Jason Hamilton presented a poster entitled, "Towards Sustainability as 'Second Nature' at Ithaca College: The Multiplier Effect of an NSF Curriculum Development Grant." The presentation was in Portland, Oregon.
In 2002, we were awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to implement a collaboration between Ithaca College and EcoVillage of Ithaca (EVI), a co-housing community of 60 households dedicated to exploring sustainable ways of living. Our goal was to initiate sustainability curriculum and faculty development at the College, and to institutionalize EVI as a "living laboratory" for Ithaca College.
All grant-related activities (e.g., workshops bringing the two populations together, summer grants, new courses and independent studies taught by EVI residents and IC faculty, student research projects, guest lectures, etc.) have been well-received by the College and community. EcoVillage is now comfortably on IC's cognitive map, and the combined IC-EVI activities have been highlighted in numerous articles in the local press. Several of the curricular innovations are replicable, including a re-designed general ecology course and a new environmental studies capstone course.
What was unexpected was the impact of the grant on the College administration's thinking in just two years. This included exploration of ways to integrate sustainable practices into College operations, a capital campaign for the construction of a sustainably-designed building for our business school, and taking a lead role in the funding of a "Sustainable Tompkins County" initiative.
Contributed by Nancy Pierce