|Corcoran pushes for increased sustainability|
|Written by Ella White, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011 23:50|
The Department of English welcomed noted environmentalist and professor at Florida Gulf Coast University Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran Thursday afternoon as he hosted a series of presentations around campus.
Corcoran’s first presentation, “Global Environmental Education,” lasted a half hour and was followed by a casual discussion and conversation over light food and coffee.
“This morning, I tried to provide an evolving picture of environmental education in higher education,” Corcoran said.
“We looked at the field of sustainability and how it is being critically conceptualized in a variety of places in the world, and we looked at three very different southern hemisphere contexts where I had the privilege of working and still work,” Corcoran added.
Later in the day, Corcoran presented his featured talk, “The Urgency of Mainstreaming Sustainability in Higher Education: The Promise of Earth Charter Ethics,” in the University Galleries at the Center for Visual Arts where he discussed higher education in the northern hemisphere and at ISU.
Corcoran rationalized the urgency of sustainability and how important it is to mainstream sustainability in higher education and used the Earth Charter, a declaration of fundamental, ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful world.
“I believe it is critically important for us to look at today’s problems from an ethical perspective,” Corcoran said. “I believe that many of the problems that we face are essentially ethical problems, and therefore it follows that these problems are subject to ethical solutions.”
Corcoran provided a group discussion period where individuals talked to their neighbors about what they think ISU needs to do to improve sustainability that it is currently not employing.
Items that many individuals brought up included providing dorms with censored lighting and expanding the student garden through awareness to spread sustainability.
“I’m doing a project right now with the Science University of Malaysia where they are doing great stuff and they are deeply committed to sustainability. The country is committed to sustainable development, the universities are committed to being part of that process and are doing great things, but they have asked me how the Earth Charter might help them cross some of those boundaries, and think of sustainability problems as being science problems, not humanity’s problems or social science problems,” Corcoran said.
Currently, Corcoran serves as a visiting professor at the Science University of Malaysia and is an adjunct professor at the University of the South Pacific. Corcoran is also a board member for the International Network for Education Exchange headquarters in Vienna, Austria and serves as a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Among his experiences in the his studies on international environment education, Corcoran said he takes pride in his work and dedicates valuable time day-to-day to study the environment and help the universe.
Corcoran’s final presentation will be held today, Feb. 25, in the Institutional Resource Commons at the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. His talk, “Teaching in Difficult Times,” will include interactive workshops and a short presentation.