Course in Renewable Energy is the First Step in Environmental and Sustainability Education

Curriculum and Outreach Energy and Climate Food, Health and Wellness Internal Culture Natural Environment Waste Prevention and Recycling
Water Management

This spring semester, students in Professor Jonathan Pullin’s class are learning about renewable energy. They’re being introduced to biofuels, hydraulic fracturing and renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal.

The course is the first step in what Pullin hopes will become an entire environmental and sustainability development curriculum at Johnson C. Smith University. The next course Pullin plans to teach, titled Applied Environmental Science and Sustainable Living, will focus on teaching students how to live harmoniously with their surrounding environment. They will be challenged with the portability of learned concepts, skills and ideas to rethink how they eat, live and co-exist with local natural resources. Each student will be encouraged to “practicalize” the environment.

The honors course will include discussions about current environmental issues regarding the environment and simplistic living related to low-tech residential and community solutions. Specifically, it will cover topics that include:

  • fundamentals of human health
  • basic sanitation
  • energy generation and consumption
  • waste collection and disposal
  • crop planting and gardening
  • water quality testing
  • soil testing
  • composting
  • development of sustainable community projects
  • deployment and management of a micro-loan program

“This course will develop the applied and hands-on knowledge that students will use on a daily basis on campus, as well as on a special project planned in Haiti,” said Pullin. “It is designed to teach students how to participate in community development, improve communication skills with an emphasis on the environment and living sustainably.”