The volume and diversity of academic programs focusing on environmental issues being offered or in development is almost overwhelming.
English professor Joshua Schuster teaches the new “Green Lit” course, drawing on his research intest in the history of cology and ideals of nature.
Almost every faculty – including some you wouldn’t imagine – has found a green ‘hook.’
Joshua Schuster, a professor in the English Department, provides an example of the many ways to look at this subject. His newly minted course, offered for the first time this year, is called “Green Lit” and attracted students from a variety of disciplines.
“I really thought one of the strengths of the course was it provided a class focused on the environment which enabled students from science programs to interact with their peers in arts and humanities,” says Schuster.
The course draws on Schuster’s research interest in the history of ecology and the history of ideals of nature. He adds, “Literature is always offering new forms and special ways of looking at the world and helping make issues visible.”
Colin Baird, chair of the Undergraduate Environmental Science Program, was involved in the development of the undergraduate environmental science program in the early 1990s. “At that time Western was a leader in the area because very few schools had environmental programs,” says Baird.
He believes Western is poised to take a leadership role again for a number of reasons including the establishment of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability. The soon- to-be-announced director of the centre will definitely play a role in setting the direction for this program.
Other exciting academic developments include the Masters of Environment and Sustainability (MES) that has attracted a lot of interest and enthusiasm. Also this fall, Western Engineering will welcome its inaugural class for the new Green Process Engineering program.
These are just a few examples of the academic programs offered or in development and as Baird suggests, “They show a real deepening of commitment by the university toward environmental issues.”
Ecosystem Health Graduate Program
Research Network for Business Sustainability