The Emergence of the Field of Sustainability Science: Influences on Faculty Behavior Related to Sustainability Work

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The Emergence of the Field of Sustainability Science: Influences on Faculty Behavior Related to Sustainability Work

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2017-05

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ABSTRACT This study investigates sustainability science as an emerging scientific field and the role of faculty members at higher education institutions as drivers of change in sustainability-science-based research, teaching, and community engagement. Seven factors related to the transdisciplinary field of sustainability science are analyzed for their influence on faculty behavior. This study is based on interviews with faculty members from a broad variety of disciplines at a large, public, research institution. The analysis shows that colleagues from other disciplines, student interests, and stakeholder and citizen interests exert very strong influences on faculty work to address the complex problems of sustainability. The study suggests that faculty members value the ability to develop strong interdisciplinary teams to find solutions to sustainability problems, even with the significant investments of time required and institutional barriers; see students as motivators and well-prepared future researchers in applying sustainability science approaches; and engage non-scientists as essential partners in sustainability research, a key characteristic of sustainability science’s transdisciplinary approach.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2017. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Melissa Anderson. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 251 pages.

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Carlson, Carla (ORCID: 0000-0002-3478-0418). (2017). The Emergence of the Field of Sustainability Science: Influences on Faculty Behavior Related to Sustainability Work. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/188861.

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