|Submission Date||March 1, 2019|
AC-5: Immersive Experience
|2.00 / 2.00||
Education and Outreach Program Administrator
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:
Graduate students in the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program (UEP) are required to fulfill a professional internship during their time at Tufts. The professional internship consists of a minimum of 150 hours of supervised work, usually completed during the summer between the two academic years. Most internships are located in a public or nonprofit agency. Students may also elect a research internship where they would work on a university-based project. (https://as.tufts.edu/uep/programs/ma/internships)
First-year UEP master’s students are required to take the “Field Projects: Planning and Practice” course during the spring semester. This course integrates theory and practice by providing students with an opportunity to work intensely on real-world challenges in their areas of interest, while offering community organizations and agencies the opportunity to gain insight into priority issues and advance strategic objectives through expert analysis and advice. Students operate as consultants, usually in teams of four, on behalf of their chosen client, performing background research, gathering critical data, providing an assessment of a proposed course of action, addressing high-priority concerns, or revising a strategic plan. Examples of past field projects are surveying the opportunities for urban farming in Boston, preparing a community planning guide for public health on food access and sustainable transportation, coming up with ideas to save energy through creative competition, and assessing ways to reform school food at the Boston Arts Academy. Past projects and additional information can be found on the UEP website: https://as.tufts.edu/uep/programs/ma/field
Internships in the undergraduate Environmental Studies program offer first-hand experience by getting students out of the classroom and into environmental work. Internship locations are varied, but all involve at least 100 hours of service (paid or unpaid) in the summer or during the school year. Students are required to complete a poster of their work at the end of the internship and are strongly encouraged to present at the annual Tufts internship symposium. http://as.tufts.edu/environmentalStudies/internships/
Internships are required for Civic Studies majors in the Civic Studies or Peace and Justice Studies tracks, as well as for students in the Peace and Justice Minor program. Students who are not Civic Studies majors but are still interested in the internship and seminar have the ability to enroll. The goal of the internships is to help students think about the effectiveness of different strategies and their own personal role in the social change process. Organizations promoting nonviolence, public service, and social responsibility are the "real world" learning process in the Civic Studies / Peace and Justice Studies program, and the opportunity to participate in their activities provides students with a different way to learn about ideas, interests, values, and personal growth. Students may select an internship based on their interests, such as Environment or Social Justice. https://as.tufts.edu/civicstudies/program
Tufts in Talloires, a six-week summer program for college students from Tufts and other universities, offers students a dynamic group of courses taught by Tufts faculty. Students enrolled in this program choose two courses from a selection of undergraduate offerings — most of which are taught in English. The local tradition of sustainable living is used as a lens for all courses, even if they are not specifically sustainability-focused, although many are. The Talloires experience extends outside the classroom, as students live with local families and spend free time participating in organized outdoor activities and learning about local customs and sustainable initiatives. (http://ase.tufts.edu/europeancenter/programs/talloires/).
The summer abroad program in Costa Rica offers students the chance to study the ecology and conservation of biodiversity in the tropics. The session begins with coursework and skills building on the Medford/Somerville campus and is followed by a field and research experience in Costa Rica. During the first Summer Session, students (1) gain a foundation of tropical ecology by reading textbooks and scholarly articles, (2) learn to generate hypotheses and design experiments, and (3) give presentations on conservation related topics. Presentation topics include shade coffee, sustainable forestry, the consequences of the loss of large mammalian predators and herbivores, and climate change. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on scientific communication. In Costa Rica students get first-hand experience in tropical ecology, in conservation, and in research. Research projects range from animal behavior to plant ecology. Students leave the course with a deeper understanding of the scientific process, and the conservation challenges facing Costa Rica and other developing countries. The itinerary takes place in three contrasting ecosystems (e.g., Atlantic lowland rainforest, Pacific lowland rainforests, and various agricultural systems).
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission: