Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Supporting interdisciplinary teaching about the Earth with the InTeGrate website

  • Published:
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Increasing the number of undergraduate students that are ready to creatively, effectively, and ethically address today’s grand, Earth-related, societal challenges (NRC: National Academy Press 2001) is one of the central goals of the NSF-funded InTeGrate STEP Center. This cannot be done from a single disciplinary perspective, but requires a more holistic understanding of Earth systems in combination with expertise from disciplines that study social systems. It requires effective communication, understanding, and cooperation among Earth, marine, atmospheric, and climate scientists as well as political scientists, economists, engineers, humanists, and others. The InTeGrate website addresses the need for this more holistic approach by helping faculty in any discipline bridge silos and address Earth-related societal challenges with their students. The project website provides effective, tested, community-contributed strategies for incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives, example interdisciplinary teaching activities and course descriptions, and sections addressing teaching specific interdisciplinary topics and themes. It also reflects and addresses audiences at various scales within the InTeGrate community, including perspectives from faculty, college and university program chairs, and employers. The website contains advice and examples of a spectrum of ways to build connections between disciplines, from starting small with a guest speaker in a single course to a fully linking curriculum. Example teaching activities and course descriptions give concrete ideas of how various interdisciplinary teaching strategies play out in the classroom. Results and recommendations from workshop participants provide a way to jump into the middle of rich, interdisciplinary discussions, including environmental justice, risk and resilience, and system thinking.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

Download references

Acknowledgments

This paper reports the results from workshops and efforts funded as part of the InTeGrate STEP Center supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant DUE 1125331. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This paper reports on the work guided and executed by the InTeGrate leadership team in collaboration with the project staff. Of central importance are the members of the leadership team who organized workshops discussed herein (David Blockstein, Anne Egger, and John Taber). We are also indebted to the organizers of the partnership workshops (Dave Mogk, Katryn Weise). These organizers were in every case assisted by multiple workshop leaders who were essential to the success of the workshop, collection of materials, and shaping of the workshop discussions that underpin the website. The website is a collaborative effort between the InTeGrate leadership team and the SERC staff. In addition to the authors, Karin Kirk developed the pages on sustainability topics and early drafts of the workshop findings. Sean Fox and Matt Lauer were essential to the implementation of the site design using the Serckit content management system. The website content is the product of the InTeGrate community, an energetic group of engaged faculty committed to undergraduate Earth education in service to society.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kristin O’Connell.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

O’Connell, K., Bruckner, M.Z., Manduca, C.A. et al. Supporting interdisciplinary teaching about the Earth with the InTeGrate website. J Environ Stud Sci 6, 354–359 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-015-0317-x

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-015-0317-x

Keywords

Navigation