Academic experiences are not limited to discussions and studies behind classroom walls. Kenyon also offers students the opportunity to interact with the surrounding community. Fieldwork is common for many of the courses related to sustainability, providing students with a unique level of engagement with life beyond the hill.
Sustainability-related courses and projects have been identified as part of a special academic initiative. The development of the environmental studies major in 2017 has generated an elevated level of interest in students and opened up new opportunities. The sample courses below are just a few of the sustainability-related courses offered at Kenyon. For a longer list of courses, please view the academic requirements for the environmental studies major and concentration.
ENVS 253 Sustainable Agriculture
This course introduces students to the principles of sustainable agriculture through field experiences on local farms and the study of current literature. (Credit: 0.5 unit)
PSCI 363: Global Environmental Politics
This course seeks to identify and address many of the most pressing environmental challenges in today’s world. Finding genuinely sustainable and participatory solutions to those challenges is a major goal of this course. (Credit: 0.5 unit)
BIOL 229 Ecology Laboratory
This course provides direct experience with diverse groups of organisms and the methods used to learn about them. Students learn experimental design, sampling protocols, and quantitative methods while receiving hands-on field experience in ecology. (Credit: 0.25 unit)
ANTH 320: Anthropology of Food
Through cross-cultural comparisons, this course addresses the ways in which humans obtain food, specifically through the lenses of industrial and alternative food streams. (Credit: 0.5 unit)
ENVS 104: Solar Power Systems
Every spring, this course follows the college’s plan to install photovoltaic power systems throughout the campus and proposes new sites for solar installation. The students help plan and host a public flip-the-switch event when new systems are officially energized and connected to the grid.
Belize Solar Trip
A partnership between Kenyon’s Mathematics and Statistics Department, Environmental Studies Program, and the Center for Global Engagement has led to an annual trip to Belize over spring break. During this trip, Kenyon students and faculty travel to Belize to install solar panels and computer labs in schools across the country.
Many students choose to pursue sustainable projects during their junior year study abroad experience. The following programs have an environmental focus:
The School for Field Studies (of which Kenyon is an affiliate college) offers study abroad opportunities in Costa Rica, Turks & Caicos, Kenya, Mexico, and Australia. One notable program is a sustainable development program offered in Costa Rica and the tropical rainforest studies program in Australia.
The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) offers study and research opportunities in tropical countries, many of which are related to conservation and ecology.
Study Abroad in Scandinavia (DIS) offers sustainability and Environmental Science programs in Denmark, with opportunities to learn about sustainability throughout Europe.
The School for International Training (SIT) offers abroad programs in more than 30 countries. Many of these include conservation and sustainability programs, including ones in Argentina, Australia, Ecuador, Iceland, and Tanzania.