Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Figures and tables

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p. ix

List of contributors

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pp. x-xiii

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Preface

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p. xiv

This book is part of a series sponsored by the PASCAL International Observatory. PASCAL is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to transforming universities through meaningful engagement in regional issues and generating collaborative knowledge to address those issues. PASCAL draws on cross-disciplinary and trans-national ideas to enhance place management, social capital, and lifelong learning. Transcending political boundaries and the associated funding streams requires innovative policy development and implementation....

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Introduction

Darlene E. Clover and Kathy Sanford

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pp. 1-6

Universities have historically generated knowledge outside specific local contexts. These pure research methodologies produce knowledge that is carefully partitioned from the practical realities of a phenomenon. This book suggests that a world in peril requires us to question this approach, particularly in the field of environmental sustainability. Environmental health affects everyone and requires integrated and interdisciplinary answers to complex issues. This requires bold action and a radical take on the world. The term ‘radical’ is derived from the Latin radix or ‘root’; a radical spirit is one that searches for meaning and...

PART I: Laying the foundation

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1 University responsibility in a world of environmental catastrophe: cognitive justice, engagement and an ethic of care in learning

Steve Garlick and Julie Matthews

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pp. 9-20

Education, the area to which we usually first turn for human transformation, has failed us when it comes to environmental matters (Orr, 1992). Much of the environmental mismanagement we see around us today comes from the decisions and actions of ‘educated’ people and, despite talk of the need for an ‘education revolution’, governments are unwilling to address the real question of ‘what kind of education – what kind of learning?’ (Orr, 2010).

Education has provided little leadership and few conceptual tools to assist us to better understand our environment and how we can lead the world towards a...

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2 Unbounded organization and the unbounded university curriculum

Howard Richards

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pp. 21-34

I want to make some basic points about the human species, about the world today, and about the role of the university in it. My title is meant to suggest a need to broaden our thinking, to place ourselves in wider context, and thus to open the way to innovative solutions that cannot be conceived or implemented while our thinking is confined within a narrower ‘bounded’ context.

My points will take the form of answers to three questions:

• Who are we?
• Where are we going?...

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3 Indigenous and Western knowledge: a false dichotomy?

Margaret Sutherland

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pp. 35-46

There is tacit agreement regarding the multi-dimensional nature of complex development issues facing society in the twenty-first century (United Nations, 2000). What is less clear is how we effectively and collectively address these issues. Talking within established educational institutional frameworks and in relation to the social and physical sciences, Sumner and Tribe (2008, p. 751) argue that wide-ranging perspectives relating to ‘views on the world, knowledge and research processes’ can hinder arrival at a collective approach to development issues. Sillitoe (2007) argues that we need to listen to the views and knowledge of others...

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4 Guerrilla geography: describing and defending place for a living (or the renaissance of 100–mile geographers)

Briony Penn

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pp. 47-60

I n 1969, the bicentenary of the geographer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt slipped by largely unnoticed in North America. Given his contributions to the study of the earth, it was a surprising descent into relative obscurity. A medical researcher writing in to the Journal of the American Medical Association had expressed his dismay that Humboldt was ‘no longer accorded the recognition he enjoyed during his lifetime’ (Frankel, 1964). Frankel was remembering Humboldt’s style of collaborative enquiry during famous expeditions to the crater of Vesuvius in the autumn of 1805 accompanied by his friends and...

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5 Universities in transition: overcoming barriers and creating pathways for sustainability

Jesús Granados Sánchez

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pp. 61-74

One of higher education’s greatest challenges in the upcoming years is to materialize the contribution made by co-creation of new knowledge to build a sustainable future for society. Sustainability involves the development of a new culture, encompassing an analysis of knowledge itself, reviewing the assumptions that sustain our understanding of the world and the human dynamics in it.

The mission of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) is to strengthen the role of higher education in society by contributing to the renewal of the visions, missions, and policies of higher education across the world within...

