Integrating Environmental Sustainability Into Geography: Lessons from the University of Oklahoma

Authors: Travis Gliedt*, University of Oklahoma, Ashlee Tziganuk, Arizona State University , Jeffrey Widener, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Sustainability Science, Environment, Geography Education
Keywords: Geography, sustainability, teaching
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Many universities in the United States are in the process of integrating environmental sustainability into programs like geography, planning or business. The result is often fragmentation of an existing department, where faculty struggle to adapt to new curriculum demands and program structures. This paper examines the experiences of the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma at integrating sustainability into geography. Best practices for integration are highlighted, and techniques for geographers to teach sustainability are discussed. Many barriers that were identified in the early stages of integration have since been overcome and have led to a set of lessons for geography programs going through similar transitions. The finding that geographers can play critical roles in a sustainability program is tempered by the countervailing pressures to maintain the historical and disciplinary traditions of geography.

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