This class, already cut back to one unit every other semester for the last two years, has been cut fully for the 2011/2012 academic year – another consequence of budget cuts.  To learn more about it, see Why You Couldn’t Get Into a Class.  I’m not sure when Cabrillo will be able to bring this back as a regular course offering.

If you were curious about the class, and especially if you’d consider enrolling in an extension course like this (no units and more expensive, but no grades, less homework and more fun), please say so in a comment.  Thanks!


Monday 5/23 7pm – Forum (rm450), Aptos Campus
An interactive presentation by Noel Murphy, including segments of his new film The Last Dymaxion and discussing the meaning of a “sustainable mindset.” The Last Dymaxion is a comprehensive look at the core of Bucky’s Design Science. Noel Murphy, great grandson of General Motors Co-founder M.J. Murphy, will discuss the importance of not only leadership in transportation technology, but also thought itself as a technology required to accelerate the delivery of sustainable transportation solutions worldwide. He’ll also relate some of his experiences working with Norman Foster, Jay Baldwin and Allegra Fuller and Jay Leno while making the film. The Cabrillo Sustainability Council will also announce the student winners of the Cabrillo Carpooling poster design contest. To learn more, visit and

This Monday, April 25th, is the last meeting of this too-short class!  Be sure to arrive on-time at 6:00 sharp (don’t leave your teammates hangin’).

Most of the class time will be devoted to topic team presentations, plus some time to complete evaluations for yourself, your book group-mates, your topic team-mates, and the class overall (Thinking in Systems readers will especially appreciate the importance of such feedback in keeping the system healthy).

By the time class starts, you should have posted at least five items to your topic page (since class started).  You are also expected to have finished your book reading and post your second/final book homework before the start of class.  I am expected to get the grades finished a couple of days after the class ends, so there isn’t much time to get these in late – be sure to let me know if I should be expecting any late work from you (and yes, there are points off for late submissions).

One remaining extra credit opportunity for this class – come do a repeat of your topic presentation (all, part or something else – individually or as a team) in my Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities panel during the Social Justice Conference at Cabrillo on Saturday April 30th  8:30am to 3:30pm.  You will need to confirm your intention to do this – send me an email with your plan. Such presentations are also great additions to your resume/transfer application! The Social Justice Conference is an excellent (free) annual event; please consider attending even if you don’t want to present.

Thanks for all your efforts, and see you soon!

Hope everyone had a good Spring Break!  Tonight’s meeting will be some lecture, plenty of time to meet with your Topic Team, a group activity, and (hopefully) a little time to meet with your Book Group – so be sure to be caught up with your reading!

Don’t forget, next week is Earth Week at Cabrillo. See for information (under News & Events).  Extra credit is available to students who help out – contact me for details.

Then there’s just one more meeting on Apr 25th – mostly you’ll be giving your Topic Team presentations.  Wow, this class flies by…

See you tonight!

Our next class meeting (3/28) we will have a potluck.  Please bring a dish or beverage to share, plus your own reusable plate, utensils, cup and napkin.

We will also be doing our “Book Roundtable” this week.  Be sure to post your first book response by Saturday, 3/26 to get full credit.  Then have a look at your book page before class to see your group-mates’ responses and be prepared to talk about them.  You will have some time in class to discuss your book with your group, then your group will do an informal presentation.  This is your chance to share with the class what you think are the most important points from your reading and/or discussions and answer their questions.

Don’t forget the Bag the Bag event on March 21st.  See the Sustainability Council website for details.  Extra credit available for attending, helping out and/or posting your comments.  Also,  Earth Week at Cabrillo is coming up – April 18th -22nd!

Looking forward to seeing you all this Monday evening (3/14)!  I’ll try to do an abridged version of the lecture I had planned for our last meeting, plus get started on the lecture I planned for this week, plus give you some time to meet with your book groups and topic teams.  Remember, everyone should have completed the reading listed for their book this week, and posted two items to their topic blog page by the start of class.

