Teach-In Aims To Raise Eco-Awareness
Issue date: 1/30/08
The subjects of global warming and climate change will dominate the lesson plans of dozens of UConn classes today and tomorrow as part of UConn's ongoing participation in the environmental movement Focus The Nation.
Fifty-three faculty members will be teaching almost 60 courses during the teach-in this Wednesday and Thursday, according to Dan Britton, sustainability coordinator for UConn's Office of Environmental Policy (OEP).
"We've asked faculty to take either their entire class or a portion to discuss climate change in the context of their discipline," Britton said.
This means that students might find themselves discussing rising sea levels or polar bear extinction in English or sociology class, which is exactly what the event is hoping to accomplish.
"Typically, when we do any kind of environmental event we get the same type of crowds; it's kind of preaching to the choir," Britton said, adding that one of the main goals of the teach-in is to raise awareness among students who aren't already involved in the environmental movement.
Another purpose of the event is to "make everyone aware that [climate change] isn't just an environmental issue," said Alysee Lembo, a 7th-semester natural resource management engineering major and an intern at the OEP. "It encompasses everything, such as the economy and politics."
UConn participation in the teach-in extends outside of Storrs, with faculty from all the regional campuses except Waterbury, as well as the Health Center and Law School participating.
"There's going to be a lot of people talking about global warming over the next couple days," Britton said.
There are 17,000 events taking place nationwide as part of the teach-in, according to Alex Tinker, public relations coordinator for Focus The Nation. Between 11,000 and 12,000 of the participants are colleges and universities. The remaining participants are elementary schools, high schools, churches and other civic organizations.
"We're hoping to basically educate and empower this generation of young voters … to give them the creative tools they need to keep global warming on the low end of possibilities," Tinker said.
The teach-in is Focus the Nation's main event because "we owe our young people at least a day of focused discussion about global warming solutions for America," according to the event Web site.
A complete list of the courses participating in the teach-in at UConn can be found on the EcoHusky Web site. Some of the classes are open to students not enrolled in the class but who are interested in attending.
UConn is participating in several events in addition to the teach-in as part of Focus The Nation such as a Web cast on Wednesday evening and a faculty panel discussion Thursday evening. Information for these events can be found on the EcoHusky Web site.
Contact Kate King at Katherine.King@UConn.edu.
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