Sustainability: Academics

Urban planning class tours campus construction.Urban and regional planning students tour campus construction sites.

The academic dimensions of sustainability include the curriculum, student-team projects, research and scholarship, student organizations, visiting scholars and workshops and campus educational demonstrations.

All of these activities create a campus environment with an increased awareness of sustainability, and the opportunities for collaboration among academic and operational units of the university.


Curriculum

All of the academic divisions at Miami University have incorporated elements of sustainability into the curricula of their departments and programs. Future efforts will be devoted to increasing the number of courses with sustainability-related content, and to adding course designators for sustainability content in the course catalog.

Programs

The Institute for the Environment and Sustainability (IES) offers 3 undergraduate interdisciplinary co‐majors in environmental science, sustainability, and energy.

All co‐majors require a primary disciplinary major and, together, over 140 students in the 3 co‐majors represent over 25 majors.

All students in the sustainability co‐major participate in a project‐based service learning course (IES 474).

Student Projects (a sampler)

The IES partnered with the Farmer School of Business to offer a new course, Sustainability Perspectives in Resources and Business, which applies sustainability principles to case studies of business practices that reduce impacts on natural resources.

Several class projects were focused on improving campus sustainability and were conducted in partnership with Miami's:

Sustainability in Design in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering involved student teams that conducted studies for Physical Facilities on alternative energy sources for their club car fleet and the feasibility of thermal energy storage.

Student teams in the Sustainable Marketing Management course each designed and tested a marketing plan to reduce energy and water consumption in one of eight participating residence halls.

Students in the IES Master of Environmental Science program completed several projects that directly contributed to the development of the university Carbon Action Plan and increased awareness of sustainability practices in local and regional communities. These included a comprehensive carbon footprint of the Oxford campus (in collaboration with Physical Facilities), an educational and marketing toolkit for glass recycling in bars and restaurants (in collaboration with the Sustainable Marketing Management class), and an inventory of best practices for storm water management in the City of Oxford.