President’s Seminar: WATER IN AN INSECURE WORLD: SYMBOL, RESOURCE, OR COMMODITY?
Water covers more than seventy percent of the earth’s surface and constitutes approximately the same percentage of the human body. No substance on earth is more important, and few are more abundant. Yet today water is increasingly degraded and scarce, stressing both ecosystems and human communities. In this, the first ever President’s Course at Middlebury and Midd-Monterey, we will explore water topics across multiple disciplines, from droughts caused by climate change to the role of sea routes in the creation of the British Empire to ocean acidification, groundwater toxicity, and pelagic plastics. We will also explore emerging solutions to water crisis, including transboundary river management and water entrepreneurship. Each week President Patton will convene a seminar on an aquatic topic with guest speakers, break-out conversations, and simulcast interaction with our peers at the College and the Institute. Students will produce a water-based art project, a collaborate on a local water case study, and engage in lively discussions with scholars and peers of diverse backgrounds.