June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.479.1 - 14.479.7
Development of an Introductory Course on ‘Sustainability’ as Part of Core Curriculum
This paper presents an educational effort to develop an introductory course on Sustainability, environment and technology at a university in the southeast United States. The course development was the direct outcome of an internal ‘College of Sustainability Grant’ awarded to the author.
The course content includes diverse multidisciplinary factors that relate directly to sustainability such as Environment conscious manufacturing, economics of sustainability, soil geology etc. The newly developed course also takes advantage of audio-visual media to facilitate instruction. The novel aspect of this course is that students from across campus are involved in mini-design projects to make some aspect of any chosen system more sustainable. The principal constraint in this case is cost. The course seeks to expose students from different educational backgrounds to the common concept of sustainability.
The issue of sustainability and environmental conservation has been a front page topic of late. It has been discussed on various forums including academic, economic as well as political. There has been widespread agreement on the fact that something needs to be done in order to conserve our natural environment for future generations so they might be able to inherit a cleaner environment replete with healthy air, clean water and abundant natural resources1-5. There has been a lot of talk and so called ‘lip service’ on this issue. However, very little attention if any has been paid to build environmental consciousness into the public psyche at an early age. This can take the form of an institution wide effort to drive the point home.
While on the one hand, there has been a hue and cry over conservation of resources and cleansing the environment, practically no attention has been paid to the ‘how to’ approach that seeks to accomplish this noble objective. If it can be unequivocally proved that environmental consciousness actually does make business sense and in the long run could be cost effective, that would help in widening the umbrella of the conservationists. Additionally, it would also impart the idea of sustainability more universal appeal.
This paper presents just such an effort. The project that has been described in the following pages was undertaken at a university in the Southeast United States. The university has been undergoing a metamorphosis on various levels. One of those levels is the recognition of the ‘Green’ concept as well as an undertaking that seeks to incorporate the idea of sustainability in all aspects of campus life.
The chief objective of this paper is to inculcate in students the principal theme that a balance between environmental, economic as well as social considerations needs to be sought in all spheres of design. This point will be stressed through the incorporation of interdisciplinary teams
Desai, A., & Thomassian, J. (2009, June), Development Of An Introductory Course On “Sustainability” As Part Of The Core Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5692
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