Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ESR 141
Course Title:
Introduction to Individual Sustainability
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the concept of sustainability at the individual scale. Develops an individual sustainability model by reviewing current models of sustainability used by businesses, communities, and governments. Addresses a wide range of topics at the individual level, including the built world, water and energy; transportation options; wise purchasing; sustainable agriculture and food choices; recycling and waste reduction; recreation and its effect on the environment; restoring natural environments; health and how it impacts the environment. Covers the core principles of sustainability (Ecology/environment, economy/employment, equity/equality, education). Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students should be able to independently and collaboratively:Apply an understanding of sustainability issues as related to personal, political, communityand workplace decisions.Identify and recognize the unsustainable elements within the student€™s personal/community or workplace environments and develop an alternative plan.Explain to others the importance of the individual as a driving force to attain all sustainability goals and be a source of sustainability inspiration to others.Use critical thinking skills to address sustainability issues in their personal life experiences.Use the scientific method to address more complicated scenarios.

Course Activities and Design

? Use critical thinking to analyze and evaluate current business and government models of sustainability.? Translate one or more business/government sustainability plans into individual sustainability plans.? Through papers and presentations, demonstrate as an individual, as part of a team, and as a class the concept of individual sustainability.? Ultimately, use all the information gathered by all students in the class to develop a generalized sustainability plan for use by any individual.? Develop a personal vision regarding what it means to live sustainably.? Participate in activities that increase awareness related to current unsustainable activities as well as envision paths of change.? Develop class presentations with the idea that they will be presented to a greater audience.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment Tasks:Written assessments:? Essay, short and multiple choice exams.? Write-ups of field experiences.? Research paper on a sustainability topic? Journal: vision and individual model development? Oral presentations with accompanying Visual/graphical representations? Graphs? Maps

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

In this course, students will read business books related to sustainability in order to:1. Begin to understand the challenges that businesses face in becoming sustainable2. Realize that it is the human factor that is the most challenging aspect3. Realize that individuals can become the drivers for sustainability4. Adapt that information into an individual sustainability plan5. Envision a larger plan (for the local community, state, or country)6. Realize that it is only with having visions at all scales that we can become a sustainable society in the time frame which is available to us.