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Living Laboratory Courses and Other Electives

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Living Laboratory Courses

Each year, the Center offers a series of living laboratory courses on current applications in regenerative studies (RS 414/414L). These courses emphasize "hands on" application of regenerative principles and practices, and topics will change quarterly. RS 414/414L course numbers can be repeated for a total of 12 units. Contact the program advisor for more information.

Living laboratory courses for 2014-15 include:

Fall, 2014

RS 414S/414LS: 4 units. Current Applications in Regenerative Studies: Ecological Land Management. Douglas Kent, Instructor
An ecological land management practice is a technique aimed at a specific result, like attracting birds or catching rain. In the last 40 years the amount and complexity of land management practices have skyrocketed. There are now at least 19 practices being promoted in urbanized areas. While all the environmental pursuits can produce benefits, they are not all good all the time or in every landscape. There are costs to each practice, and areas and scales where each works best. This class provides an overview of ecological land management practices. It examines 19 environmental pursuits and discusses each practice’s environmental goals, its history and laws, the design and maintenance attributes, the types of landscapes and scales it works best with, its pros and cons, and its sweet-spot.

Winter, 2015

RS 414/414L:  Current Applications in Regenerative Studies:  Solar Energy Systems. 4 units. Don Serio, Instructor

Analysis of solar technologies applied to heat, power generation and associated loss mechanisms. Lecture examines fundamental theories that form the basis of light from the sun, and how this energy stream is appropriated for human usage. Lectures strive to exemplify principals that must be applied and verified in lab.  The lab component utilizes projects that must be designed and built by the student to test theory. Recommended prerequisite: Beginning trigonometry

RS 414/414L:  Current Applications in Regenerative Studies:  Aquaponics. 4 units.   Dr. Maryam Shafahi, Instructor
Aquaponics, an increasingly popular farming system, produces fish and crops with 10% of the amount of water used in traditional farming. In aquaponics symbiotic systems, nutrient wastes from fish are utilized to fertilize plants while plants filter water contaminated with fish manure, algae and decomposing fish feed.  This course explores the potential of aquaponics as a sustainable food production system on the global water problem. It will be a combination of lecture, experiment, and hands-on project. Students will work on the existing aquaponics systems at the Lyle Center.

Spring, 2015

RS 414/414L: Current Applications in Regenerative Studies: Watershed Restoration. 4 units. Dr. Jeff Marshall, Instructor
Watershed restoration strategies integrate basic concepts of hydrology, sedimentology, geomorphology, and ecology in an effort to reverse degraded water quality and watershed function.  This course explores the physical processes of watersheds and stream corridors through lectures, field trips and case study discussions.  Students will engage in hands-on field work and address current watershed problems at local field sites.

RS 414/414L: Current Applications in Regenerative Studies: Making Sense of Non-Rational Responses to Climate Change. 4 units.  Dr. Denise Lawrence, Instructor
By now most Americans are aware that many citizens do not believe the science supporting anthropogenic causes of global climate change.  Should this matter?  Even when people do accept the scientific explanation, what kind of behaviors do they engage in, or should they engage in?  This course takes a careful look at the literature on non-rational approaches to “coping” with risk – including belief and faith, ritual practices, and emotion.  The course concludes by situating praxis in place with the construction of a labyrinth for contemplation and meditation at the Lyle Center.

Other Electives Offered by the Center

RS 400. Directed Study in Regenerative Practices. 2-4 units.

Individual study by the student on a subject agreed upon by student and advisor.  Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.  Prerequisites:  RS 301 and 302 or permission of instructor. Approval of study proposal must be granted before enrollment. Contact the program advisor for more information.

RS 465. Ecological Patterns and Processes.  4 units.
This course introduces students to principles in the emerging field of landscape ecology, and their relationship to planning and design decisions upon the land.  Students will learn about the intellectual roots of this approach to understanding landscape patterns and processes, the fundamental vocabulary and key concepts within the field, and their relationship towards the goal of increased environmental sustainability.

RS 499/499L. Special Topics in Regenerative Practices. 2-4 units.

Exploration of topics of current interest related to regenerative practices or technologies or their roles in society.  May include lectures, seminars and/or laboratories on a schedule to be determined by the instructor.  Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.  Prerequisite RS 301 or RS 311 or permission of instructor.