Schwanke Courses and Instructors

Sustainability: What's Your Footprint?

 Course Description: Most people think ‘sustainability’ means recycling, being a vegetarian, and living out in the woods, but this hands-on, interactive course will take us further than that. Today’s social and environmental opportunities demand a more nuanced and exciting definition of sustainability. Sustainability includes human communities and our behaviors but it also includes organizations (like colleges) and social movements. It’s a HUGE topic. We will spend two weeks diving into this word, what it means to us as individuals, what it looks like at the University of Montana, and how we can move our schools and communities toward a more sustainable future. This course is for students looking to get outside the classroom, make connections across a range of topics and disciplines, and think critically about our actions and opportunities.

In addition to exploring what sustainability looks like at UM and for us individually, we will get to see first-hand what sustainability looks like for one of the most heavily-visited national parks in the U.S. During our trip to Glacier NP, we will visit with the people responsible for shrinking the environmental footprint of this amazing place while making it accessible to thousands of visitors around the world each year. Our time at the Flathead Biological Station on Flathead Lake will continue in this thread, giving us time to reflect on the many visions and manifestations of sustainability we will experience throughout this course.

Coure instructor: As the UM Sustainability coordinator, Eva Rocke facilitiates campus-wide sustainability efforts including the implementation of greenhouse gas reduction strategies, exploration of renewable energy possibilities for UM, carbon offset purchasing, and various other rojects to help UM reach its carbon neutrality goal. Her work also includes engaging the campus in all of these efforts and making the social economic dimensions of sustainability part of UM's sustainability vision.