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Summer 2010 Fellowship Opportunity: Waseda Global Seminar on Sustainability

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

During summer 2010, faculty and students from nine prominent Asian and American universities will conduct a join research seminar on "Sustainability." The Seminar will begin “on line” during June and July, then continue for three intensive weeks of work “on site” in Tokyo.   The two parts of the Seminar form an integrated program that may not be taken separately.   The “on site” portion is scheduled from August 2 to August 20 on the campus of Waseda University.

Requirements: Students must be currently matriculated as undergraduates in one of the participating universities.  They may be enrolled in any discipline of study.   They need not have environmental studies as their concentration or major, but should have an interest in issues of “sustainability.”  They must have completed at least one year of university work and have a facility in the English language sufficient to participate in a research seminar.

Faculty: The course will be led by faculty from four of the participating universities:  Chou Loke Ming (marine biology), National University of Singapore; James Engell (English literature), Harvard University; Kevin Griffin (terrestrial biology), Columbia University, and Zhang Shiqiu (environmental economics), Peking University.  They will be assisted by several students who participated in a similar Seminar last summer.

Curriculum: The Seminar will be formed “online” in late spring and proceed in two integrated phases.  During June and July students will complete several modules of an interdisciplinary course on “biodiversity” prepared and led by the program’s faculty.  Each module will contain lectures, readings, videos, and related materials and require interactive participation with faculty and other students as well as the completion of various individual and joint assignments.   At the beginning of August the Seminar will gather in Tokyo for three weeks of intensive research together.  Part of the work will be conducted in small cohorts led by program faculty and focused on “case studies” of biodiversity.  Oral and written reports will be prepared, and a joint report by each cohort will conclude its work.   The Seminar will be “built” online as it proceeds.

Credits: Successful completion of the coursework will earn four semester hours of credit awarded by Waseda University, two for the online preparatory course and two for the onsite seminar. Transfer of credit will be made at the discretion of the student’s home university.

Program Evaluation: The seminar will be a “pilot program” of an ongoing effort by the participating universities to form a “Global Honors College” focused on issues of enduring and emerging global concern.   Faculty and students will be asked at the end of the course to evaluate the program and offer suggestions for its improvement.

Costs: Tuition costs will be borne in full by Waseda University.  Students will be accommodated free of charge during the program at one of Waseda University’s dormitories.   Thus students will be responsible only for the following expenses:

  1. Round-trip airfare to and from Japan (Narita Airport)
  2. Local transportation in their home country (round-trip between home and nearest international airport).
  3. Local transportation in Japan between Narita Airport and Waseda University
  4. Meals and other living expenses during the program.

To apply for the program, send a cover letter, CV and academic transcripts by Wednesday, April 14th to:

Natalie Unwin-Kuruneri at natalie@ei.columbia.edu

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