Dr. Kathleen V. Schreiber, Geography (Millersville)

Geography 350: Sustainable Development

There were multiple reasons I joined the 2017 Valley and Ridge Workshop. First, I wanted to expand my repertoire of tools for developing a new course-- Geography 350: Sustainable Development. Second, I am helping to develop a Sustainability-Across-the-Curriculum (SAC) program for Millersville University and wanted to look at approaches Dickinson employs to achieve SAC.

Sustainable Development is a new course under development that will explore the temporal-spatial aspects of global social, economic, and environmental well-being, and approaches in promoting a more sustainable planet. Students will regularly read and lead discussions based on The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs. Using the best practices for Living Labs explored in the V&R workshop, students will engage in both service learning and community-based research activities. For spring of 2018, an alternative spring break has been set up in which students will work on an organic farm, join reforestation efforts, and engage in microenterprise activities in Costa Rica. Excursions will explore the biota of rainforest canopy, sustainable farms, and a fair trade coffee cooperative. Those students who are not able to participate in the trip will engage in local community service efforts related to sustainability. Students will share experiences and seek solutions to challenges within service projects as a class. Additionally, the class will choose and participate in local sustainability-related research, whether on campus or in the surrounding community.

I teach a number of other courses that have sustainability components. I teach an environmentally based freshman seminar. Excited by the concepts of place-based learning learned in the workshop, I plan to begin the seminar by studying the campus and environs across multiple spatial scales. Additionally, I plan to make greater use of campus sustainability features in related courses (living labs).

I found both the Dickinson Sustainability Learning Outcomes and the V&R workshop sustainability curriculum readings particularly valuable in preparing to develop our own campus sustainability-across-the-curriculum program. Having a better sense of sustainability curriculum goals and the means by which to achieve them will help us in shaping an effective program.