Sunday, January 31, 2016

Capstone Practicum in Environmental Studies syllabus (spring 2016)

ENVA 450: Capstone Practicum in Environmental Studies
Lone Mountain 244B
Fridays, 11:45 am - 3:25 pm

Professor David Silver
Office / hours: Kalmanovitz 141, Mondays & Wednesdays, 12-1 & by appointment
Contact: dmsilver [ at ] usfca [ dot ] edu

Capstone Practicum in Environmental Studies, affectionately known as “Capstone,” is intended to represent the culmination of your Environmental Studies degree. As such, you will engage in reflection about your course of study, consider your role in creating social and cultural change towards a sustainable human-environmental relationship, and work on real-life projects related to sustainability. Our work will center on four community sites and projects: 1) New Liberation Garden in the Western Addition; 2) Recyclemania run by USF’s Office of Sustainability; 3) The USF Seed Library housed in Gleeson Library; and 4) Artist Christina Conklin’s USF exhibit “Worlds in the Making: New Ecological Rituals.” Based on your interests and specializations, students will choose to work creatively, collaboratively, and intimately with a number of our community sites. Through hands-on projects, field trips, in class discussions, and personal reflections, students will test their ideas, learn to work as part of a team, and activate their post-college careers.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completing Capstone, you will:
o    Learn how to tap into your own knowledge of Environmental Studies and apply it towards real-life, collaborative projects;
o    Work with community partners to develop, design, and implement projects that work towards the broad goal of sustainable practices;
o    Learn to work – and thrive – in collaboration with others, especially your Capstone peers; and
o    Communicate how your understanding of and interest in a diverse range of perspectives and knowledge of environmental problems can be applied to specific career pathways or domains of environmental work.

Class Assignments
o    Weekly Reflection:  Each week you are required to engage in 5 hours of activity that relate to your class project/s and/or your interest in environmental studies. In other words, you can work 5 hours on the USF Seed Library or New Lib Garden. Or you can work 2 hours on Recyclemania and 3 hours on “Worlds in the Making.” You can also use some of your hours to attend a film screening, lecture series, or workshop related to your project or interest. On Friday, you are required to submit a two-page reflection of your work, due at the beginning of class. Be ready to share your reflection.
o    Class Project: Each student will choose to participate in one or more of the following projects: 1) New Liberation Garden; 2) Recyclemania; 3) The USF Seed Library; and 4) “Worlds in the Making: New Ecological Rituals.”
o    After a period of project briefs and observations, each student submits a proposal for the project(s) they wish to participate in.  The proposal is due in class on Friday, March 11. For the remainder of the semester each student works on the project, participates collaboratively, and at the end of the semester presents a final presentation of the project.
o    CARD Presentation/Participation:  In addition to class projects, each student is responsible for submitting a proposal to USF’s Creative Arts and Research Day taking place on Friday, April 22.  Proposal due date March 4.  All students are required to attend CARD.

50% - Weekly Reflections (due Friday in class)
30% - Participation/contributions to Class Projects
10% - Class participation
10% - Participation in Creative Activity and Research Day


Week One: Friday, January 29
Introductions, distribute syllabi, and discussion of four community sites and projects. Discuss how the course works. Prepare for next week’s overnight field trip to Regenerative Design Institute.

Week Two: Friday, February 5
Project Brief # 1 (with Cornerstone): RecycleMania with Richard Hsu, USF's Sustainability Coordinator. In preparation for our visit with Richard Hsu, please read and be ready to discuss case studies from 2015 and 2014 RecycleMania.

OVERNIGHT field trip (with Cornerstone) to Regenerative Design Institute, in Bolinas. We will return to USF on Saturday, February 6, by 6 pm.

Week Three: Friday, February 12
Project Brief # 2 (with Cornerstone): USF art exhibit “Worlds in the Making: New Ecological Rituals” with artist Christina Conklin. In preparation for our meeting with Christina Conklin, please read “Rooftop Sculpture Terrace” press release and selections from Conklin's master's thesis Immanence: Reconsidering the Spiritual in Art. Beginning at 1 pm, we will attend the opening talk and tour of "Worlds in the Making," an exhibition of four site-specific, participatory installations at USF’s Rooftop Sculpture Terrace, followed by a (catered!) reception for the artist.

Week Four: Friday, February 19
Project Brief #3 (with Cornerstone): New Liberation Garden Tour and Work Day. Located at the corner of Divisadero and Eddy, New Lib Garden is a former SLUG (San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners) garden that is currently being co-managed by USF and New Liberation Church. We will spend the day touring the garden, listening and learning from its participants, and getting our hands dirty working in it.

Week Five: Friday, February 26
In-class service learning orientation with Star Moore, Director of Community-Engaged Learning, Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, from 11:45-12:45. In preparation for Star Moore’s visit, please read Christine M. Cress, "What is Service-Learning?" in Christine M. Cress, Peter J. Collier, and Vicki L. Reitenauer's Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning Across the Disciplines (Stylus Publishing, 2005): pp. 7-16; and Rachel Naomi Remen, "In the Service of Life," Noetic Sciences Review (spring 1996): 2 pages.

Project Brief #4 (with Cornerstone): USF Seed Library with Debbie Benrubi (Gleeson), Carol Spector (Gleeson), and David Silver. Readings to be determined.


Week Six: Friday, March 4
Workshop (with Cornerstone) with YES MEN.

Week Seven: Friday, March 11
Project proposals due in class. Discussion of class projects and proposals. Small group work on projects.

Week Eight: Friday, March 18

Week Nine: Friday, March 25
Easter: No class


Week Ten: Friday, April 1
Project check-in. Social media and LinkedIn workshop.

Week Eleven: Friday, April 8
Field trip to and work day at Alemany Farm (with Cornerstone). Farm tour led by Antonio Roman-Alcalá, a longtime urban agriculture teacher, organizer, scholar, and writer.

Week Twelve: Friday, April 15
Project check-in. Small group work on projects.


Week Thirteen: Friday, April 22
This day will be spent attending and participating in the College of Arts and Sciences 6th annual Creative Activity and Research Day (CARD) in Fromm Hall. CARD is a celebration of the research and creative activity accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students in the College and students have the option of creating a poster or giving a talk at the event. Please note: participating students are required to stand by their poster from 11am to 1pm which slightly conflicts with our class times; we’ll figure it out as it approaches.

Week Fourteen: Friday, April 29
Work day at New Lib Garden (with Cornerstone)

Week Fifteen: Friday, May 6
Final Presentations

This is no final exam for this class.

On Friday, May 13, there will be an Urban Ag end-of-the-year / graduation party in the USF Garden. Please join us.

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