This is environmental theme semester
ANN ARBOR—Ever since the University of Michigan hosted the first Earth Day in 1970, it has pioneered environmental study and activism. This semester, the University will continue that tradition by sponsoring an environmental theme semester.
The semester features a wide variety of activities, including special courses, guest lecturers, exhibits, and a career fair.
Theme semesters are a long-standing tradition at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), but this is the first time that so many different schools at the University are involved, said John Knott, professor of English and one of the semester’s organizers.
The theme semester is co-sponsored by LSA and the School of Natural Resources and Environment, with both offering more than 50 courses related to the environment; some are part of the standard curriculum, but others are designed especially for the semester, such as “Homeplace: Life in the Huron Valley,” in environmental studies, and “Literature & Culture, Changing Attitudes Towards Nature,” in English.
But the semester will extend beyond the classroom and “into the lives of each and every one of the 36,000” members of the University community, said Mona Hanna, student chair of the Michigan Student Assembly‘s Environmental Issues Committee. Exhibits at the Museum of Art, Exhibit Museum of Natural History, School of Art and Design, and University libraries will run throughout, as will a series of films and readings by nature writers.
“Student involvement in planning the semester is also new,” Knott said. “A student group has grown out of the planning team,” and will coordinate Earth Day projects, teach-ins, as well as other activities.
The Environmental Career Day,” a fair for students to meet with employers in government and private organizations active in environmental issues, is another event, to be held
The semester’s “kick off” event will be held Jan. 13 in the Michigan Union’s Kuenzel Room, featuring an introduction by U-M Provost Nancy Cantor, keynote address by Michelle Jordan, U-M Law School graduate and deputy regional administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, see the semester Web site at http://www.umich.edu/~envsem or call the semester office at (734) 647-1122.