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2013 V&R Participant- Professor Gene Wingert

Professor Gene Wingert, Biology

Sustaining Northeastern Wildlife

Course Syllabus: BIOL 128

Although I’ve been a presenter for the Ridge and Valley experience for several years, I did not fully understand the breadth of the course. During the three days of Ridge and Valley several aspects made impressions on the way I will approach my instruction at Dickinson. I was delighted to find instructors from other divisions that not only had an interest and concern for the problems facing our planet, but genuine enthusiasm to gather more information to help them impart their concern to their students and incorporate place based topics and sustainability into their curricula. We felt part of a team working on a common problem.

I will incorporate, in my future instruction, focused place based education as the major strategy of instruction. The use of local examples that students are able to visit and have first-hand experience will reinforce the lectures. Everyone needs a sense of place to create a social and ecological connection to their home and community.

The major social, political and economic issues the current students will face during their lifetime will be the effects of global warming and ocean acidification. IF we are to sustain our environment, we must make changes now. How climate change effects local natural history will be demonstrated during my courses.

All class research projects will involve sustainability as the major theme. Forest management, farmland management, wildlife management and responsible development are major issues that the class will tackle in discussion. These effect the future of all flora and fauna and the ability of the environment to sustain our population. We are part of nature and must work within its rules.