This semester-length course explores all the elements of sustainability and the use of sustainable practices in land use decisions and resource conservation. The triple bottom line sensibilities of Environment, Community and Economics are the foundation to understanding how business and community strategies can be fortified through the use of sustainability principles. The class delves into specific metrics, such as carbon footprinting and eco-footprinting, as measures of success. Economic models and drivers are reviewed in detail. The class includes a project focused on sustainable practices applications to brownfield land situations.
The mining, pumping and harvesting of natural resources is explored, and specifics of the status as abundant or scarce are investigated through a series of research papers and class room projects. The source of metals, their geologic, economic and cultural context are examined from specific mines and communities around the world from Dr. Kuhns' first hand experience. Scenario planning that investigates potential results from resource scarcity, political imperatives, safety and security, and community livelihood are a focus for a portion of the course.The class will examine sustainable practices that can extend natural resource life, as well as reasonable and cost-effective substitutions.
The management, remediation and restoration of brownfields industrial and metropolitan lands has risen as one of the most crucial land use planning issues of our day. This course examines specific methods of management and remediation of contaminated properties, including surface and groundwater resources, impacts to human health and communities, and the economics of repairing damaged areas. The course explores environmental chemistry, phytoremediation, natural-acting sustainable solutions, and costs for remediation. Field trips are a part of this course.
In this course we explore the political and legislative imperatives that arise from economic and cultural drivers impacting our ability to use sustainability in business and private life. A review of the Environmental Protection Agency rules and regulations, state-driven regulations, and future trends impacting business will be reviewed. Economic cycles based on National and Global markets are examined in light of a carbon-economy and the price of "paying for pollution". Water, metals, wood products, energy (oil, gas, nuclear, etc.), product materials, recycling, and waste are investigated in this class. The course includes a review of the global setting, including the European Union, China, India and other economies that strongly influence the global markets.
With increasing concerns about oil supplies and safety and security issues, and the impacts of burning coal, the economic, environmental and community drivers for the use of renewable energy are investigated. This course reviews all renewable and long-lived energy resources and energy conservation opportunities. Energy needs in terms of natural resources scarcity are reviewed in terms of National and Global demand predictions. The influence of growing economies, such as India, China and Brazil are included in the review of a global energy market.