Encyclopedia of Sustainability, 6th Edition

Ashley Thorne

Sustainability in Higher Education, 6th Edition

An Encyclopedia of Names, Terms, Colleges, Organizations, and Books
National Association of Scholars
October 2012

The National Association of Scholars presents our sixth edition of the encyclopedia of sustainability. Our periodically updated “sustainapedia” contains key names, terms, books, colleges and organizations that NAS has observed through our research of the sustainability movement in higher education.

The entries below were compiled from publicly available information, much of which has already been synthesized in NAS articles on sustainability. We have updated the content since the fifth edition (March 2011).

While this catalog does not include every main actor in the environmental movement as a whole (we chose not to emphasize, for instance, “Climategate,” Michael Mann, Al Gore, international climate conferences, or global warming awareness groups), it does include many of the main actors in the sector of activism aimed specifically at re-centering elementary and higher education around sustainability practice.

We created this encyclopedia partly as our own database to help us keep all the players straight, but mostly as a service to the community, as a practical resource for everyone interested in tracking and critiquing the sustainability movement. As we have learned more about the principal leaders of the movement, we have been continually updating the sustainapedia. We welcome suggestions for new entries and corrections of any inaccurate information (email us).

Encyclopedia Contents:

K-12 Groups and Projects
Terms Coined by the NAS



American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

“Envisioning a student affairs division that supports sustainability”
Helped found HEASC
Presidential Task Force on Sustainability (click for PPT presentation by Kathleen Kerr)
Toolkit for Creating a Better World
NAS: “Inside the ACPA Conference” by Peter Wood. 02/29/2008
NAS: “Hurray! We Got Noticed! ACPA’s Response to NAS Residence Life Statement” by Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne. 09/16/2008
Based in Washington, D.C.

American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)

Presidents can sign this contract to pledge to “accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.”
Sponsored by Second Nature, AASHE, and eco-America
NAS: “Proven Commitment to the Climate” by Ashley Thorne. 04/09/2009
NAS: “Sustainability Education’s New Morality” by Ashley Thorne. 05/15/2009
NAS: “Does Environmentalism Fit Squarely with Higher Ed’s Mission?” by Ashley Thorne. 06/01/2009
NAS: “Tuesday Tuba” by Ashley Thorne 06/02/2009
NAS: “1% for Propaganda” by Ashley Thorne. 07/09/2009
NAS: “Unfit” by Peter Wood. 07/29/2009
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/03/2009
NAS: “Thursday Theatrics” by Ashley Thorne. 08/13/2009
NAS: “Never Waste a Good Cliché” by Peter Wood 09/24/2009
NAS: “An Elbow in the Ribs: Prof-Prodding Toward Sustainability” by Ashley Thorne. 02/17/2010
NAS: “Earth Day and Sustainability News” by Ashley Thorne. 04/21/2010
NAS: “For Goodness Sake: Sustainability Ponders Ethics” by Ashley Thorne. 07/21/2010
NAS: “The Sustainability Inquisition” by Ashley Thorne. 11/10/2010

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

“AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. Our mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation.”

Formerly known as the Education for Sustainability Western Network (EFS West)

Academic Programs in Sustainability
AASHE Digest 2008 A Review of Campus Sustainability News
Institutional Member List
NAS: “Proven Commitment to the Climate” by Ashley Thorne. 04/09/2009
NAS: “Swear It!” by Ashley Thorne. 04/29/2009
NAS: “Sustainability Education’s New Morality” by Ashley Thorne. 05/15/2009
NAS: “Thursday Vert-Degree” by Ashley Thorne. 06/25/2009
NAS: “Tuesday Tuba” by Ashley Thorne 06/02/2009
NAS: “1% for Propaganda” by Ashley Thorne. 07/09/2009
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/2009
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/03/2009

Based in Lexington, Kentucky
NAS: “An Elbow in the Ribs: Prof-Prodding Toward Sustainability” by Ashley Thorne. 02/17/2010
NAS: “For Goodness Sake: Sustainability Ponders Ethics” by Ashley Thorne. 07/21/2010


“Inspiring a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.”
Provides environmental education through a conference, a radio program, and materials for use by colleges and universities

Campaign for Environmental Literacy

“Our goal is to significantly increase the amount of federal funding dedicated to the EE [environmental education] community”
Operates under a fiscal agent, Public Interest Projects
Based in Washington, D.C.

