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2018 Cal Poly "Environmental Management and Sustainable Development in Taiwan" Program Syllabus

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California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Environmental Management and Sustainable Development in Taiwan

Cal Poly Taiwan Program Syllabus

Lecture: Dr. Chiu Yi-wen, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)

TEL: @+1-805-756-2972 / Email: yichiu@calpoly.edu / http://QuantSus.calpoly.edu

Successfully completing this program, students will earn 8 credit units from NR 323 (Humana Dimensions in Natural Resources Management) and NR 360 (Ethnicity and the Land), which can satisfy GE credits in the areas of D5 and C4, respectively. As NR 323 and 306 are highly relevant, these two courses will be taught concurrently during students’ stay in Taiwan in order to optimize the educational resources provided by each field trip and all in-class activities. When in-class lectures take place, students should expect to conduct group discussion periodically. All the group discussion will apply the principle of systems thinking and causal loops to bridge various driving factors and feedback loops that can aid the understanding on environmental issues we observe during our stay in Taiwan. Students will have the opportunity to interact with local students and communities featuring sustainable development and practices in order to explore Taiwan in depth and to ensure a diverse and profound learning experience.

 

COURSE FORMAT

In-class lectures, guest lectures, field trips and survey, and group discussion (with local communities and Taiwanese students).

GRADING

Participation (30%) is to encourage students to contribute and participate in class discussion or any relevant in-class activities. This also provides a training to facilitate the analysis of facts and scientific reasoning.

Final Exam (20%) is conducted to evaluate students’ understanding and competence to articulate environmental sustainability from a systematic perspective.

Group project (50%) will facilitate student engagement in scientific documentary by working as a team. Each group will carry out a project aiming to document a selected environmental challenge which is elaborated from the aspects of culture and socio-economic by incorporating systems thinking. The final deliverables of each course are slightly different: NR 323 requires a written report, whereas NR 360 consists of an oral presentation and a multi-media product. All scores associated with group activities will be adjusted by individual contribution (evaluated by each member at the end of this program). Thus, total grades your group received will be individualized and adjusted based on your contribution evaluated by your group member.

CLASS ETIQUETTE & POLICIES

Please keep the contact information of the instructor and at least one peer student in case of emergency. Students must notify the instructor about your weekend travel plan(s) in advance if any. 

Students are held accountable for participation and attendance at all time during weekdays. Unless health condition is noted, students must prepare to attend all field trips and follow all safety guidance at all time.

If you have any documented disability that might affect your learning and performance in class, please contact the instructor as soon as possible to discuss alternative solutions or academic accommodations.

In many occasions, students will interact with local communities and Taiwanese students with diverse background, educational status, and religious/political opinions. Please be respectful and open-minded while engaging in any discussion. Any forms of violent behavior physically or verbally are prohibited.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

The primary objective of this course is to help students understand the big picture of how anthropogenic activities can affect the sustainability of natural resources. The course is divided into different topic categories addressing the political, socio-economic, and management issues. All field trips and lectures are designed to facilitate the learning opportunities to understand the interaction between natural resources sustainability, anthropogenic consumption, and social development. Moreover, students will have the opportunities to visit and interact with local communities to directly discuss the social challenges associated with natural resources management. As part of the course effort together with NR 360, students are requested to conduct group projects by selecting a natural resource interesting them. Each group will develop an introductory report to document their observation, and give a presentation sharing their findings at the end of the program.

 

COURSE OUTCOME

  • Develop the capabilities to understand and analyze the effects of anthropogenic consumption on natural resources from a holistic perspective.Become familiar with the key socioeconomic factors which can drive the fate of natural resources. 
  • Expose to the systematic thinking for analyzing modern environmental issues.
  • Develop the competence to abstract complex sustainability challenges by incorporating causal diagrams and feedback loops.

COURSE ACTIVITIES

Topics

Corresponding Field Trips

Estuary ecosystems

Guandu Nature Park

Forest resources

Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area Xitou Nature Education Forest

Land and water resources Watershed management

Yangmingshan National Park

Feitsui Reservoir

Municipal Wastewater Plants

Endangered species protection

Yangmingshan National Park

Ecological engineering

Feitsui Reservoir

Eco-friendly agriculture

Sun Moon Lake

Xitou Nature Education Forest

Sustainable community and public engagement

Feitsui Reservoir Sun Moon Lake

Climate change and mitigation

Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area Industrial Technology Research Institute

Public education

Yangmingshan National Park Guandu Nature Park

Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area

Socioeconomic drivers in sustainable development

Sun Moon Lake

 

GROUP PROJECT

To earn the credit units of this course, students must complete a written report to address a selected environmental issues related to natural resources management and sustainability. Specific components must be incorporated in the writing, including: a causal diagram, and suggestions to improve the condition of the studied target or alternative solutions to sustain the studied target.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course aims to facilitate the learning and discussion on land use challenges by integrating the aspects of ethnicity, culture, and historical transition. Students understand the big picture of how anthropogenic activities can affect the sustainability of natural resources. The course is divided into different topic categories addressing the political, socio-economic, and management issues. The course will take place in two distinctive locations (populated international city and rural town with tribal culture) which provide a unique setting to ensure a rich learning experience to explore social transition, cultural diversity, and how these have become a driving force to shape a country’s land use pattern and development. Students will enjoy the scenic landscape of Taiwan and learn the complex connection between land, society, history, and culture. Aligning with NR 323, students are requested to conduct group projects by selecting a studied area interesting them. Each group will develop an introductory material to document their observation, and give a presentation sharing their findings at the end of the program. The material can be a footage of a video produced by student group, digital map, or any sort of media of a group’s choice.

 

COURSE OUTCOME

Understand the contemporary land use challenges and causes.

  • Develop the capabilities to bridge ethnic, social, and cultural aspects to aid land planning and management.
  • Become familiar with the key socioeconomic factors which can drive the change of land cover and land use patterns.
  • Expose to modern techniques for land management by incorporating social factors.

 

COURSE ACTIVITIES

Topics

Corresponding Field Trips

Ethnic composition in Taiwan

Sun Moon Lake

Transition of land ownership: historical perspective

Yangmingshan National Park Xitou Nature Education Forest

Urban sprawling

Yangmingshan National Park Feitsui Reservoir

Social and ethnic drivers in land conservation

Sun Moon Lake

Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area

Community revival and land ethic

Sun Moon Lake

Xitou Nature Education Forest

Satoyama” – landscape, community, agriculture, and generational evolution

Xitou Nature Education Forest

Immigrants: social challenges and agriculture

Feitsui Reservoir Sun Moon Lake

Change of perception: cross-generational land ethic

Guandu Nature Park Sun Moon Lake

 

GROUP PROJECT

Students will deliver an oral presentation articulate their observation on a selected topic related to land use from the aspect of ethnicity and social evolution. Accompanied by the presentation, students much incorporate a media of their choice to highlight their core value (resembling why, past, introduction), study theme (resembling what, now, method), and key message (resembling vision, future, result). Ideal media includes, but not limited to, film, interactive map (ESRI Story Map), or webpages.

 

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