ENVIRON 245: Theory and Application of Sustainability

Fall 2019

Instructor: Charlotte Clark

This course has three interwoven objectives. First, at a personal scale, students will consider the sustainability impact of their own behavior choices. Second, on a campus scale, students will engage in a specific sustainability project related to the Duke Campus. Third, on a national/international scale, students will study the breadth of sustainability issues including economic, social and environmental factors, and the local to global reach of sustainability challenges.

Research methods, project design and data analysis will be taught in the course and applied through a campus sustainability project. Students will work with Duke clients to improve the sustainable practices of the campus experience (specific projects listed below).

Some parts of the course will occur outside the traditional classroom setting. Students will participate in four local sustainability experiences during the semester, and teams will have specific needs to meet and work out of the class time.

This class is certified as a Green Classroom, and we will endeavor to operate the class in as environmentally sustainable a manner as possible.

Campus Sustainability Research Projects

Integrating Sustainability into School Field Trips for Elementary-aged Students
Client: Kati Henderson, Education Program Assistant, Sarah P. Duke Gardens
How can education staff at the SPDG best infuse concepts of sustainability into the implementation of elementary school field trip programs held on site? 

Infusing Sustainability into Duke University Admissions
Client: Susan Semonite Waters, Associate Director of Admissions
What are the best opportunities and resources for admissions staff to learn about and showcase Duke's sustainability efforts to prospective students?

Duke Residence Hall Sustainability Study
Clients: Becky Hoeffler, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Duke; Joe Gonzalez, Assistant VP for Student Affairs, and Dean for Residential Life
What is the impact of existing campus residence halls on Duke's sustainability footprint and what specific projects can HRL implement to enhance student experience and conserve resources?

Duke University Marine Laboratory Carbon Offsets Feasibility Study
Clients: Matt Arsenault, Program Manager, Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative; Jim Hench, Associate Professor of Oceanography, Duke University Marine Laboratory
Considering local impact, connections with students/faculty, carbon reduction and cost, what carbon offset projects are most feasible and appealing for the Duke University Marine Lab to pursue?

Impacting Waste Management Behavior Choices through Signage and Staff Training in Wilson Gym and Sanford School of Public Policy
Clients: Marcus Carson, Assistant Director for Duke Dining Sustainability; Morgan Bachman, Recycling and Waste Reduction Coordinator
How does Duke University best respond to the need for increased composting infrastructure on campus and what interventions might be successful in incentivizing compliance with recycling and composting waste?