Spring 2020

Climate Change and Social Justice in Puerto Rico

Listed in: Environmental Studies, as ENST-371  |  Spanish, as SPAN-371


Ashwin J. Ravikumar (Section 01)
Paul A. Schroeder Rodriguez (Section 01)


(Offered as SPAN 371 and ENST 371) In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and laid bare the social inequalities that had been growing since the Great Recession of 2008 and before. But the Hurricane has also accelerated efforts to seek alternative sources of food and fuel and avoid a repeat of the post-hurricane shortages linked to an overdependence on food imports and a crumbling energy grid. Students in this course will analyze and evaluate how three such efforts have fared: one small grassroots organization, one large not-for-profit organization, and one government agency. The findings may have far-reaching implications beyond Puerto Rico, as centralized power grids throughout the world enter the end of their useful life, begging replacement with new innovative systems that do not contribute to climate change. Accepted students must commit to travel to Puerto Rico during the second and third weeks of January 2020, to acquaint themselves with the organizations we will be studying in depth during the Spring 2020 semester. At the end of the semester, students will share their findings with a diverse audience of stakeholders and interested parties. Course readings and discussions will be in Spanish and in English.

Limited to 12 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring Semester. Professors Schroeder Rodríguez and Ravikumar.

If Overenrolled: Students will submit applications addressing their proficiency in Spanish and commitment to participate in orientation and travel from January 9-24, 2020.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Community Based Learning, Languages Other Than English, Quantitative Reasoning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020