Integrated Sustainability Analysis
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Sustainability in an Australian Context

Course for honours students in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney.

6 meetings, to be offered in January - February 2004.

Coordinator: Dr Shauna Murray, ph 9351-8764.

Location: Heydon-Laurence Building, A08.

Australia has a unique biota and diverse ecosystems, some of which are disappearing due to the pressures of our population's resource consumption. Sustainability has frequently been discussed in the media as a goal in managing Australia's environment, and sustainability assessments are beginning to be conducted by business and government throughout Australia. However, 'sustainability' means many different things to different people.

Interdisciplinary methods involving aspects of biological, geographical, economic and computational sciences are being developed to assess the links between the resource consumption and the specific environmental impacts of this consumption. This course will introduce the concept of sustainability and its applicability to Australian ecosystems and focus on new interdisciplinary methods for the measurement of progress towards sustainability.

This course will involve 6 × 1.5 hour sessions of seminars and discussions about sustainability assessment as applied to Australia. Discussions will be based on assigned readings from the print media and the scientific literature. Expert guest speakers from institutions outside the university will be invited.

Topics will include the ecological footprint, environmental impact assessment and life-cycle assessment, biodiversity measurement and conservation in Australia and ecological accounting.

Assessment:

Assessment will be based on an informal 20 minute oral presentation (25%), an attendance and discussion contribution mark (5%) and a 1500 word essay (70%).

Contact:
Dr Shauna Murray
Biological Sciences, A08
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
+61 (0)2 9351-8764,
smurray@bio.usyd.edu.au