Campus Climate Solutions

Offers training and consulting to “assist current and future green professionals and businesses”

Center for Ecoliteracy

“Dedicated to education for a sustainable living”
“We provide information, inspiration, and support to the vital movement of K-12 educators, parents, and other members of the school community who are helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living.”
Project/Book: Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability
Based in Berkeley, California
Co-sponsored the School Lunch Initiative: “Changing Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior in Relation to Food”

Center for Environmental Education

“If their schools are green, children will learn to live that way.”
Helps K-12 schools become “green” by providing curriculum and guidance

Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)

Four program areas: the Greening of Academia, Religion and Ecology, the Earth Charter Initiative, and Sustainable Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities
“Promotes a humane and sustainable future for all members of the earth community.”
ULSF is part of CRLE
Venerates Thomas Berry

Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)

Funded by the William J. Clinton Foundation
Mission is “to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change”

Creative Change

Provides curriculum “makeovers” to “cultivate deep instructional change” in elementary, higher, and adult education
“Our mission is to provide and promote innovative education that helps create a sustainable world: a healthy environment, a fair economy, and a just and equitable society for current and future generations.”
Is creating sustainability curricula to fit with Common Core math standards
Based in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)

A network of associations (such as the AAA, APA, and APSA) that promote sustainability in various academic disciplines

Earth Force

“Through Earth Force young people get hands-on, real-world opportunities to practice civic skills, acquire and understand environmental knowledge, and develop the skills and motivation to become life-long leaders in addressing environmental issues. Earth Force achieves these results by training and supporting educators as they implement our unique six-step model for engaging young people.”


Co-sponsors the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
Worked with Princeton Review to create criteria for Princeton Review’s Green Rating
EcoAmerica is an organization not specifically focused on higher education that espouses a startlingly frank program of attempting, by means of “psychographic research” and “engagement marketing,” to “shift personal and civic choices of environmentally agonistic Americans.” It is, in other words, devoted to propaganda and manipulation.
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/2009

Energy Action Coalition

An alliance that supports and strengthens the student and youth clean and just energy movement in North America
Sponsors “Define Our Decade” project, a campaign to get Congress to vote for “clean energy” towards the goal of having a “world powered by 100% clean electricity” by 2020.

Focus the Nation

Held climate change teach-ins on January 31, 2008 at over 1500 campuses
Barack Obama at FTN 2008 kick-off, Clemson University: “Focus the Nation is going to have the largest campus teach-in in United States history…This is an important issue, I want everybody to be involved with it, everybody to be paying attention.”
Based in Portland, Oregon

Go Green Students

A social network for students to connect with other students from around the world on how to go green and reduce the effects of global warming


GreenerU partners with colleges and their students to solve the campus sustainability and energy management challenges of today and tomorrow. GreenerU believes colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to lead the world in mitigating climate change and accelerating sustainability.

Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC)

An informal network of higher education associations dedicated to advancing sustainability in the higher education system, coordinated by Second Nature
Current HEASC Members

International Sustainable Campus Network

“The Sustainable Campus Network aims at enhancing universities' commitments to construct, redesign, and organize their campuses in an exemplary and sustainable way and to include the experiences in their education. The ISCN and its members commit to continuous improvement through learning and innovation on all aspects of sustainability on campus. Key goals in this respect are summarized in the ISCN Charter.”

Second Nature

Historically important leader of the campus sustainability movement
Founded by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz in 1993

“Second Nature's mission is to accelerate movement toward a sustainable future by serving and supporting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.”

Sponsors the ACUPCC
Based in Boston, Massachusetts

NAS: “1% for Propaganda” by Ashley Thorne. 07/09/09
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/2009
NAS: “Unfit” by Peter Wood. 07/29/09
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/03/09
NAS: “Sunbeams for Indigenes: The New Discipline of Cultural Sustainability” by Peter Wood, Glenn Ricketts, and Ashley Thorne. 08/05/2009
NAS: “Sustaina-Summits” by Peter Wood. 08/20/09
NAS: “An Interview with Holly Swanson” by Ashley Thorne. 10/15/2009
NAS: “Changing the Norms: Sustainability at Penn State” by Ashley Thorne 12/14/2009
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Student Environmental Action Coalition

SEAC (pronounced "seek") is a student run national network of progressive organizations and individuals whose aim is to uproot environmental injustices through education and action. SEAC defines the environment as including the physical, economic, political, and cultural conditions in which we live. By challenging the power structure which threatens these conditions, SEAC works to create progressive social change on both the local and global levels.

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Decade for Education on Sustainable Development: “seeks to integrate the principles, values, and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning, in order to address the social, economic, cultural and environmental problems we face in the 21st century”
NAS: “UNESCO-topia: Sustainability’s Big Brother” by Peter Wood. 07/31/09
NAS: “Earth Day Thoughts on the Campus Sustainability Movement” by Peter Wood 04/22/10

University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, the Association of (ULSF)

Created the Talloires Declaration
“ULSF supports sustainability as a critical focus of teaching, research, operations and outreach in higher education through publications, research, and assessment.”
Is the higher education branch of the Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Campaign vision: Green campuses for every college and university within a generation.

U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

“The U.S. Partnership consists of individuals, organizations and institutions in the United States dedicated to education for sustainable development (ESD). It acts as a convener, catalyst, and communicator working across all sectors of American society.”
VISION: Sustainable development fully integrated into education and learning in the United States.
MISSION: Leverage the UN Decade to foster education for sustainable development in the United States.


Campus Ecology

Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation
“the Campus Ecology program has been helping individuals and campuses address sustainability and climate change since 1989.”
“It takes a big step to make a smaller footprint.”
NAS: “Woven Into the Fabric...No Comment” by Ashley Thorne. 07/10/09

Campus Green Builder

A Second Nature initiative to advance green building in higher education

Campus Sustainability Day

Celebrated in October by over 300 colleges and universities
Sponsored by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), which Colleges can pay to participate in a live webcast
First CSD was in 2003: “The contributions of Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature, were key in the conception and development of the first Campus Sustainability Day.”
NAS: “Happy Campus Sustainability Day” by Ashley Thorne. 10/21/09

College Sustainability Report Card

Assigns grades to hundreds of colleges by assessing performance in sustainability categories (does not include teaching, research, or other academic aspects concerning sustainability)

Define Our Decade

A campaign sponsored by the Energy Action Coalition to get Congress to vote for “clean energy” towards the goal of having a “world powered by 100% clean electricity” by 2020
Marketed to college students

Earth Charter Initiative

The Earth Charter is a United Nations document. It was the brainchild of the 1987 Brundtland Commission (which officially defined sustainable development) and was written in 1994 by Mikhail Gorbachev and the Secretary-General of the UN’s Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, Maurice Strong. Today it is regarded as the consensus statement of principles on sustainability and world peace. Organizations representing millions of people, including several dozen American universities, have endorsed it.  

“My hope is that this charter will be a kind of Ten Commandments, a ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ that provides a guide for human behavior toward the environment in the next century and beyond," Mikhail Gorbachev stated in a 1997 interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Read the Charter
NAS: “Swamped: Florida’s Earth Charter U” by Ashley Thorne. 01/06/2010
NAS: “Florida Students Petition to Make Mandatory Sustainability Course Optional” by Ashley Thorne. 02/10/10

Earth Day Network’s Youth Action Center

Suggestions for environmental activism on campus, including asking the president to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment

Earth Institute

Columbia University
Aims to help “achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world’s understanding of Earth as one integrated system” through research and education
Directed by Jeffrey Sachs
George Soros serves on the Board of Advisors

Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Yale University
Publishes books and articles, organizes conferences, is creating a film on the environment and its relationship to major religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous Traditions, Islam, Judaism, and Shinto
Mission is to “identify the ethical dimensions by which the religions of the world can respond to the growing environmental crisis”
Inspired by ecotheologian Thomas Berry (see above)

Institute of Ecolonomics

“Ecolonomics is a vision that sees business, government, and education working together to achieve a prosperous, sustainable future.”
“Because ecology means business”

Institute for Social Ecology

“Established in 1974 and incorporated in 1981, the ISE is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to the study of social ecology, an interdisciplinary field drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, anthropology, history, economics, the natural sciences, and feminism...As an educational and activist organization, the ISE is committed to the social and ecological transformation of society.”
Based in Plainfield, Vermont

Institute for Sustainable Development

California State University, Chico
“We strive to become leaders in achieving a new vision of education, which integrates the principles of sustainable development into the academic programs, practices, and collaborations of our university.”

Piedmont Project

Emory University, Peggy F. Barlett
Faculty workshops, curriculum development
NAS: “Enchanting Sustainability” by Peter Wood. 01/26/09

Ponderosa Project

Northern Arizona University, Geoff W. Chase
The Project is “an interdisciplinary faculty group effort to incorporate environmental sustainability issues into university courses”

Sustainability Schools

Sustainability Schools is an online resource developed for prospective students of sustainability which includes articles about sustainability education and a directory of sustainability schools, green degrees, and green MBAs. 

