Sustainability Education

Sustainability education helps connects communities of learners to opportunities for change by helping them understand the interdependent relationships that exist between the environment, the economy and the culture. At UAF, disseminating sustainability knowledge takes a broad range of forms. Sustainability is being integrated into new and existing curriculum, life long learning offerings, student orientations and public service programs. UAF is providing opportunities where teachers, students, youth, citizens and policy makers are coming together to find solutions for creating a sustainable society.

Take a sustainability course this semester!
Looking to incorporate sustainability into your courseload? For historical comparison, UAF offered 157 sustainability focused and 653 sustainability related courses from Fall 2010 through Summer 2011. The departments listed here offer sustainability course and programs. View the current complete course listings here

A “sustainability-focused” course concentrates on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. 

A “sustainability-related” course incorporates sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.

> Check out our newest addition: the STARS course on sustainability research

UAF Sustainability in Curriculum Definition

Sustainability curriculum at University of Alaska, Fairbanks addresses the integration of cultural, economic, environmental, and energy components and supports projects and perspectives that have positive impacts on future resources, ecosystem health, and human wellbeing... Full text .docx

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Resilience and Adaptation Program (RAP)
UAF offers a Resilience and Adaptation Program for graduate students. It is an interdisciplinary program that considers issues of sustainability in times of rapid global change. RAP is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in academia, government, native organizations and agency management.

Master Sustainable Gardening Program

The University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service offers a sustainable gardening training to individual wanted to become Master Gardeners. Trained volunteers who aid staff by helping people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment. The class consists of 40 hours of instruction on different areas of horticulture and pest management. The payback of volunteer time is set at 40 hours, which equals the hours of training received. For more information, please also visit the main page for all the Master Gardener groups statewide.

Alaska Research Summer Academy
The Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA) is an academic experience for students entering 8th through 12th grades. At the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change session, students met pioneers in renewable energy and have hands on experience using tools and techniques to combat climate change. They learned how geothermal and hydrogen energy are generated, and how to create solar water heaters and panels with their own hands.

They also participate in local sustainable technology projects. We will experience carbon-neutral technologies by helping construct straw bale buildings in the local Fairbanks area, and tour a local biodiesel cooperative where fuel is being made out of used vegetable oil. We will travel to places and meet people who create the future everyday, sustainably and with their own two hands.

School of Natural Resources and Agriculture Sciences

The School of Natural Resources and Agriculture Science offers a joint Ph.D. Program in natural resources and sustainability. The program prepares future leaders as academic researchers, agency professionals and analysts of non-governmental organizations and communities for careers at the frontiers of science in the management of natural resources and environment. The program objectives and its curriculum center on three thematic areas of study: 1) resource economics, 2) resource policy and sustainability science, and 3) forest and agricultural sciences. Course work includes: NRM 647--Regional Sustainability--3 credits, NRM 649--Integrated Assessment and Adaptive Management--3 credits, NRM 694--Natural Resources and Sustainability Ph.D. Seminar Complete two semesters--2 credits.

UAF Leadership Conference
The theme for the Student Leadership Conference in 2010 was Positive, Sustainable Change, so there were be multiple opportunities to learn about sustainable change within yourself, within the community and out in the world!

Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP)
The UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power offers a Community Energy Lecture Series. In addition to a focus on research, ACEP also seeks to increase educational opportunities in energy for all Alaskans by offering seminars and courses on a range of energy related topics, facilitating rural training opportunities and offering graduate and undergraduate research fellowships.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
The Cooperative Extension Service hosts an annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference and Organic Growers School in Fairbanks. National voices and speakers from around the state share information on topics such as university research on fruit and berry production and fish waste, composting, soil fertility, weed suppression, year-round community-supported agriculture and egg and poultry production for local market.

Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning (SSLL)
SSLL reaches beyond the traditional students and offers classes and a summer lecture series on sustainability and related issues such as climate change, living green, and transitioning to a sustainable energy future. The Discover a Sustainable Alaska lecture series for 2010 featured a new speaker and green topic each Wednesday. Lectures cover such topics as sustaining Alaska’s ecosystems and sustainability in garden systems.

Natural Resources Management 430 class
In the spring of 2008, students in the NRM 430 class in natural resource management planning took on the task of preparing a first draft of a UAF campus sustainability plan. They came from four different countries and many different states and put a good deal of research, energy, thought and creativity into the efforts. Their collective talents broke a trail for future efforts on the UAF sustainable campus plan.

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