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Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 692-701; doi:10.3390/su6020692

Educating the Future of Sustainability

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, 1499 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Department of Ethnic Studies, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
College of Business, 300 Boston Post Road, University of New Haven, West Haven CT 06405, USA
Department of Clinical Sciences, 1052 Campus Delivery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1052, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 5 February 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [201 KB, 24 February 2015; original version 24 February 2015]   |  


The future of global environmental sustainability is contingent upon educating the next generation of environmental stewards. Critical elements of training such an interdisciplinary workforce include mentoring and experiential learning in the areas of science, communication, and leadership. To keep pace with the ever changing and increasingly complex issues of global environmental sustainability, environmental educators must encourage and support the participation and training of a diverse body of students in the environmental sciences. The Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network (RMSSN) is a partnership of over two dozen universities, federal agencies and other organizations designed to help train the next diverse generation of interdisciplinary leaders who are prepared to address issues related to global climate change, environmental sustainability, and the management of public lands and resources using the Rocky Mountains as a laboratory and classroom. Herein, we present the RMSSN as a model for engaging students in the environmental sciences with an emphasis on understanding key elements of sustainability. Our model is based on a foundation of: (1) diversity; (2) tiered mentoring in cohorts; (3) engaging lectures coupled with field experiences on public lands; (4) long term networking; and (5) environmental internships.
Keywords: environmental sustainability; education; diversity; interdisciplinary environmental sustainability; education; diversity; interdisciplinary
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bowser, G.; Gretzel, U.; Davis, E.; Brown, M. Educating the Future of Sustainability. Sustainability 2014, 6, 692-701.

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