Supporting community colleges in educating for and building a green economy
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Resource Center


The Resource Center organizes resources around 7 green economy “Sectors” and 7 “Topics.”

Search by sector or by topic, or across all sectors and/or all topics. Or search by keyword at the top right of this page.

Submit your curriculum and other resources to this database.


The solar industry is expected to show steady growth over the coming decade largely due to rising energy prices, advances in technology through public/private partnerships and investments, and continued enactment of federal and state policies and financial incentives. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.


Wind power is considered a leading source of new electricity generation in the United States, with the potential of providing 20% of the nation’s energy needs by 2030. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Green Building

The green building market has expanded five fold over the last three years to a $48 billion national market—and is projected to triple in the next five years. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is considered the foundation of a vibrant and sustainable green economy, and one of the most cost effective ways to lower energy consumption, reduce operating costs, and mitigate carbon emissions. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Sustainability Education

Sustainability education refers generally to learning experiences that enable students to develop the knowledge, behaviors and skills to help create healthier ecosystems, social systems, and economies. For the purposes of the SEED Center, this includes resources to help build non-credit continuing education for the incumbent workforce and integrating sustainability curriculum into existing credit programs. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Sustainable Ag., Food & Land

The Sustainable Ag., Food & Land sector covers the areas of organic farming, horticulture, culinary art, and landscaping. This sector includes organizations and resources that integrate environmental, social and economic factors into land use, food preparation, and land specific practices in an attempt to create a more sustainable future. more >>

General Clean Tech

The General Clean Tech sector is a space for resources that encompass multiple ‘green’ sectors. Many are applicable to the broader clean economy and sustainability-related technology and will serve the general clean tech community. Resources also provide valuable information on sectors that are experiencing substantive development in the sustainability realm, like manufacturing and smart grid. more >>

Transportation and Fuels

The Transportation & Fuels sector covers the area of electric and hybrid vehicle development and maintenance, other forms of alternative and sustainable transportation, natural gas, fuel cells, battery storage, and renewable fuels sources including ethanol, biodiesel, algae, and methane. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Certifications and Industry Credentials

Certainly, one of the biggest challenges facing green educators is the rapid and mostly uncoordinated emergence of green certifications and credentials. more >>

Curricular Materials

These resources and materials have been vetted by industry and education experts, and while not in the form of specific educator tools, will assist in creating quality curricula for your classroom. more >>

You will find more specific educator tools (e.g. syllabi, lab manuals, lesson plans, special classroom projects, equipment lists, etc.) submitted by SEED member colleges in our Curricular Materials Sharing Portal.

Employment Industry Projections

While job training providers have been quite active in past years working with local industry to define the emerging green jobs market and potential job growth areas, most still struggle to forecast accurately regional occupational demand. The U.S. Department of Labor has made recent strides toward classifying green occupations and competencies which will help communities define and track green jobs (and colleges to design appropriate education and training programs). Given the uncertain renewable energy and efficiency industry outlook, and rapidly changing technologies, access to the most up-to-date industry studies and employment projections will be critical. more >>

Innovative Practices & Partnerships

The job creation potential of the green economy has led to some unique job training and economic development partnerships and collaborations. more >>

Professional Development Resources

This section includes promising facilitated learning opportunities, including “train the trainer” programs, standing conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice for faculty and staff seeking to further their knowledge of industry trends and requirements. more >>

Policy & Funding Sources

Included you will find links and descriptions of agencies and organizations that typically fund sustainability and green job training initiatives as well as those that provide important information on national legislation and policies relevant to the clean energy sector. CHECK BACK AS MORE ARE ADDED. This section also highlights resources that provide guidance on how to supply input into program and grant design for certain agency solicitations. more >>

Skill sets, Competencies & Career Pathways

This section includes lists and assessments of skill sets and competencies tied to the green economy – across the broad industry as well as within specific sectors. It also includes some critical resources that colleges can use to align programs and facilitate student transitions. Included are green energy competency models and newly-developed career pathways that allow movement across educational and training programs. more >>

Sector: Topic:

Featured Resources

 Adapted from the website, "Living Room Conversations," in which participants discuss prevalent themes regarding global resilience, "Campus and Course Conversations" goes a step further to call participants to action. These activities can be used by faculty as course assignments and by staff as campus or community activities. They will increase skills for civil discourse, reducing political polarization and stalemate, while increasing the use of energy efficiency and renewable energies via a civic engagement opportunity. This resource provides support for people to merge ideas and engage in actions geared toward creating a safe operating space for humanity on Earth, regardless of race, religion or political beliefs.
Climate Explorer is a wonderful tool with which to explore the potential impacts of climate change on local or world-wide ecosystems, and would be useful as visuals in a lecture or for the creation of assignments or extra-curricular projects. It is a research platform offering interactive graphs and maps for comparing historic and current weather patterns and identifying climate shifts. The graphs and maps provided can be over-laid with rainfall and temperature information; plus, different themes are available for study, such as: "Climate Stressors" and "People and Assets Impacted." Maps can also be utilized to focus on very specific regions or topics, for example: coastal flood risks and ecosystem vulnerability. For long-term climate analysis information, be sure to check out "Climate at a Glance," found at:
 This report shows how the US can reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050.
Published by the USGBC Center for Green Schools, this plan represents the perspectives of the leading minds and the strongest champions of Education for Sustainability, together with one voice committing to a series of actions that will ensure that by 2040, every student graduating from a U.S. K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future. AACC SEED Center Director Todd Cohen is a contributing author.
Fishbanks is a multiplayer web-based simulation in which participants play the role of fishers and seek to maximize their net worth as they compete against other players and deal with variations in fish stocks and their catch. Policy options available to instructors include auctions of new boats, permits, and quotas. This simulation provides the opportunity for students to learn about the challenges of managing resources sustainably in a common pool resource setting, with realistic resource dynamics.
The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development has developed a rich set of resources, including sites with downloadable learning activities, a beginner’s toolkit for sustainability, standards for K-12, and more.
AASHE offers numerous resources on sustainability in higher education, from strategic planning for sustainability to curricula, student life, operations and purchasing, community partnerships and more. See the free bulletin and the searchable resource center and digest and review the assessment system called STARS.
Discover information on how to teach sustainability in a wide variety of academic discipines, including Biology, Business,Chemistry,Design, Engineering, Environmental Science, Humanities, Mathematics, Psychology, Religion, Sociology and others. Also access interdisciplinary approaches, sustainability learning outcomes that can be related to all academic areas, and some of the journals related to sustainability.
The Smart Growth Speaker Series is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Building Museum and the Smart Growth Network. Smart growth is development that serves the economy, community, and environment. The series hosts speakers on monthly basis to discuss this approach to development, explore specific growth-related issues, foster dialog, and identify opportunities for positive change in growth and development patterns.
This page from Santa Clara University provides excellent examples on how to integrate sustainability into your college curriculum. Review the list on 20 ways to add a "Sustainability Moment" and other guides to help you develop your sustainability curriculum.
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More Resources

 This essential material is for use in all energy related courses and informal energy education settings .  It describes how humans can move to a sustainable energy future via a complete conversion from the current fossil fuel based energy system to the use of renewables (e.g. solar, wind, and hydro systems). Links to many articles and studies are provided, including: energy roadmaps for all 50 US states, comparisons of energy and transportation technologies, plus interviews and presentations from a variety of sources.
 This five-step assessment tool gauges your climate change vulnerability and assists in the creation and implementation of an adaptation strategy. While developed for use in the U.K., its approach has many takeaways for organizations and colleges in the U.S.
 This report, available for free download, outlines how an integrated approach to a local sustainable economy will best meet the challenges of our growing energy demands and the need for sustainable livelihoods. Introduce or delve further into this subject with seven chapters on such topics as: sustainability in the metropolis, the tie between economic and ecological sustainability, and post-carbon economic policy building.
 The Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program now offers free training courses with continuing education units (CEUs) awarded upon the successful completion of elect courses. Courses range in skill level from beginner to advanced and are available via internet, seminar, in person, and webinar. Course topics include: energy efficient technologies, renewable energy, labs and data centers, water use reduction, sustainability and institutional change, etc.
 This document provides a base for discussion and debate on education and public awareness for sustainability. This multidisciplinary report covers such topics as re-directing education in support of sustainability, ethical and cultural perceptions of sustainability, and concludes with a call for concerted action towards a sustainable future.
When developing curriculum on global climate, download this free PDF to investigate the possible effects of abrupt climate changes and impacts. Developed by the Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, the Division on Earth and Life Studies, and the National Research Council, this resource takes a look at our current knowledge of potential abrupt changes in the climate, assesses what risks are posed by such change, and recommends possible mitigation techniques before severe repercussions set in.
 USDN members have created a website to stimulate innovation in sustainability practices through a variety of tools and resources. Reports, guidebooks, case studies, toolkits, and programs provide educators, students, and professionals with up to date knowledge in various fields of sustainability practices and studies.
 This short but powerful video outlines an extremely comprehensive, up-to-date assessment of climate change: the IPCC's Fifth Assessment and Synthesis Report. The video gives an overview of this document, written and explained in such terms that policy makers can better understand and accept the science provided within the report to effectively deal with the world's changing climate, which is also a valuable classroom tool. To view the written report, visit:
 This resource analyzes how specific American racial and ethnic groups understand and respond to climate change differently from each other and from the national averages. The report focuses on three groups: African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. It discusses collected data, analysis, and makes suggestions on how to best refine teaching strategies for and better engagement with these key American groups for a better cross-cultural understanding of climate change. The report highlights are also discussed in a webinar found at:
This reports addresses ocean acidification by providing evidence of, considering the current and future impacts of, and by presenting challenges to be addressed and overcome. By breaking down complex scientific information, this resource is clear and understandable to anyone interested in the subject and will make a valuable classroom resource in the development of curricular materials or for assigned reading.
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This resource made possible with the generous support from the Kresge Foundation