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Webinar: Sustainability in Real and Imagined Spaces: Honors Courses in Sustainability and the Environment
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
Honors classes emphasize interdisciplinarity, student agency, and real-world engagement—an optimal curriculum space to develop innovative courses in sustainability and the environment. This session will explore opportunities for sustainability education presented by honors courses, using two honors courses as case studies: HON 152 “Restoration Ecology in the Commonwealth,” and HON 301 “The Ecology of Middle-earth: Environmental themes in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” These courses engage students from diverse majors and with varying levels of prior education in exploring sustainability and the environment and can present an entry point inviting students to continue to study sustainability throughout the rest of their college career. Furthermore, these courses present unique opportunities to connect students to real research questions—instructors can use real campus and community problems as research projects, engaging students in experimental design, data collection, and analysis and interpretation. Research products, in addition to providing opportunities to train in research writing and presenting, can be important contributions to the literature. Finally, instructors can engage their classes in community-engaged service-learning, mobilizing students to creatively and responsibly address real-world problems related to sustainability and the environment. Overall, honors courses present important opportunities to develop innovative, high-impact sustainability courses.
Kenton Sena, Lecturer, Lewis Honors College, University of Kentucky
Kenton Sena holds a B.A. in Biology from Asbury University, and an M.S. in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Kentucky. His research and professional interests include urban forest ecology, forest restoration, and ecology and the environment in imaginative literature. He is currently a lecturer in the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches HON 140 (Knowledge and Society), HON 152 (Restoration Ecology in the Commonwealth), and HON 301 (The Ecology of Middle-earth: Environmental themes in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings).