Summer Interns “Green” Penn Courses

July 8, 2013

As summer begins, so do student research assistants working to infuse themes of environmental sustainability into a variety of courses as part of the Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) program. These ISAC research assistants will conduct research, create reading lists, and prepare class presentations that will be used in the coming academic year.

Professors who are a part of ISAC attended a workshop in April, where they began to vision the “greening” of their subject areas. Mark Alan Hughes, Professor of Practice in the School of Design, and Penn Architecture Lecturer Leslie Billheymer will be developing their new course, Sustainability in Practice, with the assistance of rising College senior, Rosemary Santos. Professor Hughes applied for an ISAC research assistant this year because, he said, “I participated as a content expert in last summer’s workshop and was intrigued by all the courses being developed.” For courses in Penn Design, he said, “Sustainability is a practice operating across a variety of scales and skills. Sustainability in Practice will explore the ways that decision makers use systems analysis and design thinking to confront the career-defining challenges facing the next generation of leaders. Networks of practice from across North America and around the globe will provide case material and guest lectures.”

Sustainability in Practice will be offered as a Coursera course, a MOOC (massive open online course). Professor Hughes anticipates that the ISAC format will prove invaluable: “Rosemary is providing tech-savvy research assistance, which is essential for Coursera. She is helping place materials on the platform in a way that will help Coursera students access and learn from the lectures and assignments.”

In addition to working with Professors Hughes and Billhymer, Ms. Santos is paired with Ariel Ben-Amos (Urban Studies) for Cities & Sustainability (URBS 417). Luke Saputelli, C’15, is working with Alain Plante (Earth & Environmental Science) on Principles of Sustainable Science, and Andrew Huemmler (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) on Climate Policy & Technology (EAS 301-505). Learn more about participating in the ISAC program.


The Swine Teaching and Research Center at Penn’s New Bolton Center has capacity to meet 10-12% of its energy needs using solar power.

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