Monday, May 31, 2010

Prescott College: Sustainability Education Symposium

I recently returned from Prescott College's Second Annual Sustainability Education Symposium in Prescott, Arizona (May 19-21, 2010). I had an opportunity to present to the Prescott community including Ph.D. candidates, faculty, and members of the public (Prescott was the first college in the nation to offer a Ph.D. in Sustainability). Among the keynotes included Dr. Gibran Rivera who discussed the impact of social change and Dr. Devon Peña who talked about the environmental justice movement with enlightening examples from his experiences with South Central farmers in Los Angeles and the acequia communities of the Rio Arriba, Upper Rio Grande. The Ph.D. candidates also had an opportunity to present their dissertations.

I was inspired by the commitment and research on sustainability topics that were shared. Presenters also showed the value of connecting their educational theories with on-the-ground practical applications. The Prescott College educational model--- a cohort approach in which students who live throughout the US come together for colloquia during their semesters of study--- attracts self-directed students and a great mix of perspectives. The Ph.D. students also helped to launch the online Journal of Sustainability Education which is a welcome addition to the on-going sustainability education literature.