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Spring Semester Course Descriptions (or what you will learn about on the spring semester!)

Leading and Learning for Transformation and Resilience

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

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 Agriculture

Cultures shape the ways humans interact with the land and with the growing of food. Students investigate the ways that culture influences agricultural practices and how we 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 in relation to agriculture. 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.

Sustainable Solutions and Food Policy

The ways in which we grow, process, and distribute food have profound environmental, health, and social impacts. We investigate agricultural practices–both conventional and alternative–and how they can promote healthy humans, a healthy environment, and healthy communities. We look at how agricultural policies shape the current system and how alternative policies might lead to more sustainable practices. We use systems thinking approaches to understand the complexity of modern agriculture, which lies at the intersection of ecology, economics, and culture.

Natural History and (Agro)Ecology: A Systems Approach

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. We pay special attention to understanding the ecological basis of agriculture as a path to creating sustainable food systems. Living within and studying a variety of natural and human-made ecosystems in California, 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 and all five courses are taken simultaneously. The full semester program is designed to earn 15 credits.

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