The Sustainability Initiative
Professor Peter Wilshusen and Ginna Freehling ‘15
Innovations in teaching, research and practice for a rapidly changing world
Organizations around the world are embracing sustainability as a core principle of 21st-century thinking. The questions it invokes go to the heart of Bucknell’s mission and call for expertise in fields in which we excel or have special resources.
We have been a leader in environmental studies for more than 30 years, and have nurtured a range of related interdisciplinary centers, including the Environmental Center, the Office of Civic Engagement and the Public Policy Institute. We enjoy a location in the Central Susquehanna River Valley that is rich in environmental and community questions with learning opportunities related to sustainability.
With strategic investments, we can further integrate our teaching, research and programmatic assets to create a living-learning laboratory in this settings and impact one of the most exciting fields in modern culture.
Opportunities in the Sustainability Initiative
The Sustainability Design Studio
This studio will capitalize on our location and broad curriculum by enabling faculty, students, staff and visiting experts to work together on cutting-edge sustainability projects on campus, in surrounding communities and urban areas, and at study-abroad sites. It will emulate a well-established learning model in architecture and turn our campus and region into a laboratory where students and faculty can explore the most challenging questions in sustainability and evaluate creative solutions as they unfold.
Experiential learning projects could include integrative design of zero-impact buildings, bioregional planning for sustainable communities and envisioning carbon-neutral cities. The questions sustainability raises are virtually limitless and thus the potential for a studio that integrates our efforts and impacts innovative research, design creations and learning is extensive.
The Institute for Leadership in Sustainability (ILS)
The intersecting fields that inform sustainability studies, coupled with our comprehensive curriculum, present a powerful opportunity for Bucknell to implement a new version of one of our most successful programs: the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management (ILTM). This intensive six-week program engages top students in multiple aspects of management and leadership.
An endowed ILS would create a one-of-a-kind program bringing faculty, students and visiting experts together to explore the complexities of sustainability studies in a dynamic, applied format, tying them directly to career development opportunities with links to Bucknell alumni.
The Center for Integrated Sustainability Studies
Sustainability intersects with most aspects of Bucknell’s mission and requires innovative, networked approaches to solving problems. A named Center for Integrated Sustainability Studies would formally link faculty, students and staff across one of our most rapidly developing domains of teaching and research. The center would build upon connections among existing entities such as the Environmental Center, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the Office of Civic Engagement and create a locus for advancing faculty and student learning on the crosscutting theme of sustainability.