Graduate Students

Environmental Justice and the UN SDGs: A WAWA Case Study

The purpose of this tool is to introduce students to the work of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) and the history of the Proctor Creek watershed, and to situate this work within the context of two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities. Students will first explore the interactive WAWA StoryMap, which describes the history of environmental racism that led to the pollution of the Proctor Creek watershed and the work of WAWA and the local community in restoring the area. If more background is needed on the concepts of environmental justice and environmental racism, the use of this tool can be prefaced by using part or all of the SLS Environmental Justice 101 tool.

An Introduction to Climate Resilience

Climate change poses numerous and multi-faceted threats to existing ecological and social systems. Climate resilience is the concept of anticipating climate-related stresses to these systems in order to increase their capacity to adapt to climate change, although definitions of resilience vary based on discipline and the systems being examined. Assessment of climate vulnerability, or the degree to which systems and communities are susceptible to the effects of climate change, informs efforts to increase resilience. This tool defines and gives examples of climate resilience and vulnerability through the lens of three areas of research underway at Georgia Tech. First, students will view slides explaining climate resilience and climate vulnerability. Students will then view videos featuring three Georgia Tech faculty describing how their work contributes to enhancing climate resilience. Finally, students will discuss the connections they have made between key concepts in climate resilience and the role of research in developing strategies for climate adaptation.

This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood and Ben Shipley.

Storytelling Equity

This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of storytelling. The goal of the tool is to help science and technology students use narrative as a method of quickly testing ideas. As Jeremy Ackerman claims, “Telling a story is a much faster way of rapid prototyping than actually trying to create prototypes.” By creating and shaping stories we can learn more about ourselves, others, and the problems we seek to solve. As we know, “the United States is rich with the stories of the diverse groups that make up this country. […] Not all stories, however, are equally acknowledged, affirmed or valued.” (The Storytelling Project, Lee Anne Bell and Rosemarie Roberts). By creating and shaping stories to serve the goals of their discipline students will acquire a better understanding of what equity means, where it lacks, and how to foster it.

Resources for Teaching about the SDGs

Use these resources to help students learn more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. You may assign readings, find organizations to work with, or simply ask your students to explore what’s available. General resources related to the UN SDGs are compiled below, followed by a short blurb about each SDG and references to related research at Georgia Tech where applicable. This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood.

Sustainable Cities and Communities: SDG 11

This tool will take a closer look at the 11th UN Sustainable Development Goal, Sustainable Cities and Communities, which aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Students will then use the elements that comprise progress towards the goal as a way to frame their reading of 3 large infrastructure projects, including the Los Angeles River Revitalization, the Cultural Trail, and the 5280 Trail, followed by two options for activities evaluating one or more of these projects according to the 10 Sustainable Cities and Communities Targets.

This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood.

Sample Syllabi for SLS-Affiliated Courses

Serve-Learn-Sustain is well on its way to having affiliated courses and projects in every department across Georgia Tech. Below, you will find sample syllabi from disciplines that cross the six colleges and schools. These syllabi include the suggested language for syllabi, and provide models for the different ways that you can incorporate SLS into your own courses.

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