Academic Sustainability Program
Students viewing pitcher plants on water tour

“Every course I’ve taken for the minor has stood out in its own way, but the Intro to Sustainability course was the most memorable for me. I have referred back to materials from that class multiple times for other classes (both in and outside of the minor). It laid a really good foundation for the rest of my time here at Auburn, not just in sustainability courses, but helped me start thinking in terms of systems, which is really important for my major, if not for my life. I still think about a lot of activities we did, like the journals for waste, water, clothing, etc. It was just a really good class. It did a great job of being a broad introduction and it wasn’t too assignment-heavy, but it was also interesting and made me think critically about sustainability issues. And obviously, it got me interested enough to declare the minor almost immediately, so it really changed the course of my path at Auburn.”

–Evanthi Hettiaratchi, Environmental Design ’22

All students minoring in Sustainability Studies must take SUST 2000, Introduction to Sustainability, or the honors equivalent (HONR 1027, Sustainability in the Modern World). We strongly recommend you take this course before taking other courses in the minor. SUST 2000 is offered in both fall and spring semesters.Please note: SUST 2000 is also approved as a course for the minor in Community and Civic Engagement. This course may count as credit toward either minor, but not toward both at the same time.

In the Introduction to Sustainability course, students will learn to do the following:

  • Demonstrate a comprehension of the relationships and interconnectedness of natural, technological, cultural, and economic systems;
  • Become empowered to assess and improve your own role in the sustainability of your household, community, country, and species;
  • Synthesize knowledge and approaches from multiple disciplinary perspectives to craft creative solutions to specific problems in sustainability;
  • Find and critically analyze sources of news and information, distinguishing reliable from unreliable sources, and use that information to develop compelling arguments about sustainability.

The study of sustainability examines the interconnectedness of three dimensions: the environment, society, and the economy. Using these dimensions as our lens and incorporating many of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this course explores various systems to which we are connected, including  our food; climate change; how we build our cities; our energy choices; environmental justice, inequity and disparity issues; human population growth and consumption; and waste disposal. Through instructor and guest lectures, dynamic discussion sections, and reflection assignments we’ll discuss case studies, see sustainability in action here at Auburn University, reflect on our own practices and barriers, and assess how we can work together at different levels to make more sustainable choices.

A sample syllabus may be found here.

For more information, contact the course instructor, Dr. Miriam Wyman

Last modified: April 29, 2021