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Vanderbilt and Local Resources

Sustainability and Environmental Management Office: The SustainVU website offers an invaluable resource for instructors who want to familiarize themselves with the sustainability landscape at Vanderbilt.  SEMO’s mission is to initiate, promote, coordinate, evaluate, and encourage environmental management and sustainability initiatives that improve Vanderbilt’s impact on the community and environment.

Vanderbilt Biodiesel Initiative: VBI is Vanderbilt’s student-run biodiesel production system, which converts waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel that is used by several VU diesel-fueled engines.  One of the byproducts of this process, glycerin, is used to make EcoSuds soap, which is sold at several locations on campus.  VBI aims to educate others about the viability of biodiesel as an alternative fuel.

Vanderbilt School for Science and Math:  The School for Science and Math is a joint venture between VUMC and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools offering high school students an interdisciplinary, research-centered learning experience.  The School for Science and Math has developed innovative sustainability projects and learning experiences, including a biodiversity inventory of Vanderbilt’s campus, a bioassessment of the Little Harpeth River, and a videoconference with scientists in Hawaii to discuss the Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch.

Tennessee Higher Education Sustainability Association: THESA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting sustainability initiatives taking place within higher education institutions within Tennessee.  It seeks to ensure that the societal movement toward sustainability is reflected in and promoted at college and university campuses across the state.   The THESA website offers information about relevant conferences and other events, resources for instructors, information on model programs across the state, and updates on campus sustainability initiatives in the local news.

Organizations and Journals

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education: AASHE is an association of colleges and universities working to create a sustainable future.  AASHE provides resources, professional development opportunities, and a network of support to enable institutions to model and advance sustainability in everything from governance and operations to education and research.  Vanderbilt is a member of AASHE, with full access to their resources.  Just be sure to use your address when signing up for an account.

The Association for Experiential Education: AEE is a nonprofit, professional membership association dedicated to experiential education and the students, educators and practitioners who utilize its philosophy.  Their website includes information on relevant books, articles, conferences, and other resources.

The Journal of Sustainability Education: JSE serves as a forum for academics and practitioners to share, critique, and promote research, practices, and initiatives that foster the integration of economic, ecological, and socio-cultural dimensions of sustainability within formal and non-formal educational contexts.  JSE is a peer-reviewed, open-access, trans- and interdisciplinary e-journal.

The Center for Ecoliteracy: The Center for Ecoliteracy promotes the green schooling movement.  The Center is best known for its work with school gardens, school lunches, and integrating ecological principles and sustainability into school curricula.  The Center for Ecoliteracy offers books; teaching guides; professional development seminars; a sustainability leadership academy; keynote presentations; and consulting services.


Aber, John, Tom Kelly and Bruce Mallory, Eds. The Sustainable Learning Community: One University’s Journey to the Future. New Hampshire, 2009.

Barlett, Peggy, and Geoffery Chase.  Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change.  Boston: MIT Press, 2004. (available in the CFT library)

Blewitt, John and Cederic Cullingford, Eds. The Sustainability Curriculum: The Challenge for Higher Education. Earthscan, 2004.

Creighton, Sarah Hammond. Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving the Environmental Track Record of Universities, Colleges, and Other Institutions. MIT Press, 1998.

Hernandez, Carlos, and Rashmi Mayur.  Pedagogy of the Earth: Education for a Sustainable Future.  Kumarian Press, 1999.

Kahn, Richard.  Critical Pedagogy, Ecoliteracy, and Planetary Crisis: the Ecopedagogy Movement. Peter Lang Publishing, 2010.

M’Gonigle, Michael and Justine Starke. Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University. New Society Publishers, 2006.

Murray, Paul. The Sustainable Self: A Personal Approach to Sustainability Education. Earthscan, 2011.

Orr, David.  Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Rappaport, Ann and Sarah Hammond Creighton. Degrees that Matter: Climate Change and the University. MIT Press, 2007.

Stibbe, Arran. The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: Skills for a Changing World.  Green Books Press, 2010.  (available in the CFT library)

Blogs and Podcasts

On March 30, 2010, the CFT hosted a panel discussion on “Sustainability Across the Curriculum.”  See our blog post for a full description of the conversation.  We also recorded the panelists’ comments as a podcast.