30 July, 2008

eugene lang

Some of you I've already talked to, but for others, you will be glad to know that Oona is not going to go hungry. At least not this year. Why? Because I've recently accepted an Assistant Professor of Ecology position at Eugene Lang College at The New School, the first hire for a new Environmental Studies program that is intended to bridge Eugene Lang and the Parson School of Design.
A little info on the New School: It was started in 1919 by John Dewey and a few other noteworthy radicals who wanted a place for thinkers to meet up in a non-traditional academic structure. And the New School is definitely non-traditional. Since then it has grown to include a number of "schools" under its umbrella. The Environmental Studies program at Lang will be very urban and design oriented in a mission that intends to provide students with sustainability focused education. What this means in practice is that for the fall I'll be teaching a course on Urban Ecology, which will necessarily have a strong fundamental ecology component. I'll also be teaching an introduction to environmental studies called "Environment and Society" which will be the main introduction to the program and also be urban in focus. I am also helping the faculty shape the future direction of the program as we are trying to grow quickly but remain unique. Incidentally I am working with a professor who also did his Ph.D. at Rutgers University in Urban Planning and another professor from Parsons who is a close colleague of my mentor Steward Pickett at the Cary Institute. It is a small world.

In the spring I am planning a course on conservation and we are talking about another focused course on green building practices or possibly a critical theory/environmental history course using film as the text. That latter is still up in the air, but in any case I am doing my best to entrench myself with a new core environmental faculty group in what is best described as a liberal, activist institution. It's just my style. I can't wait to meet the students. And the faculty are great. FYI: I'm not up on the faculty website yet, so don't bother looking.

So, I'm happy about the new challenge though a little nervous about getting two new courses designed and launched in a month. Classes start September 2nd. I'll also be keeping my affiliation with Columbia University as a visiting professor for the Earth Institute considering I still have a summer/winter course and ongoing research there as well. Ok, enough work talk for today.

1 comment:

Keren said...

this is so exciting. i know you told me about it but it's fun to see their site and realize what the classes are. i wish i could take your urban ecology class. that sounds really interesting. does the new school let people take just one class?

can't wait to see you saturday. oona is getting too big. i need to see her more often.