Preparing students to combat climate change: Ned Mohan, IonE Educator
Each year, the Institute on the Environment offers a group of educators the opportunity to join a 14-month fellowship cohort aimed at creating curriculum that furthers sustainability and environmental education. Connecting fellows with a range of professional backgrounds, the IonE Educators program connects the vast academic experience and varied perspectives of its participants, who each undertake a project to further sustainability education across the University of Minnesota system. These projects prepare students to become combatants of environmental challenges and further promote the need for all-encompassing education initiatives.
Dr. Ned Mohan of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Science and Engineering has spent years as a professor incorporating the importance of combating climate change into the classroom. Part of the 2016 class of Educators, he spent his term as revitalizing the “Energy, Environment and Society” course offered at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, to better engage and inform students of the impacts of a changing climate. In the conversation below, Dr. Mohan discusses his long-time passion for environmental action and how that translates to his work as an IonE Educator.
What drives you to integrate sustainability into your work?
Climate change is such a great threat to all life on the planet, and there is nothing more important for us, engineers and educators, to work on combating it.
What is the goal of your fellowship project? Why is that goal important?
My goal is to bring the awareness of climate change, and the solutions to combat it, to as many students as possible. By making young people aware of it early in their education will help them choose the appropriate career to help in the fight. No telling what these young people may come up with!
What was the best part of your fellowship experience?
To interact with like-minded educators, specifically the potential to reach a wider audience of educators and students through them.
What do you wish more people understood about sustainability education?
Sustainability education is about conveying the seriousness of climate change, to convince people that the climate is changing because of us and that we have the resources and the technologies at hand to combat it.
Are you faculty or staff interested in learning more about the projects being pursued by the IonE Educators and sustainability education initiatives across all five University of Minnesota campuses? Mark your calendar for the second installment of the Sustainability Education Summit on Friday, January 26.