A Faculty Workshop for Sustainability

Valley & Ridge 2017

Valley & Ridge 2017: Interdisciplinary faculty study group for sustainability.

Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum

In collaboration with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Dickinson hosted the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Valley & Ridge Faculty Development Workshops and opened applications to undergraduate faculty from other colleges and universities to participate alongside the Dickinson faculty cohort. Faculty that were thinking about integrating social, economic and/or environmental sustainability into their undergraduate teaching were encouraged to apply, and 17-20 participants were accepted into the program. We have now worked with over 15 other institutions from througout the region and covered disciplines such as engineering, theatre and dance, economics, Italian, and chemistry. Our 2020 workshop was cancelled due to COVID-19, and our 2021 workshop welcomed Dickinson faculty only.

Valley & Ridge has annually brought together faculty members from all academic disciplines to work collaboratively to introduce and enhance sustainability content in new and existing courses across the curriculum. Sponsored by Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education, and now entering it's 12th year, this workshop has helped over 85 Dickinson faculty connect the subject areas of their teaching with sustainability using active learning pedagogies such as place-based & experiential education.

The Valley and Ridge Project at Dickinson takes its name from the physiographic region within which the College lies, which is marked by the Allegheny Plateau to the north and west, South Mountain to the south and east, and Cumberland Valley in-between. The project got its impetus from Dickinson’s participation in the Shared Futures and Sustainability Initiatives of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Valley and Ridge Project is modeled after the Piedmont Project of Emory University and the Ponderosa Project of Northern Arizona University.

Participants that complete the program are then classified as Valley & Ridge Fellows and can contribute to and benefit from a resource network with other fellows, participate in continuing education and experiential programs offered by CSE, and continue to advance sustainability within their discipline and across the curriculum.

Faculty Engagement through Participation: 

  • Examine the concept of sustainability, its varied interpretations, and connections with different fields of study;
  • Create new or modify existing courses to integrate sustainability across the curriculum;
  • Use their local environment and community to teach a sense of place; 
  • Connect service learning, community-based research & living laboratory programs to sustainability;
  • Learn how to use their campus and its sustainability programs as teaching resources;
  • Explore transdisciplinary connections to other faculty and programs within their institution and beyond;
  • Share resources for developing and enhancing sustainability content in courses.


  • Seeking faculty from any academic disciplines looking to incorporate sustainability into their teaching.
  • Dickinson faculty are encouraged to apply for May 25-27, 2021 workshop. 
  • Space is limited. 
  • Participants will follow all community safety standards.
  • Food will be provided as safety requirements allow.
  • Particpants will be required to provide their own transportation to local sites for safety.
  • Dickinson faculty receive a stipend, and may attend at no cost.
  • We are not able to accomodate non-Dickinson participants for 2021.

Contact sustainability@dickinson.edu or 717.245.1117 for more information.