Skip to Main Content

Library & Information Services Sub Menu Dismiss

Enviromental Sciences and Sustainability: For Faculty

10 Ideas to Get You Started

Interested in integrating sustainability topics into your courses? Here are ten ways you can use this guide to get started:

1) Ask students to review the Sustainability Timeline or sustainability definitions under the Introduction tab and learn more about an important date listed, add more recent developments, or create their own personal definition of sustainability.

2) Have students build an argument for a hot topic using CQ Researcher, compare country environmental data using The WorldBank, or find primary literature on sustainability in a subject-specific database using the Databases & eResources tab.

3) Find an online video under the Multimedia tab to show in class to generate discussion, point them to podcasts and have them create their own to share a sustainability message that is important to them, or use the EPA MyEnvironment widget to have students investigate their local environment and then research the history of an issue or make recommendations for improvements.

4) Have students locate websites, blogs, and other online information sources on a sustainability topic of their choice and use the Internet Evaluation Guidelines on the Research Tips page to evaluate the content, discuss the message of the source, and explain how and why the source could be used.

5) Encourage students to Get Involved! either by volunteering or by finding an organization and learning how to join its efforts.

6) Make it students' Business to either locate CSR reports of corporations or investigate the idea of fair trade and report back how this information may have changed their consumer behavior.

7) Introduce students to local Food sources and have them visit and write or talk about their experience at a farmers' market, restaurant, or "pick your own" farm.

8) Assign students to choose 1-3 changes they can make for Living Green and journal and/or share their experience with the class, as well as show how it reduced their footprints. At the same time, model a change in class, such as using the bike share program for a small class to visit the Gardens or allowing only reusable water bottles in class.

9) Focus on the Social Sustainability aspect, perhaps by comparing local community efforts to global initiatives and issues.

10) Get to the basics of Water by having students calculate their water footprint, understand virtual water, or develop an understanding of water problems at the state, national, or international level.   

Have your own ideas you'd like to share? Let me know, and I'll add them!

Faculty Resources @ the Library

Interested in collaborating with a librarian? We can work with you to create assignments that focus on information seeking skills and sources, to locate material for course reserves, to embed resources into your Blackboard site, and more. Just ask!

Further Reading


In the Summer of 2012, the Office of Academic Innovation and Effectiveness sponsored the Mississippi Project II - 2012: Sustainability in the Curriculum and Classroom. Contact the facilitators, listed below, for more information on integrating sustainability into the curriculum.

  • Dr. Connie Frey-Spurlock
    Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice Studies
    Office: PH 1228
    Phone: x3323
  • Kevin Adkins
    Campus Sustainability Officer
    Office: Rendleman 2227; Box 1158
    Phone: x2441