Systems Change for Health and Sustainability in Costa Rica & the United States
Interdisciplinary program to facilitate the development of “change agents,” who are committed to sustainability and health
ENVH 490 6 credits June 20–July 19, 2023
Information Session January 9, 2023 11:00 am
This month-long program is an opportunity to compare systems that support health and sustainability in the United States and Costa Rica, including agriculture, food systems, occupational health, water, and energy.
The first two weeks of the course take place in Washington state, primarily at the University of Washington Seattle campus and on Coast Salish lands. We will meet daily for 4 hours, and we have multiple field trips planned around NW Washington, including visits to campus and community farms and demonstration sites that support healthy soils, ecosystems, and sustainable communities.
The latter two weeks will be held in Costa Rica in partnership with Earth Education International (EEI) and Rancho Mastatal, both experienced locally based sustainability education organizations. We will begin in San Ramón, Costa Rica, where we will explore the Universidad de Costa Rica, local farmer markets, and cultural museums to gain a perspective on the social, cultural, and historical contexts of the country. We will also visit a local company that promotes green chemistry and cleaning products, as well as organic agroecology. Next, we will travel to La Fortuna, visiting an eco-lodge, an organic farm (where we will participate in experiential service learning), and a site for geothermal energy. The last week will be in Mastatal, a remote region of Costa Rica that is home to Rancho Mastatal, a sustainable education center specializing in natural building, farm to table, permaculture, and resource management. We will engage with a local cocoa farmer, hike in the rain forest with local experts, and engage in experiential learning about local food and energy systems.
By using a systems thinking approach, we will explore concepts related to environmental and occupational health, global standards for reporting sustainability, local foodshed mapping, chemical footprinting, and soil fertility strategies in both the United States and Costa Rica.
Apply by January 31, 2023 https://www.washington.edu/studyabroad/now-acceptingapplications-for/