This online course explores diverse ideas of sustainability. Historians, architects, biologists, archaeologists, and political scientists guide you through complex questions related to food production, Indigenous-settler relations, land use, energy, resource allocation, water, and urbanization. We will be joined by professors and experts from diverse backgrounds, putting different perspectives and resources in a conversation with one another. You’ll see a political scientist, an historian, a conservation biologist, and a marine biologist, together with guest lecturers from disciplines like architecture, archaeology, engineering, Indigenous studies, and agriculture. We’ll discuss everything from marsh grasses to poetry, grain elevators to whalesongs.
Learn through engaging videos, online discussions, and a hands-on creative final assignment. Our goal is to learn how to talk to and work with one another. That is what interdisciplinarity is all about: bringing specific interests and talents together and appreciating what they each have to offer. Those trained to ask different kinds of questions and to look for different kinds of solutions can all contribute to the common concern of improving the place of humanity on the planet. You might like art or chemistry or politics – we need all of them to develop sustainable practices.
This course consists of four clusters. The instructor will be joined by a variety of guest lecturers, from Dalhousie and beyond, who share expertise and perspectives regarding sustainability.
- A Place: Halifax and Grand Pré
- A Process: Displacement
- A Being: The Whale
- An Element: Water
Active Research Assignment applies to 50% of the overall final grade.
What You Will Learn
A student who successfully completes this course will be able to:
- Identify and discuss the three pillars of sustainability;
- Identify and discuss a variety of knowledge systems, explaining why they are integral aspects of sustainability;
- Demonstrate knowledge of interdisciplinary issues by recognizing the methods of other disciplines that are used to engage sustainability issues;
- Interpret multiple forms of written expression, including peer-reviewed literature and popular media, and apply research to problems in an investigative way through the completion of a multi-component research assignment;
- Evaluate numerical evidence used to support an argument;
- Locate diverse ideas and sources of information, critically analyze arguments, and demonstrate conclusions based on evidence
- Identify the interactions between complex sustainability challenges by interpreting historical and current issues of environment, sustainability, and society;
- Recognize and describe their own subjective position in the world with respect to sustainability issues through the completion of reflective writing assignments;
- Practice respect for diverse perspectives in discussing and challenging sustainability understandings and solutions;
- Operate independently to contribute to problem solving on sustainability issues;
- Understand the need for multiple exposures to material in order to develop a solid understanding of it
This course is recommended for anyone who:
- Is interested in becoming more involved in sustainability;
- Values the importance of many diverse voices at the table in this field of study;
- Wants to learn about their own pre-existing sustainability values;
- Wants to bring about personal change about sustainability issues