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Course Information

Instructor Info:Charlene D'Avanzo
Office Extension x5569
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Wednesday
01:00 PM - 03:50 PM Cole Science Center 1-ECOL

Although many students are interested in studying issues related to sustainability - and may wish to pursue careers in this area - it is difficult for them to define what "sustainability" is and go about developing their own academic program. What skills, content areas, and experiences are important? How do students gain depth in a particular area? This course is designed to introduce students to people, some Hampshire alums, working towards a sustainable future in different ways and who can provide guidance and examples. Sustainable food production will be one focus of the course. Through readings, discussions, and field trips students will see what, for example, an alum who is internationally known for sustainable fish production actually does - and his journey to his present position. Energy-efficient home and building design will likely be another focus of the course, given sufficient student interest. The class will also help students work towards the Five College Sustainability certificate program as they design a course of studies in Division II and III. The course will culminate in a final written project such as a Division III proposal for students completing Division II.

Course Objectives:


This course is designed to help students develop their own course of studies in areas related to sustainability. The course is comprised of three sections. The first focuses on green design with the future Hitchcock Center for the Environment building at Hampshire College as our specific example. Students will better understand the process of developing the concept of a green building for both clients and architects and elements specific to this environmental education center. The second segment concerns local and sustainable food production. Students will meet growers and aquaculturalists to discuss issues such as winter farming, urban gardens, and sustainable fisheries. In the final section students will lead hour long discussions that focus on their own interest and academic pathway.

Evaluation Criteria:


Evaluation is based on written assignments in the first two segments, a proposal of studies as a final paper, and active engagement in discussion and the class overall. Cumulative skills emphasized are Independent Work and Writing/Research.