Ecological Footprint

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.

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.

Habitable Planet

The search for life beyond the Earth is reaching new heights. So what are we looking for, and how will we know when we find it? This course will explore the history of the solar system and the Earth as the one example of a habitable planet—one that can support living organisms—that we know now. We will consider how the planets formed, the important planetary processes that brought about the Earth as it was when life arose and the planet we live on today.

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.

Faculty Videos

SLS is privileged to collaborate with dedicated faculty across Georgia Tech. Working within various disciplines, these faculty are committed to teaching their students about sustainable communities. Below, you’ll find interviews with these faculty in which they discuss their approach to teaching sustainable communities. We encourage you to watch them all! You can use these in your classroom as a take-home or in-class assignment, perfect for sparking classroom discussion or individual reflection. 

 

Thinking More About Food, Climate Change, and Sustainability

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.