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The Sustainable Living Program courses provide a mix of theoretical and hands on practical activities. All courses work to train students in the core competencies needed for creating sustainable communities. These skills and tools have also been proven to be highly desirable to prospective employers, and they are all enriched by our focus on development of consciousness.

The skills of an Environmental Problem Solver / Change Agent include:

  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Digital media literacy
  • Information literacy and critical thinking
  • Common sense
  • Conflict resolution
  • Group collaboration
  • A lifelong love of learning

Below are the classes offered as of May 2014. All of MUM runs on a block schedule, so only a handful classes within the department are taught at any one time. This list is subject to change, but to see when classes are offered, please visit the online schedule of classes, or contact Diana Krystofiak at dkrystofiak@mum.edu or 641-919-3645 ext. 2293 for more information. Here also is the full MUM catalog.

SL—G100 CCTS

Understanding and Advocating for Sustainability—The Individual as the Unit of Sustainability- Offered Every Semester
Passing along the awareness that the sustainability movement is the future of the human project is the key to any possible future. Therefore, this introductory course is designed to give students the experience of diving right in to the discipline of Sustainable Living. Students will read from a variety of books and articles and engage in creative exercises that will allow them to discern key concepts in sustainability. Students will have the opportunity to open to the field of all possibilities by going through the process of evaluating their own beliefs alongside the belief systems of a variety of key players in the field of sustainability. Also, students will learn vital skills of assessing and listening that will help them refine their communication of key concepts, values, and beliefs in an intelligent and effective manner. At the end of this course, students should be able to say what they believe, express why, and do so in a way that invites participation rather than confrontation. (4 credits)Prerequisite: taken during students’ first semester, or with consent of the Department faculty.

SL—A101 Organic Agriculture

Nourishing Civilization through Production of Food Based on Features of Natural Ecosystems — Nutrient Recycling, Biodiversity, Maintenance of Healthy Soils, and Full-Cost Accounting – Offered Annually
This course covers the general principles and techniques of organic and sustainable agriculture including crop rotation, cover crops and green manures, biodiversity, organic pest and weed control, National Organic Program standards, irrigation, and soil fertility. Students spend approximately half of their time in class learning principles of vegetable production and half of the time applying their knowledge and gaining practical experience in the University’s vegetable gardens and hoop houses or other local organic farms. Course fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—B101 Sustainability, Buildings and the Built Environment - Offered Annually

The built environment consists of all the things that humans build: buildings and the rural, suburban, and urban context in which they are placed. Buildings, the cities they are placed in, and the transportation systems that connect them are the biggest things that humans build. Designing and building them sustainably is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. This course gives an overview of issues of sustainability in the built environment and the developing solutions –high performance solar powered buildings, natural building, the ecocity movement, reuse of existing structures, urban agriculture, managing water in the urban landscape, turning wastes into resources. We’ll also explore how we can use the ancient ideas about orientation and placement of buildings and the design of cities from Maharishi Sthapatya Ved in the design of the contemporary sustainable built environment. The goal is to create a built environment that, like the natural environment, is regenerative, giving back more than it takes. This course is one of six required core courses in the Sustainable Living program and is a prerequisite to other courses in the Built Environment track. Course fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—E101 Energy and Sustainability

The Energy Basis of Humans and Nature – Offered Annually
This course explores the role energy plays in sustainability and in the development of complexity and order in nature and in the human economy. Anything of economic value comes from nature or from humans, and both require energy. Therefore, energy is critical to the economy. Energy inevitably loses usefulness as it flows through human made and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generations. Therefore, renewable sources of energy are essential for sustainability. Students will learn basic energy concepts and their application to sustainability and renewable energy systems. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, and hands-on work. This course is one of the six sustainable living core courses and is required for all courses in the energy track. Course fee: $65. (4 credits)

SL—G101 Permaculture Design - Offered Annually

Permaculture Design is a system for rethinking and redesigning of every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. As such, it is a cross-disciplinary design system that involves architecture and building, agriculture, energy, urban and city design, economics and livelihoods, water, and the aesthetic integration of all of these in human settlements. On successful completion of the course, students will receive an internationally recognized certificate. The basic principles of permaculture design were developed by integrating the observation of natural systems, traditional indigenous wisdom, and modern scientific and technological knowledge by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. Through lecture, discussion, observation, field trips, hands-on learning, videos, slide shows, and handouts, students gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to design and implement sustainable systems in harmony with the natural world so participants can understand and apply these methods and skills to their home property and local community. Participants will learn principles and methodologies of sustainable design, how to read the landscape’s strategies and tools for urban and rural homesteads, food forests and orchards, greenhouse operation, natural building and alternative energy techniques. This is a foundation course for the entire Sustainable Living program. Lab fee: $65. (4 credits)

SL—P101 Global Sustainability - Offered Annually

How do we set about structuring a sustainable living environment that can be maintained on a global scale for all future generations? This course is about the big picture that drives the global sustainable living agenda. It provides a broad perspective on the problems we face as a species. We study what can and should be done to transform the current trends effecting population growth, biodiversity, climate, energy supply and consumption, food and water security and other threats to sustainability. We explore the shift in mind set or consciousness that is needed to take us from regarding the environment and an expendable resource to treasuring it as an entity with which we must live in harmony. This is the social change-maker track core course. Lab fee: $25. (4 credits)

SL—E110 Energy Projects Course - Offered Biannually

In this course, students will gain hands-on experience with home and community-scale renewable energy systems. There will be a strong emphasis on developing practical skills in four fundamental areas of local energy: creating the next generation of Bio-diesel processing equipment, building Solar Photovoltaic panels using inexpensive purchased silicon cells and recycled glass, understanding the workings of small wind turbines, and exploring options for electric transportation. (4 credits)

SL—G130 Materials, Tools, and Methods for Sustainability - Offered Annually

This course will provide students with a comprehensive background in the nature and properties of our planet’s material resources and how they may be used in sustainable and ecologically friendly ways. Topics include: identifying different types of wood and knowing the best types for various purposes (e.g., why hickory is best for tool handles and cedar for shingles), understanding the differences between different types of metals and knowing when and where to use them (e.g., why it might be a bad idea to use brass next to aluminum), becoming expert in the use of tools, measuring instruments, methods of fastening and joining things, planning projects, and discussing the role of fine craftsmanship and consciousness-imbibed goods in the coming age. Lab fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—G139 Sustainable Living Workshop

Transforming Natural Law into Useful Application – Offered Intermittently
Manifestation of sustainable methodologies for immediate use is the purpose of this repeatable course. Students will work individually or in teams to build and implement technologies such as biodiesel production, photovoltaic panels, hydrogen electrolyzers, biomass heating units, methane digesters, or fuel cells. Projects can also include assisting with sustainable building construction, or production of websites or videos to display real-time building/performance indicators. (4 credits — may be repeated for credit) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL—F151 Deep Ecology - Offered Biannually

The main argument in environmental ethics is between anthropocentric (human centered) and non-anthropocentric ways of being in the world. For people who advocate non-anthropocentric philosophies, it is of utmost importance for the human species to begin to behave in less selfish ways. Deep Ecology is the main non-anthropocentric school of thought and though founded in the 1970s, it draws on sources as vast in time and discipline as Taoism, Native American religions, and Quantum Physics. This course will study the innovator of Deep Ecology, the late Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, and trace the movement up to its current incarnations in America and elsewhere, specifically centering on the Transpersonal Ecology of Warwick For as it pertains to Maharishi’s teachings. This course will spend time in nature with the earth as our teacher, culminating in a camping trip. Finally, the course will show the close correlation of Deep Ecology with the concept of natural law and Maharishi’s Vedic principles. Lab fee: $100. (4 credits)

