Intensive environmental sustainability education: Long-term impacts on workplace behavior

Bruce I. Dvorak, Benjamin A. Stewart, Ahmed A. Hosni, Stacey A. Hawkey, Valdeen Nelsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The University of Nebraska Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) program has provided a results-oriented intensive sustainability course since 1997. This course focuses on providing students with application tools to promote environmental sustainability, including a service learning internship component directly on site at businesses. A survey was used to evaluate the long-term impact of this intensive sustainability course on subsequent workplace behavior of past student interns. Comparison of former interns with a control group found that interns reported they were more likely to apply source reduction principles in their workplace and more able to quantify the impact of implementation. A strong personal environmental ethic was an important predictor of reporting success in applying source reduction. Those past students with the intensive sustainability course and a self-reported strong environmental ethic were significantly more likely to report successful implementation of source reduction, even though both interns and the control group considered pollution-prevention concepts at similar rates. These data suggest that exposure to an intensive sustainability course can have a positive long-term impact on workplace behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Volume137
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Education-practice interchange
  • Engineering education
  • Sustainable development
  • Teaching methods
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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