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Developing Campus Sustainability Plans in a Capstone Course

April 4, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm EDT


Sustainability education high impact practices emphasize the importance of project-based, applied learning experiences as well as collaborative learning. Higher education professionals also emphasize the importance of capstone signature experiences. Students in Furman University’s capstone senior sustainability science practicum class work in four teams, each comprising four students, to address and improve various campus sustainability components. For this year’s cohort, the teams addressed the sustainability operations of Landscaping, Transportation, Campus Farm, and the Grace Property. The Grace Property is a newly acquired property adjacent to campus that Furman envisions for sustainable redevelopment after its demise as a fertilizer plant. Student teams conduct secondary and primary research working with campus and off-campus stakeholders and resource professionals to collect data that inform visions and plans for improving sustainability. Project outcomes revolve around the Sustainability Doughnut Model developed by Kate Raworth that includes biophysical planetary boundaries (climate change, biochemical flows, land system change, etc), as well as social foundations (networks, education, health, etc). The data and subsequent projects will be used to update and improve Furman’s STARS performance and provide plans for improving campus sustainability. In this webinar, we will describe the capstone course and design, and students will present their findings as well as reflections on their learning process.

For members: Access webinar recording and presentation materials


Geoffrey Habron

Geoffrey Habron, Professor of Sustainability, Dept of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University

Geoffrey joined Furman University as Professor of Sustainability Science in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in August 2017. Prior to that he spent three years at Warren Wilson College as Director of Electronic Portfolios, Director of First Year Seminar, and faculty member in the Department of Environmental Studies. From 1999-2014 he worked at Michigan State University where he served as Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Sociology. He also served as the Director of the undergraduate Sustainability Specialization which utilized electronic portfolios to enable students to provide evidence of a range of sustainability competencies (Ecological Integrity, Social Justice, Economic Vitality, Civic Engagement, Personal Awareness, Critical Thinking, Systems Thinking and Aesthetic Understanding. He earned degrees at Oregon State University (Ph.D. Fisheries Science), Mississippi State University (M.S. Wildlife and Fisheries), and University of Miami (B.A. Biology).

Weston DrippsDirector of David Shi Center for Sustainability, Associate Professor Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesFurman University

Weston grew up in suburban Philadelphia and went on to study geosciences at Amherst College (BA), Dartmouth College (MS), and the University of Wisconsin (PhD). In between degrees, he worked as an exploration geologist in the oil, gas, and water sector, an environmental consultant, a hydrogeologist, a high school teacher and outdoor educator in the Swiss Alps, and a night club disc jockey. Before coming to Furman in 2005, Dripps was a researcher at MIT in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering and an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts – Boston. At Furman, Dripps is known as a very engaging teacher, an active researcher, and an environmental activist and has been very involved with the university’s sustainability efforts and sustainability student living communities. He has won the university’s Meritorious Teaching Award (2008) and Advising Award (2015), Student Organization Advisor of the Year (2009), and Engaged Living Award (2013 and 2015). He currently serves as the Executive Director of Furman’s Center for Sustainability.



April 4, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm EDT
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