In 2012, eight groups of environmental studies seniors (and one geography major) -- 33 students in all -- designed and executed their own community projects, focused on Sunbury, PA.

The goal of the course is to provide useful services to a nearby community to help students understand 1) that environmental sustainability needs to be embedded in actual communities with existing strengths and assets, 2) that solutions to environmental issues rely on collaborative efforts, 3) that sustainability is a multifaceted issue.

We are indebted to the excellent encouragement and support that the projects got from the people of Sunbury and the city government -- especially Mayor David Persing, Kristin McLaughlin, Terry Sprecht, and Jim Eister.

Weatherization Demonstration Project

For our senior project we decided we wanted to invite Sunbury residents to consider how to implement easy, cost effective, do-it-yourself strategies for creating a more energy efficient household. To do this, we organized a series of videos which take us through a home in Sunbury Pennsylvania. Each video focuses on a room in the home and has four steps. First, we document a walk through and professional audit, next our group's assessment of the cost and benefits, third us purchasing supplies, and last, us implementing the improvements.

Environmental Education Guide

Over the course of this semester our group worked to create an Environmental Education Guidebook specific to the Lower Susquehanna Valley Region. Our goal in creating this guidebook was to help teachers connect broad, abstract environmental issues with specific local examples. We felt that this was an important project because from our experiences and research, the high school environmental science curriculum does not always localize the environmental problem it is discussing.

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