We are a team of researchers from the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We believe that sustainability should be a central focus of cross-disciplinary instruction in schools.
Barbara Hug, PhD
Dr. Hug is a teaching associate professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the College of Education. She has been co-leading the Sustainable World Collaborative since 2018 with Stina Krist. Dr. Hug’s work focuses on developing and using curriculum materials that support inquiry learning in science. Much of her work to date has addressed this need by working on developing materials that allow students to engage in extended inquiry investigations. Her research examines the supports needed by both teachers and students as they engage in inquiry practices. Barbara’s work is done in a collaborative manner with teachers, scientists, and graduate students and includes examining both professional development and classroom environments.
Stina Krist, PhD
Dr. Krist is an assistant professor in Curriculum & Instruction at the College of Education. She has been co-leading the Sustainable World Collaborative since 2018 with Barbara Hug. Her work focuses on making science learning meaningful for students and teachers, especially in the context of current reforms such as the NGSS. Her research explores how science classroom communities develop forms of engagement in disciplinary practices, such as modeling and argumentation, that are meaningful to them. She also studies how teachers learn to create and sustain environments that foster students’ epistemic agency in building science knowledge, and how ethics such as care and justice can undergird science learning.
Julia is a master’s student at Teachers College, Columbia University studying Education Policy. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2023 with her BA in Elementary Education and Spanish. She has been working on the Sustainable World Collaborative since the fall of 2020. The Sustainable World Collaborative has sparked her interest in how futures, values, systems, and strategic thinking—as explained in the Sustainability Education Framework for Teachers developed at ASU—can affect how we look at sustainability and sustainability education. She hopes that with the right strategy, sustainability can be integrated into all elementary subjects, therefore teaching people that it is an issue that should be approached holistically. Julia is thankful for the time she has spent with the Sustainable World team.
Kate is a teacher at Carrie Busey Elementary in Champaign, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BA in Elementary Education in 2023. She began working in the Sustainable World Collaborative in the fall semester of 2021. Kate’s interest in sustainability education was nurtured by her time spent as a child and later as an environmental educator at Douglas-Hart Nature Center in Mattoon, Illinois. She hopes to integrate sustainability across the curriculum in her future classroom and plans to focus especially on environmental justice, tying instruction directly to students’ lived experiences. She hopes that the time spent by researchers in developing this resource will make sustainable teaching more accessible to educators by lightening the burden of locating appropriate resources. Kate has appreciated her time with the project for the exposure to cutting edge and creative sustainability education globally.
Logan H. Lauren
Logan graduated with a M.S. in Biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013 and has certificates in Graphic Design and Technical Writing. Since joining the Sustainable World Collaborative in 2022, their work includes developing the visual brand and website. Previously, Logan has designed for National Geographic Society and developed content at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. They are interested in developing visual communications and learning interactives that equitably empower people to learn and care about nature and each other.
Tiffany Clark is a veteran public school teacher, having taught in the elementary classroom since 1999. She joined the Sustainable World Collaborative in 2023. Tiffany believes that children are powerful forces for change when given the opportunity and guidance to focus their innate understanding of the universe and its relationships. Sustainable World Collaborative provided the opportunity to form an intersection between these understandings of children and the economic, environmental, and social influences of sustainability. Tiffany is enthusiastic about collaborating to develop multi-faceted curricula focusing on inquiry, problem solving, and social justice through investigations into the science of the problems facing our world.
Elissa is a junior studying elementary education with a minor in psychology and an end goal of becoming a school counselor. As a recent member of the Sustainable World Collaborative since fall 2021, Elissa is fascinated by the various types of resources that could be found and utilized to construct engaging lesson plans for students. Elissa helps to look for easy-to-use resources for students of all ages to assist teachers in planning both lessons and individual activities. In the future, she’s looking forward to this database providing a space for educators to connect with one another.
