Let me start out our course blog by saying that I’m very excited you’ve joined the UMW community and am really looking forward to discussing ideas about nature and environment with you both in and out of class. As this is the FSEM linked to the Greenhouse living learning community in Virginia Hall, I am particularly excited about the potential for us to engage with the ideas we discuss in class in other spaces more interesting than the second floor of Combs Hall–out on the Rappahannock, in the woods near the Virginia Outdoor Center, or simply out in the grass, under the old trees of our beautiful campus. Depending on everyone’s availability we will have some of out of class activities this semester, which will support our in class work as well as provide us with some helpful change in perspective.
The way I see it, as a community we will not only be taking this course together but also working to identify shared goals of projects that can further promote sustainability on our campus. This is also the first year of Ecovillage, a theme-based living learning community housed in the UMW apartments and lead by a few awesome students from last year’s FSEM. I see some exciting potential to team up and go on outings and also get more involved here on campus in terms of sustainability issues.
While we will be discussing many different ideas about nature and environment throughout the course, from some voices with whom you are likely already somewhat familiar (Thoreau and Whitman, most likely) and others that will be entirely new to you, my hope is that there will also be some action that occurs, some moving beyond the theory to take a few proactive steps here on our campus, in the community you have just recently become part of. As I said on Friday when we met in Trinkle Hall, like most things in life, this community and experience will be what you all choose to make of it. Given that you all live in the same res hall, I feel that this year we have a unique opportunity to do more and form a different sort of community. Thus, my excitement and anticipation of meeting all of you. I’m ready to see where this leads and where you all want to take this. Again, welcome and let’s begin!