Educating for the Climate
The impacts of the higher education system far reaching and vital to Eugene’s future. Each year thousands of students take part in learning about and performing research to mitigate the impacts of climate change at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College. The impacts on emission reduction are difficult to quantify but are one of the greatest contributions to the community’s efforts to address emissions, equity, and adaptation. This section highlights some of the people and programs at these two institutions.
The Sustainability Coordinator Associate of Applied Science Program is an interdisciplinary degree that provides career-technical training for emerging sustainability professionals, the first program of its kind in the nation. Unlike traditional, discipline-specific degrees, this degree draws its interconnected content from across the curriculum. Students build sustainability knowledge and professional skills through a diverse program of courses and internships.
Knowledge and skills include science and systems thinking including ecology, atmospheric science, and climate change; social and political science including health, environmental economics, and social movements; technical knowledge including recycling and green buildings; communication skills including writing, public speaking, and consensus-building; and administrative skills including data collection and report writing.
Energy Management – Associate of Applied Science (Online)
The Energy Management Associate of Applied Science program prepares students in the strategic evaluation of energy use for commercial facilities. Lane Community College was the first in the United States to offer a college degree in Energy Management.
The Water Conservation Technician Associate of Applied Science program prepares students to evaluate water use patterns; develop, implement, market and maintain conservation programs; perform public outreach; recommend water efficiency techniques; integrate alternative water sources, and perform systems analysis to solve problems.
Professor Wood founded and directs the top-ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She is the creator of the “Atmospheric Trust Litigation,” which builds on the centuries-old Public Trust doctrine to argue that citizens have a right to a livable planet, that the climate itself is a public trust. This work is at the heart of the Juliana vs. US lawsuit currently under review in federal court.
Professor Schlossberg researches how to make cities more conducive to walking, biking, and other means of sustainable transportation. He also helms the Sustainable Cities Institute, an applied think-tank that supports regional, metropolitan clients in envisioning increased sustainability in their city through student work projects.
Professor Moore researches the life cycle impacts of building construction and how buildings reflect and construct human understandings of nature. She also studies how buildings can be designed specifically for an intended ecological context. Her most recent work focuses explicitly on climate change and how buildings consume fossil fuels and can also contribute to carbon sequestration.
Professor LeMenager co-leads the Center for Environmental Futures, which is an interdisciplinary collective of faculty and students focused on the intersection of environmentalism and social justice. Her research focuses on the place of the human in the era of climate change, both looking at the historical and cultural contexts leading to the present crisis and also considering what the future may bring and mean for humanity.
Lead faculty: Mark Blaine, Torsten Kjellstrand, Deborah Morrison, and Dan Morrison
The Science and Memory Project trains students in how to convey the complex story of climate change in compelling multi-media digital narratives. Students have visited Alaska, Ghana, and the Oregon Coast, learning about the impacts of climate change in the area and the science behind it, before creating projects that convey that complicated story to a general audience.
Professor Boettcher’s research focuses on “developing inorganic materials for solar energy conversion and storage.” The goal is to make solar energy efficient and scalable as part of a necessary transition away from fossil fuels.