PART II: Studies of environmental sustainability

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6 Sustainable local food systems and environmental sustainability

Sandra Streed

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pp. 77-89

Berry’s statement provokes questions about the connections and relationships among food, our earth, and our environment. Where does food come from? Where and how is it grown? How is it harvested, packaged, delivered to us? What is its value and what is its cost? Is it a sustainable system? What food systems are in place? What is a sustainable food system? What is sustainability? What is environmental sustainability?

The role of food systems in environmental sustainability will be discussed in the context of the engaged curriculum of Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin....

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7 Higher education intervention in the management of soil erosion and agricultural practice in Nigeria

Idowu Biao and Roseline Tawo

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pp. 90-99

Soil erosion is a major ecological problem in Nigeria in general, but particularly in south-eastern Nigeria. In addition to being a major issue, the incidence of soil erosion in Nigeria is a long-standing problem and has been the subject of numerous high-level discussions since the beginning of the twentieth century. For example, Ofomota (2009) indicated that the Udi Forest Reserve and an anti-erosion plantation, also at Udi, were created in 1922 and 1928 respectively, with a view to combating soil erosion in the country.

Poor agricultural practice is one of the suspected causes of soil erosion in the country. Yet concerted efforts...

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8 The importance of women’s leadership programmes in developing a sustainable economy

Morgan Chawawa and Wapula Raditloaneng

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pp. 100-109

Universities the world over are coming to terms with their new mandate of making a contribution towards addressing critical community development issues through what is termed ‘community service’. Over the past decade universities have been connecting with disadvantaged communities to eradicate poverty and sustain development in the African region through their involvement at the grassroots level. During the same time it has become increasingly apparent that university engagement requires a community-led approach to build trust and raise aspirations. The case study covered in this chapter is the result of the community...

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9 Becoming part of the solution: engaged research on sustainability

Linda Silka

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pp. 110-123

Higher education has splintered into disciplinary enclaves for which research has become little more than meeting disciplinary aims. On topics such as sustainability there is an urgent need for research that is interdisciplinary, engaged, and solutions-focused. How will this be achieved? Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) offers an exemplar for how to address complex environmental problems through interdisciplinary research that is attuned to stakeholder needs. This chapter uses SSI to give an in-depth view from one university’s experience of how campuses can change their practices. This example highlights both...

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10 University-community outreach: case study of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Norman Walzer and Christopher D. Merrett

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pp. 124-140

Rural areas in the USA have lagged behind metro areas in population, income, and employment growth for several reasons. Increased mechanization and productivity have reduced employment in agriculture, a mainstay of rural areas. This population decline, coupled with transportation improvements, spurred the consolidation of retail and public services such as education and health in smaller cities and towns (Walzer, 2003). The outcome is that many rural (non-metro) counties reached their highest populations in the early 1900s and have steadily declined since.

The Midwestern USA suffered more from these transitions than many other areas because...

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11 Initiating ecological restoration and community relationships at a satellite campus

Roberta Lammers

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pp. 141-153

Loyola University of Chicago purchased the former St. Joseph’s Seminary, located in rural Woodstock, Illinois, near the village of Bull Valley, in May 2010 for the purpose of developing a retreat and ecology campus. I have worked on the ecological aspect of the retreat centre, especially the ecological restoration, since its inception. In the process I have interacted with many people in the community, most of whom I had not known before and most of whom had previous experience with the property. Agencies and individuals had been connected to the site for many reasons. The degree to which many of them seemed to have acquired...

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Conclusion

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pp. 154-157

This book opened with the call for courageous action in light of the many environmental challenges our world faces. Not only must our institutions be courageous, but they must also be willing to address ecological complexity. This is especially true for institutions of higher education known more for an education supporting a status quo of unlimited consumption than for their innovative plans for austerity.

How do our institutions turn the ‘knowledge economy’ into the ‘knowledge society’ embracing an ethical wisdom for a sustainable future? Osborne, Duke, and Wilson (2013) identify the role of universities in sustainable development as...

Index

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pp. 158-161