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)

Created by AASHE, STARS is “a voluntary, self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities.”
STARS is a points system that measures institutions’ sustainability initiatives in Education & Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration & Engagement.
NAS: “Dancing with the Stars” by Ashley Thorne. 09/28/09

Talloires Declaration

The international precursor to the ACUPCC, created in 1990 in Talloires, France, at a meeting convened by Tufts University President Jean Mayer
Anthony Cortese has been a key promoter
College and university presidents from around the world met together and signed the declaration, pledging that their universities would, among other actions, create an institutional culture of sustainability, educate for environmentally responsible citizenship, and foster environmental literacy for all.
It has been signed by over 400 institutions worldwide.

University Sustainability Program

Engineered by the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, this grant program was authorized by the Higher Education Sustainability Act of 2008. It is the first new federal environmental education grant-making program authorized in 18 years. It is intended to “annually support between 25 and 200 sustainability projects at individual higher education institutions and higher education consortia/associations.” It has not yet been funded.


  • Enable higher education to produce 3 million “sustainability-literate” college graduates each year
  • Fully embed sustainable practices in higher education

K-12 Groups and Projects

Alliance for Climate Education

Gives free multimedia presentations at U.S. high schools on climate change
Provides activism/green pledge opportunities for high school students
See “ACE Climate Propaganda,” Accuracy in Academia

Facing the Future

“Critical Thinking. Global Perspective. Informed Action.”
Provides sustainability curriculum resources to teachers
Based in Seattle, Washington

Center for Green Schools

Vision: green schools for everyone within this generation

Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation

Wants to “transform students themselves into agents of change” and focuses “on K-12 as formative years for shaping thinking, attitudes, values and behaviors.”
“CELF’s goal is to make sustainability education an integral part of every school’s curricula and culture, from kindergarten through high school.”
See Peter Cohee’s article

Green Education Foundation (GEF)

“GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.”


“A movement that activates & enlists kids to lead their families in measuring & reducing environmental impact at home & ‘challenge’ their parents to share savings with kids.”
A campaign that encourages kids to “grade their parents” and demand pay for their services.
NAS: “Indoctrinate Our Kids and Green My Parents” by Ashley Thorne. 04/27/10 

Green Schools Alliance

A membership organization with nearly 2,000 member schools where teachers are implementing sustainability education into the curriculum. Video

National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)

Chartered by Congress in 1990 to advance environmental knowledge and action. Established to complement the EPA and teach environmental literacy, funded by the EPA’s Office of Environmental Education. Has programs for schools, the adult public, health professionals, and business managers.

NYC DOE Sustainability Initiative

The New York City Department of Education’s effort to make schools more environmentally friendly and to teach students energy conservation, recycling, and ecology. The initiative is funded by grant and stimulus money.

Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability

4 Guiding Principles: Nature is our teacher, Sustainability is a community practice, The real world is the optimal learning environment, and Sustainable living is rooted in a deep knowledge of place

Offers schooling for sustainability seminars, website, and book (same title)


Higher Education Sustainability Act

In July 2008, the HESA was passed as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. It creates grants for colleges and universities for implementing sustainability practice and education on campus and “to integrate sustainability curricula in all programs of instruction, particularly in business, architecture, technology, manufacturing, engineering, and science programs.” It also mandates a summit on sustainability convened by the Secretary of Education no later than September 30, 2010. The summit was convened in Washington, D.C. in late September 2010.


Barbier, Edward

Economist who created the famous sustainability diagram (see “Triple Bottom Line” below)
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Bardaglio, Peter

Author, Boldly Sustainable (2009, published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers) with Andrea Putman
Senior Fellow, Second Nature
Staff Liaison, ACUPCC Academics Sub-Committee

Barlett, Peggy F.

Author, “Reason and Reenchantment in Cultural Change: Sustainability in Higher Education.” Current Anthropology
Leads Piedmont Project at Emory University
NAS: “Enchanting Sustainability” by Peter Wood. 01/26/09

Berry, Thomas (1914-2009)

Ecotheologian, wrote about ethics, religion, and ecology
Repudiated Christianity and all Western thought and culture (i.e., wrote “bible” in lower case)
Author, Befriending the Earth, 1991; The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, 1999; and Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community, 2006.
“We have a moral sense of suicide, homicide, and genocide, but no moral sense of biocide or geocide, the killing of the life systems themselves and even the killing of the Earth.”

