Susan Locke Interdisciplinary Capstone and Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative
“Our mission is to give Baruch students the tools to be stewards of the world they inhabit, to connect them with nature, and to prepare them to be leaders in a greener, more sustainable future. The impact of climate change is already here, and it is imperative that we act now to preserve the planet for future generations.”
The Locke Interdisciplinary Capstone in Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, endowed by Professor Susan Locke, Professor Emerita, brings together faculty representing two different disciplines and a small group of students. Topics and faculty, representing Weissman, Zicklin, and Marxe Schools, will vary from year to year. This capstone focuses on the timely and critically important challenge of understanding the state and fate of the Earth. Specifically, it looks at the science of climate change, its impact on environmental sustainability, society, health and well-being. It looks at how social and institutional policies and changes in human behavior can keep the natural world viable. One of its objectives is to increase our urban students’ appreciation of the environment through creative self-expression and environmental advocacy.
Each course will focus on an interdisciplinary theme related to the environment and will be taught by one faculty member from Natural Sciences and one from another discipline that will change each year. The course will emphasize scientific and creative experiences that enhance student learning including field trips, laboratory research, studio work, simulations in virtual reality, survey research, and/or computer models. Students enrolled in the Honors section (4010H) will need to complete additional requirements.
IDC 4010/4010H – The Susan Locke Interdisciplinary Capstone in Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change
Theme: Natural and Human Dimensions of Climate Change
Time: Tuesdays 11:10am – 2:05pm
Format: Online; Synchronous
Instructors: Mindy Engle Friedman (Psychology) and Chester Zarnoch (Natural Sciences)
This course will explore the science of climate change with special emphasis on the nexus between natural systems and human cognition and behavior. Students will explore the social and psychological adaptations human communities have already made and will likely have to make in the coming years due to global climate change. The course will include field trips to local ecosystems, guest lecturers, and research-based activities.
Students are invited to submit their work for the Susan Locke prizes in environmental sustainability and climate change. The prizes are funded by a generous gift from Professor Emerita Susan Locke (Psychology) with the intention to encourage Baruch College students, from across disciplines, to engage in scholarly activities that address threats to the natural world and the climate change crisis.
Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Research and Arts. Students may submit papers that are a product of their research, or journalistic work, or something from the written or visual arts, as long as it is related to environmental sustainability, climate change, or wildlife conservation. Submissions are welcome from any discipline and we particularly encourage interdisciplinary work where connections beyond the student’s own discipline can be evidenced clearly in the submission. Research submitted may be an honors thesis or independent study project, or an assignment submitted in fulfillment of a relevant course
Susan Locke Prize in Environmental Sustainability: Research
This prize is awarded to students who engage in an outstanding research project that addresses either or both of the following topics: environmental sustainability initiatives; the impact of climate change on the natural world and society. Projects may focus on environmental science; however, students are also encouraged to submit projects that cross disciplines, including, but not limited to, public policy, business practices, psycho-social impact, and ethics. Reported journalistic work in any medium also falls under this category.
Susan Locke Prize in Environmental Sustainability: Arts
This prize is awarded to students who use artistic expression to portray the impact of human practices on the natural world or to convey their personal connection to nature. Any of the following forms of expression may be used: poetry, short stories, photography, painting, drawing, video, musical composition, or dance.
Submissions are due May 9, 2021. They will be judged by faculty committee. The prizes for first place will be $200, the second-place prizes will be $150, and the prizes for third place will be $100. Students will be encouraged to present their projects to the college community on Creative Inquiry Day. Awardees will be announced during that event.