Comparative Sustainability Practices in Local-Global Settings (Environment 186)
This four-unit course uses guided field work and comparative analysis to assess local sustainability practices and policies in diverse regional or international settings. Emphasis is placed on comparing the role of local and regional culture, geography, economic climate, and governmental policies on sustainability awareness and practices. Students use observations, interviews, and unobtrusive measures to document and analyze the role and influence of local-global context on the sustainability behavior of individuals, small businesses, and other institutions in everyday life.
The course is designed to be taken by students traveling abroad or domestically, or remaining at UCLA for the summer. Students traveling abroad or domestically conduct background research and reading before traveling. During the first half of the course, students write six short reflection papers, one on each of six topics: Energy, Water, Waste and Recycling, Food, Transportation, and Economics. Students then chose one of these topics as a focal point for their final project which will evaluate either local or international sustainability practices and policies. A prospectus for this project is due during the third week and a progress report is due the fifth week. The final project, a ten-page paper, is due two weeks after the student returns home. The final project may also be a shorter, five-page paper in combination with other media (e.g., video) with consent of the instructor.
The course instructor and teaching assistants will be in contact with students and will provide feedback and guidance to students via an interactive course Web site. Specific guidelines for conducting field observations and interviews will be provided.