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Initial plans for the course

Page history last edited by Steven Marx 12 years, 5 months ago

May 1 2009

Planning an Introduction to Sustainability Course


Jonathan presented information about the formation of the EDES program, now on Wiki


At the Sustainability Book Club,

  • Sarah Daubert offered to send us her reports on tracking student interest in the environment, leadership abilities and personal goals.  These could be helpful in evaluating the course we are developing.
  • Jim Harris offered to send us a presentation Allenby, one of the leaders of the Industrial Ecology movement who’s putting this material into a book about Sustainability in Engineering.


At a lunch meeting, Steven, Alypios and Hunter agreed on the following tentative format




  • Target enrollment: 1000 students

  • Initial enrollment: 80 students




  • One weekly seventy minute plenary per week, featuring Cal Poly lecturers, guest lecturers, and films. Guest lecturers to receive small honorarium.

  • One weekly seventy minute discussion section for 20 students




Two four-unit instructors, whose duties include


•    Delivering the first two weeks’ of lectures covering


o    general definitions of Sustainability 


o    introducing terms and concepts used in multiple fields of study , for instance


•    triple-bottom-line


•    inputs and externalities


•    closed loop systems


•    biomimicry


•    GDP vs GHI


•    Selecting and scheduling guest lectures and presentations


•    Teaching two seventy minute discussion sections per week


•    Assigning and grading their discussion sections’ homework, exams and projects


Format and guidelines


•    Lectures and discussions will emphasize both sides of controversial issues.  For instance the discussion of sustainability in Agriculture will present arguments for and against monocropping or Confined Animal Feeding Operations


•    Discussion sections will require students to prepare homework—readings and viewings assigned by instructors and guest lecturers—and to follow up on lectures


Funding and credits


•    Course will be proposed as upper-division offering GE in one of several areas


•    Course will be proposed as UNIV prefix or as crosslisted among several departments




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