|ENVS 195 - Systems Thinking for Sustainability|
How can we make the systems that we work and live in more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable? In this highly participatory and interactive course, you will learn how to use Systems Thinking to gain a deeper insight into how complex systems behave. You will see “the big picture” and synthesize information from many different perspectives. Systems Thinking will help you discover interrelationships and changing behavior patterns, rather than focus on isolated and specific events.
You will learn how use Systems Thinking as an analytic tool to develop high-leverage, stable, and sustainable policies in both your personal and professional lives. These policies will help you develop realistic, long-term solutions to challenging problems such as sustainable planning, allocating scarce resources, and analyzing trade-offs.
This is a service-learning course requiring group projects in which students use a Systems Thinking approach to create and analyze visual feedback models of sustainability issues with their community partners. Examples of possible issues from previous classes are: sustainable communities, renewable energy policies, local economies, and sustainable transportation. Each week a stage of the project will be due.
Course Outcomes: You will learn how to:
• Change your paradigms around sustainable practices
• Design high-leverage policies that yield real, long-term solutions to complex problems
• Determine how "side-effects" of a decision can, become major problems over time
• Understand the cross-impacts and unanticipated consequences of your decisions
Readings: There will not be an assigned text. Rather, readings will be articles from several texts and journals. There will be weekly modeling assignments in addition to the readings.
3 Quizzes 33%
Group project 33%
Homework preparation & class participation 33%
Note: The final report of the group project will replace the final examination.
For more information: Contact the course instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 899-2303.
NOTE: Since this is not a graduate level course it cannot be applied to the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Complex Systems.
ENVS1, NR1, or instructor permission. This is a nontechnical course and there will be no computers used.
Other: Causal feedback modeling
Environmental Systems, Other: Systems thinking applied to all systems
|Frequency: Once a year|
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