SUST 501 (Perspectives and Methods) gave me the opportunity to apply my knowledge of sustainability to real-world challenges, while continuing to build upon my understanding of what the field encompasses. A major focus of the course was understanding the value of interdisciplinary work and collaboration. We regularly identified how to apply systems thinking and examples of interdisciplinary work to the case studies we examined. Each student completed a book review, within which they led a class discussion on how the book encompassed the three pillars of sustainability, how it was interdisciplinary, other relevant sustainability-related content. 

The most valuable aspect of the class for me was the final project, which was writing or editing a chapter of the 501 Reader, which is the student-written textbook used in the course. My group elected to write a brand new chapter on environmental justice. Writing this chapter was important because environmental justice is an important movement that sustainability can contribute to, but it also was a practical application of interdisciplinary collaboration. Each member of my group was studying a different subject in addition to sustainability, which allowed us to bring different perspectives to show how important our work was.

Check out our chapter on environemntal justice that will eventually be added to the 501 Reader, available here.

501 Reader Chapter on Environmental Justice104 KB