The Sustainable Core provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). In addition to lectures and discussion led by the course instructor, Pratt Institute faculty and guest speakers who are experts on specific topics will provide guest lectures.
Global Environment History is a one-semester survey of the history of human-environment relationships form the emergence of the Homo genus in the Paleolithic Age to the established consequences of the Anthropecene at the end of the twentieth century. Students assess current sustainability challenges such as global climate change, food security, and water scarcity in historical perspective, examine the roles of Hunter-Gatherers in manipulating ecosystems, the ecological consequences of the transition from hunter-gatherer society to agriculture, and the ecological consequences of the transition from agriculture to industry.
American Environmental History is a one-semester survey of the history of human-environment relationships in the United States from pre-Columbian times to the present.
Spurred by the immense popularity of fast fashion, the apparel industry is the second most polluting industry in the world today after oil. Increasing news coverage of factory disasters and child workers throughout the second-and third-tier economies that supply Western countries with trendy apparel has also alerted a global audience to the appalling labor practices of a trade that employs one-sixth of the world's population. This course explores key issue areas in sustainable fashion, such as workers' rights, environmental degradation, corporate responsibility and consumer awareness.
Modern, society relies on burning fossil fuel for energy, with serious economic, public health, and environmental consequences. Learn the history of how we came to rely on unsustainable energy sources and ways in which our future use of energy may be made more sustainable.
No product or building is adequately designed without considering the consequences of its deterioration and disposal. Evaluating the ways in which consumers, states, and manufacturers define and classify waste allows us to consider those consequences. In this course, students analyze ways in which waste is created, defined, and managed in industrial society, and they create recommendations for improving problems with the waste stream.
This course challenges the view that a clear and unwavering boundary exists between nature and technology. Rejection this dichotomy, the course shows how the history of each can be united in a constantly shifting panorama where definitions of \"nature\" and \"technology\" alter and overlap. Students will discuss key readings in the interdisciplinary field of Envirotech history and develop research papers assessing the complex relationship of nature and technology.
Why do some people live and work in healthy, safe environments and others do not? Who decides? This course addresses the struggles of those who bear the brunt of the planet's ecological crises. It examines what \"justice\" and environment\" mean at the intersections of race, class, age, gender and nation. Students explore such topics as the history of environmentalism, imperialism and conquest, access to healthy, affordable food and representational authority among poor communities of color.
Ocean acidification. Exterminated fish. Bleached corals. This course travels to the planet's last frontier-the ocean-to understand the root causes of its deterioration and to connect to its force and splendor. Students explore islands and waves, empires and economies, nightmares and fantasies among sailors, surfers, scientists and slaves. Our goal is to make visible the hidden but consequential practices unfolding at sea so that we think the \"planet\" beyond land-based perspectives.
This course examines theories and methods of economics relevant for understanding the environment. It combines theoretical analyses and economic history to understand the social forces relevant to sustainability and climate change with discussions on specific environmental policies related to pollution, energy, climate change, and health issues. Specific topics addressed include externalities, property rights, economies of scale, competition and concentration, distribution, growth and development, and demographic shifts. Alternative policies will be addressed including regulation, cost-benefit analysis, population controls, fines and criminal penalties, the carbon tax, cap-and trade, green technologies, campaigns to change consumer behavior, and anti-poverty programs.
This course considers the microeconomics and macroeconomics of technological change and what determines which technologies become widely adopted. By examining specific technologies and sectors, the course will explain why technologies which have hurt the environment have been promoted and what are the forces which have retarded the diffusion of alternative sustainable technologies. Specific sectors which will be examined include transportation, energy production, construction, and food production. Energy-saving and resource-saving technologies in other sectors will also be considered. The role of the public sector-both on a national and international level-will be addressed