Faculty Motivation for Workshop Participation (Reflection Analysis)
Erica briefly explored faculty motivation for participating in the sustainable curriculum workshops and making course changes. Two key themes that emerged in these reflections were 1) a personal interest in learning about sustainability and 2) a desire to educate future generations about sustainability concepts.
R. Ater and two other faculty members wrote about their experiences in nature and a desire to improve their personal understanding of sustainability:
I applied to the Chesapeake Project to gain a better understanding of the issue of sustainability as an individual. Over the course of the last several years, I have contemplated my own impact on the environment and how I might “practice sustainability” on a daily basis including taking public transportation rather than driving, recycling more and using less, purchasing less and extending the life of objects, and thinking about my usage of water (R. Ater, Reflection).
S. Reese, who reflected on his experience with sustainability through surfing, noted that the workshop made him realize that I need to become part of the sustainability solution (S. Reese, Reflection).
Two of the faculty members reflected on the importance of educating the next generation of students, who will be the future engineers, chemists, planners, architects, and policymakers (S. Widicus Weaver, Reflection). A. Torrents and S. Widicus Weaver both emphasized the tremendous relevance of sustainability to practical applications of engineering and chemistry and :
With infrastructure, natural resources, and engineering processes becoming increasingly complex and integrated, engineers need to be aware of the whole-life environmental and social impacts of their projects (A. Torrents, Reflection).
Chemical research has a huge and direct impact on our environment, and issues pertaining to sustainability are becoming increasingly relevant to the design of chemical experiments. It is imperative that the next generation of chemistry students be made aware of these issues and be trained to consider such issues in their experimental design (W-W. Reflection).
Although faculty discussion of these two themes is limited (5 out of 18 total), virtually all other reflections focused on the mechanics of the course changes, rather than the impact of the workshop on personal and/or professional thinking.