Engagement Practices

As the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS), we are particularly interested in helping people influence and mobilize decision-making towards more sustainable forms of development. To affect meaningful and lasting change, this form of leadership needs to come from all sectors and a wide-range of professions, disciplines, cultures, and ideologies, because sustainability challenges occur at the nexus of economic, ecological, and social systems.  Through our engagement, research, graduate and professional education programs, CLiGS builds capacity within individuals to be agents of change from within their organizations, communities, professions, and networks to strategically intervene and transform systems.  At the core of the practices and strategies CLiGS is advancing is collaboration and leadership for sustainable development.

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  • NR 5014 Constructing Sustainability (3 credits)

    This course examines the science, policy and practice of sustainability and sustainable development in a global context. We will examine the history, current status and future prospects of sustainability and sustainable development from economic, social and ecological perspectives. In the past several decades, sustainability and sustainable development have gained status in political, scientific, business, religious and cultural institutions and are now guiding principles that frame and shape public policy and private practice at multiple scales. While these concepts are well‐established in many communities and cultures worldwide, they have only recently emerged as prominent features in the mainstream of contemporary popular culture throughout global society. This interdisciplinary course encourages students to consider how they can engage science, policy, professional and civic institutions in constructing sustainability.

    Instructor(s):
    David P. Robertson
    Offered:
    Summer I (12 weeks)
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5044 Environmental Conservation & the American Landscape (3 credits)

    This course is a comprehensive examination of American attitudes toward the environment, the history of our efforts to protect it, and comparisons between American environmental conservation and that of other nations.  Early European settlers to America viewed the landscape through particular lenses, and their attitudes toward landscape changed as they encountered new landforms and types of wilderness as the country expanded westward, urbanized, and industrialized.  By the end of the nineteenth century, large areas containing special natural features were set aside to create national parks, monuments, and forests.  Throughout the 20th century, our definition of environmental resources that required conservation expanded further to include areas of special protection as “wilderness” and free-flowing rivers gained new appreciation.  By the beginning of the 21st century, public efforts to protect the environment have been enhanced by private conservation efforts such as land trusts.  We’ll examine changing definitions of the American environment in the context of national development and our evolving strategies of environmental conservation compared with those of other nations.

    Instructor(s):
    Shelley Mastran
    Offered:
    Spring
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5194 Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

    A critical examination of the ethical dimensions of the embedded social, economic, and cultural constructs that shape both the causes and consequences of environmental problems. There is often a desire to oversimplify both the roots of current environmental crises as well as the possible responses; however, these issues are incredibly complex, in moral as well as in economic, political, and biological terms. This course puts the tension in context by examining diverse challenges, such as: overconsumption, pollution, resource conflicts, carrying capacity, food production, climate change, and environmental disaster through a philosophical lens. A special emphasis on responsibility and accountability will be used as a framework for analysis, asking questions about how to consider future generations, human/non-human relationships, and the impact of particular world-views on our ability to create a sustainable and secure future. Critical questions about implications for justice and equality will be included in the discussion. Finally, the course will assess both mainstream and alternative political methods of addressing environmental issues.

    Instructor(s):
    Jennifer Lawrence
    Offered:
    Spring
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5344 Natural Resources Law & Policy (3 credits)

    This course examines the statutory, regulatory, and policy framework for natural resources management in the United States. The emphasis is on U.S. federal laws and policies governing the use and conservation of renewable natural resources, with emphasis on wildlife and management of public lands. The goal for this course is to develop comprehensive understanding of federal, state, and local laws in natural resource management, as well as the effects of international laws and treaties on national policies and programs. In addition, an overview of the legislative and regulatory processes that have an impact of the implementation of resource managements and conservation programs is discussed.

    Instructor(s):
    Mark "Buzz" Belleville
    Offered:
    Fall
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5684 Foundations of Federal Land Management (3 credits)

    This course is designed to provide an introduction to federal land management in the United States. The course covers the founding principles of federal lands, some of the key individuals who helped form the patterns and policies, and an introduction to the philosophies that underlie federal lands management. The course introduces the major laws that enabled the existing pattern of public land ownership and that govern the administration of public lands. The second half of the course focuses heavily on the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act and some of the major issues facing public land managers today, including: public involvement and public values, the role of science, and new paradigms for management, like ecosystem management and collaborative adaptive management.

    Instructor(s):
    Katie Hoover
    Offered:
    Fall
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5884 Effective Environmental Education (3 credits)

    We’ve all attended various types of environmental training and education. The information might have been delivered in a formal classroom setting or during a two-hour hike at a nature center. Maybe we’ve encountered public education programs through TV or print media or even on social media such as Facebook. How is this education designed and how do we know whether the education met the goals of the provider? In this course, we will investigate how environmental and natural resources training and education are developed, implemented, and evaluated. Students will learn to identify training and education needs, determine the most effective types of training and education for various audiences and budgets, and evaluate whether the program was effective. Course will rely heavily on student participation and will involve several group and individual projects.

    Instructor(s):
    Desiree Di Mauro
    Offered:
    Fall
  • NR 5884 International Environmental Law & Policy (3 credits)

    International environmental law has been perhaps the most dynamic sector of international law over the past 30 years, growing from a mere handful of agreements 30 years ago, focused primarily on pollution of the marine environment and the conservation of migratory birds and marine mammals, to over 700 agreements today, addressing a multitude of serious environmental issues, including depletion of the climate change, ozone layer, regulation of trade in endangered species and prevention of transboundary air pollution. Additionally, there has been steadily increasing impetus for expanding the purview of international environmental law, including causes of action for transboundary environmental harm and recognition of the rights of future generations to a healthy environment. This course will seek to provide an overview of the status of international environmental law in the 21st Century, including the sources of international law, mechanisms to assess and facilitate implementation of and compliance with international environmental law, and assessment of effectiveness of international environmental law and methods to enhance its effectiveness.

    Instructor(s):
    Wil Burns
    Offered:
    Fall, Spring
    Syllabus:
    Sample Course Syllabus
  • NR 5884 Sustainability Case Studies (3 credits)

    Offered:
    Coming Soon
  • NR 5884 Transboundary Resource Management (3 credits)

    Offered:
    Coming Soon


Jerry Abrams
Senior Fellow
William Burns
Faculty
Senior Fellow
Courtney Kimmel
Fellow, Assistant Director, Faculty
Michael Mortimer
Senior Fellow, Director, Faculty
David Robertson
Senior Fellow, Faculty, and Associate Director of Executive Programs
Senior Fellow
Holly Wise
Senior Fellow, Faculty