Since 2002, the emerald ash bore beetle, Agrilus planipennis, has destroyed more than 20 million ash trees in the US, with only 30% of the waste timber recycled into low-end products such as mulch and firewood. High value uses could turn this “waste” material into a valuable resource and an economic opportunity, especially considering that, before the widespread development of plastics, aluminum, and carbon fiber, the high tensile strength of ash wood was optimal for fabrication and use in the form of vehicle undercarriages, industrial infrastructure, and sporting goods. The ash bore beetle only established itself in New Jersey, a state with 24.7 million imperiled ash trees, in Spring 2014. The movement of ash wood is currently under federal and state quarantine. Our course “Extraordinary Processes” will adopt new ways of thinking about and finding novel uses for local infested ash wood as a catastrophically available material. The course will also develop learning opportunities beyond the “chalk and talk” classroom and explore hands-on synergies between engineering and the arts.