This year, Marian University’s Institute for Green and Sustainable Science (IGSS) was one of three environmental finalists for the 2014 Indianapolis Sustainability Awards.
Directed by Carl Lecher, Ph.D. ’97, associate professor of chemistry, and Rob Macrae, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, IGSS is a research, education, and outreach center, created to engage students and faculty in the study of sustainability issues, particularly in ecology, green chemistry, and energy science.
Since its inception in 2009, IGSS has grown significantly and in 2013, received a highly competitive grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund its well-regarded summer program, a seven-week, research-based course taught by Marian University faculty that creates a collaborative environment where individual and collective efforts lead to research and scholarly work within the field of sustainability.
Last summer, for the first time, IGSS hosted a cohort of science teachers, which allowed them to make a large-scale impact on the teaching of environmental sustainability in the high school setting.
“We envisioned a program in sustainability unlike any other in the country, had the dedication to create it, and the determination to seek and obtain the crucial funding from the EPA. We worked to forge relationships with local environmental entities, develop research partnerships, improve the educational portion of the program, and market the program to interested parties. The resulting 2013 summer program was the largest and most impactful summer program in the history of IGSS,” said Dr. Lecher.
This summer, a new cohort of science teachers will study sustainability at Marian University, with the potential to impact how and what more than 2,500 high school students will learn about sustainability.