MICHIGAN SUSTAINABILITY CASES

TRANSFORMING CASE-BASED TEACHING
AND ENVIRONMENTAL TRAINING

What is the Third Century Initiative?
As U-M prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2017, the Third Century Initiative has been established to inspire innovative programs that enhance the student learning experience and develop creative approaches to the world’s greatest challenges.
M-WRITE II

WRITING-TO-LEARN
IN LARGE COURSES

What is the Third Century Initiative?
As U-M prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2017, the Third Century Initiative has been established to inspire innovative programs that enhance the student learning experience and develop creative approaches to the world’s greatest challenges.
BIOLOGICAL STATION INITIATIVE

EXPANDING FIELD-BASED
LEARNING EXPERIENCES

What is the Third Century Initiative?
As U-M prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2017, the Third Century Initiative has been established to inspire innovative programs that enhance the student learning experience and develop creative approaches to the world’s greatest challenges.
What is the Third Century Initiative?
As U-M prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2017, the Third Century Initiative has been established to inspire and fund innovative programs that intensify learning experiences while addressing global challenges into our third century.

TAKING ON GLOBAL CHALLENGES

Many of the most pressing problems facing our region, nation and world are highly complicated and require expertise from multiple perspectives. Given the university’s long-standing commitment to the public good, combined with our breadth and depth of expertise across the institution, faculty and students are uniquely positioned to collaboratively take on these challenges. Our goal is to have a lasting and positive impact on the world. Funded Projects

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INTENSIFYING LEARNING EXPERIENCES

In order to prepare our students for the ever-changing world of the future, the university must enhance its traditional strength in educating students so that they have broad knowledge, specialized training in at least one field, critical thinking skills, appreciation of the arts and humanities, understanding of the scientific method and the role of science, and quantitative reasoning and numeracy. Our goal is to intensify action-based and innovative educational experiences that expose students to the complexity and volatility that they will face when they leave the university. Funded Projects

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MICHIGAN SUSTAINABILITY CASES

TRANSFORMING CASE-BASED TEACHING
AND ENVIRONMENTAL TRAINING

The School of Natural Resources & Environment’s (SNRE) and College of Literature, Science, & the Arts’ Program in the Environment (PitE) are adopting an approach to teaching graduate and undergraduate students that exposes them to case-based learning using digital multimedia materials. The goal is to connect students with scholars from humanities; the social, natural and biomedical sciences; engineering and landscape architecture by creating Michigan Sustainability Case models that link students, faculty and professionals from the field in exploring sustainability topics. A master case already created, titled “Wolf Wars: Should We Hunt Gray Wolves in Michigan?” provides podcasts, videos and other digital materials that explain the debate among groups pushing for a hunt, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resources Commission and groups that are opposed to the idea.

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M-WRITE II

WRITING-TO-LEARN
IN LARGE COURSES

Many of the University of Michigan’s introductory or gateway courses have large enrollments, so writing has not been a major part of the learning experience in those classes. Yet, appropriately framed writing assignments can help students better learn the core content of these courses while also fostering critical thinking skills. Using technology that includes a peer review system and automatic text analysis, faculty members from the College of Literature, Science, & the Arts (LSA) and the College of Engineering, in conjunction with the Sweetland Writing Center, will be using M-Write II to integrate writing-to-learn pedagogies into five large introductory courses.

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BIOLOGICAL STATION INITIATIVE

EXPANDING FIELD-BASED
LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Finding answers to the environmental and public health issues we face today will take engagement from many different disciplines. For years, the University of Michigan Biological Station, located in northern Michigan on Douglas Lake, has provided student research experiences in biology, ecology and atmospheric/climate science. This project will work with multiple U-M units to develop courses that include a summer field placement at the Biological Station. These courses will engage students not only from biology, ecology, and climate science, but also from other environmental sciences, public health, engineering, urban planning, and art and design, as well as the humanities and social sciences. Courses will include field-based research and projects focused on solving environmental problems and sustaining healthy people and ecosystems. Emphasis will be on climate change impacts, the Great Lakes system, biodiversity protection and stressed ecosystems.

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