Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action
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The interdisciplinary coursework for the Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action program focuses on empowering students to make changes toward sustainability in their own lives and in society. The program does this by providing students not only with the knowledge to understand the nature of the ecological crisis, but also with the skills to effect change and the inspiration and hope needed to motivate them to take action. Students examine not only the impact of human activity on the environment and ways governments, industry, and citizens are working to protect and conserve natural resources, but also the psychological and philosophical dimensions of these issues. Students interact with professionals, academics, conservationists, community members, and host families. During the final five weeks of the semester, students leverage their field study experience and research skills to complete an Independent Study Project.
The Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action program offers the following courses. These course descriptions can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Learn more about credit transfer.
Sustainability and Environmental Action Seminar - syllabus (PDF)
(ENVI 3000 / 8 credits / 120 class hours)
An interdisciplinary course focusing on an analysis of efforts to pursue sustainability in Australia. The course is designed to empower students to make a positive contribution to making societies more sustainable.
Research Methods and Ethics - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 3 credits / 45 class hours)
A course in the concepts of learning across cultures and from field experience and the development of the research skills necessary to undertake the Independent Study Project. Material includes cross-cultural adaptation and skills building; project selection and refinement; writing a research proposal; referencing; appropriate methodologies such as interviewing, surveying, observation, and content analysis; field study ethics and the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy; developing contacts and finding resources; gathering, organizing, analyzing, and communicating data; and maintaining a work journal.
Independent Study Project- syllabus (PDF)
(ISPR 3000 / 5 credits / 150 class hours)
Conducted in northern New South Wales or in another approved location appropriate to the project. Students may undertake a traditional research project or, alternatively, produce a creative piece (e.g., art, film, creative writing), or undertake a practicum. All projects must relate to sustainability. Sample topic areas: effect of dolphin feeding on environmental perceptions of tourists; permaculture as an alternative to traditional agriculture; a feasibility study for the introduction of solar power at Macquarie University; creating effective urban community gardens; practicum with the Wilderness Society River Red Gum campaign; creating artwork for a National Parks Service campaign; sustainable housing; why farmers choose to convert to organic agriculture; the role of art in promoting sustainability; conceptions of wilderness in Tasmania; practicums with community gardens, organic farms, and environmental education centers.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Byron Bay
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