Berry, Wendell

Poet, farmer, writer, professor of English at the University of Kentucky
Defines sustainable agriculture: "A sustainable agriculture does not deplete soils or people."
Wrote 17 rules for a sustainable community

Bookchin, Murray (1921-2006)

Author, “Ecology and Revolutionary Thought” (1964)
Author, The Philosophy of Social Ecology: Essays on Dialectical Naturalism
Founded Institute for Social Ecology in 1974 
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/09
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Carson, Rachel (1907-1964)

Author, Silent Spring, 1962, a bestseller about the harmfulness of pesticides
Silent Spring precipitated a national uproar and jumpstarted the environmental movement
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Cohen, Steven

Executive Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
Author, Sustainability Management: Lessons from and for New York City, America, and the Planet

Commoner, Barry

Protested nuclear testing
Author, The Closing Circle, 1971: “The evidence is overwhelming that the way in which we now live on Earth is driving its thin, life-supporting skin, and ourselves with it, to destruction.”
Proposed policy solutions to ecological problems
Ran for U.S. president in 1980
4 laws of ecology:

  1. Everything is connected to everything else.
  2. Everything must go somewhere.
  3. Nature knows best.
  4. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Founded the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems where he is a senior scientist
Time magazine called him "the Paul Revere of Ecology"
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Cortese, Anthony

President, Second Nature
Developed the Talloires Declaration
Said that “humans are guided by a whole set of beliefs and values, and those come from culture, from religion, from social, economic and political structure. We need to change all of those.”
Said “My belief is that sustainability must be the goal of EVERYTHING that colleges and universities do.”
NAS: “How to Defeat the Res Lifers’ Nouveau Indoctrination Program” by Tom Wood 05/08/08
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/01/09

Crow, Michael M.

Co-chair, ACUPCC steering committee
President, Arizona State University
NAS: “Does Environmentalism ‘Fit Squarely’ with Higher Ed’s Mission?” by Ashley Thorne. 06/01/09

Edwards, Andres

Author, Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways To A Resilient Society (2010)
Author, The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Edwards, Keith

Speaker on rape, social justice, sustainability
Member of ACPA’s sustainability taskforce
Director of campus life at Macalester College
NAS: “Mandatory Rape Lecture for Male Freshmen at Hamilton College” by Ashley Thorne. 09/28/10

Ehrlich, Paul

Biology professor at Stanford University
Author, The Population Bomb, which wrongly predicted that “in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death” due to overpopulation. Ehrlich famously lost a bet with the economist Julian L. Simon over the future prices of five commodities chosen by Ehrlich (copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten.) Ehrlich, believing that earth was running out of resources, bet that prices would rise from 1980 to 1990. He lost decisively.
Believes sustainability is an issue of population control
NAS: “What Good Are People?” by Ashley Thorne. 09/22/09
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/1

Eisenberg, Larry

Former director of Los Angeles Community College District construction program, aimed to take the district off the grid with renewable energy
Became a star speaker at conferences for sustainability and facilities conferences
Fired after LA Times investigation revealed the program’s misdeeds and that it “had wasted up to $140-million in taxpayer money”
Still sits on boards of Second Nature and AASHE
See “Los Angeles Community Colleges Will Restart $6-Billion Construction Program
Principal at Sustainable Strategies Today, renewable energy consulting company

Elder, James

President and Founder, Campaign for Environmental Literacy
Senior Fellow, Second Nature
“James Elder is a social entrepreneur who uncovers and exploits high leverage opportunities to increase the level of society’s environmental literacy.”

Heinz, Teresa

Co-founder of Second Nature with John Kerry
Heinz foundations fund Second Nature
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/01/09
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Kanter, Martha J.

Under secretary for U.S. postsecondary education in the Obama administration
Former member of ACUPCC steering committee, former Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District
Spoke at 2009 ACUPCC climate summit

 Keniry, Julian

Author, Ecodemia: Campus Environmental Stewardship at the Turn of the 21st Century
On staff with the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Project
Helped create the Higher Education Associations’ Sustainability Consortium (HEASC)

Kerr, Kathleen

Director, University of Delaware Residence Life
Serves on ACPA’s sustainability taskforce
Presentation: Myth that sustainability is "mostly about the environment"
NAS: “Ideology @ UCLA Dorms” by Peter Wood. 03/06/08
NAS: “We’ll Be Watching” by Jan Blits and Linda Gottfredson. 05/27/08
NAS: “The Communitarian ResLife Movement” by Tom Wood. 07/18/08
NAS: “Sustainabullies” by Ashley Thorne. 02/12/09
NAS: “Proven Commitment to the Climate” by Ashley Thorne. 04/09/09
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/09
NAS: “Changing the Norms: Sustainability at Penn State” by Ashley Thorne. 12/14/09

Kerry, John

Co-founder of Second Nature with Teresa Heinz
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/01/09
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Lovins, Hunter

President of Natural Capital Solutions
Named a "green business icon" by Newsweek
Teaches sustainable management at Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Seeks to launch “Madrone Project,” which would deliver sustainability education online in the style of Khan Academy

