Ecological and Social Sustainability
Winter 2014 quarter
Addresses central issues in contemporary sustainability studies on theoretical and practical levels. Emphasis is on ways to promote both environmental and social sustainability. Areas covered may include environmental quality at regional, national and global scales; energy use and alternative energies; resource availability and access to resources; social and cultural issues of sustainability; and indicators to guide policy. As part of this program, students write and present a research paper to provide evidence of their readiness to advance to candidacy .
Erin Ellis, Ph.D., is an aquatic biogeochemist whose research focuses on examining the role of rivers in the global carbon cycle. Rivers are large sources of carbon to both the atmosphere and the ocean and are consequently critical to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. While working in the Amazon Basin, her research demonstrated that bacteria living in the river produce high levels of carbon dioxide through respiration, and this carbon dioxide is subsequently lost to the atmosphere. Her current research in the Mekong Basin (i.e. Cambodia) focuses on characterizing the type of organic carbon that is exported by large rivers to the ocean. Specifically, she uses molecular tracers to determine where in the watershed the carbon originates from, and uses radiocarbon analyses to determine the age of this material. Such information is necessary in order to understand the preservation of terrestrial carbon in the ocean, which can affect atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over long time scales. Through her training (master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington), Erin has research experience working in streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Additional interests include ocean acidification, estuarine ecology, evaluating the impacts of dams on downstream processes, and microbial ecology. Her past and present research has been conducted through collaborations with colleagues in Brazil, Cambodia, and the Pacific Northwest.
Kevin Francis, Ph.D., is a historian and philosopher of science, with particular interest in the development of the environmental sciences. Kevin studied biology and philosophy at Reed College. After graduating, he spent several years working as a wildlife biologist for Mt. Hood National Forest. His graduate studies at the University of Minnesota focused on history of science and medicine. His historical research concerns scientific efforts to understand the mass extinction of North American megafauna (e.g. mammoth, mastodon, giant ground sloth) around 12,000 years ago, especially the way that various disciplines approach this problem.
Ted Whitesell, Ph.D., is a broadly trained cultural geographer with special interests in political ecology and conservation. As a freshman at the University of Colorado, Ted co-founded the CU Wilderness Study Group. After graduation, Ted ran the Colorado Wilderness Workshop, the only statewide preservation organization at the time. From 1975 to 1985, he was a leader of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, campaigning to secure designation of the first wilderness areas in the Tongass National Forest. He was recognized as the most accomplished environmental leader in the country of 25 years of age or less by the Tyler Foundation. Later, he earned a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, investigating grassroots proposals for conservation and development in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. Ted came to The Evergreen State College in 1998 and is affiliated with two planning units – Environmental Studies and Sustainability & Justice. His students published a major book in April 2004, called Defending Wild Washington (The Mountaineers Books). His most recent research was a collaborative investigation of tribal perspectives on marine protected areas in western Washington.
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Evening
Advertised schedule: 6-10p Tue/Thu
Credits: 8 (Winter)
Class standing: Graduate
Maximum enrollment: 50
Course Reference Number
Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.