Science Literacy in Higher Education


Improved science literacy among all UNL undergraduate and graduate students through development of innovative programs on food, fuel, water, landscapes, people, and the integrated stewardship of agriculture and natural resources.


  1. Develop an innovative and effective life sciences core curriculum that connects undergraduate curricula and experiences to real-world situations and examples.
  2. Develop transdisciplinary programs in the sciences focused on food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people that explores and identifies solutions to current and future societal issues (e.g., climate change, invasive species, biotechnology, obesity, etc.).
  3. Position UNL as a global leader around innovative science programs and education research focused on food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people.


  1. 25% increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees associated with IANR by 2025.
  2. Through participation in coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and campus programming, UNL students will make informed decisions related to food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people.
  3. UNL with increase collaborations with other Big Ten and land-grant institutions within the life sciences programs that focus on food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people.
  4. UNL will be recognized as a leader in innovative and transformative classroom practices that focus on student-centered learning and strategies for change in undergraduate science education.
  5. Continue to partner with Nebraska Community Colleges to improve science literacy among college students.


  1. Development of 5 science literacy courses with a focus on food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people. The focus of these courses will be on important issues and challenges for the future of agriculture within the context of natural resource use, management, and long-term global needs and sustainability. Courses will be available Spring 2013 for face-to-face and online delivery. Completed
  2. Development of LIFE 120 and 121 as foundational courses for the undergraduate Life Science curriculum. Completed
  3. Build upon existing Science Literacy courses to create a comprehensive training/certification in Science Literacy and prepare student, both undergraduate and graduate to be Science Literacy educators and leaders.
  4. Development and evaluation of innovative and effective curricula (e.g., life sciences) that connects undergraduate curricula and experiences to real-world situations.
  5. Development of a Food, Fuel, and Water Systems in Society Minor. Completed
  6. Discipline-based education research that furthers our understanding of how undergraduate students learn within the context of food, energy, water, landscapes and people issues.