Course Catalog

Potential course offerings

Sustainability or Regeneration?

In this course we consider the concepts of sustainability as defined by the United Nations in the Brundtland Commission of 1987 as, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” We unpack measures of sustainability including economic, social and environmental. We then push back on the idea of sustainability by introducing the concept of regeneration. In this concept, economic, social or environmental resources not only stay the same, but become better. We then apply the use of these concepts to the workings of Rizoma Field School and partners. Students will partake in a course-long project assessing sustainability/regenerativity of a Rizoma Field School partner. The course culminates in a presentation with practical outcomes for improving the sustainability/regenerativity of a community partner with actionable items.

Globalization and Social Movements

In this course we will consider the social problems arising from globalization from consumer issues to worker issues. We consider modes of regulation and attempts at curbing environmental and social ills of borderless corporate entities such as free trade or fair trade. Then, we will consider several modes of social movements that have arisen in response to neoliberal globalization. We examine successes and failures of different models of social movements. Then, we will compare social movement structure (hierarchical versus horizontal) and differential outcomes. Finally, we will consider the hands-on work of Rizoma Field School in the context of international social movements. We will critique the work of Rizoma Field School in terms of social movement outcomes, and consider modes of improvement with the potential to do real-world actions as an outcome of this course.

Sociology of Food and Agriculture

In this course we will explore the founding of the Sociology of Food and Agriculture in the context of the environmental movement in the United States of the 1970’s. We will see the early scholars’ critical look at industrial agriculture, and the social problems arising from that mode of production, distribution and consumption. We will then focus on alternatives that have arisen out of this critique of industrial agriculture including: local, sustainable and organic. We explore the definitions and limits of each of these highly-studied alternatives. Finally, we explore other alternatives such as household subsistence food production, tool/resource sharing, community gardening, and other modes of production and consumption. Throughout the course, we will consider the work of Rizoma Field School, community partners, and Rizoma Farm in the context of course concepts.

Environmental Sociology

In this class we will start by understanding the context of the founding of the subdiscipline of Environmental Sociology by Bill Catton and Riley Dunlap at Washington State University. We will then consider the major themes of environmental sociological research included (but not limited to): Human Excemptionalism/ New Environmental Paradigm, Treadmill of Production, Ecological Modernization Theory, Environmental Social Movements, Risk Theory, and Post-Materialism Theory/ Environmental Values. We will then turn our attention to the research on the horizon of environmental sociology on solutions for or responses to environmental problems. We will consider these solutions in the context of the work of Rizoma Field School and community partners — seeing how research matches with the practical reality of those doing the work of sustainability.




Spanish Immersion 1

This class is geared toward beginning Spanish speakers (no Spanish experience required). In this class students will be introduced to the basics of Rio Platense (Uruguay and Argentina) common phrases and pronunciation. Basic grammar lessons will be required via a ‘flipped classroom’ model in which students get lessons outside of classroom time and use the classroom space for immersion practice. Specific cultural practices and ways of communicating will be explored via weekly excursions to use Spanish skills in context.

Spanish Immersion 2

This class is geared toward intermediate Spanish speakers (prerequisite Spanish 1 and 2). In this class, we will navigate the Spanish of the Rio Platense Region (Uruguay and Argentina) by reviewing common language in an immersion context. In the classroom, we will speak entirely in Spanish, exploring Rio Platense culture through Spanish language. We will also take weekly excursions into an immersive environment to learn language in context.


Other potential course offerings: Cheese making, beer making, wine making, sustainable livestock farming, cyclical waste systems, small-scale energy systems, sustainable building








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