SL—G195 Living Systems

How Life’s Dynamic Intelligence Applies the Principles of Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Genetics to Uphold Self-Organization, Maintenance, and Evolution of Life – Offered Annually
Fundamental to all life are basic functions that uphold self-organization, maintenance, and evolution. This course covers aspects of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and evolution, with emphasis on the expressions of intelligence, order, and integration found at different levels of biological organization. Course Fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—G200 Building Biology

Learning to Restore the Balance between Nature, Ourselves, and the Built Environment – Offered Annually
This course examines the link between building practices and occupants’ health and well-being. Founded in Germany over 30 years ago, Building Biology not only encompasses sustainable and green practices, but also goes beyond them. It focuses on “building for life,” or how to optimize living conditions by applying healthy building and remodeling principles to living spaces. Students will find out how current construction practices impact the health of occupants and will gain skills to identify, analyze, and solve problems dealing with electromagnetic radiation, high- frequency radiation, indoor air quality, and water quality. They will also learn about natural building and remodeling practices through home inspections, case study reviews, and teleconferences with Building Biologists from around the country. The course looks at healthy buildings from different perspectives: a) elements — how air, water, matter, and energy impact the indoor environment, including health risks and remedies, b) design — what design features promote a healthy building, and c) standards — applying Building Biology Healthy Home Standards. Course Fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—A201 Season Extension - Offered Biannually

Learn how to extend the season growing, harvest produce throughout the winter and start transplants using unheated hoop houses. Topics include: choosing the hoop house location, design, layout, and costs, growing transplants, natural insect and disease control in hoop houses, nutrition, food system sustainability, and more. Class will include field trips to local hoop houses and some hands on activities. Course fee: $65 (4 credits)

SL—E201 Renewable Energy Technology - Offered Biannually

On earth, solar energy is the only energy source available to renew and offset the inevitable decline in usefulness as energy flows through human made and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generation, and therefore switching from fossil fuels to solar energy is essential for sustainability. Direct solar (thermal and photovoltaics), wind, and flowing water are the core technologies necessary to power a sustainable economy. This course gives students the theoretical and practical background necessary to design and evaluate renewable energy technology that use solar energy directly (solar thermal and PV) and solar energy in the form of wind and flowing water. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, hands-on work, and a team project. Course Fee: $65 (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—E101, MATH 170, or consent of the instructor

SL—B201 Natural Building - Offered Biannually

Natural building is the art and science of using lightly processed, natural materials to create beautiful, durable, energy efficient structures. Students will learn how to combine traditional materials with contemporary ideas about sustainability. Topics include: the design process, materials and methods (straw/fiber, clay, earth, stone, wood and their combinations) building science for natural building, air and moisture flow, energy considerations, siting and zoning Course will include hands on work in a variety of materials, and may include the construction of a structure. Lab fee: changes yearly. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—B101

SL—G201 Ecology

Observe How Living Organisms Maintain Perfect Orderliness in Their Physical Environment  – Offered Annually
Ecology is often defined as the study of relationships between organisms and their living and non-living environment. The term has become more generalized in recent years to refer to a set of interacting entities in an environment. These entities could be thoughts, technologies, beliefs, organisms, pollutants, or mountains and the environment could be an individual mind, community, society, organism, planet, culture, or meadow. This more generalized notion of ecology opens us up to understand ecology as something that exists in the universe rather than just a lens or set of questions through which we gain knowledge of the world. In this course students will learn about fundamental ecological concepts, including niche, habitat, community, ecosystem, biomes, biosphere; population ecology; species interactions; energy flows; nutrient cycling; and succession. Lab fee: $65 (4 credits) Prerequisites: SL-G100 (CCTS) or consent of the instructor

SL A202: Biodynamic Agriculture

Biodynamic Agriculture is an advanced state of organic farming which lays the
foundation for a new way of thinking about our relationship to earth and the
environment. It was the first ecological farming system to raise a voice against the
commercial fertilizers and pesticides during the early years of industrial agriculture. In
Biodynamic agriculture a farm is considered as a self-sufficient organism with
interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. This course will introduce students to
biodynamic agriculture, concepts, principles and practices. Students will understand soil
as a living entity, soil formation, classification, agronomic aspects comprising soil
fertility, nutrient cycling, and the importance of soil organic matter. This course will also
cover biodynamic preparations, which are vital in this system of farming. The role of
planets and constellations on plants and farming to attune the crops to the biorhythms of
nature will be discussed. The Demeter Biodynamic and Processing Standards for
certification and marketing of certified products will also be covered. Course Fee: $65. (4
Credits)

SL—G230 Sustainable Living Internship

Experiencing On-the-Job Application of Natural Law at Environmental Places of Business
This course offers students the opportunity to work on farms, at green companies, or with environmental organizations and apply knowledge from the classroom to real-life situations where sustainability is at the forefront. Venues range from the Maharishi University of Management campus and farms to the Fairfield area, other areas of Iowa and out-of-state locations. While all internship credits may be taken at one location, it is advisable to distribute the internships among several places of employment to get the broadest possible experience, greatly adding to a student’s sustainability credentials and post-graduate employment potential. (4 credits per month, maximum of 12 credits toward the Sustainable Living major)Prerequisites: SL—G101 and consent of the instructor and the Academic Standards Committee

SL—G353 Sustainable Water Resource Management

Water and Sustainability; Problems and Solutions to Water Quality and Scarcity Worldwide
Fresh water resources play a key role in any sustainable community and are pivotal to the success of long-term sustainable development. In this course students will learn about the problems plaguing water resources and will acquire the skills to implement appropriate solutions on the scale of the watershed as a whole. Students will learn how to put together integrated watershed management plans by doing on site data collection, evaluating the data collected and suggesting sustainable water management practices based on their assessment. These practices primarily emulate the natural water cycle and include water conservation, green water infrastructure and the use of alternatives to fresh water resources such as harvested rainwater and reclaimed wastewater. Lab fee: $65. (4 credits)

FOR 470 MVS and Sustainable Water Technologies - Crowe Creek Project

In this course you will be doing hands on planning and implementation work on the Crowe Creek project. A project aimed at sustainable water management within our local watershed. You will receive professional training on data collection, data evaluation, design and implementation of sustainable water technologies (such as rain gardens, bioswales and rain barrels) and spend a lot of your time in the field.

The course will also include discussions between Maharishi and MUM faculty members on management, covering topics that relate to managing any project. The course will not include a TMR or a WPA. Limit of 15 students.  Fee of $30 due on 1st day. Credits: 2 credits.

Prerequisites: for undergraduates: FOR 103.

SL—G270 Design, Innovation, Sustainability

An exploration of the creative process in the context of team hands on design/build of sustainable systems – Offered Biannually
This course will explore teamwork and the creative process through the design and construction of sustainable technologies. Students will work in teams to design, build, and implement technologies. Past projects have included biodiesel production, photovoltaic panels, hydrogen electrolyzers, biomass heating units, methane digesters, or fuel cells. We’ll look at case studies from famous design/build teams, like Lockheed’s Skunkworks team. Projects can also include assisting with sustainable building construction, or production of websites or videos to display real-time building/performance indicators. (4 credits)

SL—G280 Ethnobotany

How Indigenous Peoples Use Plants for Culinary, Spiritual, Medicinal, and Other Purposes to Maintain Traditional Connections with Natural Law — Offered Biannually
Plants have met a large proportion of man’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs for ages and continue to do so today, though often in new and less obvious ways. The broad scope of such use is the subject of this course, covering not only food and shelter but also clothing, herbs and spices, ornamentation, medicine, soaps, cosmetics, rope, and rubber, as well as artistic and spiritual uses.  Course includes a trip to The Field Museum in Chicago. (4 credits) $65 course fee

SL—G290 Ecovillages and Intentional Communities

Greening (and Challenging!) the Wider Culture – Offered Biannually
In this course, students will learn about designing and living in ecovillages and intentional communities. Areas of focus will include how successful communities purchase, finance, and own property; internal community finances and community-based social enterprises; ecovillages and the ecocity movement; the transition town movement; community group dynamics and & dealing effectively with community conflict; and “ creating community where you live now” in existing neighborhoods or small towns. These areas will be explored through presentations from experts on living in and designing intentional communities, field trips, and a cumulative final group project. Lab fee: $40. (4 credits)

SL—G298 Internships

Students will have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge related to sustainability in real-world situations while earning academic credit.

