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Sustainable Communities Initiative at RIC

Creating a sustainable future one community at a time

The Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) is a project hosted by Rhode Island College (RIC) and receiving fiscal agency from the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) Education Fund. Through SCI, the RIC community and members of the public are being invited to develop a greater understanding of sustainability challenges, reflect with one another on these issues, and embark on collective sustainability actions.

Developed and directed by Jed Greenberg, SCI was launched in February of 2012 with the goal of further engaging community residents in sustainability activities. Through enrichment education, participatory research, and self-determined community activism, SCI seeks to catalyze positive social, environmental, and economic change. To date programming has consisted of a public lecture series surveying the field of sustainability, hybrid learning courses for the general public, the initial development of a participatory research tool to be used by community residents throughout RI, and the establishment of a Leadership Committee comprised of past SCI course participants.

SCI at RIC Speaker Series: Critical Issues in Sustainability

(Funding for the Spring 2012 Speaker Series was been provided by the RI Council for the Humanities and the RIC Committee on College Lectures.)

Click links to view some of our past public lectures:
  • Climate Change
    • Climate Change: Understanding the Science and Skepticism; Jennie Stephens Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, Clark University
    • Climate Change: Global and Local Perspectives; Timmons Roberts, Director of the Brown University Center for Environmental Studies and Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies
    • Waves of Change: Meeting Climate Change Head-on in Rhode Island; Pam Rubinoff, Coastal Management Extension Specialist, Rhode Island Sea Grant
  • Environmental History
    • Nature's Ghosts: An Environmental History of Extinction; Karl Jacoby, Professor of History, Brown University
  • Humans and the Environment
    • Where the Wild Things Are: Living with a new top predator in your backyard; Numi Mitchell, Lead Scientist and Project Director for the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study, The Conservation Agency

Other past SCI at RIC lectures:

  • Just Sustainabilities: Re-imagining (E)quality, Living Within Limits; Julian Agyeman, Professor and Chair of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
  • Sustainable Food Systems; Kathryn Teigen De Master, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Brown University; Maia Bailey, Assistant Professor of Biology, Providence College; Jeffrey O'Hara, Agricultural Economist, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists; Katherine Brown, Executive Director, Southside Community Land Trust 
  • Sustainable Cities; Joan Fitzgerald, Director of the Law and Public Policy Program, Northeastern University
  • Earth Day and US Environmental History; Tom Jundt, Visiting Lecturer in American Studies, Brown University
  • Ethics of Sustainability; Jim Merkel, Director of the Global Living Project 

SCI@RIC Courses

SCI Community Leaders Program

This hybrid (online and in person) course will provide participants with an introduction to sustainability while preparing students to become SCI Community Leader Facilitators (CLFs). Successful students will gain core competencies in the fundamentals of sustainability and be prepared to lead Sustainability Learning Circles with the support of SCI in their own communities.

Students will also be encouraged to contribute to the development of the SCI Sustainable Communities Index. The Index is a participatory research tool being developed to help community residents evaluate the sustainability performance of their own towns and cities. Many of the online lectures used in this course will be recordings of presentations delivered during the Critical Issues in Sustainability Speaker Series.

This course is perfect for those who are interested in having an impact in their community and maintaining close ties with SCI.

SCI Community Enrichment Program

This hybrid (online and in person) course is perfect for those who want to acquire a foundation of knowledge in sustainability while meeting peers with similar interests and concerns. Students will learn from some of the region's leading sustainability thought leaders and be encouraged to contribute to the development of the SCI Sustainable Communities Index. The Index is a participatory research tool being developed to help community residents evaluate the sustainability performance of their own towns and cities.

Many of the online lectures used in this course will be recordings of presentations delivered during the Critical Issues in Sustainability Speaker Series. This is the ideal offering for anyone who enjoys being a part of a welcoming learning community.

Page last updated: September 7, 2012