Nelson, Toni

ACUPCC Program Director for Second Nature

Orr, David

Professor of Environmental Studies, Oberlin College
Author, Earth in Mind : On Education, the Environment, and the Human Prospect (2004)
Author, Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (2009)
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/09
NAS: “Swamped: Florida’s Earth Charter U” by Ashley Thorne. 01/06/2010
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Rowe, Debra

Higher Education co-chair of the U.S. Partnership of Education for Sustainable Development
Senior Fellow, Education for Sustainability at University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
Senior Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
Facilitator, Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability 
Professor, renewable energies and energy management at Oakland Community College
Inside Higher Ed: “Sustainability’s Third Circle” by Peter Wood. 04/28/08
Said in a speech at the University of Connecticut 11/05/09 that the only way to ensure a sustainable future for the planet is through radical changes in education, the economy and government. Daily Campus
NAS: “Changing the Norms: Sustainability at Penn State” by Ashley Thorne. 12/14/09

Sachs, Jeffrey

Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Professor, Sustainable Development, Columbia University
Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Author, Common Wealth (Penguin, 2008)
Author, The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005)
See “Sustainability: More Cash and a Softer Side” by Charlotte Allen, Minding the Campus, 05/10/2010

Santone, Susan

Founder and executive director, Creative Change Educational Solutions      

Walton, Judy

Founding executive director, Education for Sustainability Western Network (EFS West), which became AASHE



2009 James Cameron film depicting a sustainable world

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

A biannual journal produced by Columbia University students

FLOW: For Love of Water

A documentary film on the “World Water Crisis” and the privatization of water

Journal of Sustainability Education

An online, peer-reviewed journal for academics and practitioners to share, critique, and promote research, practices, and initiatives that foster the integration of economic, ecological, and social-cultural dimensions of sustainability within formal and non-formal educational contexts.

Story of Stuff

A 20-minute video on the life cycle of material goods, shown in elementary schools and businesses all over the world
Criticizes Americans for “exploiting” natural resources to make goods

Sustainability: The Journal of RecordThe American Family Association says that the video is anti-consumer, and even anti-American because the video implies that Americans are greedy, selfish, cruel to the third world, and "use more than our share."
Glenn Beck, host of the Glenn Beck TV program, characterized the video as an "anti-capitalist tale that unfortunately has virtually no facts correct."

Sustainability: The Journal of Record

A bimonthly journal published in collaboration with AASHE that covers sustainability in higher education
NAS: “An Elbow in the Ribs: Prof-Prodding Toward Sustainability” by Ashley Thorne. 02/17/10

Yale Environment 360

An online magazine published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, containing opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues.


Click the name to read the NAS article about it regarding sustainability:

American University
Antioch University
Arizona State University

Buena Vista University
California State University, Chico
Cornell University
Dartmouth University
Emory University
Florida Gulf Coast University
George Mason University
Goucher College
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Indiana University
Iowa State University
Michigan State University
New York University
Oklahoma University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
Southern Oregon University
Stanford University
St. Lawrence University
Stony Brook University
Tufts University

University of Alaska
University of Chicago
University of Delaware
University of Florida
University of Illinois
University of Iowa
University of North Carolina
University of Southern Florida
University of Toledo
University of Virginia
Utah State University
Washington University
Western Michigan University
West Virginia University
Yale University


Brundtland Commission

Convened by the United Nations in 1983
Brundtland report Our Common Future defined sustainability/sustainable development:
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Gave birth to the Earth Charter
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/2009
NAS: “The Roots of Sustainability” by Glenn Ricketts. 01/19/10

Climate Leadership Summit

Annual conference for ACUPCC signers, sponsors, and friends
2010 summit in Denver 10/12-10-13, R. James Woolsey keynote speaker
2009 summit in Chicago 08/13-08/14, Bill Clinton keynote speaker

Earth Summit/Rio Summit

Convened by the United Nations in 1992
Gave birth to the Kyoto Protocol
NAS: “The Sustainability Movement in the American University” by Peter Wood. 07/27/2009
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/03/2009

Power Shift

A series of youth climate summits in Australia, sponsored by Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Smart and Sustainable Campuses

Held by NACUBO, March 21-23, 2010 at the University of Maryland

Student Summit

2010 conference held 10/10-10/12 in Denver, CO
Hosted by AASHE and NWF Campus Ecology
“A focus on the impact of the global campus and social justice within the field of sustainability”

Sustainable University Symposium

Sponsored by GreenIllinois.gov
2010 Symposium was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This Way to Sustainability

Sponsored by California State University, Chico and Butte Community College
2010 conference held 11/04-11/06
NAS: “The Chico Romance” by Ashley Thorne. 11/06/09