SL—A301 Living Soil

Pure Consciousness Expressing Healthy Plants Through Vibrant Soil – Offered Annually
This course presents a journey into the soil beneath our feet — the true “ Last Frontier” — so close, yet so poorly understood. Students will delve into the world of the below ground and learn what all those billions of creatures are doing down there. Precisely because people did not understand healthy soil, “modern” chemical agriculture slowly but surely destroyed the very basis of healthy crop production. In this course, students will learn how and why modern agriculture fell into the trap of chemical dependency, and how to grow bumper crops that contain nutrients in the forms, amounts and balances that humans require. They will also learn which organisms are needed in soil for different plant species and in different climates, and how to see them and monitor their presence. The course also teaches how to easily grow one’s own soil biota and put them back into soil to replenish and revitalize gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, vineyards or their own back yard. Lab fee: $65. (4 credits) Prerequisites: SL—G101, SL—G195, and SL—G350

SL—B301 High Performance Green Building

Shaping the Future with Regenerative Design –  Offered Biannually
Fifty percent of the energy that flows through the US economy is used in buildings. Rethinking the design of buildings is a key part of sustainability. In this course, students learn the basic principles of designing and constructing climate responsive buildings that create more energy and clean water than they use. The emphasis will be on using commercially available conventional building materials, although natural building materials will be introduced. (Building with natural, lightly processed materials is covered in Building 203: Natural Building.) Topics include: the design process, building science, energy, air and moisture flow in buildings, health effects of material selection, building components (foundations, wall sections, roof systems, HVAC, siding etc.), the development process, zoning, passive solar/renewable energy, and siting. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G101 Course Fee: $65

SL—E301 Modeling and Monitoring Energy Flow - Offered Biannually

This course gives practical experience in using computers to model energy flow in buildings and renewable energy systems and in systems for monitoring energy flow. Students should have a good understanding of the physics of energy flow, energy flow in building, and renewable energy systems. Software may include RESNET energy modeling software, Energy 10, and HEED. Energy monitoring systems will use Onset Computing energy monitoring hardware and Hoboware pro software. Building commissioning will be discussed. Energy modeling software is useful in the design phase of a project and is often required to establish benchmark performance for utility rebates and other incentives. Energy monitoring systems are useful for making building energy use visible to occupants, and for verifying and troubleshooting performance of energy systems. (4 credits)Prerequisites: SL—E101, MATH 170, or consent of the instructor.  Course Fee $65

SL—P303 Energy, Consciousness, and Society - Offered Biannually

Powering the future with intelligent energy policies and technical innovation is a key part of human society’s bid for sustainability. This course explores how such a future can be achieved. Students start by researching what is currently happening in different countries around the world, along with a special focus on Iowa. The course then studies the potential of renewable energy and associated nascent technologies to replace traditional energy resources and their associated problems.  Through collaborative teamwork projects the class will create their road map for a consciousness-based change to a society with clean, abundant energy. Individual class participants will also have an opportunity to research a special area of energy in society of most interest. (4 credits)  Course Fee: $65

SL—F305 Spirituality and Sustainability - Offered Annually

The goal of this course is to expose students to the thinking of some of the leaders in the field of sustainability who feel that there is an important relationship between spirituality and sustainability. Some of these thinkers go so far as to say that this relationship is essential to the project of sustainability so that without understanding spirituality there is no sustainability. This course will explore the relationship of spirit and sustenance in a variety of ways, through readings, field trips and speakers. By interacting with people outside of our community, sometimes in real world situations, students will have the opportunity to see how a person’s belief system affects their idea of sustainability and in turn their actions. (4 credits)  Course Fee: $65

SL—F310 Social Justice and Sustainability - Offered Annually

Is it possible to have a grossly inequitable society and still have it be “sustainable?” Is “sustainable development” really sustainable if it is undertaken within a context of economic injustice? Are modern western societies and globalization just a new face on an old, unsustainable theme: empire? We will attempt to answer these questions, and raise several others, in this course. This class will explore concepts like “environmental racism” and disciplines like “eco-pedagogy” as it looks at the role that social justice should play within the project of sustainability. We will read authors like Vandana Shiva, David Orr, and Paulo Freire. Also, students will conceive and direct a project that addresses social justice issues within the community of Fairfield. (4 credits)  Course Fee $65

SL—G340 Economics of Sustainability - Offered Biannually

Gain a conceptual understanding of economic sustainability and acquire specific knowledge and information needed to apply these concepts in your professional and personal life. A sustainable economy must be capable of meeting the needs of the present without diminishing opportunities for the future. Since all economic value is derived from either nature or society, a sustainable economy must continually renew and regenerate the “natural and human capital” from which it derived its “economic capital.” Sustainable capitalism may seem an oxymoron because today’s neoclassical capitalist economy clearly is not sustainable. However, market economies provide the most efficient means of meeting our individual needs if nature and society are protected from economic exploitation. We have the collective ability and means to work together to provide the social and political restraints and incentives needed to ensure long run ecological and social integrity. Through hands-on experiences both on campus and in the community, students in this course will gain an understanding of how sustainable living creates the ethical and intellectual foundation for sustainable businesses, communities, economies, and societies. (4 credits) Course Fee $65

SL—G370 Environmental Law

Connecting National Law with Natural Law to Protect the Environment from Global Warming, Pollution, and Resource Depletion
From local regulations about water quality to global initiatives like the Kyoto Accord, the law is an important tool for regulating our use of the environment. During this course, students will become familiar with international treaties and protocols on global warming, pollution, and endangered species. The class will also study the key features of American environmental law including the Clean Air and Water Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and other current policies and regulations. Perhaps most importantly, students will understand the lawmaking process as a way to use the legal system to bring about positive change and build sustainable communities. (4 credits)

SL—G399 Directed Study

Prerequisite: consent of the Department faculty

(variable credits)

SL—G400 Sustainable Living Project Prep:

Planning Your Personal Contribution to Life
This course is devoted to preparing students for the Senior Sustainable Living Project (SL—G401). Students will meet with faculty to research, discuss, and plan the project to ensure that it will unfold as smoothly as possible. (4 credits) 
Prerequisites: good academic standing and consent of the instructor

SL—A401 Planning a Sustainable Family Farm

Natural Law as the Basis of Intelligent Planning – Offered Biannually 
This course provides an opportunity for students to create a business plan for a small farm or farming-related business. Students will learn the planning process from exploring their values and goals to creating a vision and mission, and on to planning strategies for the financial, human resources, marketing and production aspects of their farm/business. Topics will include annual and perennial crops, value-added enterprises, income/cash flow, risk analysis and contingency planning. We will also examine the SPIN business models for small farms. The class will include field trips to local farms and food-related businesses. Course fee: $65 (4 credits) 
Prerequisite: one of the following: SL—A101, SL—A201, SL—A301, or consent of the instructor

SL—F401 Philosophies of Sustainability

Locating the Deepest Levels of Natural Law in the Foundations of Sustainable Thinking – Offered Annually
This course will break down the meta-concept of sustainability into its constituent parts: its social, environmental, and economic aspects, as well as how the concepts of democracy, technology, and spirituality relate to sustainability. This course will start out with an overview of the sustainability movement as presented in the Sustainability Revolution by Andres Edwards. Supplemental readings will address aspects of the philosophies of sustainability left out by Edwards’ summary, including anthropocentrism, capitalism, and others. Through films, reading assignments, lectures, and discussions, students will formulate their own definition of sustainability to make the abstract concept of sustainability practical to their everyday lives. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G202  Course Fee:  $65

