ESSP 160 02

ESSP 160 - Sustainability Society

2021 Fall Syllabus, Section 02, CRN 7463

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

TR 2pm-3:15pm in UND Robin Hall, Rm 105

Instructor Information

Sean Hammond

Course Description

Human interactions with the natural environment are often perceived as conflicts between environmental protection and socio-economics. Sustainability attempts to redefine that world view by seeking balance between the 'three Es' -environment, economy, equity. This course examines the concept of sustainability, the theory behind it, and what it means for society.

Course Overview

David Foster Wallace’s question of “what is water” is an analogy for the unseen influences in our lives. Human interactions with the natural environment are filtered through the lens of society which has traditionally viewed environmental protection and socio-economics as trade-offs, always opposed to each other. This course looks at the concept of sustainability, the theory behind it, and what it means for individuals and societies. Above all, this course encourages students to ask themselves “what is my water?”

Assessments

The following assignments will be used to assess student progress toward understanding and effectively communicating: sustainability as a concept; what it means for individual behaviour, social action, economic activities, and leadership in some of the challenges facing current environmental problems. 

Grading System
A = 90 – 100%
B = 80 – 89%
C = 70 – 79%
D = 60 – 69%
F < 59%

Writing assignments/quizzes300 pts

Through these, students will show that they can summarize complex issues, compare and contrast ideas, and draw connections between course concepts.

Mid-term Exam200 pts

Students will show an understanding of course concepts and make connections between different ideas from class materials including readings, lectures, videos, & discussions.

Final Exam300 pts

Students will show an understanding of course concepts and make connections between different ideas from class materials including readings, lectures, videos, & discussions.

Class participation and projects200 pts

Preparation and active engagement in course discussions, online lectures, small group activities, and online/in-class presentations.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Day: Date: Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
Tue 8/24 Class Introduction
Thu 8/26 "The Nature of College," chpt: 1 Waking Up to Nature WA1 (Pre-class prespectives) due
WA2 (Silly cats) due
Tue 8/31 "The Nature of College," chpt: 2-3 Stuff & Clothes WA3 (Personal inventory) due
Thu 9/2 "The Nature of College," chpt: 4 Food
Tue 9/7 "The Nature of College," chpt: 5 Automobiles
Thu 9/9 "The Nature of College," chpt: 6 Screens
Tue 9/14 "The Nature of College," chpt: 7-8 Parties & Sexuality WA4 (Screen time) due
Thu 9/16 "The Nature of College," chpt: 9 Religion
Tue 9/21 "The Nature of College," chpt: 10-11 Politics & Making History
Thu 9/23 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 1-2 Sustainability Concept & History
Tue 9/28 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 3-4 Biosphere & Anthropocene
Thu 9/30 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 5 Climate Change
Tue 10/5 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 6-7 Water & Ecosystems
Thu 10/7 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 8 Pollution
Tue 10/12 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 9 Energy
Thu 10/14 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 10-11 Livable Cities
Tue 10/19 Midterm Test
Thu 10/21 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 12 Food
Tue 10/26 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 13-14 Products, Waste, & Recycling WA5 (Waste record) due
Thu 10/28 Video "Merchants of Doubt"
Tue 11/2 "Sustainability principles," chpt: 15-17 Agents of Change
Thu 11/4 Global climate change readings Climate Change & World Views, part 1 - Case study 1
Tue 11/9 Peru & Switzerland Climate Change & World Views, part 2 - Case study 1
Thu 11/11 No Class
Tue 11/16 Petra & Chaco Canyon readings & videos Water is life, part 1 – Case study 2
Thu 11/18 Lake Chad, Aral Sea, & Phoenix, AZ Water is life, part 2 – Case study 2
Tue 11/23 “Tomorrow’s Table” chapters Sustainable Agriculture, part 1 - Case study 3
Thu 11/25 No Class
Tue 11/30 Should trees have standing? Sustainability Legal questions, part 1 - Case study 4
Thu 12/2 Should animals have standing? Sustainability Legal questions, part 2 - Case study 4
Tue 12/7 Leadership for env. sustainability, chpt 3 Challenges & strategies in leading sustainability WA6 (Green leader) due
Thu 12/9 Leadership for env. sustainability, chpt 6 The End WA7 (Post-class perspectives) due
Tue 12/14 No Class
Thu 12/16 Final Exam Meet at 14:00? Officially 15:15
Meet at 15:30? Officially 17:30