Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Information for Faculty

The Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Program assists Penn faculty in bringing environmental sustainability into existing and new courses.  The Penn Sustainability Office provides full funding support for graduate or undergraduate summer research assistants, who work directly with faculty to update or create new syllabi, lectures, assignments, texts, and/or tests that incorporate environmental themes.  Each student works 20 hours a week with two different professors, starting in June, to allow the student to benefit from exposure to two different faculty members working on two different courses.

The selected faculty participants explore sustainability concepts at a one-day workshop led by Dr. Jane Dmochowski, of Penn’s Earth and Environmental Science Department, in the late spring, supervise the student research over the summer, and attend the wrap-up lunch at in the early fall, where the students present their completed research.

Over the past six summers, the ISAC program has supported 45 faculty in a diverse array of disciplines, including architecture, law, biology, engineering, urban planning, and Germanic languages.  Faculty participants have reported an extremely high quality work and have been delighted by their students’ productivity and enthusiasm for the work. 


Join the Program

What’s Involved?

To participate in this transformational academic experience, please review the Call for Faculty Proposals. Madeline Schuh in Penn’s Sustainability Office ( can answer questions about ISAC or connect you with a faculty member who has participated in the past.


How to Apply

If you decide to apply, email with a one-page proposal by Wednesday, February 14, 2018 that

  • Describes the existing or proposed course;
  • Indicates the reason for integrating or enhancing sustainability in the course; and
  • Includes a brief work plan for a student research assistant.

Program Requirements

If accepted into ISAC 2018, requirements for participation include:

  • Participation in a one-day workshop for faculty in early May; and
  • Co-supervision of a student research assistant for eight weeks over the summer of 2018.


Previous Program

ISAC Program 2017

The following courses were developed during last summer's ISAC program:

  • EcoFeminism & ENVS 100: Intro to Environmental Studies  
  • Sustainable Safe Drinking Water in Philadelphia & Urban Water Systems 
  • Lower Schuylkill Symposium
  • ANTH 440: Plants and Society & ANTH 415: Archeology of Animals 
  • Architecture Summer Abroad Studio

Information on earlier ISAC programs from 2012 to 2016 are available on the ISAC Archive page.

green campus walkway

Course listings and posters from ISAC programs 2012-2015