April 20, 2009
Source: Piedmont 2007

Brommer, Chad
Biology Department


Project Summary

I am part of the instructional faculty of the Biology department in Emory College. Throughout the 9 months prior to participating in the Piedmont Project, I have had the great experience of working with the Emory University Office of Sustainability. Through these interactions, my approach to sustainability as been closely tied to how the University and local community approach sustainable issues. The Piedmont Project was a wonderful way for me to refocus and reassess the different issues of sustainability in greater Atlanta, Georgia, and even the world. Piedmont has a unique way of coaxing out the tidbits of insight, experience, and knowledge of its participants.
This is, perhaps, the goal of most workshops or in-service training events. The difference is rooted in the way that Piedmont coaxes these outcomes; by actions and not just by proximity. This is to say that walking in the woods, talking with your fellow participants about specific topics related to your life, and spending the whole day eating, listening, and getting to know everyone forms a wonderful bond. The bond lets us speak without thinking and experience without hesitation. Ideas and motivation develop from this free environment. This is a goal and direct outcome of the Piedmont Project. We, as members of the academic community gather to learn, share, develop, challenge, and ultimately create something new for our students, perhaps for the entire Emory University Community through our new courses and educational modules.

My course is unique to most other courses present at the Piedmont Project; it is entitled “The Biology of Sustainability”. A direct application of the principles and practices of sustainable development using science and biology as a way to explain and describe what is and is not taking place in our local ecosystem.
This course contains a lecture and a laboratory portion. Classroom exercises will focus on the background science needed to function in the laboratory section. The lecture portion seeks to reinforce the topics of: Basic ecology, population biology, chemistry, toxicology, meteorology, atmospheric science, water-soil science, plants, insects, animals, microbes, and communication of these diverse ideas to fellow scientists and the lay-population. The laboratory section will focus on sustainable situations around Dekalb County, GA with the students working in the “field” to assess the level of sustainable or non-sustainable practices.

Course Syllabus attached.

Download: Brommer_2007.pdf (101.5 KB)

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