March Tahoe Mt. News
By Kathryn Reed
“Introduction to Green Building and Green Living” is Lake Tahoe Community College’s first foray into offering “green” classes.
Where this will lead is likely to be determined by the end of this academic year. Rosie Hackett, director of the college’s Wilderness Education, is researching whether the college should do more than offer a class here and there on green issues.
The possibility of vocational classes or a program that would transfer to a four-year university is being considered. Early research shows many schools with either environmental studies based in hard science or environmental policy with a social bent.
“People have been saying (green) is a trend. But it can’t be a trend,” Hackett said. “If people are not moving in that direction, we won’t have the resources to create business and sustain a culture.”
Although development of any type of green program is in its infancy at LTCC, Hackett envisions an interdisciplinary program what would include business classes, real state, environmental science, culinary – to get what she calls “a real cross section.”
Lori Gaskin, vice president of academic affairs, said of the class that starts in April, “We are testing the waters. No. 1, we want to see if there is an interest. And No. 2, we are implementing a research project to understand the nature of green sustainable education and what the roll LTCC would have in that.”
A fairly lengthy process is involved when it comes to adding new programs to a college. An official program is not likely to be implemented until 2009-10, if one were to be. However, green related classes could be offered without the program.
Scott Terrell, who will teach next quarter’s green class, wrote a blurb for LTCC stating, “In the New Green Era we have the opportunity to take control over many aspects of our lives that will allow us to help our personal and business economies while at the same time improve the quality of the environment, social and natural. Do you have a desire to discover and implement strategies in your life that make you feel you are in control and can make a difference solving problems like global climate change? What you will learn in the course could easily pay for the cost of the course in a matter of months.”
Terrell works for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District and is involved in the Sierra Green Building Association.