Introduction to Sustainability

June 16th, 2010 by Bridget

An Experiential Course in the White Mountains region of NH

August 1, 2010-August 7, 2010

This course will introduce students to the core concepts of sustainability, different frameworks fro working towards a more sustainable world, and examples from different sectors in the Lakes/White Mountains region of New Hampshire. The themes that will be discussed include energy, shelter, food, transportation, material goods, local economics, habitat/biodiversity and many others.  This course will include examining how sustainability is being pursued in the residential, commercial/industrial, municipal, institutional, agricultural and recreational sectors. Topics covered also include how different frameworks are being used to achieve greater sustainability in these sectors through green building, organic food production, climate adaptation, and local energy initiatives, Transition Towns, relocalization, the Natural Step approach and permaculture.

Schedule highlights (tentative):

  • Arrival on Sunday, August 1: Short orientation including information on Langdon Woods, a LEED Certified residence hall on PSU’s campus, and an overview of the course schedule and expectations.
  • Monday, August 2: Introduction to sustainability and green building, tour of PSU projects including EcoHouse, a visit to Abode (a local green building company) and an evening film.
  • Tuesday, August 3: Visit to a local farm for a meal of locally grown foods, presentation by a guest speaker from Local Foods-Plymouth and a visit to the new LEED certified White Mountain National Forest facility.
  • Wednesday, August 4: A lecture on local climate adaptation and energy initiatives, a visit to area solar hot water and photovoltaic installations, and kayak trip to view low impact recreation and composting operations on Squam Lake.
  • Thursday, August 5: Discussion of Transition Towns and local economies, guest presentation on the Natural Step approach, visit to Plymouth Farmers market.
  • Friday, August 6: Introduction to Permaculture held at D Acres organic farm, followed by a hands-on workshop. Stay overnight at D Acres.
  • Saturday, August 7: Return to PSU’s campus for wrap up and departure.

To download complete syllabus, click here.

For more information, please contact the instructor: Steve Whitman at 603-535-5037 or