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NSC Seminars

Each Spring semester, RISE offers at least one seminar that fulfills the second seminar requirement for the Environmental Studies Specialization. 

"Contemplative Practices: Applications in Environmental Studies," or NSC 292. In Spring, 2018, Drs. Lissy Goralnik, Robby Richardson and Laurie Thorp facilitated a 2-credit seminar on contemplative practice and resilience to explore how contemplative practice can help sustainability learners and leaders develop individual resilience, in ways that support the development of resilient communities, who can then work collaboratively toward resilient socio-ecological systems. Each class included short group practices - yoga asana, breathwork, reflective journaling, and meditation – with longer weekly explorations of other contemplative practices – nature study, tea ceremony, music, forest bathing, and art, among others – as well as creative and contemplative readings and open dialogue. Our community of sustainability learners are eager, committed, and engaged. Showing up to do this hard work every day in an academic culture that values speed and linearity over process and reflection can introduce the very real risk of burning out. This course is designed to introduce students to skills to prevent, rather than promote, this burnout, while also creating a community of practitioners who can share these commitments to whole person wellbeing. Contemplative practices can help students find balance in their commitments, as they strengthen their inner reserves and develop skills to not only cope, but to flourish in the academic and activist environments. As well, working with breath and body can re-ignite a connection one’s whole self in a way that can inform environmental learning and practice, while also healing and sustaining one to do good work on behalf of communities and the natural world.  

Seminars held in the past include:

  • “The Environmental Consequences of the Food We Eat” or NSC 292. This class investigates the environmental, social, political and economic consequences of the food we eat. The focus of this course is NOT dieting, weight loss, or nutrition. Rather, this course is about exploring how our food choices may contribute to either the degradation or the healing of our planet. As a seminar course you will be expected to actively participate in class discussions and contribute content on a weekly basis.
  • "Voluntary Simplicity" or NSC 390. This 8-week discussion course will focus on a variety of topics including the meaning of simplicity, living more with less, making a living, time, and living simply on the earth.