International Educator - May/June 2012 - 46
Iowa State professor Mark Rectanus, who says the grant will also fund new modules on sustainability and biodiversity in existing courses on “Russia Today,” “Germany Today,” etc., as well as new courses on environmental issues in the Middle East or the historical roots of green concerns. The collaboration has already moved beyond the doors of Iowa State: faculty are holding workshops for elementary and middle school teachers to talk about sustainability and biodiversity. Iowa State students are creating a Spanish-language Web site for high school students on transportation issues. The Global Pathways emphasis on biodiversity and sustainability is also being incorporated into existing Iowa State study abroad programs, including a six-week summer program in Valencia, Spain, which hosted more than 100 students in 2011. Biology students may choose to spend the entire time working in a Spanish lab with a University of Valencia faculty member or working on a different field experience each week. Student experiences have included sea
turtles and dolphins to the business side of running a botanical garden, an aquarium, or a biopark, and what sustainability means to Spaniards today. “We are starting to see students applying for graduate degrees in marine biology,” says Chad Gasta, who directs the Valencia program. “In Iowa, they never would have done that without the exposure offered by this program.”
an International aisle in Every Grocery Store
Lori Unruh Snyder in Purdue University’s Department of Agronomy also discovered that education abroad opportunities with a sustainability focus provide an avenue for agricultural students to have critically important international experiences. Snyder says the U.S. Agency for International Development has an urgent need for agricultural professionals with international experience, yet agricultural students consistently comprise one of the smallest percentages of students in education abroad programs.
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Students from dePaul university work on constructing a secondary school in the rural community of Zurzular, Honduras, as part of a Global Brigades education abroad experience.