GEO300.1 Sustainability on Trial: Environmental Justice in Northern Europe (Signature Seminar; Fall, Spring)

Syracuse Signature Seminars are travelling courses that frame a semester abroad in the light of shared concerns for people and planet. This seminar examines diverse and contested approaches to ‘being green’. The first part of the course explores eco-innovations being piloted in the Nordic countries, home to some of the world’s greatest progress toward sustainable development and carbon-neutral living. In the second portion of the class, students travel into the Arctic Circle to question whether sustainability is living up to its promise for all stakeholders. Who has been benefitted or harmed by environmental policies? Ultimately, the seminar helps students to understand their impact on the world, and how they can take action to make that impact a more positive one.

During the fall semester, students will explore Copenhagen as an eco-city through cycling tours; kayak a Swedish archipelago and consider urban design in Stockholm; and spend time with huskies and reindeer alongside Europe’s only recognized indigenous people, the Sami—in nearly 24 hours of daylight thanks to the high latitude.

Spring semester field activities include witnessing climate change firsthand in Bergen and snowshoeing up a glacier in the Norwegian fjords; touring sustainable urban technologies in Stockholm; and mushing huskies in the snowy Arctic Circle after a dark night searching for the Northern lights.

Both semesters explore questions of human-nature interactions, animal ethics, and connections between global climate patterns and local politics.

The three credits earned for this pre-semester seminar will be included in the maximum 19 credits that you can earn for your semester abroad. You must enroll in a minimum of 15 credits – including this seminar – for the semester.

This Signature Seminar is optional, and takes place before the semester.

Department: Geography

Location: Florence

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3