See below for a list of supporting faculty members within the Politics Department.

Stephen Woolpert  |  Interests  |  Scholarship  |  Service  


  • Education for a Sustainable Future

    How will today's students learn to see the environmental problems of the poor as their responsibility? The campus itself is serving as a model of sustainability, with curriculum and operations reflecting an integrative approach to learning and practice. By actively studying the environmental impact of their own campuses, students are being educated for a sustainable future. They are also fulfilling the public purpose of liberal education by increasing their capacity for responsible membership in the communities in which they will live, learn, and work.

    Campus environmental audits teach students to "think ecologically". Ecological thinking is a set of integrative skills that reach across the boundaries of academic disciplines. It is a habit of mind which recognizes that individuals are members of larger social and biotic communities, and therefore leads students to consider social and environmental problems to be at least partly their own.

    Campus eco-audits support  learning outcomes related to two dimensions of ecological thinking:

    1) Systems thinking - the consideration of an issue, a topic, or a problem in its larger context. This holistic way of knowing views decisions, creative acts, and learning as transactions that connect us with the larger context of life.

    2) Biophilia - E. O. Wilson's term for human's affinity for the natural world. Biophilia thrives on local knowledge of, and direct relationships to, the places where people live and work.

    Each of these dimensions is nurtured by "pedagogies of place", learning activities that treat the campus' landscape and operational practices as subjects of inquiry.


  • Ecological Thinking

    "Ecological thinking" means thinking about how things fit together, about patterns and interrelationships, and about our solidarity with the living world. I distinguish two complementary dimensions of ecological thinking, one logocentric and one mythocentric. The former is expressed through systems thinking generally and ecological science in particular, the latter through biophilia, i.e., an affinity for the natural world as a source of wonder, awe, and reverence.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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