*Environmental Sustainability and Resilience - BIOL 1013

Course Overview
In this course, we will use the fundamental concepts of sustainability and resilience to evaluate the ways that humans have altered the environment in historical and contemporary contexts.  In particular we will seek to develop a view of mutually beneficial human/environmental interaction and explore human practices from the perspective of mutual environmental benefit.

Course Materials
Required: Walker, Bryan. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Island Press, 2006. ISBN: 1597260932.

Optional: Zolli, Andrew and Ann Marie Healy. Resilience. Free Press, 2012. ISBN: 1451683804

Intended Outcomes

As a part of this course, you will produce work in which you will acquire knowledge and practice skills that contribute to developing proficiency in

  • evaluating the assumptions and arguments embedded in expressions of thought and use that knowledge to creatively and systematically solve problems utilizing appropriate principles and methods from a variety of disciplines. Critical thinkers and problem solvers can predict possible results of potential actions, evaluate possible solutions in an ethical framework and successfully plan and execute a solution. (Critical Thinking/Problem Solving)

  • articulating, within the framework of a Christian worldview, an understanding of civic engagement, ethics and stewardship and the influence of responsible citizenship on community, the nation and the world. (Civics, Ethics, & Stewardship)

  • evaluating developments in science, technology and health on the basis of elementary principles, good scientific practices, and the proper interpretation of mathematical models and statistics. (Science & Technology)

  • interpreting and contextualizing current events in light of historical, geographical, sociological, economic, and political contexts. (Global Perspective)

Learning Objectives

Upon Successful completion of this course, a student will be able to

  • Define the term "resilience" with reference to aspects of complex adaptive systems.
  • Distinguish environmental resilience from command and control and sustainable optimization.
  • Analyze the ways in which humn activity contributes to or detracts from enhancing the general resilience of an ecological-social system.

Learning Activities and Points

Case Study Analyses (25 pts x 5)

Hot Topic Discussions on reading assignments (25 pts x 6)

Developing Resilience - Galveston Island Case Study (collaborative) (100 pts)

Reflective Learning Logs (25 pts x 6)

Final Exam (100 pts)

Total = 625 pts


If you need assistance with a learning, physical or psychological disability that may affect your academic progress, you are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Director at (405)491-6694 (M-F 8:00-5:00). All students with disabilities are encouraged to seek assistance.