The 2013 CSE trip was to New Mexico, where we investigated several themes, water management in a water-poor area, administration of public park land, effects of climate change on civilizations, and, intertwined throughout, the way the history of the many cultures in the region shape the present state of affairs.
Rio Grande and Water
Early in the trip. We spent a morning with Albion Geology Field camp alumna Page Pegram, now with the Office of the State Engineer’s Interstate Water commission. Page met us in the bosque along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque and explained some of the complexities of complying with interstate water agreements, protecting endangered species and conserving as much water as possible for New Mexico residents.
Native American History and Cultures
Our look at the long and important history of Native Americans began with a visit to the Chaco Culture National Historic Park, arguably the most fabulous archeological site in North America and also one of the most enigmatic. Real questions persist, with discussion of both how the civilization flourished in such a demanding environment and why the area was ultimately abandoned. The relationships among people, culture and climate are central to this discussion. We also visited Bandelier National Monument where more recent Pueblo cliff dwellings are well preserved, and Sky City at Acoma Pueblo, where modern descendants of the Chacoans still live in the longest continuously inhabited community in the country. Finally, we visited the Four Corners Power Plant, one of the most polluting plants in the nation, and considered the complex relationship between the plant and the Navajo Nation, in which it is located.
During a May trip to New Mexico, CSE students learned about arid-land agriculture at the Pueblo Bonito Great House in Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They also looked at modern-day energy challenges at a coal-fired power plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Albion College celebrates a Year of Sustainability in 2013-14.
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
Where committed students initiate real movement toward change.
Let’s face it: you love this planet, and it’s where you’ll spend a lot of your time. At Albion College's Center for Sustainability and the Environment, you’ll also spend a lot of time making it a better place. You’ll explore the intersections of nature and society, learning how to become an effective steward of our world.
Sometimes the best classroom settings aren’t classrooms at all. Our field seminars are life-changing: you’ll travel to diverse locations around the U.S. and meet people who are working on environmental protection and sustainability causes. And through internships and research projects, you’ll explore the social, political, and scientific dimensions of sustainability and be well prepared for a career in this vital field.
Sample Program - Sustainability Studies Major
The Major is composed of three components: (1) three core "Theories" courses, (2) three core "Methods/Tools" courses; and (3) at least two "Terrains" courses. The remaining units can be chosen from approved topics across the Theories, Tools, and Terrains. A model four-year plan is shown below.
Note: Terrains are directed-study courses or courses based on case studies. This model four-year plan does not include College core requirements, electives, a second major or minor adding to 32 units for graduation.
1/4 unit Introduction to Sustainability (UVSQ, THEORY)
Selection from: (1 unit) Introductory courses in Political Science (PLSC) or Anthropology (ANTH)—recommended
1 unit ENVN 102: Introduction to the Environment (THEORY)
1 unit PLSC 216: Public Policy Analysis or ANTH 375: Global Transformations (THEORY)
1 unit Valuation and Evaluation (UVSQ, TOOL)
ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics—recommended
1 unit GEOL 111: Geography and Geographic Information Systems (TOOL)
ENVN 220: Economics, Politics, and Environmental Policy (TOOL)
SEMESTER ABROAD @ UVSQ 3-4 units
French culture (NCR) Time and Uncertainty (UVSQ, THEORY) NTICS and the Environment (UVSQ, THEORY) 2 TERRAINS (UVSQ) with or without projects
1 unit Environmental humanities course: (could be taken at any time during the student's four years at Albion) ENGL 206: Writing in Place (101 prerequisite or permission of instructor) ENGL 238: Terrorists & Tree Huggers ENGL 354: Idea of Nature HIST 337: Environmental History PHIL 206: Contemporary Moral Problems PHIL 301: Environmental Ethics ARTH 315: Earth Art and the Environment or approved substitute
1 unit Topics in Eco-innovation (UVSQ, TOOL)
1 unit Experiential requirement: Thesis Research experience