All participants will take the course taught jointly by Professors Frantz and Petersen (which counts as the equivalent of two full courses), one disciplinary course taught by one of the faculty members, and a course on either London history or the London stage.
Students majoring in any subject are encouraged to apply. Courses will fulfill specific major requirements for both Psychology and Environmental Studies. For ENVS majors, the program will be particularly relevant to students with pathways in: Food Studies, Climate Change Studies, Energy & Society, Environmental & Ecological Design, Environmental Justice, Environmental Politics & Policy, Environmental Psychology, Public Health, Systems Ecology, Urban Sustainability (and Sustainable Communities), and Water & Society. For ENVS majors in their junior or senior year, the program may offer experiences that can fulfill the capstone requirement.
ENVS/PSYC 9xx. Climate Change and Community Resilience in London
(Counts as the equivalent of two full courses.)
How a community responds to climate change is a complex interplay between ecological, technological, political, and social systems. “Climate resilience” can be generally defined as the capacity for complex ecological-social systems to (1) maintain fundamental characteristics and functions in response to external stress imposed by climate change, and (2) adapt, reorganize, and otherwise change in ways that prepare them for additional climate stress. This course will provide an interdisciplinary examination of how various communities in and around London are building resilience in the face of climate change, with the goal of using London as a lens through which to view more general issues of community resilience. Students will conduct group research projects using a variety of social science research methodologies to measure the concept of resilience, and to evaluate the impact of efforts to increase resilience. The course will count as credit towards the ENVS major, fulfilling an SS requirement as well as the methods requirement. It will also count as a 300-level Advanced Methods course for the PSYC major. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 suggested but not required.
SS credit, CD. Cindy Frantz and John Petersen.
ENVS 9xx. Climate Change and London: Vulnerability, Mitigation, Adaptation, & Resilience
A major report from the C40 Cities in 2018 outlines the particular climate vulnerabilities and risks to London. This course will examine how one of the premier cities in the world is addressing climate change with a particular emphasis on critical systems that support urban life. The course will be designed to answer a series of key questions: How are water, energy, shelter, and food systems designed to serve the city now? How will climate change impact delivery of these resources? What particular vulnerabilities characterize this city which lies only 36’ above sea level? How is the city redesigning these systems to be resilient against increases in the frequency, magnitude, and variability of extreme weather events? Guest speakers from the public and private sectors and from research organizations will be a key feature of this course as well as tours of city infrastructure. Students will build, compare, and contrast conceptual models of what resilience means in these different systems. The course should be of particular value to students interested in urban design, sustainable technology, and systems dynamics. The course will count towards the ENVS major, fulfilling the additional NS course requirement of the major. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 suggested, advanced courses helpful.
SS credit. John Petersen.
PSYC 9xx. Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change through Effective Conflict Resolution
The rapidly changing climate will create more frequent and intense natural disasters, resource shortages, and refugee migration--all things that are likely to put stress on social systems and increase social conflict. The UK’s conflict over Brexit and the election of London’s British-Pakistani mayor provide contrasting examples of how these pressures impact social and political life. Effective peacebuilding and conflict resolution strategies will be essential for creating the kinds of resilient social systems required to navigate these challenges. Drawing from the fields of social, cognitive, and political psychology, this course explores the psychological processes that lead to, exacerbate, and ameliorate conflict. It will also explore methods of de-escalating conflict, negotiation as problem-solving, and the process of mediation. Students will explore these concepts in the context of a climate-driven real world conflict of their choosing. PSYC/POLT 118 or PSYC 218 are encouraged as prerequisites but not required. This course will count towards the SS requirement for the ENVS major, the upper-level seminar requirement for the PSYC major, and the capstone requirement for PACS and Law and Society.
SS credit, W-Adv. Cindy Frantz.