Course Syllabus Spring 2008   

Hon 451      Ecological Economics and the Local Community

Office hours: (the following hours are open on a first come first serve basis.  No appointment is necessary.  Contact me to make an appointment to meet at a time not listed)
MF 12-1 ,   W 12-3                       or by appointment        

Dr. Tom Andrews
313 Anderson Hall
West Chester PA 19383
610-436-1082  office
610-436-2592 fax
E-mail :

Reading (Required):

1.      The Omnivore’s Dilemma , by Michael Pollan

2.      Deep Economy, by Bill McKibben

3.      Ecological Economics:  A workbook for problem based learning


Objective:  The Honors College at West Chester University achieves its theme of leadership development through service by providing an exciting environment for academically gifted and highly motivated students to interact in a learning community of peers, faculty, administrators, and staff that will challenge and enrich the students' college experience.  Grounded in the liberal arts tradition, the Honors College seeks cross-disciplinary connections to develop students' natural intellectual abilities and challenge them to employ those gifts on behalf of the larger community.  At West Chester University, honors is more than a matter of strong grades. Honors implies a decision to use the gift of knowledge to be an active problem solver in both the campus community and in the world.  The objective of this course is to fulfill the broader objective of the honors program by creating a setting where students can use the principles of ecological economics to assist the West Chester Borough BLUER committee.


Course Requirements:




Undergraduate students participating in University-sanctioned events such as, but not limited to, the Marching Band, musical ensembles, theatre group, athletic events, forensics competition, etc., will be granted an excused absence(s) by the respective faculty members for class periods missed. Students will be granted the privilege of taking, at an alternative time to be determined by the professor, scheduled examinations or quizzes that will be missed. The professor will designate such times prior to the event. Professors can provide a fair alternative to taking the examination or quiz that will be missed. Students must submit original documentation on University letterhead signed by the activity director, coach, or adviser detailing the specifics of the event in advance. Specific requirements include:

1. Responsibility for meeting academic requirements rests with the student.

2. Students are expected to notify their professors as soon as they know they will be missing class due to a University-sanctioned event.


Miscellaneous: Office hours are open to all students, for discussion of any topic. No appointment is necessary. If you're not clear on something, or not sure if you're not sure - COME SEE ME!  

Class Cancellation Policy: If the university is not officially closed, assume your class will meet unless there is a notice on departmental stationary, signed by the chairperson, posted on the classroom door. If there is any doubt, check with the department secretary on the third floor.

Accommodations: We at West Chester University wish to make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Please make your needs known by contacting me and/or the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at ext. 3217. Sufficient notice is needed in order to make the accommodations possible. The University desires to comply with the ADA of 1990.

Nondiscrimination/Affirmative Action Policy: West Chester University is committed to providing leadership in extending equal opportunities to all individuals. Accordingly, the University will continue to make every effort to provide these rights to all persons regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status. This policy applies to all members of the University community, including students, staff, and administrators. It also applies to all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in University-sponsored activities.  Any individual having suggestions, problems, complaints or grievances with regard to equal opportunity or affirmative action is encouraged to contact the Director of Social Equity.


Course Title: Hon451

Instructor  Tom Andrews

Spring 2008


I, _____________________________ (print your name) , have read the syllabus and fully understand the academic dishonesty policy as described herein and by the University.  As defined in the 2007 Undergraduate Catalog of West Chester University, academic dishonesty includes the following: plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, academic misconduct, facilitating academic dishonesty, and breach of standards of professional ethics.


The University defines plagiarism as follows: “Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as one’s own work.  When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well… Plagiarism covers unpublished as well as published sources.” (West Chester University Undergraduate Catalog, 2007)


I understand that the penalty for engaging in academic dishonesty and/or plagiarism may be expulsion from the business program and/or University. I further understand that it is my responsibility to make sure I understand how to correctly document the words and ideas of others.   Ignorance is not a legitimate defense for plagiarism.


It is our belief that honesty is the foundation of moral and ethical behavior.  Individuals who lead an honest life enhance the lives of themselves, their families, and their neighbors.  By maintaining one’s integrity, one gains the respect of others which is its own reward. 



                                                            Print your name




                                                            Signature, date




Borough Leaders United for Emissions Reduction (BLUER)



Meeting the first Friday of the month, 1:00 - 3:00, Room #234

What is the BLUER Committee?
The West Chester BLUER committee is an ad-hoc group, formed by West Chester Borough Council. BLUER stands for Business Leaders United for Emission Reduction. The Committee is an advisory, informational group with no authority or power. It will assist the Borough, its residents and businesses in exploring ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Who sits on this committee?
The committee is comprised of a cross section of our community. The committee includes representatives from businesses, residents, the West Chester University and Chester County. Borough Council appoints representatives to the committee.

What is their goal and mission?
West Chester BLUER will work to secure a safer and more sustainable energy future by reducing community-wide CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions at least 10% by 2010.


  • The BLUER Committee will follow the 5-milestone framework of the ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability Climate Protection Program, which includes a baseline emissions inventory/forecast, an emissions reduction target, a climate action plan, emissions reduction initiatives and progress monitoring.
  • The Committee will create a metric for achieving its 10% emissions reduction goal in order to provide a realistic framework for progress in the various sectors of our community, each which has different needs and capabilities (e.g., business/commercial/industrial, nonprofit/religious institutions, municipal government operations, County government operations, and residences).
  • The Committee will reach out to the West Chester community in an effort to engage the entire Borough in this partnership.
  • Specifically, we will offer incentives to the business/commercial/industrial sector, recruit the participation of the Borough's religious/nonprofit institutions, work in support of our municipal and County government operations to achieve greenhouse gas reductions as cost-effectively as possible, and enable residents to take personal steps to reduce their own greenhouse gas pollution.
  • The Committee will, through a public education campaign, raise energy conservation and waste reduction to the same level of public consciousness and enforcement as litter control.
  • The Committee will, through all of these efforts, seek to make West Chester a model "energy smart" community that practices energy conservation and waste reduction and relies substantially on cleaner, renewable energy sources for its remaining energy needs.

What will be the end product?
The BLUER Committee has been charged with preparing a report to the Borough Council on energy consumption and gas emissions. The report will offer ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the Borough in order to meet our mission. The energy and emissions audit will be prepared using a model designed by ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection program. Borough Council will take the recommendations outlined in the report under advisement.

What can I do?
Over the course of preparing the report, the BLUER Committee will provide you information on what you can do as a resident, business owner or homeowner to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To the right are links to websites that detail simple things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint. Please explore the websites, and check back here often for updates.



Questions to Hon451 from BLUER (in no particular order):



 *1. Compile and analyze local government initiatives to reduce ghg emissions by a certain year.  Have any matured and how successful have they been?


 2. Have any local governments created or selected a model home to show off energy efficiency measures and their performance?  If yes did the local government create a case study of this home that can be provided to BLUER.


 *3-Target our own model rental home. Perform an energy audit and recommend improvements along with demonstration of payback period and benefits to the landlord and student tenants.


4-Determine how can West Chester can increase recycling in the Borough. Help establish a new recycling goal and put an action plan together for getting it done, with emphasis on answering the challenges businesses and municipality currently face.


5-How can West Chester begin to reduce our subservience to the automobile? Include an assessment of public transportation options, pedestrian friendliness, care share, bike share, needed local services within walking distance, and development planning in the context of ongoing borough development.

6-Determine how we can make West Chester a bicycle-friendly community, including an assessment of what went wrong with the University's prior bike share program.


7-How can we make SEPTA GHG-effective? Is public transportation an important part of the answer?


*8-How can alternative energy fit into our Borough? What type of alternative energy will work and where/how? Do we have potential for on-site generation?


*indicates some support as a priority.