SL—G401 Senior Sustainable Living Project

Applying Natural Law-Based Knowledge to Real-World Enterprises to Test Principles of Sustainable Technologies
In this final course, students apply what they have learned to a special senior capstone project. Under the guidance of faculty, students will design and implement some aspect of a sustainable community, using opportunities in the city of Fairfield, Maharishi Vedic City, Abundance Ecovillage (just north of Fairfield), or the Maharishi University of Management campus itself. The project may be an individual effort, or students may work together in small teams to produce a fitting tribute to the concept of Sustainable Living, one that will prepare them to take on real projects wherever they may choose to work. (4 credits — may be repeated for credit) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL—G402 Green Leadership Adventure - Offered Annually

This action-packed course will explore group dynamics and leadership in the context of adventure sports while providing visits to world-famous projects and institutions known for sustainable design.   This course has been offered in Hawaii, and the Western US.  Future host locations include the coast of Maine, Costa Rica, and Bhutan.  Course length varies from 4- 6 weeks.  (4- 6 credits)  Course Fee Varies Based on Trip Location

SL—G403 Apprenticeship in Teaching Sustainability

Assisting with the Instruction of Selected Courses in the Sustainable Living Program
This course is designed to allow advanced undergraduate students of good academic standing the opportunity to assist an instructor in teaching a course in sustainability. It is especially recommended for those students who plan to go into a teaching career or who expect to help finance graduate work through teaching assistantships. In most cases it will involve helping the instructor with course planning and preparation, small discussion groups, homework and quiz grading. Some lecture and lab preparation and presentation may also be included as a teaching experience. (4 credits)

SL—P404 How to Create Social Change Offered Biannually

We have the solutions to create a sustainable future, but it isn’t happening nearly fast enough. This course studies what works to achieve big social change to make a sustainable future happen. This is a ‘brains-on,’ practical course. The class will meet with and interview an exciting range of highly successful change-makers in industry, campaign groups, and government. Some theory of social change will also be reviewed. Working as a team, students will develop their own understanding of social change and create a definitive report on the topic. We will also look at the many opportunities for graduates to build meaningful careers in this field. Lab fee: $25. (4 credits)

SL—F405—Deep Sustainability

Deep Ecology is a movement in environmental philosophy that differentiates itself by asking deeper questions about the assumptions active in our modern thinking and draws from deeper sources—including Eastern and Indigenous religions and philosophies—in order to understand the human role in the current ecological crises and to generate truly novel solutions.  Deep Sustainability, or the particular kind of Deep Sustainability that is being developed here at MUM, is that kind of thinking applied to the sustainability movement.  It questions the commonly held beliefs of our scientistic and economistic worldview and it looks to the sources of human Being, like the idea of “purpose” or conceptions of “consciousness,” to guide our understanding into the future.  Using Daniel Quinn’s book Ishmael as the primary text, but also looking at other theories of deep sustainability, this course in Deep Sustainability will challenge people to identify the worldviews they inhabit, to attempt to shift their paradigm towards evermore sustainable versions, and to reach out to people with other belief systems as a way of creating the new planetary consciousness that is necessary for the 21st Century.

SL-A101 Organic Agriculture

This course covers the general principles and techniques of organic and sustainable agriculture including crop rotation, cover crops and green manures, biodiversity, organic pest and weed control, National Organic Program standards, irrigation, and soil fertility. Students spend approximately half of their time in class learning principles of vegetable production and half of the time applying their knowledge and gaining practical experience in the University’s vegetable gardens and greenhouses or other local organic farms.  (4 credits)

SL-E101 Energy and Sustainability

The Energy Basis of Humans and Nature
This course explores the role energy plays in sustainability and in the development of complexity and order in nature and in the human economy. Anything of economic value comes from nature or from humans, and both require energy. Therefore, energy is critical to the economy. Energy inevitably loses uses usefulness as it flows through manmade and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generations. Therefore, renewable sources of energy are essential for sustainability. Students will learn basic energy concepts and their application to sustainability and renewable energy systems. This course is one of the six sustainable living core courses and is required for all courses in the energy track. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, and hands-on work.  (4 credits)

SL-B101 Sustainability, Buildings and the Built Environment

The built environment consists of all the things that humans build: buildings and the rural, suburban, and urban context in which they are placed. Buildings, the cities they are placed in, and the transportation systems that connect them are the biggest things that humans build. Designing and building them sustainably is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. This course gives an overview of issues of sustainability in the built environment and the developing solutions –high performance solar powered buildings, natural building, the ecocity movement, reuse of existing structures, urban agriculture, managing water in the urban landscape, turning wastes into resources. We’ll also explore how we can use the ancient ideas about orientation and placement of buildings and the design of cities from Maharishi Stapahtya Ved in the design of the contemporary sustainable built environment. The goal is to create a built environment, that, like the natural environment, is regenerative, giving back more than it takes. This course is one of six required core courses in the Sustainable Living program and is a prerequisite to other courses in the Built Environment track. (4 credits)

SL-G101 Permaculture Design

Permaculture Design is a system for rethinking and redesigning of every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. As such, it is a cross-disciplinary design system that involves architecture and building, agriculture, energy, urban and city design, economics and livelihoods, water, and the aesthetic integration of all of these in human settlements. On successful completion of the course you will receive an internationally recognized certificate. The basic principles of permaculture design were developed by integrating the observation of natural systems, traditional indigenous wisdom, and modern scientific and technological knowledge by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. Through lecture, discussion, observation, field trips, hands-on learning, videos, slide shows, and handouts, students gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to design and implement sustainable systems in harmony with the natural world so participants can understand and apply these methods and skills to their home property and local community. Participants will learn principles and methodologies of sustainable design, how to read the landscape’s strategies and tools for urban and rural homesteads, food forests and orchards, greenhouse operation, natural building and alternative energy techniques. This is a foundation course for the entire SL program.  (4 credits)

SL-P101 Global Sustainability and Veda

This course studies the big picture as to what should be done to transform the current unsustainable trends in population, land and wildlife depletion, climate change, energy sourcing and usage, the built environment, agriculture and food, economic exploitation, militarism, etc. We also study the Vedic insights into the shifts in collective consciousness, mind-sets and political processes that are needed to take us from treating our fellow humans and the eco-sphere as expendable resources to treasuring them as entities with which we must live in harmony for mutual enrichment and evolution. This is the policy track core course.  (4 credits)

SL-G102 Consciousness and Sustainability

Connecting Our Continued Existence to the Deepest Levels at Which Nature Operates
Our current way of life has produced unsustainable buildups of pollution, depletion of natural resources, overpopulation, and economic and social distress. If not rectified soon by human-directed correcting mechanisms, our whole system will be corrected by nature, and civilization will collapse. So far, application of mechanisms such as environmental education and legislation, ever more advanced “green” technologies, and global eco-summits have not been enough to pull us back from the brink. Therefore, raising consciousness has emerged as the so-far missing imperative that will bring about true sustainability. But what is consciousness? How can the various definitions of it from different philosophical and spiritual traditions be brought together in a way that will engage as many people as possible? Is consciousness a fundamental driver of sustainability? If so, what are the mechanics by which it will generate a sustainable world? These and more are the questions that will be addressed, and, with co-creative efforts from students, answered in this course.

