IDS206-1: Foundations of Sustainability

August 23, 2017 - December 5, 2017
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Callaway Center S105
Schaumann, Caroline

Through readings, and discussions led by faculty from the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities, this course provides a panoramic survey of sustainability; critical integration of these interdisciplinary approaches yields a strong foundational understanding of sustainability.

This course offers an introduction to the ideas and issues that constitute the interdisciplinary field of sustainability. Sustainability posits social equity, environmental integrity, and economic prosperity as desirable goals while recognizing that these goals may be in competition with each other.  Through the examination of specific case studies and themes, we will connect readings and contemporary national and international challenges of sustainability across the social and natural sciences, the humanities, and business both on a local and global scale.  We will also hear from Emory faculty and staff as well as Atlanta area activists who embrace diverse visions of sustainability in their work. In short, this course addresses the question: What is sustainability sustaining, and what does this mean for our own lives?


Learning Objectives:


Over the course of this class, you will:

  • Acquire general literacy in sustainability issues and debates
  • Analyze sustainability challenges from a variety of perspectives, identifying conflicts, tradeoffs and the discourses around them
  • Apply this understanding to tangible sustainability efforts at Emory, in Atlanta, nationally and internationally;
  • Reflect on, think critically, and prioritize your own choices and impacts regarding sustainability
  • Develop systems thinking around the nested scales of sustainability


The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.