For a graduate interested in environmental concerns, it doesn’t get much better than the TELI-G workshop.
Originally designed as a week-long conference for educators, the 2014 TELI-G seminar was a condensed format that ran from January 17th-19. Held in the Chase Center, it also had the unique distinction of being designed for graduates, allowing Boston students to partake in the Tufts Institute of the Environment’s (TIE) prestigious event.
As a student personally interested in Water issues, I was fortunate enough to be chosen in the handful of participants for the year. True to TIE’s advocation of inter-disciplinary study, the students were from a large assortment of academic backgrounds: The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts Engineering School, Tufts Medicine, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy were a selection of the schools represented amongst the students.
Led by the charismatic and enthusiastic director of TIE, Antje Danielson, as well as staff from the TIE office, students were exposed to a variety of issues and methods for
considering complex water issues in our Environment. Friday was composed of a day long introduction to Water considerations, led by Tufts academics highly versed in the problem. Saturday culminated in a day long negotiation simulation on water crisis, with students participating in a multilateral exercise to understand the complexity of such a dilemma. Sunday involved discussions, information sessions, and opportunities for students to create feasible water projects with the opportunity to be funded by a TIE grant.
I was personally impressed by both the breadth and utility of the information provided. Students were able to gain useful skill sets to apply to their studies. Over the course of three days, I learned about Systems Thinking, Systems Mapping, and Social Network Analysis, all under the umbrella of environmental water concerns but capable of being adapted to any field of study. We were even instructed on utilizing online technology for finding research by one of Tufts’ highly skilled librarians.
Overall, by the end of one weekend, I found myself resolved to studying the issue further. I came out of TELI-G not only with the ability to speak credibly on the complexity of water issues, but also with developed skills useful for any range of academia. Most importantly, I was educated on a complex issue and taught to look at the concept from multiple perspectives in order to create an effective solution.
Communications Intern, Tufts Office of Sustainability
Graduate Student, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy