IMPORTANT NOTE

The President’s Course class sessions are available only to current enrolled Middlebury and MIIS students. Live lectures / class sessions are for enrolled students only. Videos of the class lectures will be made available via this website 3-4 days after the scheduled class date. Click the Lecture Videos link above to view lecture videos from the class. The purpose of this Topics and Schedule page is to provide information about the course topics, sequence, and lecturers. 

PART 1 – WHAT IS WATER?

 February 13

Science: Water as planetary life-giver, where water came from, global hydrological cycle; water in a changing climate (SLR, freshwater scarcity, drought and flood cycles).

Lecturer: Peter Ryan, Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies, Middlebury College

February 20

Culture, religion, spirituality: Water as purifier, as (social) unifier, as sacred, water in religious traditions, Water in south Asia (Ganges), water and indigenous people, water in a Buddhist frame.

Lecturer: Laurie Patton, President of Middlebury

February 27

Literature: Aesthetic and symbolic values of water in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.

Lecturer: Dan Brayton, Associate Professor of English and American Literatures, Middlebury College

 

March 6

Economics: Water as a commons, as input for human welfare; global distribution of water use; industry distribution and key role of water in agriculture/food.

Lecturer: Lyuba Zarsky, Professor of International Environmental Policy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Bill Kampe, President, Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority

March 13

Politics: Water and Empire: the role of navigation (oceanic and riverine) in the creation of the British Raj and modern South Asia.

Lecturer: Ian Barrow, Professor of History, Middlebury College

April 3

Student presentations of water art project (videos of student presentations will not be shared via the web)

 
 
PART 2 – TOPICS

April 10

Oceans under threat: The science of ocean ecosystem health; economic implications (e.g. historical overfishing, deep seabed mining), coastal and high seas marine protected areas, coastal habitat loss.

Lecturers: 
Dan Brayton, Associate Professor of English and American Literatures, Middlebury College;

Jason Scorse, Chair, International Environmental Policy, and Director, Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

April  17

The challenge of marine pollution: The science, new approaches to global/regional governance and cooperation in tackling land-based sources of pollution, entrepreneurial approaches to finding substitutes for plastic.

Lecturers:
Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography, SEA Semester;

Patrick Cotter
, Adjunct Professor of International Environmental Policy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies;

Daniella Russo Dimitrova
, Founder and CEO, Think Beyond Plastic, and Adjunct Professor of International Environmental Policy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

April 24

Conflict or cooperation? Sharing transboundary waters – The ecology, spirituality and governance of rivers and river basins; integrated river basin management and its critiques; transboundary water conflict and cooperation.

Lecturer: Aaron Wolf, Professor of Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Marine Resource Management, Oregon State University 

 
 
 
  

May 1

Women, Men, Fishing and Coastlines—A micro-level look at the interface between humans and fish in the communities in Madagascar and the Yucatan.

Lecturers:
Mez Baker-Medard, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Middlebury College;

Kemi Fuentes-George
, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Middlebury College

May 8

The Future of Water: scarcity as business opportunity  – Escaping the scarcity dilemma, new ways of capturing, recycling and using water.

Lecturers: 
Jeff Langholz, Professor of International Environmental Policy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies;

Maeve du Toit, Co-founder and CEO, Water City

May 15

Student oral presentations of local water problem-solving case study (videos of student presentations will not be shared via the web)

 
 
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