Dr. Jenny Mueller (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Dr. Mark Minster (Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) Spring Quarter 2021 -- Travel to Belgium and the Netherlands during Spring Break
This is a course about the future that we need right now. How is it being imagined? How is it being built?
We know humans need food, water, and energy, for example. But growing food is energy- and water-intensive. It takes lots of energy to clean water and lots of water to generate energy. What kinds of infrastructure and agriculture will we need in order to sustain the well-being of 10 billion people, without requiring even more water and energy?
What kinds of changes will we need to make? Leading the way in imagining and building a sustainable future are countries like Belgium and the Netherlands. Over Spring Break, we will visit historic windmills and state-of-the-art wind-farms, world-class farms and greenhouses. We will meet scientists, engineers, activists, and experts from climate and eco-power cooperatives and car-sharing initiatives. We will tour climate resiliency infrastructure from medieval dikes and canals to newly restored wetlands. And of course we will build in plenty of time for cultural experiences: museums, breweries, chocolatiers, and marketplaces.
Before the trip, we will learn about the fundamentals of sustainability in historical, social,
scientific, and engineering contexts. We will see firsthand how these concepts are applied in Belgium and the Netherlands. After the trip, we will examine the costs and benefits of what we have experienced in our travels, proposing strategies to manage these challenges. Focusing on the food-water-energy nexus, we will think about how they can be redesigned to complement each other.
For more info, email Dr. Mueller or Dr. Minster >>