SL-G105 Physics and Chemistry for Sustainability

This course covers the fundamental principles of physics and chemistry with an emphasis on practical applications in the field of sustainability. Emphasis is placed on leading the students to an awareness of how a knowledge of science will enhance their preparation for careers in sustainability. The principles of physics that are covered include energy and power calculations, thermodynamics and heat loss calculations, electromagnetism, conservation laws and vibrations and waves. The basics of general inorganic and organic chemistry are also covered. Topics include the periodic table, atomic structures, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, behavior of gases and solutions, acids and bases and important biological molecules. The course includes laboratory activities. (4 credits).

SL-G109 Natural Beekeeping

Organic honeybee keeping is an important art and science of sustainable living, and even more so in the age of Colony Collapse Disorder. Students will learn about the Biodynamic beekeeping method, based on Rudolf Steiner’s teaching, which is holistic method that emphasizes the well-being of the bee colony as a super organism and its natural life cycle, rather than maximizing honey and pollen production. The first three days are taught by Gunther Hauk, who has over 30 years of experience in this type of beekeeping and is the founder and co-manager of Spikernard Farm, a 610-acre honeybee sanctuary in Illinois. Students will learn how to set up and manage a small Biodynamic apiary, assemble hives, become familiar with special terminology and practices, harvest honey, setting up an organic certifying agency, and more. (4 credits)

SL-G110 Sustainable Woodworking

In this hands-on course students will learn the basics of working with wood. Safety will be a high priority as participants learn how to use power and hand tools, techniques for gluing and joining wood, and sharpening. Students will also learn tree identification, the uses for different wood, and the structure of the living tree and how it relates to the creation of wooden structures, both solid and plywood. The course will also cover sustainable ways to grow, harvest, and dry woods, and will include field trips to lumber mills. Overall, this class will teach students to be comfortable with the basics of working and designing with wood and to understand which environmental factors to consider when planning woodworking projects. Lab fee: $65. (4 credits) Prerequisite: consent of instructor

SL-G130 Materials, Tools, and Methods for Sustainability

This course will provide students with a comprehensive background in the nature and properties of our planet’s material resources and how they may be used in sustainable and ecologically friendly ways. Topics covered will include: identifying different types of wood and knowing the best types for various purposes (e.g., why hickory is best for tool handles and cedar for shingles), understanding the differences between different types of metals and knowing when and where to use them (e.g., why it might be a bad idea to use brass next to aluminum), becoming expert in the use of tools, measuring instruments, methods of fastening and joining things, planning projects, and discussing the role of fine craftsmanship and consciousness-imbibed goods in the coming age. Lab fee: $65. (4 credits)

SL-G139 Sustainable Living Workshop

Transforming Natural Law into Useful Application
Manifestation of sustainable methodologies for immediate use is the purpose of this repeatable course. Students will work individually or in teams to build and implement technologies such as biodiesel production, photovoltaic panels, hydrogen electrolyzers, biomass heating units, methane digesters, or fuel cells. Projects can also include assisting with sustainable building construction, or production of websites or videos to display real-time building/performance indicators. (4 credits) Can be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-G140 Earth Systems

How Global Geo-Physiology Shapes the Evolving Biosphere, Driven by Its Internal Structures and Processes and Interacting with Life, Air, and Water
In this course we explore Earth, a dynamic system evolving since its birth 4.6 billion years ago (deep time). Earth is a whole greater than the sum of its parts — rock, water, air, and life — subsystems that exchange mater and energy and pulse in cycles, powered by thermal energy from Earth’s interior and by radiant energy from the sun. These inner and outer forces power Earth’s living surface in the same way that we experience life as a balance between our inner desires and outer demands from society. Plate Tectonics explains how the interior of the Earth convects, moves surface plates along three types of boundaries, and shapes the planet’s surface, a unifying paradigm for mitigating natural disasters (e.g., volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis), exploiting mineral and energy resources, and understanding the advent and evolution of life. At the cross roads of climate research, classical geology, and modern genetics, Snowball Earth narrates the tale of scientists developing a theory that explains why the Earth completely froze over and how these climate disasters may have triggered the evolution of life. To test the Snowball hypothesis with hands-on projects, we take a 10-day field trip to Canada and explore unique island ecosystems for their geologic features (rocks types, folds and faults, volcanic conduits, exploitable resources, glacial scouring and deposits, springs, etc.). Field projects stimulate powers of observation, spatial reasoning, 3 visualization, and 4D synthesis — life skills essential to sustainable living. In a final paper, students integrate their fieldwork with the readings and themes of sustainability. Lab Fee: travel Expenses, updated yearly. (4 credits) Prerequisite: passport, trip to Canada

SL-G195 Living Systems

How Life’s Dynamic Intelligence Applies the Principles of Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Genetics to Uphold Self-Organization, Maintenance, and Evolution of Life
Fundamental to all life are basic functions that uphold self-organization, maintenance, and evolution. This course covers aspects of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and evolution, with emphasis on the expressions of intelligence, order, and integration found at different levels of biological organization. (4 credits)

SL-F151 Deep Ecology

The main argument in environmental ethics is between anthropocentric (human centered) and non-anthropocentric ways of being in the world. For people who advocate non-anthropocentric philosophies, it is of utmost importance for the human species to begin to behave in less selfish ways. Deep Ecology is the main non-anthropocentric school of thought and though founded in the 1970s, it draws on sources as vast in time and discipline as Taoism, Native American religions, and Quantum Physics. This course will study the innovator of Deep Ecology, the late Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, and trace the movement up to its current incarnations in America and elsewhere, specifically centering on the Transpersonal Ecology of Warwick For as it pertains to Maharishi’s teachings. This course will spend time in nature with the earth as our teacher, culminating in a camping trip. Finally, the course will show the close correlation of Deep Ecology with the concept of Natural Law and Maharishi’s Vedic principles.  (4 credits)

SL-G200 Building Biology

Learning to Restore the Balance between Nature, Ourselves, and the Built Environment – Are sustainable and green building practices always healthy?
Not necessarily, as students will learn in this course, which examines the link between building practices and occupants’ health and well-being. Founded in Germany over 30 years ago, Building Biology not only encompasses sustainable and green practices, but also goes beyond them. It focuses on “building for life,” or how to optimize living conditions by applying healthy building and remodeling principles to living spaces. Students will find out how current construction practices impact the health of occupants and will gain skills to identify, analyze, and solve problems dealing with electromagnetic radiation, high- frequency radiation, indoor air quality, and water quality. They will also learn about natural building and remodeling practices through home inspections, case study reviews, and teleconferences with Building Biologists from around the country. The course looks at healthy buildings from different perspectives: 1) elements– how air, water, matter, and energy impact the indoor environment, including health risks and remedies, 2) design — what design features promote a healthy building, and 3) standards — applying Building Biology Healthy Home Standards. (4 credits)

SL-A201 Season Extension

Learn how to extend the season growing, harvest produce throughout the winter and start transplants using unheated hoophouses. Topics include: choosing the hoophouse location, hoophouse design, hoophouse layout, costs, growing transplants, natural insect and disease control in hoophouses, nutrition, food system sustainability, and more. Class will include field trips to local hoophouses and some hands on activities. (4 credits)

SL-E201 Renewable Energy Technology I

Solar, Wind, Water
On earth, solar energy is the only energy source available to renew and offset the inevitable decline in usefulness as energy flows through manmade and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generation, and therefore switching from fossil fuels to solar energy is essential for sustainability. Direct solar (thermal and photovoltaics), wind, and flowing water are the core technologies necessary to power a sustainable economy. This course gives students the theoretical and practical background necessary to design and evaluate renewable energy technology that use solar energy directly (solar thermal and PV) and solar energy in the form of wind and flowing water. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, hands-on work, and a team project. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—E101, MATH 170, or permission of Instructor

SL-B201 Natural Building

Natural building is the art and science of using lightly processed, natural materials to create beautiful, durable, energy efficient structures. Students will learn how to combine traditional materials with contemporary ideas about sustainability. Topics covered include the design process, materials and methods (straw/fiber, clay, earth, stone, wood and their combinations).building science for natural building, air and moisture flow, energy considerations., siting and zoning Course will include hands on work in a variety of materials, and may include the construction of a structure. Lab fee: changes yearly. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—B101

SL-G201 Ecology

Ecology is often defined as the study of relationships between organisms and their living and non-living environment. The term has become more generalized in recent years to refer to a set of interacting entities in an environment. These entities could be thoughts, technologies, beliefs, organisms, pollutants, or mountains and the environment could be an individual mind, community, society, organism, planet, culture, or meadow. This more generalized notion of ecology opens us up to understand ecology as something that exists in the universe rather than just a lens or set of questions through which we gain knowledge of the world. In this course students will learn about: fundamental ecological concepts including niche, habitat, community, ecosystem, biomes, biosphere, population ecology, species interactions, energy flows, nutrient cycling, succession. Lab Fee: $65 Credits: 4 credits.

