NESSE Short Course on Starting a Sustainable Science Group

Think your university or community could use more green science or green engineering? Want to meet like-minded people and talk about sustainable science? Start a Sustainable Science Group! We are really happy to support new and existing Sustainable Science Groups and already have a great network of NESSE Groups who are making a difference in their local communities around the world!

We want to make it easier to get a NESSE Group up and running. After speaking with NESSE members, we realized many people felt that they could use a bit of guidance and support in getting started.  So to address this, we will be running a free, online short course this summer to help groups develop a strategy and concrete plan to build a vibrant group, and – of course – build connections and share ideas between groups! If you’d like to join the course, please email Laura at to register by February 26th, 2016. Please see below for more details about the course.


This course is designed to enable NESSE members to build community and gain support from each other as they build new local NESSE Sustainable Science Groups in their communities or begin new initiatives as part of an existing NESSE Sustainable Science Group. During this 3 session course, you will participate in group discussions designed to help give structure and guidance to the process of establishing your group and planning your first event/initiative/etc. Intended to be very informal, this course will hopefully not only help you to get started, but will also connect you with other enthusiastic young scientists from around the world who are also building a NESSE presence in their local communities.

Minimum Criteria for Joining:

  • Ensure you have a clear idea of your local “sustainable science scene” (e.g. what organizations, groups, courses, etc. already exist in your community – you don’t want to be duplicating something that’s already there!) and figure out how you would like to fit in
  • Have some ideas about what specifically you want to do (activities, events, resources, etc.) – if you need some ideas, check out our Getting Started page
  • Have at least one other person in your local community willing to work with you
  • Read the NESSE Groups Guide and complete the Pre-course Survey

NESSE Groups Course Outline:

Session 1: Setting your vision and goals

In this session participants will discuss their ideas for what they want to do as a NESSE Sustainable Science Group and get feedback and suggestions from both the “instructor” as well as the rest of the group. By the end of the session, everyone should have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and what the next steps are in making their goal a reality. We are happy to support any goals (however big or small) as long as they fit the NESSE vision of promoting and engaging in sustainable science – so get creative and bring your best ideas to the discussion!

Session 2: Strategy and Concrete Event Timeline Development – Approximately 3-4 weeks after Session 1

In this session, participants will update the group on how their progress has been going, sharing success and discussing any problems they have encountered. We will also discuss general strategies for engaging with other groups within your local community, getting support and funding for your initiatives, and how to get buy-in from reluctant individuals (e.g. peers, supervisors, administrators, etc.). By the end of this session, participants should have a clear idea of what they need to do next to keep building their group and planning their event.

Session 3: Continued Support effective use of social media – Approximately 3-4 weeks after Session 2

In this session, participants will again update the group on how their progress has been going, sharing success and discussing any problems they have encountered. We will also have a guest speaker, another NESSE member who is an expert in using social media to connect her local NESSE Group with the broader sustainability community.


Email Laura at

Deadline: February 26th, 2016