subject
Intro

Coursera: Introduction to Sustainability

This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. The course focuses on key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.

This subject is of vital importance, seeking as it does to uncover the principles of the long-term welfare of all the peoples of the planet. As sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, this foundation requires intellectual breadth: as I describe it in the class text, understanding our motivations requires the humanities, measuring the challenges of sustainability requires knowledge of the sciences (both natural and social), and building solutions requires technical insight into systems (such as provided by engineering, planning, and management).

Syllabus

Orientation and Introduction
In this module, you will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and the learning environment. The orientation also helps you obtain the technical skills required for the course. In the introduction, we will examine some of the central ideas that underpin the Earth as a system, and their consequences for environmental sustainability.

Population
In this module, we will see how human populations have evolved over time and get a sense of where the next century of change will take us.

Ecosystems and Climate Change
In this module, we will see that the Earth faces many environmental pressures that result from human exploitation of natural resources. We will also look at the issue of climate change.

Energy
In this module, we will look at energy use. We will also consider what the trend of energy use means for the planet, and how we might transition to a more sustainable pattern of use.

Water and Agriculture
In this module, we will explore the connection between water and food, and see what will be required to feed the planet over the course of the century.

Environmental Policy
In this module, we will examine some of the common tools used by policy-makers, and some of the forces that shape (or misshape) policy.

Measuring Sustainability
In this module, we will examine what tools are available to measure sustainability. Finally, I will make some predictions on global sustainability for the 21st century, based on the models we have spoken about in this course and the trends that have been observed in the early part of this century.

Conclusion
Welcome to the end of the course! This module has a final, comprehensive quiz that covers all of the topics that we’ve seen in the previous seven modules. You’ll want to be familiar with the goals and objectives, key phrases, concepts, and guiding questions from the earlier modules to do well on this final quiz.

13 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Finished
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 8-10 hours a week
Calendar 8 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

13 reviews for Coursera's Introduction to Sustainability

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5 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
Complex subjects such as Malthusian thinking, Tragedy of the Commons, Milankovitch cycles, climate vs. weather, greenhouse gases, and many others were very well explained by Prof. Tomkin. Now I'm able to understand sustainability discussions as well as possible ways of keeping our planet healthy.
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3 years ago
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Patrick E. completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Very interesting! Course was well-setup. I was a bit reluctant to participate in the discussion forums at first (as this was my first MOOC), but once I did I learned a lot from it.
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3 months ago
Gy Ng completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
The course is easy to follow and provide basic information for sustainability in various aspect. However, the flow of the course seems not very organised.
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2 years ago
Michael King completed this course.
A great course, very well organised. Highly recommended. Quite a bit of work, I spent around 9 hours per week on it. Feel like I have earned my certificate.
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful
3 years ago
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Agnieszka completed this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
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2 years ago
Gunhild Jonsson completed this course.
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4 years ago
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Paul is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it.
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10 months ago
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Nathalie Roc completed this course.
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a year ago
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Michael Mazzola completed this course.
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2 years ago
Delphine Courtin completed this course.
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2 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
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