Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sustainability, Place-based Learning, and the Campus Garden

Dr. Tema Milstein (UNM), award-winning journalist and eco-pedagogist, visited as a guest facilitator at an afternoon workshop focusing on using SMU’s garden as a “learning laboratory” for teaching and learning.

Participants included: Olivia Archibald, Heather Grob, David Martin, Teresa Winstead, Kathleen McCain, Julia Chavez, Ernesto Chavez, Mary Jo Hartman and Irina Gendelman

In the tradition of Hands-on Teaching and Place-based Learning and following the concept of Washington Center’s Curriculum for the Bioregion, the workshop focused on the ways that we can prepare undergraduates to live in a world where the complex issues of environmental equality, community health and well-being, environmental justice, and sustainability are paramount.

Faculty and staff discussed the Learning Garden as a laboratory and envisioned a collection of teaching approaches to build sustainability concepts and place-based learning into a wide array of undergraduate courses that can be used to engage students with the issues facing the bioregion.

Dr. Milstein’s work, which includes whale and community-based participatory research, focuses on communication as a cultural force in the nexus of humanity and ecology. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico.  Among her publications, Dr. Milstein’s article “Greening Communication” was published in Greening the Academy: Ecopedagogy Through the Liberal Arts, a 2013 Critics Book Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association.