Ecological Footprint

These tools correspond with the SLS Student Learning Outcomes




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.


Landscape Ecology and Biogeography Using GIS

Why do plants and animals live where they do and how will they respond to increasing anthropogenic pressures? This course will explore scientific approaches to untangle the dynamic interactions between geologic features, human impacts, climate, and biodiversity. In it, we will use real data to examine the fundamental principles of landscape ecology and biogeography and their applications to conservation practices. The course will consist of 2 hours of lectures and 3 hours of lab per week.

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.