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Integrated Learning-Living Communities

BEES: Business Ethics and Environmental Sustainability

By Barbara John

Autumn may have sedated non-human bees, but UD’s BEES population flitted from activity to activity.  Our opening sally was a scavenger hunt in downtown Dayton, provided by UPDayton and the Downtown Dayton Partnership, a sweetener offered by former UD graduate A.J. Ferguson.  BEE alums—upper classmen—Monica Friedl, Myra Peterson, Marius Mutijima-Page, Gage Maresca, Marius  and Kevin O’Donnell joined in the two-hour sprint in downtown Dayton. 

Then the first-year cohort took advantage of an offer by the SBA’s new Dean, John MIttelstadt, enabled by the former head of MotoPhoto, to see the sequel to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth at the Neon, Dayton’s only downtown film venue.

A subsequent bike trip (using equipment provided by the Recplex) to Sunwatch provided an opportunity for the BEES to appreciate the transition in environmental stewardship that occurred both as various indigenous groups (Adena, Hopewell, Fort Ancient) succeeded one another until the last were displaced by settlers of European descent.  

A subsequent walk to the Patterson Homestead and a trek to Carillon Park revealed the extent of tension between the forces of nature (glaciers and floods) and the ingenuity of Dayton’s citizens, both in integrating the Dayton economy with the rest of the country via an extensive canal system and the unprecedented response in the aftermath of the Dayton flood of 1913:  the building of the five dams that anchor the Five Metroparks today.   

A class trip to the Aviation Heritage Park emphasized the challenges of transforming a technological innovations (in bicycles and planes) into profitable businesses.    

A final visit to Yellow Springs, hosted by the SEE ILLC,  enabled the more intrepid to see the vestiges of the glaciers in Glen Helen as well as the virtually self-sufficient straw-bale house constructed by Robert Brecha, the founding father of UD’s SEE program (Sustainable Energy and the Environment). 

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