|Submission Date||April 27, 2011|
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
Sustainability, broadly defined, means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This includes teaching social, economic, and/or environmentally sound practices, as well as the interconnectedness of these practices. Sustainability focused courses are those within your department that concentrate on the concept of sustainability while sustainability related courses are those which contain one or more components of sustainability or deal with one or more sustainability principles (social, economic or environmentally sound practices) without focusing the course on those components.
Research in the area of sustainability is defined as the investigation of ways whose purpose is to improve or increase our understanding of material, financial or human resource utilization in ways that benefit the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to use those same resources to meet their needs.
Examples of Sustainability Research: (1) study of algae growth and potential to harvest alternative fuel bio-oils from it, (2) model the economic impact of a low cost water purification system, and (3) analyze the social risks and benefits associated with city rooftop gardens.
Examples of what would not be considered sustainability research: (1) develop a new low cost synthesis of aspirin, (2) analyze the affects of commodity utilization in China, and (3) study the correlation between depression and teen suicide rates.
An email was sent to all department chairs describing what was meant by sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses. It also described what was meant by research in the area of sustainability. Chairs were asked to check with faculty within their department to see what courses were currently being offered that fulfilled the criteria for these categories. The results of this survey were then tabulated by the sustainability coordinator.