After an earthquake devastated the city of Port-au-Prince in January 2010, a group from F&ES decided that sending a few dollars to Red Cross and then getting back to normal life wasn't enough. Within a year, the school added a new course that allowed students to explore how Haiti responded to the devastation of the quake and other chronic environmental problems.
Now, Professor Gordon Geballe is preparing to teach Sustainable Development in Post-Disaster Context: Haiti (FES 899B) for a fourth time. And yet again, 15 students will spend spend their Spring Break in Haiti, where they will provide consultation on a variety of issues, including sustainable development, preventive health care, and agroforestry.
In an interview with The MacMillan Report, Geballe, associate dean of alumni & external affairs and lecturer in urban ecology at F&ES, discusses the goals of the class and the ways they measure "success." "If we come back either next year or the year after and something that we talked about is something that people are doing in the field, then I will feel that we gave an idea that someone thought was useful and the local people are appropriating," he said.