Erin is a senior studying elementary education with a minor in psychology and earning an endorsement in secondary education social science: psychology. After graduation, she is either planning to teach in Chicago or continue on to law school with a focus on environmental science or education policy. Erin has been working in the Sustainable World Collaborative since the fall of 2021. Erin has always had a passion for environmental equity and educational equity. The mission of the Sustainable World Collaborative is to make sustainable science education accessible to students and teachers across the globe, which strongly aligns with her goals for her future career and how she hopes to impact the field of education. She hopes that this research can support educators and schools to effectively integrate sustainable educational practices and lessons into the curriculum. While researching, Erin has discovered a wide range of resources from countries and organizations around the world. Erin hopes that the development of the Sustainable World database will serve as a valuable resource for educators wishing to incorporate sustainability lessons and materials into their classroom instruction.
Heather is a junior studying elementary education. She started working on the Sustainable World Collaborative in the fall semester of 2022. After graduation, Heather hopes to teach Third Grade in the Northern Chicago Suburbs. She hopes to include sustainability in her lessons in her future classroom and spark an interest in her student’s minds about sustainability. She hopes that this resource will provide support to teachers interested in planning lessons about sustainability all across the globe.
Sakshi is an international student from India, who’s always interested in sustainability ideas. She runs a waste management company in Rajasthan, India, while pursuing her undergrad from UIUC. She’s a junior who joined the Sustainable World Collaborative as she is keen on sustainability education for young students. She feels that she can contribute meaningfully to this project, working alongside students of Education, by bringing in the subject expertise and a varied perspective.
Annabelle received her bachelor’s in elementary education at the University of Illinois in 2019. In 2021, she completed her master’s in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency (DELTA). She became a part of the Sustainable World Collaborative in May of 2020. Annabelle first developed an interest in sustainability growing up next to the world-renowned Brookfield Zoo. Her favorite part of working on this project was broadening her understanding of sustainability to include a global perspective in hopes of helping more students access a comprehensive and culturally relevant science education. In addition to Sustainable World, Annabelle has worked as a teaching assistant for elementary science methods courses as well as a research assistant for the PAGES science curriculum development project. She currently teaches at an elementary science school in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Emily graduated from the University of Illinois in 2021 majoring in elementary education with an ESL endorsement. While at UIUC, she student taught in a fourth and fifth grade classroom at University Primary School in Champaign. She began working on the Sustainable World Collaborative in May 2020. Working on this project allowed her to combine her interests in nontraditional forms of learning and education research. The project led her to gain a greater appreciation for educational technology and the importance of cross-curricular sustainability practices. Emily is currently a second grade teacher at Ivy Hall Elementary School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Emily continues to incorporate sustainability education into her everyday life and teaching philosophy.
Lauren graduated from the University of Illinois in May 2022 majoring in elementary education with a minor in psychology. She also received an ESL endorsement. Lauren student taught in a fourth grade classroom in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Lauren started working on the Sustainable World Collaborative in January 2021. She hopes to make an impact in her future classroom by providing students with a wide range of sustainability resources. Throughout the project she gained an understanding of how sustainability education can be integrated into curriculum. Lauren hopes that this research project will help other educators provide sustainable education for their students as well.
Maddie graduated from the University of Illinois in May 2022. She will begin teaching first grade in Denver, Colorado in the fall. Maddie began working on the Sustainable World Collaborative in January 2021. She hopes to find ways to introduce her students to sustainable practices, both in and outside of the classroom. Maddie hopes this project will provide more access to sustainable practices within the classroom and that it will encourage educators to implement those throughout their curriculum.
We would like to thank the following contributors for their help on this project:
- Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, Champaign, IL
- Bryan Jonker and other members of College of Education IT, for building the database and additional website work.
We are grateful for our funders, who make our work possible:
- The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS); Russian, East European and Eurasian Center (REEEC); and European Union Center (EUC), 2018–2022
- The Cook County Extension STEM Educators Initiative, 2018–Present
- The UIUC Student Sustainability Committee, 2022–Present