Community Sustainability

Department of Community Sustainability, CSUS.   (Formerly called the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies, CARRS).
This is a multidisciplinary department focusing on contemporary issues of sustainability in agriculture, recreation, natural resources, and the environment.  The department’s mission is to “assist the development of sustainable communities by conducting excellent scholarly research, teaching, and outreach in the following areas:

  1. education and civic engagement,
  2. community, food, and agriculture,
  3. natural resources and environment, and
  4. recreation and tourism systems.”

Groups/Centers/Institutes in the Department of Community Sustainability.

Graduate Programs in Community Sustainability and Sustainable Tourism and Protected Areas Management.


Teaching Sustainabililty

UNESCO, Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future: a multimedia teacher education programme.
This program from UNESCO is designed to provide professional development to help teachers worldwide understand sustainable development concepts and issues in order to establish curricula. It is a free series of 27 fully developed online modules that include such topics as Sustainable tourism, Sustainable communities, Climate change, Women and sustainable development.   Also offers teaching and learning strategies.

 “Teaching Sustainability” (Peter Jacques, Dept. of Political Science, University of Central Florida).
Although designed for UCF faculty, this resource could be helpful to anyone interested in teaching sustainability in their specific and individualized courses. Provides terminology, data, and a list of references.

Sustainability Science (Thomas Dietz, Director, MSU’s Environmental Science Policy Program, September 4, 2008)
Power Point slides for a talk on “What is sustainability science?”

Tips for Teaching Sustainability (Beth Conklin, Vanderbilt University Professor of Anthropology).
Eight suggestions for teaching sustainability successfully.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
The association’s mission is to “empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation” by providing resources, professional development, and support.

On Sustainability Knowledge Community.
An interdisciplinary society with a common concern for sustainability.  Publishes journals, holds a conference, and provides a community for scholars and educators in the field.

Sustainability Office, MSU.
Focus on “creating a sustainable world.”


Syllabi and Course Material on Sustainablity:

MERLOT II (Multimedia educational resource for learning and online teaching).
Type “sustainability” into the search engine to pull up links and descriptions for over 130 sites dealing with a wide range of sustainability issues and programs.

MIT OpenCourseWare.
Free online materials from MIT courses, including syllabi.  Type “sustainability” into their search engine to retrieve links to literally thousands of courses related to sustainability in a wide range of disciplines.


Journals on Sustainability:

Michigan Journal of Sustainability (University of Michigan).
Online, open access periodical publishing peer reviewed articles on a wide variety of sustainability subjects aimed to appeal to readers from a broad range of specialties and backgrounds. See the website section Teaching & Learning for links to articles in the journal on sustainability education.

On Sustainability:  Journal Collection.
Describes four themed journals and one annual review of the sustainability collection from the On Sustainability knowledge community described above.

Journal of Sustainability Education (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).
Provides a forum for academics and practitioners to share the wide range of sustainability issues in educational contexts.  Archives can be searched by sustainability topic.

An international open access scholarly journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings.  Published monthly.  Free for readers.

International Journal of Development and Sustainability (International Society for Development & Sustainability).
Peer-reviewed open-access journal covering “all aspects of the environmental, economic, social, and cultural sustainability.”


Education and Civic Engagement

Service Learning and Civic Engagement Guides, MSU Libraries.
Links to resources describing the service learning experience, outcomes, volunteerism and service learning in specific disciplines.  Also provides a bibliography of special topics in service learning such as “Democratic Dilemmas” and “International Service Learning.”

Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, MSU.
MSU students can search the database for service learning opportunities.
See also the Tools of Engagement site, a series of 6 modules for undergraduate students to do when engaged in community outreach.  Links to the curriculum and the modules at:

Journals/Publications Related to Civic Engagement in Higher Education (North Carolina/Campus Compact).
Provides an annotated list of links to journals and e-journals related to civic engagement.
Also see North Carolina’s extensive list of Reflection Resources for those engaged in Service-Learning, from definition and how-tos, to theory and practice.

Leading Engagement Journals (University of Alabama).
Another annotated list of links to journals in the area of civic engagement.

Journals on Teaching, Service Learning, and Civic Engagement (American Political Science Association Resources)
Links to journals and publications in this field.

Resources in Civic Learning (Association of American Colleges and Universities, AACU).
Links to AAC&U initiatives; online publications; and issues and articles on Civic Engagement from Diversity & Democracy, Liberal Education, and Peer Review.

Leading Organizations in Civic Learning (Association of American Colleges and Universities, AACU).
An extensive annotated list of leading organizations in this area, with live links.

See also on this Online Instructional Resources website Civic Engagement for additional resources on this and related areas. Also see Service Learning.


Community, Food, and Agriculture

Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Research Guides, MSU Libraries.
Links to articles, working papers, books, dissertations, data and statistics, and other resources in these areas.  Also contains links to material on citing and citation management.

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.

See the following site for Webinars, reports, presentations, and other resources in food systems from January 2005 through December 2013.


Natural Resources and Environment

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
FAO’s mission includes eradication of hunger and the sustainable management and use of natural resources.  The homepage has wide-ranging links to resources and action programs globally.

Natural Resources and Environment (Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations). 
News, announcements, and publications on a global scale.

Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook,” 2013 (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
A free online guidebook to agriculture practices and policies that will insure food security and the preservation of natural resources for the future.  Based on sustainable development goals of increasing agricultural productivity, building resilience to climate change, and reducing/removing greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural Resources and Ecology Research Guide, MSU Libraries.
Guides to resources on ecology, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, water, and plant sciences.  Also links to guides on effective nature writing and teaching environmental literature.

Environmental Science and Policy Program, MSU.
This is an umbrella program for environmental research and graduate education in environmental science and policy.

Environment and Society:  Scholarly Journals (College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York).
From A to Z, a long list of links on all aspects of environment and society.
See also the online resources links to associations, discussion lists, virtual libraries, and more at


Recreation and Tourism Systems

USA Department of Recreation and Tourism.
Links to dozens of sites with resources in such areas as national forests, fishing and wildlife agencies, national trails systems, state travel and tourism sites, and national atlas maps.

Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
Publishes peer reviewed articles on all aspects of outdoor recreation and management.  Abstracts free online; full articles for fee.

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
The society’s mission is to advance the profession of outdoor recreation and education.

Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Library Guide, MSU.
Information on finding articles, books, USDA/Federal resources, data and statistics, and additional resources in parks, recreation, and leisure.


Other Resources

MSU Sustainability Across the Curriculum Faculty Learning Community References 2008-2009.
A working bibliography of resources for teaching and learning about sustainability.
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Peace Corps Master’s International Program at MSU.