WMU's Office for Sustainability conducted a survey of faculty, in January 2012, to help identify and prioritize the types of initiatives and policy changes faculty believe are important for facilitating the infusion and integration of sustainability into research and teaching. The result of this survey was the creation of Sustainability Across Research and Teaching (StART), a ground-up, faculty-driven effort in the form of a new University-wide learning community on education and research in the broad areas of sustainability. The intent of the learning community is to build understanding, develop skills, and promote conditions to improve quality of life for all through sustainability teaching and research.
After a very successful StART-I in 2012, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Faculty Development, and the Office for Sustainability are pleased to announce StART-II, beginning Jan 2013 and running through April 2014. Building on the success of StART-I, The StART-II Initiative will offer opportunities for two cross-disciplinary groups of 10 to 12 participants to study pedagogical topics of shared interest in an in-depth, ongoing, scholarly, and systematic manner. StART-II participants will meet once every three weeks for two hours, delve into existing research on their common area of inquiry, then design and pursue individual projects that require them to apply and test new ideas and information about teaching and research in sustainability. Each StART-II community will have a faculty facilitator, knowledgeable in the field of sustainability, and a small operating budget to invest in materials and resources to promote the actions of the community. It is the expectation that StART-II participants will not only further their individual professional skills, but also actively promote curricular development in the area of sustainability across the curriculum.