JCU Australia logo

Subject Search

EV2011 - The Case for Sustainability

[Not offered in 2012]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: Sch of Earth & Environmental Sciences

This subject will review some of the most pressing sustainability issues facing the world today. Using a range of case studies from within Australia and around the world, students will come to understand the complex and interdisciplinary nature of sustainability problems. The case studies will demonstrate the inter-dependency of ecosystem functions and services (eg climate, soils, biodiversity) and humanity's interactions (and impacts) with these. Case study examples will be drawn from notable priority areas: population; water and sanitation; energy; health; agriculture; land degradation; biodiversity decline; and, climate change and sea-level rise. The practical/tutorial sessions will provide students with additional insights to these and introduce some of the techniques utilised by practitioners involved in sustainability assessment including: data identification, management and interpretation; impact assessment; working with complex systems; ecological foot-printing; life-cycle analysis; and, techniques for 'triple-bottom-line' (ecological, social, economic) reporting.

Learning Outcomes

  • to develop an understanding of the inter-dependency of ecosystem functions and services;
  • the ability to select and use appropriate tools and technologies;
  • to develop an understanding of the most pressing sustainability issues (environmental/ecological, social and economic) both globally and in Australia; and;
  • to develop the capacity to think critically and systematically across ecological, social and economic dimensions;
  • to promote an understanding of humanity's interactions and impacts with the earth's resources.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to deploy critically evaluated information to practical ends;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to select and organise information and to communicate it accurately, cogently, coherently, creatively and ethically;
  • The acquisition of coherent and disciplined sets of skills, knowledge, values and professional ethics from at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to speak and write clearly, coherently and creatively;
  • The ability to generate, calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information in ways appropriate to a given discipline or discourse;
  • The ability to lead, manage and contribute effectively to teams;
  • The ability to use online technologies effectively and ethically.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.