Fall Semester from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast
ENERGY AND CLIMATE JUSTICE
This fall semester takes us from the northeast to Appalachian mountains to the Gulf Coast, as we explore our own and our society’s use and pursuit of energy: past, present and future.
We start in Green Mountains and Adirondacks with a look at “Renewable and Clean” energy in the forms of Nuclear and Hydro and Wind powers, then spend time moving through New York and Pennsylvania becoming familiar with Hydrofracking and the communities impacted by this technology, and finally, into West Virginia where mountaintops of coal are being removed. After an independent study period (ISP), we resume our exploration of environmental justice and energy issues along the Gulf Coast, from Georgia to Texas.
As we investigate regional manifestations of national and global energy issues, we will learn solutions from local organizations and individuals. Their creativity and dedication to a just world will inspire students to develop their own leadership skills.
We learn from people involved in many aspects of the energy and climate story, such as those impacted by the coal mining or hydro-fracking to people working on or against large-scale or small-scale energy projects in gas, coal, wind or solar, as well as individuals and organizations who are actively imagining and working toward what a post-climate-change society looks like and how it functions. We learn from the diverse groups working to fight against fossil fuel extraction and burning and for cleaner alternatives.
As in all of our semesters, the five integrated courses cover the breadth and depth of our experiences, supporting each individual and the whole learning community to extend the learning beyond what is possible through single modes of learning in separate courses.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Fall Semester Course Descriptions for Undergraduates and Gap Year Students
Leading and Learning for Transformation and Resilience
Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, education, or environmental studies requirements – 3 credits
This course surveys models of education and leadership and their roles in the sustainability movement. It also introduces the holistic, experiential, and progressive education model used by the Expedition Education Institute. The living and learning community provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to develop their skills and practices as leaders, learners, and advocates. Through experience, action, and reflection, students collaboratively explore transformative approaches to education and being the change.
Learning Community as Personal and Social Change
Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, education, outdoor leadership, psychology, or environmental studies requirements – 3 credits
Explores the learning community model and its influence on one’s personal well?being, community, and culture. Students learn group development theory and practice facilitation, decision making, cooperative communication, and conflict resolution skills. They become skilled in outdoor community living and learning. Trust, including the honoring of our commitments to one another, emerges as a foundation of our efforts. Students develop experiential and intellectual foundations necessary to establish learning communities in other settings.
Culture and the Environment
Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, anthropology, sociology, human ecology, or environmental studies requirements – 3 credits
Cultures shape the ways humans interact with the land, and historically, they have been closely adapted to their local environment. Students investigate the ways that culture can support a sustainable society by exploring dominant US culture, regional subcultures and past and present local indigenous cultures. We look especially at the implied environmental ethics of cultural practices and beliefs. Students consider approaches to changing our culture to promote sustainability and whether their own unexamined beliefs and actions are in line with their environmental values.
Energy Issues and Sustainable Solutions
Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill environmental science, environmental studies, or sustainability requirements – 3 credits
Cheap fossil energy has fueled the rise of our modern consumer society. Its extraction, production, and burning has led to environmental destruction locally, regionally, and now with climate change, globally. To understand the role of energy in our society, we examine where it comes from, the way it is used in the economy, the environmental impacts it has, and alternative energy sources and economic systems that can help us transition away from our fossil fuel dependence.
Natural History and Ecology: A Systems Approach
Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill natural science, ecology, or environmental studies requirements – 3 credits
In this course we examine natural systems using both a traditional scientific approach and a deep ecological perspective to illuminate the inter-relationship of all life. Living within and studying a variety of ecosystems from the northeast to the Appalachian mountains to the Gulf Coast, students learn about biological diversity and the forces that shape the complex interdependence of the living and non-living world. Students also work to develop a personal, emotional, and ethical relationship with the natural world.
Each course is designed to earn 3 credits, with the full semester program designed to earn 15 credits for enrolled undergraduate students.
The five courses are a package deal; they cover the breadth and depth of our experiences, supporting each individual and the whole learning community to extend the learning beyond what is possible through single modes of learning in separate courses.