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"Ich Dien" is the motto of the Prince of Wales, heir to the English throne meaning "I serve."

Service Learning when embedded in academic inquiry builds depth of experience to shape character, extend the sociological imagination, and inform the mind.

course credit | definition | duties

The idea expressed so succinctly is that we are born to assist one another. In college this means we bring our disciplinary curiosity to bear on understanding social, economic, political and ecological problems. Since we as persons participate in the community we as members owe our neighbors some form assistance, but a form of educated perspective. Our engagement in service is a personal choice to live well together because we are committed to sharing our knowledge and our skills.

People as consumers, tax payers, wage earners, or ecological "cogs," are more than passive observers in the community. They participate in a world that can inform our learning as we can also gain perspective from their experiences in the context of our academic inquiries.

We are members of a society dependent on actively engaged and properly informed citizens. Thus each of you are also creative actors with ability to contribute your research findings, time, and talent to improve our living and working conditions. Like a choir, each voice strengthens the tone, resonance, and fullness of the groups expression, so society as a coherently informed body is healthier for an educated involvement of its members to understand institutions and adaptive strategies people need to thrive.

To exercise our capacity for learning, growth, and discovery, the ideal of serving others means that you actively engage with people in the community for mutual benefit of one another and your academic depth. You gain by exercising judgment and practicing skills. The community service provider is able to get a task done well by enlisting your time and talents.

Service through community engagement with one of several non-governmental organizations can be pursued in this course for credit. This is to further your opportunity to practice your skills and to enhance your value as an alert member of society who volunteers to work cooperatively with others to promote a larger goal.

Responsibilities and opportunities:
What is it you are to do?

At least two of my intentions for the course are met by Community Engagement or the infusion of service learning opportunities into the course work:

1. Compare and contrast writing from books with community service experience where service providers use a variety of writing media to convey scientific information.

2. Select a community service provider and examine its performance with respect to informing the public about science based matters of community concern and reflecting your readings, experiences and class discussions.

Themes that are central to this class
pertinent readings:
Harold Ward, Acting Locally.
Garrett Hardin, Filters Against Folly.
Murray Bookchin, Toward An Ecological Society.
C. A. Bowers, The Culture of Denial.
Bill McKibben, The Death of Nature.
Lee, Kai N., Compass and Gyroscope.
Sim Van der Ryn & Stuart Cowan, Ecological Design.

Community Engagement as a way of knowing science and society.

Service learning option a ten week commitment to texts, meetings, evaluation of your performance, and documented academically insightful work with a service provider.


You spend two or more hours per week volunteering is a minimum commitment (20-35 hours outside of class) return to the top of the page.

Select community service provider by the third week.
Person to report to, name of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), location:

* A. Dr. Peter Pritchard, founder & director, Chelonian
, Oviedo, Fl.

* B. Mr. Patrick Rose, Executive Director, Save the Manatee Club, Maitland, Fl.

* C. Ms. Holly Vanture, Fern Creek Elementary, School, Orlando, Fl.
, Check with Annie Howe in Chase Hall for training sessions.

In stages you write up three short assignments:

  1. One, an assessment of the science content of the service providers message,
  2. Two, make recommendations to students for internships with the service provider that meets both the provider's and the students' learning needs more effectively.
  3. Three, assess the effectiveness of the message on the NGOs audience.

You may work in a team in assessing the Community organization, but work out your own hours with the NGO director.

Work with a faculty member in consultation with the NGO to optimize your reporting, work and assessment of the NGOs effectiveness.

This work will form the basis of your written final exam -- oral and written handout-- presentation to the class.

The presentation is about the Community Service provider, its history, purpose, goals, its ongoing work, needs and opportunities students have in working there.

The written presented material is about and shared with the Community Service provider for you to get credit.

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