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Join the CALS team working on the GreenHouse residential learning community

CALS is front and center in the effort to develop the GreenHouse, a residential learning community focused on sustainability that will welcome its first student participants in fall semester 2010. CALS is an official sponsor, and the planning committee includes Jack Kloppenburg (community and evironmental sociology), who is serving as a co-director, Brent McCown (horticulture), Heidi Zoerb (CALS administration), Monica Theis (food science) and Tom Browne (undergraduate programs and services).

We want you to be part of it!

  • We want to find: 1-2 more faculty co-directors
  • 8 core faculty/staff
  • as many affiliate faculty/staff as want to be involved

What is the Greenhouse?
Residential learning communities are residence halls organized around the provision of diverse, integrated, curricular and extracurricular educational opportunities for the students who live there. The GreenHouse Planning Committee is presently preparing a program that integrates in-class learning with out-of-class experiences in a framework that encourages undergraduates to explore what it means to be citizens as well as students. Especially, the “GreenHouse” could be a vehicle for the recruitment and retention of students from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds.

The GreenHouse is being materially underwritten by CALS and the College of Letters and Sciences. It is also affiliated with the Nelson Institute and the Division of International Studies.

The GreenHouse will be located on two floors of Cole Hall and will welcome 120 freshmen in September, 2010. The “GreenHouse” will offer undergraduate students the opportunity both to contemplate the meanings of sustainability and to actually enact sustainable practices with the guidance and active participation of faculty, fellow students, staff, and citizen mentors.

The core activity will be a year-long “GreenHouse Seminar” that will include all students in the program. This will be initiated in fall with a set of common readings exploring the meanings and uses of the foundational concept of “sustainability.” In the second half of the fall semester, students will break into groups to investigate what sustainability might mean in concrete application to a particular area of interest. Provisionally, these areas are identified as

  • Agrifood Systems
  • Environmental Justice
  • Climate Change and Biodiversity
  • Green Building and Design.

In spring semester, students in the seminar will have the opportunity to implement projects in which they actually enact sustainable practices in their area of interest.

How Can You Be Involved

  • Be a Faculty Co-Director – Join with one or two co-director colleagues in providing vision, leadership, coordination, and energy to the guidance and development of the GreenHouse and its programming.
  • Be Core Faculty/Staff – Join the co-directors and other core faculty/staff in planning GreenHouse pedagogy and programming; provide leadership and energy for one of the GreenHouse interest areas; lead a 1credit seminar for 15 GreenHouse students; work with 2 undergraduate GreenHouse interns to arrange and implement programming.
  • Be Affiliate Faculty/Staff – Give a talk about your work; tell students about opportunities in your field; share a meal with students; arrange a field trip; design a GreenHouse t-shirt; be with us when you want and in whatever way suits you.

If you’d like to be part of this venture, contact GreenHouse Co-Director Jack Kloppenburg, 262-6867, jrkloppe@wisc.edu.

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