SUST 501 (Sustainability Perspectives & Methods) delved into what sustainability work entailed from a theoretical view, and how it was put into practice through the study of various case studies. From an academic and practitioner perspective, the course explored how sustainability in action came about in sectors of society such as: social enterprise, municipal governments, and universities. Significantly, we learned about collaboration and the importance of trans- and interdisciplinary approaches to projects, multiple ways of knowing, the co-production of knowledge, shareholders, management practices, and connecting knowledge to action.
By far my favorite experience in this course, and a memorable one from my experience at UNH as a whole, was visiting Wagon Hill on a field trip. Wagon Hill is just a short way down the road from UNH, yet it took until my junior year for me to end up there through SUST 501. We were visiting as part of a case study on the importance of salt marsh ecosystems and their efforts to restore the coastline that erosion was affecting. This local example of sustainability in action connected with me, and I now look forward to sharing my knowledge and this special place with my family and friends, and dogs, who visit Durham!
A large component of SUST 501 was contributing to the Sustainability Methods Reader, an open-access textbook for future students. My team worked on editing the chapter on Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approaches, which had been drafted by the previous cohort of SDM students. I grew as a writer and researcher throughout this project and my knowledge of sustainability was enhanced. I was thrilled to leave a tangible product that could be passed to others in the program, and eventually published for all to use.