The Maine Watersheds Project at USM offers workshops to encourage faculty in all disciplines to address environmental sustainability issues in their teaching. The goals of the project are to 1) enhance faculty and student understanding of the connections between human communities and the natural world, 2) produce graduates who contribute to the social, environmental, and economic welfare of local and global communities, and 3) help create a campus that models the principles of sustainability.
The Maine Watersheds Project was launched by Criminology Professor Sandy Wachholz in 2005. It is modeled after the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University and the Piedmont Project at Emory University. The first USM workshop was led by Peg Barlett, co-founder of the Ponderosa and Piedmont projects. Subsequent workshops have been coordinated by our planning board. Funding has come from community grants, the 2005-2007 Gloria Duclos Convocation on General Education, Emeritus Professor of History Fred Padula, the Center for Teaching, Barbro Osher Foundation, and the Provost.
Faculty Development Workshop: The Maine Watersheds Project draws together 15 full-time faculty members from diverse fields to explore environmental sustainability in a two-day workshop. Lectures, discussions, and readings examine the environment and the related issues of public health, social justice, economics, and social change, especially as they relate to our locale is the watersheds of Maine. Units on pedagogy and break-out sessions provide an opportunity for teachers to identify the connections between their discipline and sustainability and to reflect on the changes they plan to make in their teaching. Midday walks provide an opportunity for experiential learning. To build community, participants dine together the night before the first session.
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