Sustainability and Adaptation

How we discuss and engage with “Nature” or the “Environment” has profound effects on our world, as human needs, actions, and impacts vary according to different social, cultural, and environmental contexts. Recent concerns about environmental impacts and sustainability have come to include a focus on climate change adaptation in light of our contemporary anthropogenic “climate emergency.” Governmental and non-governmental organizations, businesses, and individual citizens are all increasingly concerned with addressing human impacts on the environment. Academic research has played an important role in informing these conversations about what has happened and how we might best understand and adapt to these concerns. In this course, we will read academic articles from a variety of disciplines that engage with questions of sustainability, adaptation, and climate change. Through these readings and subsequent course research, we will examine how academics develop knowledge about their research area and specifically how they communicate this to others as part of a scholarly conversation. We will consider how an interdisciplinary approach to questions of society and the environment helps us isolate the values, ideas, and practices of different approaches to research and the features of how they communicate this. Students will engage in a series of interconnected assignments and develop projects about sustainability and adaptation that engage with the scholarly conversation. In so doing, students will develop their skills as scholarly communicators by employing key features of academic style across a variety of genres while expanding their understanding of the complex interactions between human societies and the environment.