ENVS 151, Introduction to Sustainability Science
Instructor: Dr. Amy Telligman (telligmanal@wofford.edu, 864-597-4494)
Lecture: MWF, 9:30-10:50 a.m. Black Science Annex Classroom 2
Lab: Monday 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Meet in Black Science Annex Classroom 2; we will depart from there.
Office Hours: T 2:00 - 3:30; F 2:30 - 3:30 & by appointment. Office: BSA.
Final Exam: Monday, May 13, 9 a.m. - noon

Course Description
This course will introduce students to the study of sustainability science through an examination of the dynamic interactions between social and ecological systems building on knowledge of Earth systems acquired in ENVS 150.
We will explore the interdependency of social systems and environmental systems as a way of understanding the qualities that make systems less vulnerable and more resilient to changing conditions. The course introduces students to theories, concepts, analytical frameworks, and research designs that further understanding of the dynamic relationships between complex social and environmental systems. The course develops a solutions-oriented understanding of sustainability issues and empowers students to take actions toward sustainability. To accomplish these goals, the course introduces basic quantitative analysis methods and builds these skills by investigating the sustainability of campus systems (e.g., energy, food system, grounds, waste management).
Course Objectives: This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of sustainability through a combination of lectures, readings, media presentations, discussions, and exercises. By the end of the course students should be able to:
• Describe and explain what is meant by systems thinking, particularly as related to issues of sustainability
• Think critically about the interconnectedness of natural, technological, cultural, and economic issues surrounding sustainability
• Articulate the local, national, and global issues concerning sustainability
• Quantify sustainability practices using technical indicators
• Discuss the role of human values, beliefs, and attitudes in sustainable decision making and behaviors
• Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication, collaboration, and presentation skills
• Investigate what makes scientific knowledge different from other ways of knowing and evaluate what is (and is not) typically accepted as scientific knowledge and why
• Investigate and evaluate the methods by which scientific hypotheses, theories, and models are empirically verified
• Identify how the scientific community arrives at and develops confidence in the way it maps understanding through theories, key principles, and scientific statements
• Analyze what characterizes, informs, and drives the reciprocal relationship between the scientific community and other communities
• Apply critical scientific thinking to real-world problems and develop and practice strategies to communicate scientific knowledge to a wider audience

Course Outline
Week Theme
1 Feb 4-8 Defining Sustainability Science, Coupled Human Natural Systems, Sustainability Indicators
2 Feb 11-15 Biodiversity, Ecosystems & Habitats
3 Feb 18-22 Ecosystem Services, Extinction, Conservation
4 Feb 25 – Mar 1 Population, Environmental Impact, & Equity
5 Mar 4-8 Waste & Pollution
6 Mar 11-13 Sustainable Decision Making and Sustainable Behaviors
Mar 15 Midterm Exam
7 Mar 18-22 Water Quantity & Scarcity
8 Mar 25-29 Water Quality
Spring break
9 Apr 8-12 Food & Agricultural Systems
10 Apr 15-19 Transportation
11 Apr 22-26 Livable Cities
12 Apr 29 – May 3 Energy
13 May 6-10 Green Buildings & Ecology of Building Materials
May 13 Final Exam

Required Text
Several course readings come from articles and will be posted on Moodle. Please check it regularly.

Course Organization
Lectures will occur three days a week and will include instructor lectures, guest lectures, videos, student presentations and other participatory tools to foster critical discussion.
Laboratory exercises and field trips will provide students with direct experiences to apply sustainability science concepts beyond the classroom. Over the course of the semester you will develop and use tools to assess the sustainability of different systems.

During lab, we will sometimes travel off campus. You will need a non-interim release form, and if you are under 18 years old, that requires a parent’s signature.

Some lab activities will take place outdoors. Our Moodle site will inform you of the specific dates. On these days, please bring with you (in a backpack):
- a notebook and pens/pencils/erasers
- clothing that is appropriate for the weather (e.g. hat, rain jacket, warm jacket, sturdy shoes)
- sunscreen and/or insect repellent, as needed
- a full water bottle
- a snack if you need one to maintain your energy level
- any medication that you may need – especially for allergies (bee stings, hay fever, etc.)

Course Assignments
1. Weekly reading assignment and questions (15%)
Reading assignments and prompts will be posted on Moodle. Late assignments not accepted.

2. Labs (20%)
Lab activities will be assessed in a variety of ways including pre-lab reading questions, lab reports, and presentations. Attendance during lab is not optional. If you miss lab due to illness, email the appropriate documentation via email to Dr. Telligman.
3. Sustainability Research Project (20%)
You and your research team will develop a Sustainability Assessment of a sustainability problem. A list of potential sites and projects will be provided but your ideas are also welcome. Over the course of the semester you will complete assignments that guide your groups’ assessment based on a Transformational Sustainability Research Framework. The assignment and expectations will be posted on Moodle and discussed in class.

4. Exams (15% each)
There will be 2 exams during the semester (midterm and final). Exams will be a mix of basic knowledge questions (short answer, fill in the blank); comprehensions questions (short paragraph); application and analysis questions (short paragraph); synthesis and evaluation (essay). EXAMS CANNOT BE MADE UP WITHOUT MEDICAL EMERGENCY DOCUMENTATION.

5. ENVS Sponsored Events (5%)
Over the course of the semester you need to attend 2 ENVS sponsored events (lecture, field trip, book readings, etc.) and submit a response paper summarizing the elements of the event that resonated most deeply with you. A list of approved events will be posted on Moodle. If there is an event that is not on the list that you think should qualify, please let me know so I can share the event with others. Specific details for the response paper will be posted on Moodle.

6. Participation (10%)
Participation is based on class and lab attendance as well as preparedness and contributions made during class and lab.

Course Evaluation

15% Reading Questions
20% Labs (notes, assignments, quizzes)
20% Sustainability Research Project
15% Midterm Exam
15% Final Exam
5% ENVS Sponsored events (must attend 2)
10% Participation (lecture and lab)

Other Course Policies
Honor Code
Wofford's Honor Code is an important expression of our community values, including academic honesty. Assignments will be explained so that you understand when collaboration is appropriate and expected, and when you must work independently. You always need to provide information about the resources you use, whether they are from the internet, library, or other people. Please ask if you are ever unsure of the requirements for an assignment!

You may find the honor code in its entirety online:

Attendance Policy
You are expected to attend all class and lab meetings unless prevented by illness, emergency, or athletic commitment. Please contact Dr. Telligman as soon as you know you will be absent on a particular day. After 2 unexcused lecture absences, an attendance warning will be issued and your final grade will be impacted by 5%. Each unexcused lab absence will result in a 5% reduction in your final grade.

Electronics Policy
Your phone needs to be in airplane mode of turned off during class. Texting, gaming, or using electronic media for any purpose other than following class instructions is strictly prohibited. We will occasionally use laptops in class to complete spreadsheets or conduct internet research. Use of laptops for other purposes or at other times, including for note-taking, is not permitted except in cases where an accommodation is required.

If you are struggling, either academically or emotionally, friends and professional counselors can both be a great help. Wofford Counseling Services is available to help you navigate difficult situations. Please, seek support if you need it, or if you are concerned about how friends are coping with stress or other issues. http://www.wofford.edu/wellnessCenter/counselingFAQ/