CMAS 801 Topics in Applied Sustainability

Applied sustainability is the application of science and innovation to meet human needs while indefinitely preserving the life support systems of the planet. This course provides an overview of the field with particular focus on implementation of engineering solutions. The course will be divided into three sections in which the technical and policy-related issues will be explored: 1) Sustainable Energy Technologies, 2) Sustainability and Fresh Water Systems and 3) Sustainable Resource Management.

In the first section, the engineering necessary to transition from a nuclear and fossil fuel-based energy system to one utilizing a portfolio of sustainable energy technologies will be detailed. The use of thermodynamics, energy, and dynamic life cycle analyses will be used to provide the basis for comparison between technologies.

In the second section, society's unsustainable use of water will be examined and changes utilizing ecological principles and biomimicry necessary to meet the goal of long-term strategic and sustainable fresh water systems will be analyzed.

In the third section, the historically challenging problem of resource management will be studied to provide safe, environmentally friendly and socially benign methods of resource extraction and waste disposal.

In each section, emphasis will be given to the policy relevance of topics covered, including our ability to measure sustainability, develop lower-risk strategic plans and integrate technical concepts into planning and design.

CMAS 897 Applied Sustainability Seminar Series

The objective of this course is to expose MAS students to the different areas of applied sustainability research and practice, providing a shared learning experience to link students from each of the departments participating in the MAS program. An additional objective is to provide opportunities to develop and refine presentation skills, the ability to give and receive constructive criticism, and to pose and respond to questions.

Six seminar hours will be held each twelve week term. Seminar sessions will alternate between one hour presentations by invited guests, and 20 to 30 minute presentations by graduate students. Each year, each student will deliver one presentation in an area of Applied Sustainability. While most invited speakers will present seminars in the general area of Applied Sustainability, some presentations may cover topics such as effective communication and the effective use of library resources.