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Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 Sustainability Course Development Fellowship recipients announced

May 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two Sustainability Course Development Fellowships have been awarded to Indiana University Bloomington faculty by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

A Prairie in the Planters

This landscaping site on campus was created to foster a sense of respect and stewardship for the natural environment. It integrates aesthetics and ecological integrity by using native plants, organic fertilizers, and natural pest control. The vegetation features prairie and woodland plants native to Indiana celebrating our natural heritage.

This year's recipients are Catherine Tucker, associate professor, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, with "Exploring the Challenges of Sustainability: Ecology & Society"; and Scott Shackelford, assistant professor, Department of Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business, with "Sustainability Law & Policy."

"These two projects show the incredible range of topics and problems that are connected to sustainability," said Tom Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "Professors Tucker and Shackelford should be commended for developing exciting courses that will give their students opportunities to wrestle with real-world problems of immense magnitude."

  • Catherine Tucker's proposal, "Exploring the Challenges of Sustainability: Ecology & Society," focuses on the development of a new undergraduate anthropology course introducing students to the complex and pragmatic challenges (and potential) of creating a sustainable society, from local to global levels. Students will identify global environmental issues relevant to the IU campus and the surrounding area using activities and mini-research projects exploring their economic and social ramifications. Themes for projects will include energy generation, use, and its costs; waste management, recycling, and reducing consumption; water use and management; urbanization/exurbanization and environmental degradation; food consumption, food waste and local food movements; and climate change, extreme weather events, and human responses. The projects will be built around the conundrums and challenges identified for each theme, encouraging students to think about how they define, recognize and respond to sustainability puzzles with quantitative or qualitative assessment of economic, environmental and social costs, as well as individual and cultural preferences and values.
  • Scott Shackelord's proposal, "Sustainability Law & Policy," focuses on the development of a 300-level course that will provide students with a basic working knowledge of sustainability and environmental law and policy in particular, focusing on the U.S. but put in a global perspective. The course will be designed to help students appreciate the important relationship between law, ethics, business, and the natural environment and to encourage them to think critically about how best to manage these relationships. Core course content will include U.S. environmental statues, regulations and international treaties dealing with managing waste, air, and water pollution, as well as public lands and global environmental resources. Alternative ways of addressing environmental problems will also be considered, such as market-based incentives, information disclosure requirements and voluntary programs.

About the Sustainability Course Development Fellowships
The award for a Sustainability Course Development Fellowship is $8,000. The fellowship represents an instructional component of a broad-based initiative originally developed by the Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability. It is intended to provide support for individual faculty members interested in expanding their teaching into topics related to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Fellowships were awarded for the first time in 2009. Course development of innovative approaches to sustainability instruction of complex, interdisciplinary topics at both undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction are supported. Service-learning courses and those that involve application of principles of sustainability to the IU Bloomington campus are of particular interest.

For more information on the Sustainability Course Development Fellowships, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs site at

For additional details about the Indiana University Office of Sustainability, see