Indiana Daily Student

Sustainability office fellowship applications open

The Sustainability Course Development Fellowship offers financial support of up to $8,000 to faculty interested in developing sustainability-based courses at IU.

The Office of Sustainability is now accepting applications for this year’s awards.
“With growing student interest in sustainability... there’s a real demand,” said Emilie Rex, assistant director of sustainability at the IU Office of Sustainability.

There has been a growth in recent years in the availability of sustainability-related academic pursuits, including the addition of a minor.

The Office of Sustainability has awarded 16 fellowships since the 2008-09 school year and has seen a number of those courses continue to be taught.

Rex said the office is hoping to follow up with the fellowship winners better in the future so even more may continue after its pilot year.

“I think we’re entering an era where having knowledge and background and skills related to sustainability are really going to be important in the workforce,” Rex said.

The number of fellowships granted and the amounts granted are all dependent on the number and quality of applications they receive.

Last spring, the office gave out four $5,000 fellowship grants.

Professor James Farmer’s course “Planting the Seed: An Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture” was one of the recipients last year. The course will be taught during the second four-week term of the 2014 summer session.

“I think more people, students, faculty and the general public are understanding the complicated nature of sustainability,” Farmer said.

Farmer’s course will teach the applied side of sustainable agriculture, which he said he feels isn’t really addressed at IU.

He said he applied to see if the University would support such an idea.

“The support from the University really underscores the seriousness,” he said.

Applications for the fellowship can be found through the IU Office of Sustainability’s website. Lists of former winners and lists of current sustainability-related courses at IU
are available there as well.

The deadline for this year’s awards is March 1.

Both Farmer and Rex stressed the importance of sustainability education for students.

“I think it’s absolutely fundamental when they leave Indiana University that they understand the implications of human behavior on human existence,” Farmer said.

“What we do today will greatly impact what happens five years, 10 years, 50 years from now.”

Follow reporter Anna Hyzy on Twitter @annakhyzy.

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