Comprehend: Recognize and understand existing and new knowledge about sustainability. Specifically, understand how social, economic, and environmental processes work alone and interdependently to create sustainable systems.  They will also demonstrate proficiency with the use of different approaches to sustainable practices such as Natural Step, LEED, ISO 14001, etc.

Apply: Concepts related to ecosystem and social components of sustainability in order to interpret sustainability issues and evaluate potential solutions. Specifically, students will demonstrate knowledge of…

  • Basic principles of ecosystem structure and function
  • Ecological goods and services and human use thereof
  • Mass and energy laws as they relate to consumption of resources and production of waste
  • Natural resource stocks and flows and the ecological implications of consumption
  • Biogeochemical cycles (e.g. hydrologic cycle, carbon cycle, other nutrient cycles)
  • Social system organization
  • Legal and human rights aspects of society
  • Basic human needs and satisfiers
  • Guidelines and tools for sustainable development

Apply: Apply concepts related to economic and business components of sustainability including natural resource valuation and natural capitalism, ecological economics, systems thinking, industrial ecology, sustainable product development and sustainable consumption, tragedy of the commons, sustainability perspective of major macro-economics schools, public policy and economic tools for strategic sustainable development, organizational learning and change, weak and strong sustainability, backcasting, building an organizational vision, prioritization support for decision makers, and management systems. 

Demonstrate: Proficiency with sustainability assessment tools (life cycle analysis, energy return on energy invested, embodied energy, carbon and ecological footprinting) and their application to various human systems.

Interpret and Apply: Use available data and information to create sustainable solutions for desired future conditions.  Specifically, participate in the development and monitoring of a sustainability solution that includes development of a long-term monitoring program. Demonstrate the role of leadership in coping with change, energizing action and providing inspiration for transformational change towards sustainability.

Communicate and Collaborate: With multiple audiences with diverse backgrounds and interests.  Specifically, be able to write for and talk with both experts and lay people, utilize multiple approaches including websites and visualizations, and work with groups with different perspectives and approaches.