Publication Details

Bowser, G., Gretzel, U., Davis, E. & Brown, M. (2014). Educating the future of sustainability. Sustainability, 6 (2), 692-701.


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.

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