The Sustainability Crescent: Bringing the Concept of Sustainability into the Classroom
A Guide for Instructors
In 2007, Santa Fe College President, Dr. Jackson Sasser, launched an initiative to infuse the concept of sustainability into academic courses and student life.
What is sustainability? Sustainability is meeting the needs of today while ensuring that future generations have the same access to the resources we enjoy. Sustainability focuses on three interdependent areas of concern.
- Ecological preservation
- Economic viability
- Social justice
Lying in an arc around the northern part of SF's Northwest Campus is a Sustainability Crescent of five unique resources that faculty can use to incorporate sustainability and the concepts of ecological preservation, economic viability, and social justice into class curricula and discussions.
- Jean Klein Rock Cycle Garden
- Kika Silva Pla Planetarium
- North Woods Teaching Area
- Renewable Energy Accessible (REAL) Lab
- SF Teaching Zoo
There are two unique off-campus resources also available.
These resources provide opportunities for hands-on, real-life exploration and learning not only for Santa Fe College students but also for students at the University of Florida, in grades K-12, and in community education classes. Academic disciplines currently using these sustainability resources include anthropology, biology, botany, chemistry, earth and space science, ecology, environmental science, geography, geology and mathematics.
Other disciplines that could potentially use these resources are art, design and digital media, humanities, journalism and writing, psychology, and social sciences.For example, art, design and digital media students could explore not only the beauty of the natural world but also the advocacy roles that artists and designers play when they create visual messages about environmental preservation, economic viability and social justice.
Humanities students could examine the intersections between those various disciplines and sustainability—for example, how ethics and different philosophies of law affect environmental decision-making. Journalism and writing students could practice communicating clearly about the connections between ecological preservation, economic viability and social justice with people who are not trained in those disciplines.
Social science and psychology students could explore how environmental decisions are made; how ideas about politics, economics and environmental preservation connect with concepts of social justice; and how the ways in which people perceive and relate to the natural world may or may not be related to how they perceive and relate to each other.