GEOG 440: Environmental Thought in Action

Environmental Thought in Action is structured around the annual student elections that occur every spring semester. Students in the course are required to participate in the elections by placing an advisory measure on the ballot as a “service” to the campus; the “service” is providing a tangible issue, like campus divestment, in an election that is often devoid of any real issues. As a class, students research potential campus issues, select a specific issue to work on, draft acceptable initiative language, collect signatures to place the advisory on the ballot, and ultimately campaign for the measure's passage. Through the process they learn a lot about sustainability, social change, and themselves.

Education for Citizenship - Dr. Mark Stemen

Class Philosophy

From Dr. Mark Stemen

"At Chico State, I teach a 4/4 load. I have around 135 students a semester cycle through three sections of my general education course where they learn all the terrifying things some of us already know about the state of the environment.

"Lecturing on all of this destruction can get pretty depressing, for both students and faculty. To counter that, I teach one course each semester where I have created an opportunity for students to enact positive change.  I structure my Environmental Thought in Action course around the annual student elections that occur every spring semester. I require students in the course to participate in the elections by placing an advisory measure on the ballot as a “service” to the campus; the “service” is providing a tangible issue, like campus divestment, in an election that is often devoid of any real issues. As a class, students research potential campus issues, select a specific issue to work on, draft acceptable initiative language, collect signatures to place the advisory on the ballot, and ultimately campaign for the measure's passage. Through the process they learn a lot about sustainability, social change, and themselves."

Syllabus

Coming soon!

Reading List

The 21 Principles of Persuasion - Jason Nazar (Forbes)

Compassionate Communications Primer - Glen Orcutt (Go Solutions)

Create a Powerful Message - Kivi Leroux Miller (The Nonprofit Marketing Guide)

Find the Time - Kivi Leroux Miller (The Nonprofit Marketing Guide)

Creating Effective Messages - Doug McKenzie Mohr (Fostering Sustainable Behavior)

Norms: Building Community Support - Doug McKenzie Mohr (Fostering Sustainable Behavior)

Education for Citizenship - Mark Stemen

Leverage Game Mechanics - Jonah Berger (Contagious)

Why Things Catch On - Jonah Berger (Contagious)

Getting Institutions to Do What You Want - John Graham (Stick Your Neck Out)

Green Rage - Matt Rasmussen (Orion Magazine)

Boycott Organizer's Guide - (Co-op America)

How to Win Campaigns - Chris Rose

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dave Carnegie

The Law of the Few - Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point)

Running an Awesome Table - (Real Food Challenge)

What Sticks? - Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Made to Stick)

Words That Work

Associated Students:

California State University, Chico: