Learn More About Sustainability

Spring 2018 Course Highlight:

Integrated Liberal Studies 251, Integrated Physical Science

Topic:  Radioactivity, People, and the Planet
Instructor: Professor Cathy Middlecamp
Credits: 3

Radioactivity! Perhaps no other phenomenon is so intertwined with our hopes and fears, our dreams and nightmares, perhaps even with the fate of our planet. This course weaves together two stories: The Radium Girls (by Kate Moore) and The Firecracker Boys (by Dan O’Neil). The first relates to the women who painted radioactive glow-in-the-dark watch dials, as part of the first nuclear industry in our country. The second relates to the Inupiaq people in Alaska who, during the Cold War, confronted the physicists who proposed using several thermonuclear devices to blast a harbor on their land.  Class members will then have the opportunity to explore a third story of their own choosing that joins radioactivity and people. Taken as a whole, our stories will portray the complex interactions among science, people, and societies.

This is an “Honors” physical science course. It is ideal for those with little or no background in nuclear science, although students with nuclear expertise are still welcome. Non-honors program students are also welcome to enroll. Contact the instructor, Dr. Cathy Middlecamp, chmiddle@wisc.edu

This course counts toward the undergraduate sustainability certificate.

More Spring Courses:

  • Foundations of Environmental and Sustainability Education  (3 Credits) – Professor Noah Weeth Feinstein
    Designed for graduate students with a strong interest but relatively little background in educational research, this seminar offers a crash course in environmental education research and theory, pulling in a  cross section of social scientific ideas ranging from behavioral change to social capital and resilience.
  • Education For Sustainable Communities (3 Credits) – Professor Noah Weeth Feinstein
    Through readings, active discussion, and independent projects, we will examine the principles behind behavior change and empowerment, community action and whole- scale social reform. What ideas and strategies have guided environmental and sustainability education over the years? What can individual people do to address environmental challenges, and what can only be accomplished by people working together? What does sustainability have to do with justice – and vice versa?