Creating a generation of Ambrosians committed to the cause of Sustainability is the aim of the St. Ambrose University 2013-14 academic project.
"This has to be the age of sustainability," said Rev. Robert "Bud" Grant '80, PhD, coordinator of a campus-wide initiative led by the College of Arts and Sciences.
Although Sustainability represents a number of ideas and approaches, SAU primarily will focus on the "green" side, Fr. Grant said. Most of the lectures have been set and 13 courses will be taught that tie in with the theme.
First Year Experience will make the book Living Downstream required reading, and author Sandra Steingraber will visit SAU for a public reading on Oct. 22.
Ideas beyond the podium and the classroom have been proposed by GreenLife, SAU's student environmental club. From staging a "don't drive in" movie night to hydroponic gardens, the club hopes to introduce activities that get students in the habit of being green.
Fr. Grant said raising awareness of current and looming environmental issues and encouraging students to reflect on the topic, are key focuses of the project. The final hope is to change behavior.
"That last step can't be forced, it can't be required," Grant said.