Sustainability Profiles in General Chemistry

This project will develop a suite of learning tools, to be integrated into all four levels of general chemistry at CSU, that better illustrate the extensive sustainability implications of foundational chemistry work. Chemical concepts are foundational to issues involving air, climate, food, soil, and water. Basic chemistry is integral to much of society’s quality of life, including production of materials and modern medicine; at the same time, it generates waste with damaging impacts to the environment and health. For students to understand the connection between science, society, and economics, chemistry curriculum must move beyond merely using sustainability issues as examples of fundamental chemical principles, to include and examine the social-environmental-economic issues surrounding the chemistry as formal learning goals. This project will expand the development of a toolbox for chemical sustainability profiles, adjustable in scope, of learning goals, essays, PowerPoint/keynote presentations, lecture recordings, and sample exam questions on sustainability topics that can be used across chemistry courses (which reach around 3,000 students per year) and courses in other departments. Examples include greenhouse gases, fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions, ammonia synthesis and use, acid rain, air and water pollution, and nuclear power.

Terry Gray

Instructor, Department of Chemistry

Kerry MacFarland

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Harmony Tucker

Instructor, Department of Chemistry