Geog 499: First Meeting Spring 2016


Geography 499: Sustainability Practicum


The situation:

  • I’m not a sustainability expert, nor is anyone on campus or in this class, but we can make progress using our¬†collective skills and knowledge.
  • I need your help to make this happen: this is a¬†collaboration. You need to play an active role.
  • Sustainability in the real world is put into practice under circumstances like those here at OWU.¬†Not ideal but workable.¬†Experiences in this course will help you¬†–¬†whether in graduate school, in a job or in life in general.¬†It’s about figuring out stuff and making things happen.
  • Work in this class is also tied to changes and developments in the¬†Environmental Studies¬†program:
    • “The proposed¬†OWU Center for the Environment¬†consists of an enhanced Environmental Studies program focused on active student learning about sustainability and environmental issues. A full time staff member and office facilities with a budget for speakers, visiting scholars, and student research will provide an intellectual and physical center for the program, greatly enhance the experience of current majors and attract new students. The Environmental Studies major will continue to consist of selected courses from across traditional disciplines, but the core of the major will focus on engagement in regional sustainability and environmental research projects. Environmental Studies will be the first major at OWU centered on theory-into-practice.”
    • Seeking funds from Alumni donors, grants (Government and private foundations)
    • Slow but progress: a budget for ES 2015-16!

A few more confessions:

  • I am extremely prepared and very much (planned) unprepared for this course!
  • Let’s look at the course as a cool project you are getting credit for

For Next Meeting:

1) Review the following sustainability plans:

1 page: Comments on various Sustainability Plans (including ours). Focus on moving our draft plan towards a more succinct, accessible and plan-like final form. What should that form be like?

2) Look at the course books and resources (tab) for the class

1 page: Review the course books and other resources (besides the Denison plan) at the end of the course syllabus and include a few comments on these materials so I know you looked at them. Regarding the course books: when to read? Substitutions? Role of readings in a course like this?

3) Review and reflect on the ideas and goals for the course (syllabus)

4) Think about how we should structure our work this semester (given the time we have, goals, etc.)

1 page: Construct, a rough schedule for the semester Suggest a general plan for the course that leads to our desired outcomes: In other words, how would you put together this class and project if you were in charge given time and resources?

Spring Semester 2016

Week 1: January 12/13
Week 2: January 19/21
Week 3: January 26/28
Week 4: February 2/4
Week 5: February 9/11
Week 6: February 16/18
Week 7: February 23/25
Week 8: March 1/3
Week 9: March 8/10: Spring Break
Week 10: March 15/17
Week 11: March 22/24
Week 12: March 29/31
Week 13: April 5/7
Week 14: April 12/14
Week 15: April 19/21: Earth Day Week!
Week 16: April 26

5) 1/2 Page: Jot down what you believe to be your personal strengths and weaknesses in the context of this course and our projects.


  • Please email me a copy of your ideas¬†before our next¬†meeting
  • Please feel free to talk to me¬†about any of this
  • Don’t freak out