Penn State’s Sustainability Institute is calling for the creation of two courses focused on climate change.
Applications are now due by Earth Day Friday April 22, 2022, not April 1. Through the John Roe Fund for a Just and Sustainable Future, we seek to advance a curriculum that responds to the greatest threat of our time: the human-caused climate crisis.
The summer of 2021 has made this call essential. In the United States the Pacific Northwest boiled under a heat dome where temperatures were higher than they were in the desert Southwest. Wildfires in California spawned infernal weather as they consumed more forest acreage than all of Pennsylvania’s total state-managed forests. Hurricane Ida laid bare inadequacies of American social and physical infrastructure from Louisiana to New England, claiming the lives of Pennsylvanians. As with many disasters, the greatest risk and harm has fallen on the most vulnerable species and the most vulnerable people. In Louisiana, Hurricane Ida hit at a time when the Delta Variant of COVID-19 was already stressing healthcare institutions where frontline workers faced burnout.
These new undeniable realities align with decades of predictions, most recently summarized in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. At the same time, community, faith-based and political groups are responding, municipalities of all sizes and cities of millions are assessing their greenhouse gases and writing climate action plans, artists, poets and novelists, musicians, and dramatists as well as clinicians are engaging hope and despair, scientists are assessing and predicting, and policy, agricultural, culinary, and technology innovators are devising ways to draw down emissions, carry on, and bounce back. At Penn State, in Fall 2021, President Eric Barron announced a Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force (CERTF) focused on the technological, financial, and operational scope of the University. This fund seeks to expand the CERTF’s reach into teaching and learning.
CALL: Faculty are invited to design a new course or significantly revise an existing course. The course contents and learning outcomes must support the development of awareness and understanding of and action for climate change and climate justice. Courses can be in any discipline.
EXPECTATION: Faculty who are awarded a curricular development grant are expected to:
1. Develop a new course or significantly and permanently revise an existing course,
2. Teach the course in the 2022-2023 academic year, and
3. Shepherd the new or revised course through Penn State’s Faculty Senate for permanent status.
Priority will be given to the development of courses that meet the integrative studies requirement in general education or that are a requirement in an undergraduate major. At this time, graduate courses are not being considered.
COMPENSATION: Faculty will receive $4,500 in supplemental pay.
PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS: Interested faculty should submit a proposal that includes the following documents in a single PDF
1. Cover Page including Name, Position, Department and Contact Information
2. A description of the proposed course using the following sections:
0. Course outline (Up to 250 words)
1. Course contents such as articles, books, films, experiential elements, projects, experiential elements and assessments (Up to 1000 words). This section can be crafted as a draft syllabus.
2. Learning objectives/outcomes (3 to 5 clearly stated objectives)
3. How the proposal will modify an existing course or justify the new course, including how it is distinct from other courses. (Up to 250 words)
4. Identify other faculty, if any, who can teach the newly proposed course
3. A letter of support from a Department Head or Dean, including Associate Deans of Education.
Courses will be evaluated by a diverse and inclusive team comprised of faculty, staff, and graduate students from the Sustainability Institute, Energy and Sustainability Policy, Education, and Public Policy.
If you have any questions, contact Peter Buck, Academic Programs Manager at Penn State’s Sustainability Institute: PeterBuck@psu.edu