Also wanted to let you know about the big event planned for next Monday (3/21) on campus.  The students of the Sustainability Council are hosting “Bag the Bag” including three screenings of the feature film Bag It, local speakers discussing plastic waste issues and proposed bag bans in our area, plus food, fundraisers, petitions and fun stuff from noon to 7pm.  See the Sustainability Council website for details.  Extra credit available for attending, helping out and/or posting your comments.

Welcome to the blog for Michelle Merrill’s Anthropology 19G class, Surviving the Future: The (Re)Emergence of Sustainable Cultures for Spring 2011. Please go to and create a login and password for yourself so you can more easily join the discussion (Anthr19G students only, please; no need to set up your own blog). Once you are logged on, please reply with a comment to this post as a way to introduce yourself to the class.

Note: don’t worry if your first post doesn’t appear right away – it is on hold until I get a chance to approve it. If you choose a login/user name that isn’t going to be easy for me to identify from the roll sheet, please add your name to your first post or send me an email so I can approve your comments and give you credit for your work.

To learn more about the class, don’t forget to look at the syllabus. We are meeting every other week this term, so in places where the instructions say “weekly,” you should interpret that as “before each class meeting.”  I am updating the topics to what we discussed in class on February 14th.  Our next class meeting is February 28th.  By then, you should have posted something in your topic, and completed the first assigned reading to discuss with your book group.  Email me if you need a reminder about what you signed up to do.

Also, there were a few students who were in class and wanted to add, but did not get an add code from me at the end of class (whoops).  Come by my office hours this week or email me and I can give you one (for this “late start” class, you can use an add code to add up until Feb. 25th).

Thanks, and see you on the 28th!


ANTHR 19G Surviving the Future: The (Re)Emergence of Sustainable Cultures
Examines tools and ideas for creating sustainable lifestyles, businesses, communities and cultures, and innovative sustainability solutions that are transforming the way the world works.

Section #69744; 1.00 unit; instructor: M.Merrill; rm432

Meets Mondays 6:00PM-8:35PM only on the following dates: 2/14, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28, 4/11, and 4/25

Students will be choosing a topic team and a book group during the first class meeting.  The books for this year are Cradle to CradleGaviotasOriginal InstructionsPlan B 4.0The Real Wealth of Nations and Thinking in Systems.

It’s Earth Week at Cabrillo, April 19-23!

Join us in celebrating our planet and our lovely campus home.
We are launching the ‘GreenSteps’ campaign to help make sure that Cabrillo is here for the benefit of our great great grandchildren.
Visit your friends from class and other engaged students at the Sustainability Council table in the main Quad.

Check out our new website!
Enter the “Guess Cabrillo’s Energy Bill” Contest to Win Great Prizes:

  • $50 EcoGoods Gift Certificates
  • $25 New Leaf Gift Certificate
  • $25 Whole Foods Gift Certificate
  • Organic Cotton EcoGoods Tote Bags
  • & Dozens More Prizes to be Raffled & Awarded on Earth Day!

Find out about the Earth Week events campus groups are holding this week.
Take the “GreenSteps’ Pledge & Enter Cabrillo Contests

Here’s a brief summary of what the Energy Academy is all about:

Who: Cabrillo College students at the start of their college careers or high school seniors who will be attending Cabrillo College in the Fall. Underrepresented students are encouraged to apply.

What: An intensive month-long laboratory experience involving the principles of electricity, sustainability, solar energy,  and a community service project.

Where: Cabrillo College, Aptos Campus

When: July 26th through August 20th, 4 hours a day — 8:30 a.m.-12:30p.m.

Selection criteria: Student commitment is very important.  We are seeking to interest students in a science or math major who are not already decided on that direction, but who are interested in the topic of sustainable energy.

Benefits: Fun projects, important current topics, students get to experience some of the satisfactions in a science-based career, enthusiastic and talented staff, transfer counselors available, each student selected for the program will receive a $1000 stipend.

Deadline: all applications must be postmarked or received by email or fax by May 24nd.


If you think that you (or a friend) can benefit from participating in this program, please contact Luis Sonsino. Applications are also available soon on the program website, which is <>