Sustainability Education and Research

Global Media Network
Directed by LDI Research Associate George Smith, Department of Landscape Architecture & LDI Director (at time of project) Dave Ferguson, Department of Landscape Architecture

iCommunications-funded project (first phase $43,700, with minor funds from other sources also awarded) to develop a global network for sustainability education and research. The project includes development of a partnership with the U.K.-based Earth Centre. Other centers and institutions may also partner with this initiative in the future. Activities during the first six months of this project include:

  • Coordination of a Think Tank on Education for Sustainability at the Earth Centre, and development of proceedings for the Think Tank (under the direction of G. Smith)
  • Development of webcast capability from the Earth Centre
  • Visit by UK partners to BSU
  • Conceptual framework for an interactive website that will be a clearinghouse for sustainable development activities and information. A preliminary version of a home website for this effort will be ready for demonstration in Fall 2002

Ecological Restoration Workshop Program
Directed by LDI Director (at time of project) Dave Ferguson, Department of Landscape Architecture

Ongoing program (funded for $10,000 through Ball Grant in 2000 but since 2001, LDI has been its home). The mission of the project is to develop educational modules in a workshop (1-2 day) format on a variety of sustainable technology topics including constructed wetlands, bioengineering and native plant restoration. Target audiences have been primarily on-campus students and to a limited extent practicing design professionals. LDI sponsored the first CAP/Indy-based ecological restoration workshop in June. The topic was Constructed Wetlands and the attendees included both practicing Civil Engineers and Landscape Architects from the Indianapolis region.

Shanghai Ecological Planning Partnership and Exchange
Directed by LDI Director (at time of project) Dave Ferguson, Department of Landscape Architecture, with Scott Olson, Dean CCIM, approximately $20,000 – internal funding

Progress on this project centered on two exchanges. In August 2001, a team of faculty and consultants from Ball State traveled to Shanghai for two weeks at request of the Shanghai Social Sciences Association to present seminars on pollution control, smart city growth and communications approaches in a new market economy. After successful conclusion of the seminars, a team from Shanghai agreed to come to Ball State to explore expanded relationships with the university. In February, the SSSA team spent a week on campus and at its conclusion, agreements in five areas of collaboration were agreed upon. The areas included business administration courses for Chinese entrepreneurs, English courses for teachers, and collaboration on city planning projects and student exchanges.

Second Chance Game
Directed by LDI Research Associate (at time of project) John Motloch, Department of Landscape Architecture; Pedro Pecheco, phd.candidate; Beth Gonser, 6th grade teacher; and staff of the Minnetrista Cultural Center & Oakhurst Garden – internally (iCommunications) and externally (IHETS) funded (approx.$30,000)

Development of a game that demonstrates principles of sustainability to middle school students through classroom lessons, pre- and post-game activities, outdoor investigation, and the outdoor game as a decision-making process focused on building a shelter using local earth-based and fiber-based resources. This hands-on game has been developed and being played on the grounds of the Nature Area at Minnetrista Cultural Center. A digital teacher development module is presently funded. Future funding will be sought for development of the digital/video game.

US-Brazil Sustainability Consortium (a FIPSE/CAPES partnership)
Directed by LDI Research Associate (at time reported) John Motloch, Department of Landscape Architecture (U.S.) and Rodolpho Ramina (Brazil). – internally funded for initial travel (approx.$5,000), and proposal development for FIPSE/CAPES international student exchange grant and a series of education, research, and outreach projects

International partnership centered on student exchange under a FIPSE proposal currently under development. Consortium partners in the U.S. include Ball State University; the Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Capital (IC2) at the University of Texas, and the Center for Maximum Building Systems in Austin, Texas. Brazilian consortium partners include the Parana Center for Technology and universities in the States of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. Preliminary discussions with Brazilian partners in Curitiba and Puerto Allegre indicate interest in development of a course derived from the Ball State Clustered Minors in Sustainable Practices program. The Ball State Clustered Minors curriculum group will assist in developing an introductory sustainability course based on the existing sustainable minors core courses. Additional interest areas, to be developed if the FIPSE grant is successful, include student exchanges at the graduate level for environmental design and architecture students possibly leading to a certificate or degree program.

Land Design Institute
Architecture Building (AB), room 226
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Phone: 765-285-1971
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