A Collaborative Tree and Shade Intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Description

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city level, new alliances at the neighbourhood level are initiating community development programmes and projects. This article reports on an intervention study carried out in collaboration with community representatives, city staff, and non-profit organisations to mitigate adverse effects of urban sprawl in the Sky Harbour Neighbourhood in Phoenix. Participatory research was conducted to design and test a tree and shade intervention. Challenges associated with navigating community desires and broader principles of sustainable development are discussed. The study offers a replicable and adaptable intervention research design aimed at empowering communities to meet urban challenges.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05-01

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Inspiring Young Learners in Arizona Through Sustainability and Reptile Conservation Education

Description

This 15-week long course is designed to introduce students, specifically in Arizona, to basic sustainability and conservation principles in the context of local reptile wildlife. Throughout the course, the students

This 15-week long course is designed to introduce students, specifically in Arizona, to basic sustainability and conservation principles in the context of local reptile wildlife. Throughout the course, the students work on identifying the problem, creating visions for the desired future, and finally developing a strategy to help with reptile species survival in the valley. Research shows that animals in the classroom have led to improved academic success for students. Thus, through creating this course I was able to combine conservation and sustainability curriculum with real-life animals whose survival is directly being affected in the valley. My hope is that this course will help students identify a newfound passion and call to action to protect native wildlife. The more awareness and actionable knowledge which can be brought to students in Arizona about challenges to species survival the more likely we are to see a change in the future and a stronger sense of urgency for protecting wildlife. In order to accomplish these goals, the curriculum was developed to begin with basic concepts of species needs such as food and shelter and basic principles of sustainability. As the course progresses the students analyze current challenges reptile wildlife faces, like urban sprawl, and explore options to address these challenges. The course concludes with a pilot pitch where students present their solution projects to the school.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Exploring the Spatial Networks of Sustainable Agritourism in the Municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Description

As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017,

As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017, Puerto Rico struggled to respond to the needs of its citizens, particularly those in rural areas. Many of the regions affected did not have resilient community structures in place to be able to withstand the systemic ripple effects of the hurricane. However, various community endeavors have developed post-Hurricane Maria to foster community collaboration and resiliency, including the development of agricultural tourism, otherwise known as agritourism. <br/>Although agritourism has begun to develop in rural regions of Puerto Rico, including the municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, a systems-understanding is lacking of the current agritourism situation in the region and its related capacities, limitations, and opportunities of agritourism. To address this gap, a spatially explicit understanding and map of the underlying tourism infrastructure is needed to support the development of sustainable agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales, and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico. <br/>This report spatially represents the current state of tourism opportunities in the region as a result of asking “What are the spatial networks of gastronomy, accommodations, farms, and attractions that support the development of agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico?” Three steps lead to the spatial representation starting with developing a comprehensive inventory. Second, we visualize the spatial map through Google Maps. Lastly, we explore the larger context of the report through an ArcGIS Storymap. The inventory will help with better understanding the number and variety of tourism resources available. The spatial visualization will help with understanding the distribution of resources and explore potential connections between resources and what relationships could be fostered in the future. Lastly, the ArcGIS Storymap will serve as a framework for outlining the future development of the SARE project. Overall, this report outlines the spatial maps of tourism resources and provides a tool to be used by community partners, tourists, and project partners.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Documenting the Development of ASU's Green Bin Program

Description

My project is an examination of the process ASU Tempe campus took to institute an organics collection program. Working from a sustainability science perspective I demonstrate the structural and logistical

My project is an examination of the process ASU Tempe campus took to institute an organics collection program. Working from a sustainability science perspective I demonstrate the structural and logistical barriers faced during program creation and expansion. My examination lead to the creation of a manual designed as a tool for other organizations in which I document ASU's process and provide information on key steps and procedures necessary to implement a unique organics collection program.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Disasters as opportunities for change towards sustainability

Description

Scholars have highlighted the role of disturbance and crisis, including disasters, in enabling systemic change towards sustainability. However, there are relatively few empirical studies on how individuals and organizations are

Scholars have highlighted the role of disturbance and crisis, including disasters, in enabling systemic change towards sustainability. However, there are relatively few empirical studies on how individuals and organizations are able to utilize disasters as opportunities for change towards sustainability. This dissertation addresses three questions applied to two case studies: First, what changes were pursued in the aftermath of disasters, and to what extent did these changes contribute to sustainability? Second, how were people (and their organizations) able to pursue change towards sustainability? Third, what can be learned about seeing and seizing opportunities for change towards sustainability in disaster contexts and about sustaining those introduced changes over time?

The research entailed the creation of a theoretical framework, synthesizing literature from disaster studies and sustainability transition studies, to enable cross-case comparison and the appraisal of sustainability outcomes (Chapter 1). The framework was applied to two empirical case studies of post-disaster recovery: the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia (Chapter 2), and the 2010-2012 series of earthquakes in the greater Christchurch area, New Zealand (Chapter 3).

The research revealed no systemic change towards sustainability in either case, although change towards sustainability was pursued in various areas, such as housing, educating, caring, and engaging in governance. Opportunities for sustainability emerged at different points following the disaster; change processes are ongoing. The sustainability changes were supported by “Sustainability Change Agents” (SCAs): people who were able to see and seize opportunities for change towards sustainability in the midst of disaster. SCAs were characterized as individuals with various attributes, starting with an ability to perceive opportunities, catalyze others to support this risk-taking endeavor, and stay in the endurance race. The study concludes with some recommendations for interventions to inform pre-disaster sustainability planning. These avenues include a toolbox and a curricular approach that would educate and enable students as future professionals to see and seize opportunities for change towards sustainability in disaster contexts (Chapter 4).

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Recovery and adaptation in post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico: local and government perspectives

Description

Disasters represent disruptions to stability and offer lessons about how climate adaptation is negotiated and acted on. Viewing adaptation as a negotiation helps understand recovery not just as actions taken

Disasters represent disruptions to stability and offer lessons about how climate adaptation is negotiated and acted on. Viewing adaptation as a negotiation helps understand recovery not just as actions taken to minimize harm, but a reflection of values and motivations surrounding adaptation. This research elicits these perspectives and considers them as part of an ongoing agreement for disaster recovery and adaptation in Puerto Rico. Previous research has characterized recovery as an opportunity for rethinking societal arrangements for climate adaptation and highlights the importance of how adaptation is conceptualized across actors. This study builds on past research by using distinct perspectives to understand recovery as an adaptation process and a co-production of a new ‘social contract’ after Hurricane Maria. Community interviews and government documents are analyzed to understand who is involved, where change is happening, and what resources are necessary for success. The purpose of this is to consider distinct framings of recovery and adaptation, and what these contribute to long-term change. Community interviews give a perspective of local stability and show capacities for immediate and long-term recovery. Similarly, government documents discuss managing foundational vulnerabilities like infrastructure, while navigating recovery given geographical and economic obstacles. Findings show that self-organization and harnessing social capital are crucial components of recovery in the Corcovada community after Maria. They rely on bonding and bridging social capital to mobilize resources and reduce vulnerabilities for future threats. This transformative approach was also present in official recovery documents, though political and economic change were stressed as necessary for stability, along with modernizing infrastructure. While recovery documents suggest connecting physical and social resilience, community residents have cultivated this connection long before Maria. Unlike in Corcovada, the government of Puerto Rico is only starting to view disruptions as windows of opportunity and therefore mention plans for transformation but don’t present actions taken. Further, the reality of vulnerable infrastructural, political and economic systems greatly affects recovery both in Corcovada and across the island. Both perspectives will likely affect actions taken in Puerto Rico and recognizing these unique framings of stability can help design transformative, adaptive social contracts for facing future threats.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019