Sustainability Scholars

Research that seeks innovative results

By addressing large-scale problems we're cultivating stronger communities and better lives. Students selected for this program work side-by-side world-class researchers in the field of sustainability, and shape the future—for themselves and the environment.

Description of the video:

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Abby Zieliski:
I had absolutely no idea that I wanted to do anything with sustainability, but I thought it was important to reach out and figure out what I could do and this opportunity arose and I definitely took it. I've learned so much so far and it's definitely interesting.

We're studying the quality of the Jordan river and we're using physical, chemical, and biological indiciators to determine that. We're seeing how campus infrastructure and student population affects the quality of the river.


Thomas Simon:
2020 Sustainability scholarships is really meant to advance scholarship and education and research for undergraduates. The main idea is really to help focus applied questions, to really start figure out what we talk about in the classroom can be used on the ground and how this actually becomes a career field and career pathway for the students.

Ecological health is such an important component, especially the Jordan river being such an iconic river in the middle of campus, everybody's aware of it. So, to make sure we have ecological health was, I thought, very important. So that's the approach I wanted to take advantage of.

Abby Zieliski speaking:
Dr.Simon selected me to be his undergraduate researcher for the 2020 sustainability program. The other people in the lab are in SPEA and sustainability work. It's so much fun to interact with other colleges and the students there and Dr. Simon. His history is so extensive on what he's done with water quality and collections of bugs and fish. It's amazing to work with someone that knows so much about what I'm just beginning to learn about.

Thomas Simon:
To be able to get to work hand in hand directly for a period of time, if it's just one semester. That really opens their eyes to how much other things are involved and what more they can do.



Abby Zieliski:
It just important to be able to work outside the classroom, in a lab, in the field, working with other people and working independently. I feel like it's a very diverse process that allows you to grow as a person and as a scientist. I think it's just a fantastic opportunity to do it now.

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Redefine Your Classroom

Students selected as Sustainability Scholars will receive a $500 scholarship each semester, based on successful work with their assigned mentor. Applications are due September 21. Students are required to:

  • Engage in 8-10 hours per week of research with their assigned mentor.
  • Attend the Sustainability Scholars orientation (TBA).
  • Begin meeting with their mentor mid-fall semester through the end of the spring semester.
  • Create an approved research work plan in collaboration with an assigned faculty mentor by the conclusion of the fall term.
  • Enroll in the 2-credit hour Sustainability Scholars course for the spring semester.
2018 Mentors Seeking Scholars
MentorResearch Topic
Dr. Daniel Knudsen, Professor, GeographyThe Agricultural Paradox: Case Study of South Central Indiana
Kan Shao, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public HealthInvestigating health risk imposed by environmental emergency-related contamination events
Dr. Norman Makoto Su, Assistant Professor of Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction DesignHow are new data-driven technologies being developed to support sustainable practices of farmers?
Dr. Suzannah Evans Comfort, Assistant Professor, JournalismHow do scientists use their training in an advocacy context?
Stephen ‘Chip’ Glaholt, SPEA Professor and ResearcherCan our locally grown algae based biofertilizer (created from the emission stacks of IU’s Central Heating Plant) provide the necessary nutrients to grow healthy crops on IU’s Campus Farm and help the Campus Farm achieve organic certification?
Professor Scott Shackelford, Chair of the IU-Bloomington Cybersecurity Program, Director of the Ostrom Workshop Program on Cybersecurity and Internet GovernanceMeasuring Sustainable Cybersecurity: How Benefit Corporations Can Help Protect Privacy, Boost Cybersecurity, and Promote Cyber Peace
Jon Eldon, Lecturer, School of Public and Environmental AffairsSustainable agricultural practices to renew degraded urban soil
Dr. Angela Babb, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ostrom WorkshopReal Food on the IU-Bloomington Campus
Dr. Angela Babb, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ostrom WorkshopHoosier farming histories and sustainable futures
Dr. Kelly Eskew, Clinical Associate Professor, Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of BusinessHow can utilities and governmental units further the acceptance of water reuse and recycling while maintaining positive public relations and sustainable profits?
Dr. Kurt Waldman, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography; Dr. Stacey Giroux, Associate Research Scientist, Ostrom WorkshopMaking sustainable food consumption decisions
Dr. Khalid Khan, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public HealthEffect of motivational text messages and e-brochure on recreational noise related knowledge, attitude and behavior among undergraduate students at Indiana University Bloomington.
Dr. Natasha MacBean, Assistant Professor, Department of GeographyTracking Human Land Cover Change
Professor Ellen D. Ketterson and Dr. Devraj Singh (postdoctoral fellow), Environmental Resilience Institute, Indiana University, BloomingtonImpact of environmental challenges on seasonal phenology of dark eyed Juncos
Dr. Priscilla Barnes, Associate Professor, Applied Health Science, School of Public HealthExamining Barriers and Benefits of Physical Activity Resources in Rural Settings: A Four County Case Study
Dr. Robert D. Montoya, Assistant Professor, Information and Library ScienceMuseums and Archives in an Era of Climate Change
Stephanie C. Kane, Department of International StudiesInvaders or Homecomers: Toward a Nuanced Approach to Non-Native Plants in Landscape Design on Campus and in Adjacent Neighborhoods

2018 Research Project Details + Desired Skills