Agenda 21

The United Nations blueprint for sustainability in the twenty-first century


Climate Action Plan, as required by the ACUPCC


Ecology + Economics, a term coined in 1993 by Dennis Weaver


Education for Sustainability


Education for Sustainable Development


Environmental, Social, Governance (often used in terms of investments)

Triple-Bottom Line

Describes the three parts of sustainability
People, Planet, Profit
Society, Environment, Economy
Usually illustrated with a Venn Diagram depicted by Edward Barbier (see image at right); also symbolized by holding up three fingers
NAS: “The Communitarian ResLife Movement: Part 2” by Tom Wood. 08/18/08
NAS: “Peace Plus One” by Ashley Thorne. 10/13/09


Terms Coined by the National Association of Scholars


Justice + Sustainability
Sustainability is almost invariably paired with the word just or justice. This is why sustainability is an all-encompassing schema that calls for the restructuring of society; it is not the same as environmentalism.


People who use coercion, peer pressure, or intimidation to persuade others to alter their behavior in favor of sustainability


Sustainability advocates who want to create utopia on earth, no matter the cost to mankind


Academic Questions, vol. 23, no. 1

Publication of the National Association of Scholars, special issue on sustainability
Articles by Glenn Ricketts, Stanley Trimble, Adam Kissel, Austin Williams, Daniel Bonevac, and Terry Wimberley

Operation Green Out

Led by Holly Swanson, author of Set Up and Sold Out: Find Out What Green Really Means
NAS: “A First Look at Second Nature” by Ashley Thorne. 08/03/09
NAS: “An Interview with Holly Swanson” by Ashley Thorne. 10/15/09

Williams, Austin

Author, Enemies of Progress: The Dangers of Sustainability
NAS: “Wartime Thrift” by Ashley Thorne. 06/04/08

Wood, David

Chairman, Harris Ranch Beef Company
Wrote a letter to California Polytechnic University with concerns about Cal Poly’s focus on sustainability
NAS: “Sustainability Skepticism Has Arrived” by Ashley Thorne. 10/23/2009


This extensive bibliography, compiled by NAS’s John Irving, is a work in progress. It includes both books on sustainability’s place in higher education and books more broadly focused on environmentalism and climate change, many of which are used in the college classroom to teach sustainability. The listings in bold are books on which the NAS has commented.

Aber, John, Tom Kelly, and Bruce Mallory, eds., The Sustainable Learning Community: One University's Journey to the Future, Lebanon, NH: University of New Hampshire Press, 2009

Astin, Helen and Alexander Astin, Leadership Reconsidered: Engaging Higher Education in Social Change. Battle Creek, MI: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 2000

Bardaglio, Peter and Andrea Putnam, Boldly Sustainable: Hope and Opportunity for Higher Education in the Age of Climate Change, Washington: DC: National Association of College and University Business Officers, 2009

Barlett, Peggy R., and Geoffrey W. Chase, Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004

Beavan, Colin, No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009

Beckerman, Wilfred. A Poverty of Reason: Sustainable Development and Economic Growth, Oakland, CA: Independent Institute, 2002. 

Blewitt, John and Cedric Cullingford, Sustainability Curriculum (The): The Challenge for Higher Education, London, UK: Earthscan, 2004

Bookchin, Murray, The Philosophy of Social Ecology: Essays on Dialectical Naturalism, New York: Black Rose, 1990

Brown, Lester R, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. Rev. ed., New York: W.W. Norton, 2008

Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring, New York: Mariner Books, imp. Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Chechile, R.A., and S. Carlisle, eds, Environmental Decision Making: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991

Clark, Robert and Jennifer Ma, Recruitment, Retention, and Retirement in Higher Education: Building and Managing the Faculty of the Future, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005

Collett, Jonathan and Stephen Karakashian, eds., Greening the Curriculum: A Guide To Environmental Teaching In The Liberal Arts, Island Press, 1995.

Commoner, Barry, The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology, New York: Knopf, 1971

Creighton, Sarah Hammond, Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving the Environmental Track Record of Universities, Colleges, and Other Institutions, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998

deBettencourt, Kathleen B., Matthew Feeney, A. Nicole Barone, Keith White, Environmental Connections: A Teacher's Guide to Environmental Studies, Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2000

Dernback, John, ed., Stumbling toward Sustainability, Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute, 2002

Dernbach, John C., Agenda for a Sustainable America, Washington, DC: Environmental Law Institute, 2009

Dynes, Robert C., University of California Policy on Green Building Design and Clean Energy Standards, Oakland, CA: University of California, Office of the President, 2004

