F802 Fall 2018 Sustainable World
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Sept. 18–Oct. 9
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Jim Taft
This course is a compressed version of a Mason undergraduate course in the School of Integrative Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The course will present the principal tenets of the sustainability movement, note the current threats to sustainability, and discuss some possible solutions and approaches to helping ensure a more sustainable planet for both the current and future generations.
- Sept. 18: History of the Sustainability Movement: The value of holistically considering the environment, the economy, equity, and education as we work toward a more sustainable world. The concepts of “biocapacity” and “ecological footprints” will be introduced in the context of both individual nations and our planet of 7.5 billion people.
- Sept. 25: Energy and Climate Change Considerations: We will examine both current and future approaches to energy extraction and production. The greenhouse gas phenomenon and its implications will be discussed.
- Oct. 2: Water Quality and Quantity: The increasing trends of droughts and floods will be considered, along with the challenges of producing clean and safe water for various purposes.
- Oct. 9: Sustainable Agriculture/Course Wrap-up: The benefits and limitations of modern, large-scale agri-business will be considered, as well as the increasingly prevalent trend of local, smaller scale agriculture. The course will wrap up with a course review and a discussion of communication and behavior change in the context of sustainability.
is currently an educator and consultant in the fields of environmental and public health policy. Previously, he served as executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. Prior to joining the association, Taft worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Agency for International Development, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Ocean County (NJ) Utilities Authority, and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. He holds a BS in biology from Villanova University and an MS in environmental engineering from the University of Cincinnati.