Dr. Allyssa Decker, Environmental Studies and Science

Green Infrastructure

Through the 2021 Valley and Ridge workshop, I worked on revising my Green Infrastructure course (ENST 305) to meet the criteria of the Sustainability Investigations course attribute at Dickinson. This course is an upper-level elective that investigates how different types of green infrastructure help mitigate urban environmental challenges by restoring natural cycles and processes that have been disrupted through urban development. Many of the topics discussed in ENST 305 closely relate to problems of sustainability and Valley and Ridge helped me think about ways to allow the students to further explore the multiple dimensions of sustainability.

To meet the sustainability investigations course attribute, a few changes to ENST 305 were made. First, additional learning objectives were developed to ensure students are applying interdisciplinary knowledge and methods to analyze problems of sustainability. Next, I revised the course content to allow for periodic discussions of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be woven into the course structure. These discussions will provide time for students to think critically about green infrastructure and make connections between lecture material and SDGs. Lastly, I developed a course project where students will assess the stormwater management needs of the community and propose a type of green infrastructure to be implemented on or near Dickinson College. Part of this project includes an SDG assessment where students can reflect on what SDGs will be met through the green infrastructure design implementation. Overall, the changes made will significantly improve the quality of the course and allow the students to gain the skills to applying interdisciplinary knowledge and methods to analyze problems of sustainability through a green infrastructure lens.