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The Sustainable Learning Community

One University’s Journey to the Future

John Aber, Tom Kelley, and Bruce Mallory, editors

Publication Year: 2009

Case studies from the University of New Hampshire explore all the dimensions of sustainability in campus life, combining frugality and creativity University communities have the potential to serve as models in the development and application of sustainability principles and practices, not only by what they teach and study, but also by how they operate facilities and engage with off-campus partners. With the oldest endowed campus-wide sustainability program in the country, established in 1997, the University of New Hampshire has become a leader in advancing a campus culture of sustainability. The UNH experience provides a unique window into the development of a new and integrated approach to teaching, learning, research, and operations. It is also a valuable guide for other institutions that aim to enhance the quality of campus life while reducing their environmental footprint. The book’s organization along four functional domains (curriculum, operations, research, and engagement) allows faculty, staff, students, and managers to focus on sections of particular relevance to their university roles. Each chapter develops standards of best practices and presents interesting case studies to humanize the larger effort.

Published by: University of New Hampshire Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Editor’s Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

Sustainability has exploded onto our collective campus consciousness. For most of the last decade, the national conversation in the United States ignored the accumulating evidence for rapid and directional change in climate, biodiversity, food and energy security, and quality of life. Distracted by foreign adventures and ideological politics, the...

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p. xvii

Th is book by itself is an acknowledgment of all the effort made by several generations in the UNH community to link scholarship and practice with the challenges and opportunities of sustainability. From the global to the local and the long-term to the short-term, they...

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1: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Higher Education

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pp. 1-53

Sustainability is a big idea, a very big idea. When taken at its full measure, it presents a challenge to individual and institutional cooperation that tests our imagination and culture on a scale unique in human history. Sustainability is a contested idea: a plural concept like democracy and justice that must be owned and made sense of by communities...

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2: Teaching and Learning Sustainability: Curriculum and Pedagogy

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pp. 54-100

Th e University of New Hampshire (UNH) offers its students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, a rich potpourri of courses and programs in the areas of sustainability. Such a variety is extraordinary in its reach toward both diversity and interdisciplinarity, and the...

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3: Practicing Sustainability: Campus Operations

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pp. 101-152

A university campus is an ideal context for practicing sustainability. It is a city that must deal with all of the day-to-day complexities of urban activities in a sett ing that places a high value on the landscape and ecology of its place. It provides the stimulating energy of a city with the calming harmony of verdant open space. And it is all under...

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4: Creating the Intellectual Basis for Sustainability: Research and Scholarship

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pp. 153-194

Research and scholarship on university campuses result more from the interests, experiences, and abilities of the faculty than from university policies. Th e questions and ideas that faculty choose to pursue are less subject to overall university guidance than issues of the curriculum, operations, or even engagement. More contact and interaction...

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5: Sustaining the Larger Community: Engagement

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pp. 195-240

Th is chapter provides diverse examples of how the University of New Hampshire practices engagement in our efforts to foster sustainability on many levels, from well-established programs over thirty years old to relatively new efforts that have arisen based on current concerns. True institutional engagement defies the old models of the land-grant...

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6: How the Sustainability Ethic Developed at UNH, and the Next Phase of Our “Journey to the Future”

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pp. 241-250

How do we in higher education make our work fundamentally about sustainability? How does sustainability relate to higher education’s core values and mission? What can sustainability offer scholars, practitioners, and students, and how can what we undertake on campus...


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pp. 251-254


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pp. 255-267

E-ISBN-13: 9781584658375
E-ISBN-10: 1584658371
Print-ISBN-13: 9781584657712
Print-ISBN-10: 1584657715

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 12 illus.
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 704517355
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Sustainable Learning Community

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • University of New Hampshire.
  • Sustainable living -- New Hampshire.
  • Universities and colleges -- Environmental aspects -- New Hampshire.
  • College facilities -- Environmental aspects -- New Hampshire.
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