Eagan, David, Julian Keniry, and Justin Schott, Higher Education in a Warming World: The Business Case for Climate Leadership on Campus, Reston, VA: National Wildlife Federation, 2008

Edwards, Andres R., The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Press, 2005

Edwards, Andres R., Thriving Beyond Sustainability: Pathways To A Resilient Society, New Society, 2010

Ehrlich, Anne H., The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment, Washington, DC: Island Press, 2008

Ehrlich, Paul, The Population Bomb, Ballantine Books, 1968

Filho, Walter Leal, ed. Sustainability at Universities - Opportunities, Challenges and Trends, Peter Lang, 2009

Friedman, Thomas L, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America, New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008

Friedman, Thomas L., The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Rev. ed. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006

Hawken, Paul, et al., Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Boston, MA: Back Bay Books, imp Little Brown, 2008

Houghton, John T., Y. Ding, D.J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P.J. van der Linden, X. Dai, K. Maskell, and C.A. Johnson, eds., Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Jacobs, Jane, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York: Vintage Books, 1961

Kempton, W., J.S. Boster, and J.A. Hartley, Environmental Values in American Culture, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

Keniry Julian, Ecodemia: Campus Environmental Stewardship at the Turn of the 21st Century, Washington, DC: National Wildlife Federation, 1995

Kirp, David L., Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2003

Kolbert, Elizabeth, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, London: Bloomsbury, 2006

Lerner, Richard M. and Lou Anna Kimsey Simon, eds, University Community Collaborations for the Twenty-First Century, New York: Garland Publishing, 1998

M'Gonigle, Michael and Justine Starke, Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2006

McKenzie Mohr, Doug and William Smith, Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, Gabriola Island, BC Canada: New Society Press, 1999

Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, and Jørgen Randers. The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New York: Universe, 1972

National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise, College Learning for the New Global Century, Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2007

Ometeca Institute, Ometeca Journal, vol. 14 & 15: Educating for Ecological Sustainability, 2010

Orr, David, Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World, Albany: State University of New York, 1992

Orr, David W., The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002

Orr, David W., Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect, 10th Anniversary ed., Washington, DC: Island Press, 2004

Pollan, Michael, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Penguin, 2009

Pollan, Michael, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World, Random, 2002

Pollan, Michael, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Penguin, 2006

Ponting, Clive, A Green History of the World, New York: Penguin, 1991

Putman, Andrea and Michael Philips, The Business Case for Renewable Energy: A Guide for Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC: NACUBO, 2006

Quinn, Daniel, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Bantam, 1995.

Rappaport, Ann and Sarah Hammond Creighton, Degrees that Matter: Climate Change and the University, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007

Reynolds, Heather L., Eduardo S. Brondizio, and Jennifer Meta Robinson, Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across the Curriculum, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009

Rubin, Charles T. The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.

Savitz, Andrew W., The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006

Senge, Peter et al., The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, New York: Doubleday, 2008

Sevier, Robert A, Building a Brand That Matters: Helping Colleges Capitalize on the Four Essential Elements of a Block-Buster Brand, Hiawatha, IA: Strategy Publishing, 2002

Simpson, Walter ed., The Green Campus: Meeting the Challenge of Environmental Sustainability, Alexandria, BA: APPA, 2008

Smith, Anthony and Frank Webster, eds., The Postmodern University? Contested Visions of Higher Education in Society, Bristol, PA: Taylor and Francis, 1997.

Stefanovic, Ingrid Leman, Safeguarding Our Common Future: Rethinking Sustainable Development, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000

Sterling, Stephen, Sustainable Education: Re-visioning Learning and Change, Dartington, Devon, UK: Green Books Ltd., 2001

Stibbe Arran, ed., The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy, Dartington, Totnes, Devon UK: Green Books 2009

Stone, Michael K., Smart By Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press (Watershed Media), 2009

Stone, Michael K. and Zenobia Barlow, eds., Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, Sierra Club Books, 2005.

Sullivan, William M. and Matthew S. Rosin, A New Agenda for Higher Education: Shaping a Life of the Mind for Practice, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008

Swanson, Holly, Set Up & Sold Out: Find Out What Green Really Means, 3rd edition, White City, OR: CIN Publishing, 2003

Timpson, William M., Brian Dunbar, Gailmarie Kimmel, Brett Bruyere, Peter Newman, and Hillary Mizia, 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy, and Society, Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing, 2006

Toor, William and Spense Havlick, Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities: Issues, Examples, and Solutions, Portland: Island Press, 2004

Williams, Austin, The Enemies of Progress: The Dangers of Sustainability, Exeter, UK: Societas, 2008

Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2009: Into a Warming World, Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2009

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