ENVR 430 has been a very interesting experience! I didn’t have clear expectations going in, but the course did strike me as being quite different from typical lectures (which it certainly was). Often times, the course material was quite bleak, but I do feel that it’s been valuable to gain an understanding of the many ways our governments and institutions have failed (and are failing) to address environmental issues.
I really liked the format of the course, with the weekly reflections and the emphasis on the final project during the back half. The chance to introspect regularly while building toward the project made it feel quite rewarding. I thought a lot of the perspectives I got to see in class and on CoSphere were great, and make me feel as though my visions of a sustainable future are not out of reach just yet.
I think for a long time, I’d resigned myself to the idea that a lot of the damage caused by anthropogenic activity was irreparable, since it was clearly not individuals but corporations which needed to act. Through ENVR 430, I’m realizing that there are ways to get involved with social-signaling and system-changing action as an individual, just by acting on values such as transparency and accountability that I believe are important. I’m better equipped to make more sustainable choices myself. I’ve also realized that open dialog, platforms for people to share their insights and values, and collective action, can all result in meaningful change: that’s why I’m rooting for everyone’s final projects to succeed!