Editor’s note: For today’s students, their future will likely require them to understand sustainability concepts and be environmentally literate in their work, personal and civic lives.
Guest blogger Will Klein, a 4th year double major in Nature and Culture and Environmental Science and Management, and member of the Campus Center for the Environment, writes below about some of the classes on sustainability and environmental topics that UC Davis students can take this spring quarter.
I don’t know about you, but I was caught by surprise to learn that spring quarter registration began this week!
We here at the Campus Center for the Environment always get upset when we don’t learn about a super cool class related to sustainability until it’s too late. To try to solve this problem, we created a Class Finder tool! This tool allows you to search classes related to sustainability by all sorts of attributes. Looking to fulfill a GE requirement? Looking for a two-unit seminar? Looking for a class in Plant Sciences? It allows you to narrow your search by all of those factors!
If there is one class to be sure to take, it’s the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP), a collaborative effort to challenge current paradigms in order to create a more sustainable future. This class is run by students (with some advice from faculty), and brings renowned educators, authors, environmentalists, and progressive thinkers to provide inspiring weekly lectures.
For two additional units, students can join ESLP Action Research Teams (ART) to take the ideas learned in the classroom and apply them to the UC Davis campus. My first introduction to activism came through one of these ART teams my freshmen year, when we built bike trailers and discussed ways to improve campus transportation.
ESLP is only held in the spring quarter, so be sure not to miss out! For more information, check out the CCE ESLP page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, save Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on your calendars!
A few other highlights from courses being offered this upcoming quarter:
- Eldridge Moores once said, “sustainability begins in the mind.” Scott Mclean’s class, COM 20, Humans and the Natural World and Michael Smith’s AMS 1E, Nature and Culture offer a great grounding in understanding our relationship to the natural world and how that affects the way we treat the world around us.
- For those interested in food and agriculture, there are many options as well. Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture, PLS 15, will be offered this quarter. There are at least two courses for those interested in actually growing food. PLS 5 teaches students how to grow crops, while PLS 49, Organic Crop Production Practices, is taught at the UC Davis Student Farm (which happens to have been one of the first student farms in the country). Advanced classes include PLS 150, Sustainability and Agroecosystem Management.
- The Science and Society program also offers numerous courses this quarter related to environmental issues, such as SAS 9: Crisis in the Environment. GEL 10, Global Environmental Change, also provides a good overview of the geologic basis for our current situation.
- LDA 3, Sustainable Development, and HIS 109B, Environmental History, Disease, and Public Health offer a more social perspective on interactions between people and the environment.
- If there is anything I have learned during my time at Davis, it’s that communication matters — which is why UWP 102G, Environmental Writing is an extremely valuable course in spreading the environmental word.
Also, be sure to visit the UC Davis sustainability website to check out other lists of environmental classes from various disciplines around campus.
What are some of your favorite classes related to sustainability? Leave them in the comments box!
Caption: Students discuss climate change during Focus the Nation’s “Focus the Classroom” program, January 31, 2008.