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What is ESLP?
Modified from the 2004 course syllabus: The Education for Sustainable Living Program is a collaborative interdisciplinary effort to realize sustainable community throughout the University of California. Students form action-research teams in partnership with guest lecturers, faculty, administration, and community members to implement tangible change. Such experiential learning inspires participants to internalize the concept of sustainability, and carry it in practice beyond academia into greater society.
The course consists of a series of a series of guest lectures by world-renowned authors, environmentalists, and progressive thinkers and associated discussions. As the speakers travel to the different UC schools, students at the various campuses will simultaneously participate in the class at different levels of engagement: full and partial credit versions of the course, or voluntary attendance. Lectures are open to the public to invite community participation. The class will encourage reflection upon and analysis of the principles of sustainability. It is designed to encourage collaboration to create a sustainable campus between students, faculty, staff, the administration, the local community, and the entire UC system through ongoing communication, discussions, and an optional state-wide retreat on May 7-9, 2004.
The primary focus of the 5 –unit class is group projects focused on specific sustainability topic areas related to the university (green building, renewable energy, campus food systems, recycling, etc.). At the end of the quarter, each project group will present their work to a panel of faculty, administrators, and community members. These projects, guided by faculty mentors and facilitated by graduate students and advanced undergraduates, will serve as the foundation for incorporation of sustainable practices into UC policies, operations, and value systems.
The format builds upon the successful model created by the UCSC Student Environmental Center with the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus and the California Student Sustainability Coalition, a UC-wide coalition that serves as a role model to students across the nation. In our first year, CSSC worked with UC Regents to successfully create system-wide Green Building and Renewable Energy Policies. ESLP is designed to involve all members of the campus community in the process of integrating sustainability into the curriculum and to support the efforts of the UC Regents to incorporate sustainable practices into policy. In successive years of ESLP, student project groups will continue to work with faculty, staff, and the community to build upon the cumulative knowledge and progress furthered through the program.
The 2-unit course attends a lecture once a week, usually on Mondays from 7-10pm. Students see lectures given by invited speakers, as well as write short reflective papers and meet with a discussion group after each lecture. They also complete final projects, either as a group or individually. Students are also expected to complete assigned readings. For more information, see UCSC CLEI 61.
The 5-unit course attends the same lecture as the 2-unit course, but in addition becomes involved with an ESLP Action Research Team, which works to learn about certain environmental issues and completes projects which benefit the campus, Santa Cruz or world communities. Each Action Research Team varies in its focus, readings, activities and assignments. For more information and descriptions of Spring 2007 Action Research Teams, see UCSC CLEI 161.