Faculty Development

The Earth Project 2011-2012


The Earth Project is a celebration of intellectual and creative inquiry for the academic year 2011-2012. There are often rigid boundaries among disciplines on a university's campus and this year's emphasis of the Earth Project, which is inherently interdisciplinary in scope, challenges this paradigm by interweaving disparate knowledge bases to produce unique and exciting outcomes. Faculty, staff, and students may participate in the Earth Project by submitting proposals to Earth Project committee members and attending Earth Project events that may include panel discussions, collaborative lectures, performance and visual arts experiences, and other creative collaborations. 

Why Earth? The theme of earth is never more timely than now as we consider both local and global phenomena that are fundamentally shaping life on this planet. As Wendell Berry said, "We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us..." As we investigate earth themes over the next year, we hope that in some ways our lives will be changed to reflect this new paradigm.

Over the summer, a committee has been assembled, consisting of faculty from each of the six Colleges and representation from staff.  The committee consists of the following members:  Timothy Carter (Earth Project director, Center for Urban Ecology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Larry Lad (College of Business), Ryan Flessner (College of Education), Kate Boyd (Jordan College of Fine Arts), Medhane Cumbay (College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Mark Rademacher (College of Communication), Tom Dolan (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Robin Turner (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and Marc Allan (University Relations).

Grants: The Earth Project Committee will offer modest grants to offset the cost of events or projects (creative, scholarly, pedagogical) related to the theme.  Applications can be made in writing to any member of the committee.  Proposed events or projects should be completed prior to April 20, 2012.  The Committee will consider proposals until all available funds have been allocated.

Stipends: Faculty, staff, or students who execute an Earth Project event that includes interdisciplinary collaboration receive a stipend of $300 in recognition of their contribution to the Butler community. This collaboration may come from partnering with others outside of his or her department or in the broader Indianapolis community.

Prizes: To encourage collaboration across Colleges, and to recognize creative contributions to the project, the Committee will offer prizes for a variety of categories related to the theme.

Earth Project Award categories for 2011-12:

     1) "Best student-initiated"

     2) "Best interdisciplinary"

     3) "Unique interpretation of the theme"

     4) "Most participants (not attendees)"

     5) "People's choice"

Winners will receive a $500 award.


Faculty, staff, and students may participate in the Earth Project by attending events or submitting proposals to Tim Carter, Earth Project Chair, at tlcarter@gmail.com or other members of the committee. Earth Project events may include panel discussions, collaborative lectures, performance and visual arts experiences, and other creative collaborations.

Please begin considering ways in which you can contribute to the Earth Project in your teaching, scholarly and creative activities this year. There is an Earth Project group on Facebook that will be used to keep the campus community updated about various events associated with the project. We would like all faculty, staff, and students to keep the Earth Project in mind over the course of the academic year. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the committee. 

Earth Project - color

Click here to view the Earth Project calendar of events.

Click here to view the Earth Project Facebook page.

For more information on the Earth Project, to submit a proposal, or to get a copy of the Earth Project image for use in your approved presentation or project please contact Tim Carter at tlcarter@gmail.com.