UCL Institute of the Americas


Dr Graham Woodgate awarded UCL Sustainability Education Award

16 August 2019

The Institute would like to congratulate Dr Graham Woodgate for being awarded a UCL Sustainability Education Award for his work integrating sustainability into the curriculum at UCL.

Graham Woodgate teaching

Graham Woodgate is Principle Teaching Fellow in Environmental Sociology and ‘sustainability’ is a key focus of his scholarship. He currently supervises four PhD students, all of whom are researching sustainability issues around access to and use of natural resources and teaches four modules that seek to bring issues of sustainability to the attention of students:

BASC0016: Environmental Sociology takes students on a journey through modern environmentalism and the ways sociologists have responded to societal concern over the environment. Students are required to engage in weekly, online discussions of environmental issues, produce a series of reflective blog posts and a social constructionist analysis of an environmental conflict. 

BASC0031: Ecosociologies: Theory, Analysis and Action requires students to work in small research teams, each selecting a current sustainability issue. Teams research ecological and social drivers and impacts, and produce a research poster that analyses the issue and identifies points for policy intervention. They also design a campaign poster to promote behaviour change to mitigate the issue. Each individual writes a final reflective essay on their research journey.

AMER0049: Political Ecologies of the Americas is a Level 5 module that is currently under development for delivery in T1, 2019-20. The module will expose students to case study materials which reflect the idea that environmental problems are not simply ecological; they are provoked by social, economic and political dynamics across multiple scales and, in turn, prompt socio-economic re-organisation and, often, political conflict. They also learn that the economic and ecological impacts of environmental problems are experienced quite differently by different interest groups.

AMER0002: Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean is a Level 7 module that explores 'sustainable development' as a highly contested notion, particularly within the Americas, where important post-development discourses, such a ‘buen vivir’, have arisen and gained currency through their incorporation within national constitutions and environmental legislation. Students work together in groups to develop professional seminar presentations, which are peer assessed.

Student feedback in MEQs:

Amazing course - amazing lecturer and amazing content! Thank you!”
Since doing this module I am much more environmentally aware and I think that everyone at UCL should have the option to study it.”
The Facebook seminars were a really good idea and encouraged participation and debate.”
Graham really succeeded in getting students to engage and think more critically of issues concerning environment and society.”