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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.73
Liaison Tyce Herrman
Submission Date April 30, 2012
President's Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Dickinson College
ER-14: Incentives for Developing Sustainability Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Neil Leary
Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program that meets the criteria outlined above?:
Does the institution have a program that meets the criteria outlined above? (Yes)

A brief description of the program(s):

Dickinson offers faculty two interdisciplinary study groups to support them in developing new courses or revising existing courses to promote sustainability learning. Valley & Ridge, modeled on the Ponderosa and Piedmont Projects and launched in 2008, brings faculty together from all academic divisions of the college to work together on sustainability teaching projects. Members of the year-long study group participate in a 2-1/2 day workshop in May and other activities over the year. Participants receive a $1000 stipend. Twenty-five faculty members from 17 different departments have participated in Valley & Ridge since 2008 and another 9 faculty members will participate in the coming academic year. See http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/distinctive-opportunities/sustainability-education/content/Valley-and-Ridge/.

A second faculty study group is offered through Cooling the Liberal Arts Curriculum, a campaign to infuse interdisciplinary teaching about climate change throughout the curriculum. Dickinson College received a grant from NASA’s Innovations in Global Climate Change Education program in 2010 to implement the program on its campus and to work with partner community colleges to do the same on their campuses. The program includes the Changing Planet Study Group, a year-long faculty study group that supports interdisciplinary teaching about climate change science, consequences and solutions. The study group is organized and hosted by Dickinson College but is open to faculty from any college or university. Seven Dickinson faculty members participated in 2010-2011 and were joined by 26 colleagues from 9 other colleges and universities.

Results of the Changing Planet Study Group include development of new physics courses and a sustainability track in the physics department that focuses on the physics of the climate system and renewable energy technologies; new courses in environmental studies on international governance of global climate change and on climate action planning on college campuses; revision of courses in anthropology, Earth science, English, international business and management, and psychology; and development of the Global Climate Change Africa Semester Mosaic. The program is being offered again in 2011-2012. For details, see http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/distinctive-opportunities/sustainability-education/content/Climate-Education/.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

In addition, faculty incentives for activities that advance sustainability and climate change related learning, scholarship, creativity and professional development are provided through two grant programs that are administered by Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education. The Sustainability Education Fund, made possible by a grant to Dickinson College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2008, supports sustainability related projects. Twenty-six SEF grants have been awarded since 2008, ranging from $500 to $10,500, for a total of $45,000. Dickinson plans to continue to fund this program from its operating budget after the Mellon Foundation grant expires.

Incentives for climate change focused teaching and scholarship are provided by the Cooling the Liberal Arts Curriculum campaign through its Cool Climate Grants program. Cool Climate Grants have been awarded to seven faculty members and awards have ranged from $1000 to $10,000 for a total of $24,500. Both grant programs are described at http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/distinctive-opportunities/sustainability-education/content/Funding-Support/.

In total, 47 faculty members have received support for sustainability teaching, scholarship and professional development from Valley & Ridge, the Changing Planet Study Group, Sustainability Education Fund grants and Cool Climate Grants. This represents 23.5% of full time faculty. The breakdown of faculty by division is 15 faculty members in the arts and humanities, 19 in the social sciences, and 13 in the physical sciences. These represent 19.2%, 24.3% and 29.5% of full time faculty in Divisions I, II and III respectively.


The website URL where information about the program is available:

The information presented here is self-reported and has not been verified by AASHE or a third party. If you believe any of this information is erroneous, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Accuracy Inquiry Form.