Category Archives: Course Information

Sustainability Practicum, Spring 2018

Updated the Syllabus for Spring 2018!

Sustainability Practicum 2017: Wrap Up

Finishing Up The Spring 2017 Semester

We waded in and made progress this spring. To wrap things up please do the following and get it to me by Tuesday May 9:

1. Project Reports

  • Reusable Food Containers
  • Perennial Gardens Project
  • May Move Out
  • Sustainability Activity Courses
  • Campus Sustainability Plan

For each report (about 3 pages) compile the following:

  • work and research completed
  • key contacts
  • organize the Geog 499 Spring 2017 shared folder for the individual project, make sure the Project Report will help future students take over this project; make sure all materials created (posters, artwork for stickers, etc.) are also in the shared folder
  • your assessment of the project and what was completed this semester, and recommendations for the future

2. Course & Personal Assessment: about 3 pages

One page or so: your thoughts on the course, its structure, and the way we worked out the goals (the revised Sustainability Plan and specific projects). Did the wheels come off? Or not? Too much loosey goosey? Or did the flexible approach work? Do you think our effort will affect sustainability efforts on campus? Or are you more pessimistic? Given that I will offer the course again next spring, document 3 things that worked well, and 3 that could use some work and/or ideas for what the course should focus on. Your suggestions for next year are very much appreciated.

One page or so: assessment of your personal efforts in the course. Describe what you did (specifically) and your role in the class (compared to other students in the class). Given your efforts, and in comparison with your pals in the class, let me know what you think you deserve for a letter grade. And which item you believe to be the essential baby essential (see below).

Sustainability Practicum Spring 2017

Geography 499: Sustainability Practicum Spring 2017

Introductions

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

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

Review Syllabus (Syllabus…): Efforts for us this semester


For Next Meeting: do and write a bit of stuff

1) Review the following sustainability plans as well as the Resources page at this blog.

1 page: Comments on various Sustainability Plans (including ours). How do we move forward in getting the OWU Plan approved this semester? Present to OWU Faculty Committees (Executive), Present to Faculty Meeting, Present to students…

2) Review and reflect on the ideas and potential goals for the course (syllabus) and 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 organize this class and the projects if you were in charge given time and resources? Projects can be divided up and assigned to different groups. Add relevant information (Green Week, Earth Day, etc.) that may shape what we do and when.

Spring Semester 2017

Week 1: January 20
Week 2: January 23/27
Week 3: January 30 / February 3
Week 4: February 6/10
Week 5: February 13/17
Week 6: February 20/24
Week 7: February 27 / March 3
Week 8: March 6/10
Week 9: March 13/17: Spring Break
Week 10: March 20/24
Week 11: March 27/31
Week 12: April 3/7
Week 13: April 10/14
Week 14: April 17/21
Week 15: April 24/28
Week 16: May 1
Week 17: Finals

3) 1/2 Page: Jot down what you believe to be your personal strengths and weaknesses in the context of a course like this and our projects and goals for the semester.

Finally:

  • Please email me a copy of your ideas before our next meeting (Sunday night!)
  • Please feel free to talk to me about any of this
  • Don’t freak out

 

Week 4 Progress

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Progress is being made!

Read and discussed Psychology of Sustainability and how it applies to the revision of the Sustainability Plan for OWU and other Spring 2016 projects.

Met with Sustainability Task Force (Tues January 26) and discussed revision of the Sustainability Plan for OWU. Memo here.

Ally & Blake: draft reusable food container strategy memo here and meeting with Gene Castelli (Tues Feb 2). Also to discuss continuing work on Real Food Challenge.

Zanna & James & Emily: draft May Move Out logistics memo; Goodwill and OWU B&G to be contacted about meeting.

Ally: vision stuff for food collaboration (contact Chris Fink, meeting of OWU, Stratford, MTSO). Tentative Vision Document here:

Geog499_FoodVision

Chimney Swift Towers: meeting between student in Geog 360 and Dick Tuttle and others to discuss project implementation, Spring 2016

Meek Aquatic Center retention pond plantings: meeting between student and Delco contact to discuss project implementation, Spring 2016

Geog 499: First Meeting Spring 2016

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Geography 499: Sustainability Practicum

Introductions

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.

Finally:

  • 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

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Geog 499 First Meeting

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Geography 499: Sustainability Practicum

  • A Sustainability Plan (hardcopy)
  • Review Course Goals (About…)
  • Review Syllabus (Syllabus…)

How do we create a sustainability plan for campus?

The situation:

  • I’m not a sustainability expert, nor is anyone on campus or in this class, but I know we can figure out how to create a real sustainability plan together 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. You guys all are smart, have a range of knowledge but mostly skills in problem solving, research, and expression (written, spoken).
    • Collaboration!
  • 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)
    • Capstone course! (Geog, ES, whatever)
    • Slow but progress: a budget for ES 2015-16!

A few more confessions:

  • I thought there would be 3 or 4 students in this class!
  • 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

What Next?

  • We will make this class together
  • Work in groups or individuals? The latter for now…

1) Review the sustainability plan for Denison University. It’s more or less what we need to do for OWU.

  • Find one more sustainability plan (internet search) and briefly review both
  • How to make this happen?

2) Look at the schedule for the semester and think about how we can most effectively use our time. Suggest a general plan for the course that leads to our desired outcomes: A draft OWU sustainability plan delivered to the Sustainability Task Force by Earth Day 2015 (Wednesday April 22). In other words, how would you put together this class and project if you were in charge?

Review of what we need to accomplish:

  • define a plan for how to proceed given the time we have this semester
  • figure out how to put together a sustainability plan
  • do the research necessary for the sustainability plan
  • develop a grant proposal seeking external funds to cover costs related to sustainability on campus
  • define a plan for publicizing our work and sustainability on campus, culminating in events around Earth Day 2015 (April 22)

Spring Semester 2015

  • Week 1: January 13/15 (no meeting Thursday January 15: Luce Grant Call)
  • Week 2: January 20/22: present / discuss ideas (below) on 20th, maybe 22th.
  • Week 3: January 27/29
  • Week 4: February 3/5
  • Week 5: February 10/12
  • Week 6: February 17/19
  • Week 7: February 24/26
  • Week 8: March 3/5
  • Week 9: March 10/12: Spring Break
  • Week 10: March 17/19
  • Week 11: March 24/26
  • Week 12: March 31/April 2
  • Week 13: April 7/9
  • Week 14: April 14/16
  • Week 15: April 21/23: Earth Day Week!
  • Week 16: April 28/30

3) Be prepared to introduce yourself and (briefly) present a plan one week from today in class: Follow this format, print and bring a copy with you:

1 page: Comments on Denison Sustainability Plan with a focus on how we can construct a similar plan for OWU. Indicate major concerns or challenges (where you have no idea how to proceed), where you believe you can contribute, or you have ideas as to how to proceed.

1 page: Review the other resources (besides the Denison plan) at the end of the course syllabus and include a few comments on these sources so I know you looked at them.

1 page: Annotated schedule for the semester with your ideas for structuring our work week by week (in general) to reach the desired outcomes.

1/2 page: What you believe to be your personal strengths & weaknesses in the context of this project and this practicum course.

Finally:

  • Please email me a copy of your report before we meet (on Tuesday January 20)
  • Please feel free to talk to me about any of this
  • I will add you to this blog as an author (no need to post anything yet)
  • Don’t freak out

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Geography 499: Sustainability Practicum

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