SL-B202 Ecocities

Cities are the biggest things that humans build. The car centered urban, suburban, and rural patterns of human settlement that have developed in North America are a byproduct of the era of cheap fossil fuels, and waste resources and human energy. This course will explore the emerging principles of sustainable city design. Topic will include historic perspectives, the ecocity movement, the effect of density on sustainability, land use and zoning for sustainability, new urbanism, urban agriculture, and more. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—B101, or permission of instructor

SL-P202 Policy for Food Security

Food security is possibly the most critical sustainability issue facing humanity in the short to medium term. As the world’s population grows and developing countries move up the food chain, demand for food is growing fast. At the same time government policies for food production, distribution and retailing tend to favor the unsustainable practices of agribusiness. This course studies the way forward to create state, national and international policies that can deliver plentiful, nourishing, non-toxic food for the whole world, whist also enhancing biodiversity. (4 credits)

SL-E202 Renewable Energy Technology II

Biomass, Geothermal, Fuel cells, Batteries, Power Electronics, Transportation technologies, other misc energy conversion pathways
This course continues the exploration renewable energy pathways and the technologies that allow their utilization that is begun in Energy 201. Energy Technology 201 covers the core technologies of solar electric, solar thermal, and wind. This course covers biomass, geothermal energy, fuel cells, batteries, power electronics, transportation technologies, and other misc energy conversion technologies. On earth, solar energy is the only energy source available to renew and offset the inevitable decline in usefulness as energy flows through manmade and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generation, and therefore the use of solar energy is essential for sustainability. The radiant energy of the sun transforms into a wide variety of forms – wind, flowing water, biomass, heat, geothermal – before it eventually re-radiates back into space as low temperature heat. This course continues the exploration of technologies for creating a renewable energy based economy. It is recommended that students take energy 201 first, but it is not required. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, hands on work, and a team project. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—E101, MATH 170, or permission of instructor

SL-G202 Creative and Critical Thinking

Effective thinking is the extreme opposite of jumping to conclusions. This course will teach students to analyze a situation and understand its circumstances. They will learn to focus on the most useful information and then use it in a fair and logical way. The class will also explore argument analysis, media literacy, and legitimate alternatives to Western “rational” thought. Much of the class time will be devoted to exercises that center on important issues in the sustainability movement as well as in one’s own life. Lab fee: $35. (4 credits) Prerequisite: WTG 192

SL-G204 Solutions to Climate Change

Climate change is considered by many to be one of the key threats to a sustainable future. Yet few people study this fascinating subject in any detail. In this course students learn the latest developments in the basic science and facts of climate change. Contentious areas and ranges of opinion will be evaluated in their socioeconomic context and a full range of possible solutions to climate change will be studied, such as: elevation of world consciousness, improved global stewardship, increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, improved ecosystem management, agriculture and forestry. The course also addresses intergenerational ethics and economics along with mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. The main project will be for the class as a team to design their own package of solutions. (4 credits)

SL-G203 Plant Taxonomy

How the Description, Naming, Identification and Classification of Plants is Grounded in Their Intelligence and Evolution
The classification of plants ultimately makes use of all that is known about their structure, physiology, genetics, and ecology to arrange them into a logical system for identification and study. This course, which emphasizes the local flora, develops skills in observation and interpretation to name, identify, and classify vascular plants according to evolutionary relationships. (4 credits)

SL-G220 Environmental Planning and Landscaping

Applying Natural Law to Sustainable Landscapes to Integrate Energy, Economy, Transportation, Mass Culture, and Food Production Systems
A built environment should have the stability, flexibility, diversity, resilience, and beauty of a natural ecosystem. More than this, it should align our consciousness with all the Laws of Nature. Students will study the factors that go into a sustainable environmental plan, including consciousness, conceptualization, topography, climate, water management, energy, economy, transportation, mass culture, stakeholders, and food production systems. The course will combine classroom and project-based learning to ensure integration of the core principles and practical skills. Students will learn practical project management skills and create real environmental plans for existing tracts of land. The course will combine the use of Vedic and Permaculture principles to provide the ideal environment for people to grow in consciousness and fulfillment. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-G225 Applied Systems Thinking

Drawing on Total Natural Law to Organize Divergent Perspective and Promote Interconnectedness and Unity
A systems approach can be helpful in everyday situations involving people and technology where it is hard to know what to do because of a complex web of conflicting views and needs, a high degree of interconnectedness, and a high degree of uncertainty. This course offers solutions not by providing formulas or rules to follow, but by providing ways to understand and systematically work with situations that develop over time. This ultimately means operating more in accord with Natural Law. Learning to think and act systematically thus requires a fundamental change in patterns of thinking and behavior, which this course is designed to create in the student. Since systems concepts can be difficult to appreciate until applied in a variety of situations, the course structures proficiency in systems thinking by implementation of real-life solutions to problems of the student’s choice. (4 credits)

SL-G230 Sustainable Living Internship

This course offers students the opportunity to work on farms, at green companies, or with environmental organizations and apply knowledge from the classroom to real-life situations where sustainability is at the forefront. Venues range from the MUM campus and farms to the Fairfield area, other areas of Iowa and out-of-state locations. While all internship credits may be taken at one location, it is advisable to distribute the internships among several places of employment to get the broadest possible experience, greatly adding to a student’s sustainability credentials and post-graduate employment potential. (4 credits per month, maximum of 12 credits toward the Sustainable Living major) Prerequisite: consent of instructor and the Academic Standards Committee and SL—G101

SL-G250 The Art and Science of Fruit Culture

Fruit science and culture is referred to as pomology, which is a congenial blend of science and art. This course will present the scientific principles and horticultural practices used in growing fruits and nuts in the temperate zone regions of the world. Students will learn to select fruit varieties that are well suitable for various ecological zones of the world. Thorough planning of the fruit planting will prove that “well begun is half done.” Students will learn how the horticultural practices used to achieve a productive balance in the fruit planting and the physiology of the fruit plants influence the cycles of rest and activity within the fruit farming system. Sustainable organic production practices will be highlighted. Students will create a scalable production plan for fruit growing that will include all aspects of fruit growing including, suitable varieties for the mid-West region, plant protection practices for pest management using the organically approved list of materials (OMRI), and a flow of work schedule that includes moving the produce to market. (4 credits)

SL-G270 Design, Innovation, Sustainability

An exploration of the creative process in the context of team hands on design/build of sustainable system
This course will explore teamwork and the creative process through the design and construction of sustainable technologies. Students will work in teams to design, build, and implement technologies. Past projects have included biodiesel production, photovoltaic panels, hydrogen electrolyzers, biomass heating units, methane digesters, or fuel cells. We’ll look at case studies from famous design/build teams, like Lockheed’s Skunkworks team. Projects can also include assisting with sustainable building construction, or production of websites or videos to display real-time building/performance indicators. (4 credits)

