For many people, fall marks the return to the lecture halls, dorms and classrooms of a college campus. What better time for Leaf Litter to explore the topic of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Sustainability is working its way into the missions of many colleges and universities. In the past three years, presidents from more than 650 colleges and universities have signed on to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  An increasing number of colleges and universities have designated sustainability coordinators and offices. According to a survey by the The Princeton Review, more than a quarter of university applicants now say that a school’s commitment to environmental issues would “very much” or “strongly” influence their decision to apply.

It is clear that a movement is underway. But who is leading this movement and where is it going? Join us as we school ourselves on the subject of sustainability in higher education.

We begin by interviewing the man many say launched this movement, David Orr. The tireless writer, speaker, entrepreneur and environmental educator talks to us about how far the movement has come and the many challenges that remain. We also profile the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), link to non-profit spotlight and chat with the organization’s new president, Paul Rowland.

Any discussion of campus sustainability would be incomplete without the voice of an actual student. Meet Dan Omasta, a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder who is helping to further his campus’ sustainability movement in his role as Director of Sustainability for the Student Union.

Architect Luanne Greene, Principal and Director of the Campus Planning Studio for architectural and planning firm Ayers/Saint/Gross, offers us a glimpse into the world of campus master planning. Internationally renowned proponent and practitioner of sustainable and regenerative design Bill Reed stresses that sustainability requires a true change in our thinking practice.

Biohabitats’ landscape architects Allegra Bukojemsky and Jennifer Dowdell tell us how campuses can embrace sustainability holistically by integrating landscape sustainability and green infrastructure into campus planning and design. We provide loads of resources on the topic of sustainability in higher education. Be sure to check them out. We’ll also tell you about some of our recent campus-related work and other Biohappenings.

As always, we want to know what you think. Visit our blog, Rhizome, and share your thoughts.  If you want to reference a specific article, be sure to include it in your post.

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