The Wasatch Experience

Join University of Utah faculty and teaching assistants in a quest to make sustainability teaching more exciting and relevant through the Wasatch Experience.

Workshop Information

The Wasatch Experience engages educators in a two-day, team-based workshop in August, followed by regular small-group meetings during the school year. Participants design and implement an action plan to integrate the big ideas of sustainability into their courses. Upon program completion, participants are awarded $500 and receive the University Sustainability Teaching Scholar designation.

Next Workshop

The Wasatch Experience occurs every other year, and planning for 2018-2019 is in the works. Are you interested? Fill out this form and we’ll keep you updated. 

Prior Projects Include:

  • In a course on Materials Science, students disassembled old appliances to explore themes of design, recyclability, waste, value, and production;
  • An instructor in Ethnic Studies assigned systems mapping to explore how indigenous women have sustained culture and community within ecological limits over time;
  • Faculty from the Political Science department devoted the final module of an international relations course to issues of global sustainability.

Sustainability Teaching Scholars

Sustainability Teaching Scholars have experience integrating ecology, economy, and equity into curriculum across many departments. Contact them to learn more about their work in this area. The following faculty members have been awarded the Sustainability Teaching Scholar designation:

Elizabeth Archuleta – Ethnic Studies

  • Used the big ideas of sustainability and systems thinking/mapping throughout the course “American Indian Women: Sustaining Culture and Community.”

Tabitha Benney – Political Science

  • Added a sustainability section into an existing international relations course.

Gunseli Berik – Economics

  • Utilized a sustainability perspective throughout an existing graduate economic development lecture.

Brian Codding – Anthropology

  • Created a new course focusing on the human ecology of sustainability, as well as adding sustainability-focused lectures into two existing anthropology courses.

David Derezotes – Social Work, Peace & Conflict Studies

  • Incorporated a segment on ecopsychology into a social work lecture and lab.

Martine Kei Green-Rogers (no longer at the University of Utah) – Theatre

  • Embedded a sustainability project within “Race and Gender in African American Theatre.”

Shannon Jones – Nutrition

  • Developed two lesson plans to include environmental justice, environmental communication, and food justice topics into a nutrition communication course.

Eric Laursen – World Languages & Cultures

  • Expanded existing topics in the course “Imagined Communities: Mapping the Ideal World” to explore sustainability through readings and in-class exercises.

Meredith Metzger – Mechanical Engineering

  • Developed lectures and problems related to sustainability for a graduate thermal fluid systems design course.

Lindsey Nesbitt – Biology

  • Included a sustainability project in an environmental science course.

Pedro Romero – Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • Built a new course from the concepts necessary to evaluate, select, and design materials in civil engineering applications to be energy-, cost-, and eco-efficient while durable and high performing.

Lien Shen – Film & Media Arts

  • For an intro to animation course, the students created group presentations analyzing animations about sustainability and created their own animated short about sustainability.

Amanda Smith – Mechanical Engineering

  • Developed a new course for engineers to learn to model and evaluate the energy performance of alternative energy systems for the built environment, and to assess their economic and environmental sustainability.

Jason Wyckoff (no longer at the University of Utah) – Philosophy

  • Added a new sustainability-related course objective and learning activities to an existing environmental ethics course and restructured a business ethics course to emphasize systems thinking.

Responses from Wasatch Experience Participants