Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sustainability Courses Back in Session As Pratt Starts Fall Semester

How do humans live in concert with the environment?  Discuss this question in these two Fall 2013 courses.

How do humans live in concert with the environment? Discuss this question in these two Fall 2014 courses.

Fall term started Monday at Pratt, officially kicking off the second year of the Sustainability Studies minor. The Sustainable Core course is offering two sections. I am leading the Monday 2-4:50pm section and Jen Telesca is leading the Wednesday 5-7:50pm section. Each section includes participation by various Pratt instructors, giving students a sense of how sustainability is approached in design, architecture, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and humanities. This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability, and it is a required course for Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.

We deliberately have larger enrollment caps on the core course, so interested students can still sign up for either section. In addition, we have added more elective courses that count toward completion of the minorIf you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about either of these courses, please feel free to contact me at czimring@pratt.edu.

Is the Polluted Past Prologue to a Sustainable Future? Society for the History of Technology Presentation November 7

A man stands upon waste on Bubbly Creek, 1911.  Chicago Daily News.

A man stands upon waste on Bubbly Creek, 1911. Chicago Daily News.

November brings the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) meeting to Dearborn, Michigan. The Envirotech Special Interest Group (SIG) always has a presence at SHOT, and as part of it, I will present a talk about the use of environmental history to develop sustainability studies education at 2pm on November 7. Although this talk is right after lunch, it will probably include the image of a man standing atop slaughterhouse waste on Chicago’s Bubbly Creek. Audience members are advised to eat Coney Island hot dogs for lunch at their peril. Here’s the panel information.

Technology Natures Communication (Friday, 2-3:30pm)

Carl Zimring (Pratt Institute): Is the Polluted Past Prologue to a Sustainable Future? Uses of the Environmental History of Waterways as Pedagogy for Sustainability Education

Ann N. Greene (University of Pennsylvania): Engineering the Erie: The Technopolitics of Water in 19th Century America

Michael Winslow (University of Iowa): The Culture of Turfgrass: Golf Tourism, Progressive Agriculture, and Technologies of Landscape in North Carolina, 1895–1935

“Paths to Sustainability: Contested Spaces in American Urban Environments” at the Urban History Association, October 9-12

SUST405GowanusFromMTAAs the coordinator of Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor, I try to use my discipline of environmental history to spur discussion of how we may learn from the past to develop better practices in the future.

At this October’s Urban History Conference in Philadelphia, Steve Corey of Columbia College, Jim Longhurst of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and I will discuss some historical paths to sustainability, specifically on solid waste management, urban cycling, and urban waterway stewardship. I look forward to the discussion, even if Professor Longhurst does not put his money where his mouth is and take a round-trip bicycle journey between LaCrosse and Philadelphia. (I certainly will not swim down there from the Gowanus Canal, so I suppose that’s fair.)