Learning Outcomes

May 2011

Upon completion of this minor, students will be able to:

  1. Define sustainable development.
  2. Describe the interdependency of sustainable development’s three pillars of equity, environment, and economy.
  3. Identify existing conditions of: a) environmental degradation, b) economic failure, and c) social inequity; and provide plausible explanations for their cause, interdependency, and reasonable ideas for their resolution.
  4. State the importance of inter-generational responsibilities to sustainable development.
  5. Describe inequities generated by current economic systems and access to resources.
  6. Describe the current state of knowledge regarding global climate change, accurately depict where uncertainty exists with respect to climate change, and identify examples of social (i.e. equity), economic, and environmental impacts resulting from climate changes.
  7. Explain the role of technology and its influences on sustainable development.
  8. Describe how physical processes and systems create limitations upon and influence the needs of societies. This requires a working knowledge of the laws of thermodynamics; greenhouse effect; circulation of air and ocean currents; hydrological connectivity and watersheds, solid waste streams, and energy and food production, among others.