February 3, 2016

“Sustainable Living: Politics and Policy”, Oregon State University (since summer 2015)

  • Lecturer: Erika Allen Wolters
  • Program: Political Science Program, School of Public Policy
  • Duration: Online summer course, bachelor level, 30 students
  • Focus: Exploring the role of individuals in sustainability practices and policies.  Special focus is given to an examination of how individuals can make sustainable lifestyle choices in light of policy regulations, technologies, socio-economic conditions, and cultural values.
  • Themes treated on a weekly basis include: What is Sustainability?; Systems Thinking: Everything Is Connected, Individual Behavior, Motivations; Transportation; Food; Energy; Water; Consumerism; Zero-Waste a Reality?; Making the “right” choices: moving forward.
  • Novel approach: Students are asked to engage in three new sustainable behaviours in the home. They must document their choices, challenges, and results. When the course is offered on campus, more hands-on demonstrations will be organized.
  • Student evaluation: three papers, as well as a minimum participation in 5 discussion boards (with each requiring 1 original post and 2 responses to fellow students); also, students can create a video, on line blog, or a written journal detailing their step-by-step experiences in behaviour changes (challenges, unexpected outcomes, cost, social pressure, etc.)
  • Course evaluation: not yet evaluated.

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