Sterling College offers grant-funded EcoGather online courses to the public


Sterling College offers grant-funded EcoGather online courses to the public

Food Systems Thinking and Climate + Change are self-paced online courses.

CRAFTSBURY COMMON, VT – May 31, 2022 – As the world grapples with widespread and varied eco-social emergencies, Sterling College invites learners of all ages and backgrounds to participate in EcoGather, their dedicated collaborative learning network to the vitality of ecosystems, communities, and economies.

EcoGather is a grant-funded program that aims to build a global educational community to help people and their communities become more resilient in the face of the climate crisis. Tuition for EcoGather college-level courses is funded primarily by donors and students are asked to make a modest financial commitment which is typically less than 10% of the course value. Two fundamental courses designed to improve our individual and collective resilience are now open for registration, without prerequisites:

In Food Systems Thinking, students will explore the ways in which we plan, produce, process, trade, share, and waste or value food by using a systems thinking framework to analyze the patterns and relationships that govern the landscape of food systems. Students will be equipped to critically engage with their own assumptions, ethics, and ways of seeing, and contribute what they know to global and local efforts to build better, more enjoyable, and more humane food systems.

“Food systems thinking is ideal for lifelong learners who seek essential knowledge about the food system but may not have the ability to pursue traditional higher education,” says Mackenzie Faber, who facilitates the course at Sterling. “For those seeking equitable transformation, for those seeking human connection and community through food, Food Systems Thinking provides a comprehensive foundation.”

The self-paced online course consists of 26 lessons divided into 5 separate modules and the tuition fee for the entire course is $299.

Climate + Change aims to shed light on the dark cloud in our minds, known as climate meltdown, by equipping learners with the scientific knowledge, emotional clarity and practical know-how to contribute to timely, transformative systemic change in all aspects of the society. Today’s climate and ecological emergencies can no longer be ignored, and students will understand what psychological barriers to action they may have used to deal with the feelings that the climate emergency elicits, and how to process and overcome them. Learners will acquire the knowledge and skills to understand the science of climate change and move forward together towards solutions to combat our greatest existential threat.

Climate + Change is led by Dr. Heather Short, who holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences and has been teaching college and university students for 25 years. In 2021, she resigned from a tenured teaching position in Canada to focus on educating adults about the urgency of the current climate and ecological emergencies. The self-paced online course consists of 14 modules and tuition is offered on a sliding scale from $49 to $199.

Both courses use a variety of modalities to facilitate student learning, including recorded and location-based lectures, readings, journals, interviews, and discussions. Program details and registration information are available at


About EcoGather:
Sterling College’s EcoGather is a collaborative learning network dedicated to the vitality of ecosystems, communities and economies. It brings distance learning to life by grounding its offerings in community-centered design, place-based pedagogy, and experiential application. For more information visit:

Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College advances ecological thought and action through affordable experiential learning, preparing capable, competent, and responsible leaders to meet the ecological crises caused by rapid growth and unlimited consumption that threaten the future of the planet. Sterling College is home to the School of the New American Farmstead, the Wendell Berry Farming Program, and EcoGather; is accredited by the Higher Education Commission of New England; and is one of nine colleges and universities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a “Work College”. Sterling acknowledges that the land on which it gathers is the traditional, unceded territory of the Abenaki people at its Vermont campus, and of the Shawnee, Osage, and Eastern Band of Cherokee at its Kentucky campus. For more information visit:

Fortune Nakasi
Director of Continuing Education Services
Sterling College
802-586-7711 x147
[email protected]

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