Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rounding Out the Circle of the Solar Trip we call 2009

Hello my fellow Earthship mates.

I have been so absent from blogger land these past four months because I can only do so much key board time until repetitive motion cripples my upper right side. All I need is a good voice command typing program under my solstice bush.

But I have been on my keyboard a great deal during the last four months in order to create 27 seventy-five minute multimedia presentations for the class I taught last semester at San Jose State University. The course was titled Water Policy in The Western United States and was taught in the Environmental Studies Department and known through the SJSU catalog as EnvS 129. All the lecture notes, course syllabus (called greensheets, even though they're not when they are printed on paper), quizzes & the final exam are published in this google-powered web site for the world to use as it will:

I have received much encouragement from friends, colleagues and the students themselves in regard to my teaching this past semester. I am also honored and challenged to teach a second course in the Spring 2010 semester on the more numeric side of water resources called MANAGEMENT. This course is listed as EnvS 128 and requires prerequisites of Statistics and basic Chemistry. I consider that the students will arrive with brains exposed to the type of discipline required in those courses.The web site for EnvS 128 is now "under construction" with as minimal of a footprint that I can MANAGE

But I am not there to teach students to be engineers. There is another college a few feet (and clicks) away which trains minds to conduct water engineering work. Most of the students come to the these courses in the College of Social Science to learn how they can help in building a sustainable future, but they certainly won't be ALL part of an engineering team to physically build parts of a water system.

Every student does, however, participate in using and paying for the water infrastructure components that are proposed and built by engineers and marketed and funded with the great influence of business and government. What they need to know is the language of the engineers, so they can engage in critical thinking and PARTICIPATE competently during the public review process, where many powerful self-interests are often poised and ready to override the public good and public trust of the environment and build some public (WATER) work that is going to have serious negative impacts and , in the long run, threaten our species and the sustainability of the ecosystem, which weaves together all our species.

My deepest ethics about water resources are succinctly expressed in this seven-minute student video, titled Rain Dance The film maker is named Amanda Levensohn and she certainly would have received an A+ if she were doing this work in one of my classes.