Take a SERC Facilitated DeCal

2020-2021 DeCals:

Energy and Sustainability
1 unit, Wednesdays 5-6pm
As we continue to deplete our resources (and pollute our air and water in the process), the challenge to satisfy our energy needs continues to mount. How will our generation respond? The Energy and Sustainability DeCal aims to provide students with the tools to analyze alternative paths to a sustainable future as well as a broad range of perspectives in the energy field. This course covers topics including sustainability on Cal’s campus, energy generation and distribution, carbon sequestration, residential energy usage, sustainable agriculture, and more! This course also focuses on career-building, inviting guest speakers from SunPower, Genentech, the California Public Utilities Commission, Carbon180, NuScale Power, Brown Girl Green, and more! Furthermore, this course incorporates environmental justice in each lesson, with regular discussions about energy accessibility and a just transition to clean energy.
Renewable Energy and Environmental Justice
1 unit, Thursdays 5-6pm
We all know energy is vital to today’s society, but burning fossil fuels to meet our demand is driving global warming. The new RE & EJ DeCal addresses the need for fair and clean energy in society as a way to combat injustice and climate change. The class will explore renewable energy, environmental justice, and their connection in the fight against the climate crisis through facilitator presentations, class discussions, and guest speakers.
Intro to Composting & Vermiculture
The course will focus on providing an introduction into the benefits of composting, while taking a look at how vermicomposting differs by visiting the worm bin at the Clark Kerr Gardens. Topics covered by this course include the history and science of composting, worm anatomy, the harm caused by artificial fertilizers, and how to create your own worm bin at home. 
Save the Bees: Principles of Pollinator Conservation Through Environmental Activism
2 units, Tuesdays 4-6pm
Students will learn about the value and diversity of the group of organisms under the title pollinators. Through reading, discussion, and hands-on experience connecting with nature, students will gain a better perspective of this truly remarkable group of organisms and the ways we can help alleviate the number of threats facing them from human society. In this course, we incorporate presentations from the DeCal facilitators, an outdoor field component, and guest lectures from related departments at UC Berkeley to introduce the class to various resources relating to environmental health, stewardship, and entomology. 

The DeCal Program

The DeCal Program is an aggregate of student-facilitated for-credit academic courses at UC Berkeley. Students create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects, many of which are not addressed in the traditional curriculum. Every DeCal is sponsored by a faculty member and grades are only offered as Pass / No Pass, with the academic credit for each class typically ranging from 0.5-2 units.

SERC student staff teach a variety of 1 and 2-unit environmental and sustainability-related DeCals during fall and spring semesters.

  • If you facilitate an environmental DeCal, apply for our SERC DeCal Fellowship.
  • If you facilitate a non-environmental DeCal but would like to incorporate sustainability and environmentalism in your DeCal, apply for our Greener DeCal Fund.

Looking to take an environmental and/or sustainability-related course? Check out this list of environmental and sustainability-related courses at UC Berkeley as provided by the Office of Sustainability and Energy or this list of Sustainability Courses and Reviews created by the ASUC Office of Sylvia Targ in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Archive of previous DeCal: Communicating Sustainability