SL-G260 Energy Auditing

This is a course to certify students in energy efficiency home auditing, the most basic principle and foundation of sustainable living. Students will learn how to apply the principle of doing less and accomplishing more to home energy efficiency. Instruction will include class time, and hands on training of necessary equipment to do energy audits. Field training will include full energy audits from start to finish. Upon completion of the course, students will have a deeper understanding of the various systems within a home, and how they work together. The final exam will be the official Resnet “Field Rater” test. Lab fee: $130 for book and field rater test fee. (2 credits)

SL-G280 Ethnobotany

How Indigenous People Use Plants from Culinary, Spiritual, Medicinal, and Other Purposes to Maintain Traditional Connections with Natural Law
Plants have met a large proportion of man’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs for ages and continue to do so today, though often in new and less obvious ways. The broad scope of such use is the subject of this course, covering not only food and shelter but also clothing, herbs and spices, ornamentation, medicine, soaps, cosmetics, rope, and rubber, as well as artistic and spiritual uses. (4 credits)

SL-G300 Local Economy Networks

Engaging Local Natural Laws to Establish a Strong Local Economy
Does an economy based on consumption of local production have a place in a world increasingly preoccupied with globalization? A growing number of economists think it does. This course will explore current thought about creating community wealth through the local provision of basic products and services such as energy, food, water, building materials, clothing, and artisan products. Students will research the local community to develop a wiki that showcases local economy solutions like the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign. This hands-on work, combined with the foundational knowledge of local economics, will thus equip them with the know-how for setting up a local network vital to maintaining a sustainable community. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-G298 Ecovillages and Intentional Communities

Greening (and Challenging!) the Wider Culture
In this course students will learn about designing and living in ecovillages and intentional communities. Areas of focus will include how successful communities purchase, finance, and own property; internal community finances and community-based social enterprises; ecovillages and the ecocity movement; the transition town movement; community group dynamics and & dealing effectively with community conflict; and “ creating community where you live now” in existing neighborhoods or small towns. These areas will be explored through presentations from experts on living in and designing intentional communities, field trips, and a cumulative final group project.  (4 credits)

SL-B301 High Performance Green Building

Shaping the Future with Regenerative Design
Fifty percent of the energy that flows through the US economy is used in buildings. Rethinking the design of buildings is a key part of sustainability. In this course, students learn the basic principles of designing and constructing climate responsive buildings that create more energy and clean water than they use. The emphasis will be on using commercially available conventional building materials, although natural building materials will be introduced (building with natural, lightly processed materials will is covered in Building 203: Natural Building) topics include the design process, building science, energy, air and moisture flow in buildings, health effects of material selection, building components (foundations, wall sections, roof systems, HVAC, siding etc), the development process, zoning, passive solar/renewable energy, and siting. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-A301 Living Soil

Pure Consciousness Expressing Healthy Plants Through Vibrant Soil
Presenting a journey into the soil beneath our feet — the true “ Last Frontier” — so close, yet so poorly understood. Delve into the world of the below ground and learn what all those billions of creatures are doing down there. Precisely because people did not understand healthy soil, “ modern” chemical agriculture slowly but surely destroyed the very basis of healthy crop production. Learn how and why modern agriculture fell into the trap of chemical dependency, and how to grow bumper crops that contain nutrients in the forms, amounts and balances that humans require. This course will teach you which organisms are needed in soil for different plant species and in different climates, and how to see them for yourself and monitor their presence. You’ll also learn how to easily grow your own soil biota and put them back into soil to replenish and revitalize gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, vineyards or your own back yard.  (4 credits) Prerequisite: Living Systems, Ecology, Plant Biology

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SL-E301 Modeling and Monitoring Energy Flow

This course gives practical experience in using computers to model energy flow in buildings and renewable energy systems and in systems for monitoring energy flow. Students should have a good understanding of the physics of energy flow, energy flow in building, and renewable energy systems. Software may include RESNET energy modeling software, Energy 10, and HEED. Energy monitoring systems will use Onset Computing energy monitoring hardware and Hoboware pro software. Building commissioning will be discussed. Energy modeling software is useful in the design phase of a project and is often required to establish benchmark performance for utility rebates and other incentives. Energy monitoring systems are useful for making building energy use visible to occupants, and for verifying and troubleshooting performance of energy systems. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—E101, MATH 170, or permission of Instructor

SL-P302 Energy, Consciousness and Society

Powering the future with intelligent energy policies is a key part of human society’s bid for sustainability. This course explores how such a future can be achieved. Students start by researching what is currently happening in different countries around the world, along with a special focus on Iowa. The course then studies the potential of renewable energy and associated nascent technologies to replace traditional energy resources and their associated problems.  Through collaborative teamwork projects the class will create their road map for a consciousness-based change to a society with clean, abundant energy. Individual class participants will also have an opportunity to research a special area of energy in society of most interest. (4 credits)

SL-F305 Spirituality and Sustainability

The goal of this course is to expose students to the thinking of some of the leaders in the field of sustainability who feel that there is a important relationship between spirituality and sustainability. Some of these thinkers go so far as to say that this relationship is essential to the project of sustainability so that without understanding spirituality there is no sustainability. This course will explore the relationship of spirit and sustenance in a variety of ways, through readings, field trips and speakers. By interacting with people outside of our community, sometimes in real world situations, students will have the opportunity to see how a person’s belief system affects their idea of sustainability and in turn their actions. (4 credits)

SL-G310 Sustainable Landscape Architecture

Using the Techniques of Natural Law to Create a Functional, Sustainable Built Environment
The way our built environment looks and feels is a product of human consciousness as manifested through the design and layout of the individual elements of Natural Law. Using the MUM campus as a case study, you will learn how to implement the basic landscaping components of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design in a way that minimizes the ecological impact of a site while maximizing its ecological value and aesthetic appeal. In the process, you will learn drawing techniques of the discipline, how to read a topographic map and use it to build a scale model, and how to choose appropriate trees and plants for specific locations and purposes. The result will be a deeper understanding of how to create environments that are efficient, beautiful, productive, and enjoyable in a sustainable way. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-G324 Basic AutoCAD

Learn fundamental knowledge and skill to create and complete basic 2D drawings with AutoCAD®. Use drawing and editing tools, adding text and basic dimensions and plotting. This rapid-paced course is for anyone who plans to become a regular AutoCAD user and needs the fundamental skills to create, edit and dimension AutoCAD drawings. This course is ideal for those new to AutoCAD or those who have not used the software for a few years. No previous CAD experience is necessary. Some familiarity with Windows required, some drafting, design or engineering experience may be helpful, but is not required.  (4 credits)

SL-G330 Campus Sustainability and the AASHE Conference

The most convincing college sustainability curriculum is the one students see manifested in the buildings and grounds of their own campus. To that end, students will use this course first to become thoroughly familiar with the sustainability features of the MUM campus, from restored prairies to geothermal installations to the compost system that recycles all dining hall food waste. Then they will prepare to attend the national conference of the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). They will learn how to gain maximum benefit from the conference, agree on a full slate of talks they wish to attend, and listen to and critique talks by MUM faculty and staff who will be giving those talks at the conference. Then the class will attend the conference, listen to talks, and interview and network with campus sustainability experts and students from around the country. Upon returning to MUM students will present their experiences and findings in oral presentations to the rest of the class, followed by discussions about what was learned. Students with an exceptionally well-prepared talk, created well in advance of the course and approved by the faculty, may also give presentations at the conference. Lab fee: changes yearly. (4 credits)
Prerequisite: SL—G101

SL-G340 Economics of Sustainability

Gain a conceptual understanding of economic sustainability and acquire specific knowledge and information needed to apply these concepts in your professional and personal life. A sustainable economy must be capable of meeting the needs of the present without diminishing opportunities for the future. Since all economic value is derived from either nature or society, a sustainable economy must continually renew and regenerate the “natural and human capital” from which it derived its “economic capital.” Sustainable capitalism may seem an oxymoron because today’s neoclassical capitalist economy clearly is not sustainable. However, market economies provide the most efficient means of meeting our individual needs if nature and society are protected from economic exploitation. We have the collective ability and means to work together to provide the social and political restraints and incentives needed to ensure long run ecological and social integrity. Through hands-on experiences both on campus and in the community, students in this course will gain an understanding of how sustainable living creates the ethical and intellectual foundation for sustainable businesses, communities, economies, and societies. (4 credits)

SL-G350 Plant Biology

The Unity and Diversity of Plant Life – How Organisms from Bacteria to Fungi to Giant Redwoods Nourish, Enrich, and Integrate the Biosphere
How Organisms from Bacteria to Fungi to Giant Redwoods Nourish, Enrich, and Integrate the Biosphere Plants, the source of fixed energy for virtually all life forms, are the principal topic of this introductory course. The photosynthetic groups covered range from cyanobacteria through phytoplankton and seaweeds, to bryophytes, lower vascular plants, gymnosperms, and the flowering plants. Non-photosynthetic bacteria, fungi and fungal-like protists are presented as the great integrators and recyclers of nutrients in the global biosphere. Some basic concepts in biochemistry, cell biology, membrane transport, anatomy, and plant ecology, are also included. The course provides a good foundation not only for more advanced topics in biology but also for agriculture.  (4 credits)

SL-G355 Earth Materials

From the Ground to Sustainable Living
We extract resources from the Earth to grow food, make stuff, move things around, build cities, and harness the energy to do it all. Expanding exponentially, the human enterprise is not sustainable, unless it undergoes a new industrial revolution guided by how Earth systems work, by cradle-to-cradle principles, and by other expressions of natural law stimulated by rising collective consciousness. In lectures, labs, group projects, field trips, and individual presentations, we explore a variety of materials (crystals & rocks, glass & ceramics, metals & alloys, concrete & composites, etc.), how and where raw materials are concentrated by Earth systems, the history of their use by humans, global systems of extraction, processing, trade, and recycling, and especially the creative forefront of reinventing — the emergence of sustainable solutions driving the green revolution.  (4 credits)

SL-G353 Sustainable Water Resource Management

Water and Sustainability; Problems and Solutions to Water Quality and Scarcity Worldwide
Fresh water resources play a key role in any sustainable community and are pivotal to the success of long term sustainable development. In this course students will learn about the problems plaguing water resources worldwide and will acquire the skills to implement appropriate solutions. Students will learn how to put together integrated water management plans including analytic tools to assess water supplies and demands, analyze water qualities, and implement sustainable water management practices. These practices include water conservation, pollution protection, and the use of alternatives to fresh water resources such as rainwater harvesting and wastewater reclamation. The course will also look into the local and global socioeconomic aspects associated with the world’s water resources.  (4 credits)

SL-G370 Environmental Law

Connecting National Law with Natural Law to Protect the Environment from Global Warming, Pollution, and Resource Depletion while Creating Abundance for All Nations
From local regulations about water quality to global initiatives like the Kyoto Accord, the law is an important tool for regulating our use of the environment. During this course, students will become familiar with international treaties and protocols on global warming, pollution, and endangered species. The class will also study the key features of American environmental law including the Clean Air and Water Act, the Environmental Protection Act, and other current policies and regulations. Perhaps most importantly, students will understand the lawmaking process as a way to use the legal system to bring about positive change and build sustainable communities. (4 credits)

SL-G399 Directed Study

(variable credits) Prerequisite: consent of the department faculty

SL-G400 Sustainable Living Project Prep

Planning Your Personal Contribution to Life in Accord with Natural Law
This course is devoted to preparing students for the Senior Sustainable Living Project (SL—G401). Students will meet with faculty to research, discuss, and plan the project to ensure that it will unfold as smoothly as possible. (4 credits) Prerequisite: Good academic standing and consent of instructor

SL-A401 Planning a Sustainable Family Farm

This course provides an opportunity for students to create a business plan for a small farm or farming-related business. Students will learn the planning process from exploring their values and goals to creating a vision and mission, and on to planning strategies for the financial, human resources, marketing and production aspects of their farm/business. Topics will include annual and perennial crops, value-added enterprises, income/cash flow, risk analysis and contingency planning. We will also examine the SPIN business models for small farms. The class will include field trips to local farms and food-related businesses. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL-G101, SL-A201

SL-F401 Philosophies of Sustainability

Locating the Deepest Levels of Natural Law in the Foundations of Sustainable Thinking
This course will break down the meta-concept of sustainability into its constituent parts: its social, environmental, and economic aspects, as well as how the concepts of democracy, technology, and spirituality relate to sustainability. This course will start out with an overview of the sustainability movement as presented in the Sustainability Revolution by Andres Edwards. Supplemental readings will address aspects of the philosophies of sustainability left out by Edwards’ summary, including anthropocentrism, capitalism, and others. Through films, reading assignments, lectures, and discussions, students will formulate their own definition of sustainability to make the abstract concept of sustainability practical to their everyday lives. (4 credits) Prerequisite: SL—G202

SL-G401 Senior Sustainable Living Project

Applying Natural Law-Based Knowledge to Real-World Enterprises to Test Principles of Sustainable Technologies
In this final course you will apply what you have learned to a special senior capstone project. Under the guidance of faculty, you will design and implement some aspect of a sustainable community, using opportunities in the city of Fairfield, Maharishi Vedic City, Abundance Ecovillage (just north of Fairfield), or the Maharishi University of Management campus itself. The project may be an individual effort, or you may work together in small teams to produce a fitting tribute to the concept of Sustainable Living, one that will prepare you to take on real projects wherever you may choose to work. (4 credits) (Can be repeated multiple blocks for credit) Prerequisite: SL-G101

SL-G402 Green Leadership Adventure

This action-packed course will explore group dynamics and leadership in the context of adventure sports while providing visits to world-famous projects and institutions known for sustainable design. (6 credits)

SL-G403 Internship in Teaching Sustainability

Assisting with the Instruction of Selected Courses in the Sustainable Living Program
This course is designed to allow advanced undergraduate students of good academic standing the opportunity to assist an instructor in teaching a course in sustainability. It is especially recommended for those students who plan to go into a teaching career or who expect to help finance graduate work through teaching assistantships. In most cases it will involve helping the instructor with course planning and preparation, small discussion groups, homework and quiz grading. Some lecture and lab preparation and presentation may also be included as a teaching experience. (4 credits)

SL-G410 Sustainable Living Certification

Acquiring Training for Environmental Consulting and Certification of Natural Law-Based Operations and Buildings
As the demand increases for Natural Law-based technologies in the production of food, buildings, and other consumer goods, so does the demand for verification that acceptable environmental and health standards have been met during their production. That demand, in turn, calls for inspectors and consultants trained to critically examine these goods and services. This course offers the opportunity to acquire certification training in areas such organic inspection, and Building (Bau) Biology. It can also include training in software competency such as Chief Architect. All of these certifications and competencies significantly enhance the student’s credentials and employability in the field of sustainability. Prerequisite: consent of the instructor (4 credits)

SL-P404 How to Create Social Change

We have the solutions to create a sustainable future, but it isn’t happening nearly fast enough. This course studies what works to achieve big social change to make a sustainable future happen. This is a ‘brains-on,’ practical course. The class will meet with and interview an exciting range of highly successful change-makers in industry, campaign groups, and government. Some theory of social change will also be reviewed. Working as a team, students will develop their own understanding of social change and create a definitive report on the topic. We will also look at the many opportunities for graduates to build meaningful careers in this field.  (4 credits)

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