Ecological Footprint

Big Idea Writeup

Ecological Footprint

Ecological footprint models calculate global, national, regional, or local supply of arable land (weighted by productivity) and compare it to the comprehensive demand for land. Global ecological footprint analysis finds that our current demand for resources is 50% higher than the planet’s available resources. The demand for arable land (ecological footprint) includes land required to produce products and land required to dispose of waste. It is calculated in categories that include cropland, grazing land, forest products, fishing grounds, urban land, and (forest) land for carbon sequestration. The available supply of land is the sum of cropland, forest land, etc. weighted by productivity.

Course

Biodiversity Dynamics

Biodiversity Dynamics will be a project-based course will explore where plants and animals live on the landscape, and how and why they move or evolve in response to environmental changes and human impacts. We will use real species, landscape, climate, and human impact data to explore biogeographic rules, such as the latitudinal & elevation diversity gradients. We will also learn about how landscape ecologists use species distribution models and corridor models for conservation purposes.

Ecology Lab

Ecology Lab covers basic ecological phenomenon using urban ecological settings as the backdrop. As a class, we visit areas in the metro-Atlanta community to understand human-environment interactions within our ecosystem. We immerse ourselves in these communities to understand the short- and long-term consequences of environmental change and what ecologically can be done to keep ecosystems-- and related neighborhoods-- thriving.

Sustainability, Technology, and Policy

The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Students will learn how to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability and to assess strategies to promote sustainable communities and a sustainable planet. The course will blend qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development, with large use of data analysis to measure progress towards sustainable development. Special attention will be paid to the role of technological innovation.

Toolkit Listing

Thinking More About Food, Climate Change, and Sustainability: A Class Conversation

This awareness building short reading and discussion activity allows students to:

  1. Learn more about the importance of sustainability and the effect of food production on the environment. 
  2. The importance of offering potential solutions for climate change. 
  3. Share ways that they might relay information about this issue to audiences. 
  4. Practice public speaking and reflective reading skills.