This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Important Note: Spots are limited. An application is required, which you will receive by email. The Umbra Institute will not be able to guarantee enrollment to all that apply.
This course has two main academic components: one experiential (practicum) and one reflective (seminar). The practicum provides you with direct, professional experience in an inclusive local community in Perugia for 3 hours per week. The seminar meets every week for 1.5 hours to explore disciplinary theory and practice through readings, discussions, and personal reflection.
This course will provide you with an understanding of the main issues involved in climate change; how every small community today is deeply dependent on resources and processes far beyond its own region; and how building local community resilience can contribute to the resilience of our global socio-ecological system.
In the seminar, you will develop an understanding of the relationships between environment, human activities, emissions and climate change, and learn how to build local community resilience through participatory approaches and methods in interactions with residents, local partners, and other stakeholders.
In the practicum, you will collaborate with both the University of Perugia DSA3 Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences Department, located in San Pietro, the beautiful medieval Benedictine abbey, and the Borgo Bello Association, an active group of residents living in the historical district of Borgo Bello. Together, you will help develop tools and strategies to raise awareness on climate change in Perugia while working together with local inhabitants on urban agricultural projects including two urban gardens in the city center: OrtoBello and San Pietro Gardens. At the end of the semester, you will present your practicum experience to the Umbra community.
You are encouraged, but not required, to enroll in ESUS 310: Placemaking: Creating Sustainable Urban Spaces and Communities based on the complementary nature of your practicum placement.
In this course, you will:
- gain insight into the main issues involved in climate change;
- become familiar with urban agriculture techniques and community engagement methods;
- develop a heightened sense of intercultural awareness;
- increase your disciplinary knowledge and theory with which to interpret and analyze the practicum experience; and
- practice critical thinking and communication skills as a result of integrating theory with practice and synthesizing learning into a final project.
Mandatory course reader