Montreal’s Urban Sustainability Experience (MUSE) is a summer field semester based on the island of Montreal. MUSE focuses on exploring and establishing aspects of urban sustainability while emphasizing a healthy balance of theoretical and practical knowledge. By encouraging student-driven learning, MUSE creates a learning environment with a high level of engagement amongst students, professors, and the local community. MUSE students help create a hands-on, integrated, and interdisciplinary learning experience that transcends the boundaries of traditional undergraduate education.
The MUSE field semester facilitates student initiatives to create positive change within Montreal communities, changes that can be adapted and expanded in other communities. We use Montreal as a case-study of an urban environment striving to identify and implement pathways for sustainable living. Students will benefit from joining with community members and stakeholders to deepen their learning, and helping themselves and others to achieve sustainability goals.
The field semester is directly relevant to the MSE’s aim of “aiding society in making environmental choices, in the context of diverse environmental world views that will sustain healthy societies within a flourishing biosphere.” Opportunities for experiential learning in non-traditional settings are also a priority for McGill undergraduates.
The MUSE Symposium showcases student research and brings together scholars and practitioners interested in Montreal's ongoing urban transformations, its environmental history, and its future sustainability.
The schedule of events for the next symposium (May 2018) is to be announced.
MUSE Course Information
MUSE is open to all McGill undergraduate students from U2 on.
MUSE students must take the following courses concurrently:
Students will develop a strong understanding of the repercussions of human activity on the environment and how the environment affects our own activities but studying both the socio-cultural and natural history of Montreal as a case study. Each year, students will contribute to The Hochelaga Project by working to develop a historical reconstruction of Montreal; this is a collaborative and cumulative project to be completed over the course of many years. Students will explore different methods and approaches for reconstructing past environments and tracing environmental, cultural, and geographical changes. Presentation, critique and group organization skills will be developed as well as an understanding of the benefits of skill and knowledge sharing amongst fellow peers.
This course focuses on assessing Montreal as a sustainable city. Working as a team, students and professors will examine the city through readings, discussions, and field trips. Urban agriculture, transportation, green space and design, and waste management will be addressed as part of an assessment of how far Montreal has progressed towards its goal of becoming a sustainable city. Local experts will share their experiences working in this field, highlighting the ups and downs of initiating a sustainable urban project. With an emphasis on experience-based learning and applied learning opportunities, students will investigate and share their findings regarding sustainability in Montreal.
Interested in contributing to The Hochelaga Project, mapping the natural history of Montreal and seeking applied research and experience-based learning opportunities for the summer?
Join us in May for Montreal’s Urban Sustainability Experience.
MUSE 2018 will be accepting applications beginning in January 2018.
MUSE coordinator julia.freeman [at] mcgill.ca (Dr. Julia Freeman)