Winter 2019 HC 209H: Decision Making for Sustainability

Winter Term, 2018-2019

Professor: Kenneth Doxsee

4.00 credits

CRN 23347: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 – 09:50 @ CHA 201

Through a series of readings, guided discussions, and analyses of case studies, this course will provide students with the broad scientific and behavioral knowledge needed to make informed decisions and engage in thoughtful discourse about various contemporary issues in the realm of sustainability. We will begin with a brief overview of decision-making, focusing particular attention on those aspects of decision science that are most directly applicable to environmental issues. We will explore more general aspects of sustainable decision making, including the concepts of the “triple bottom line,” environmental ethics, and social engineering, and will then turn our attention to more technical issues, including the various factors surrounding the assessment and prediction of chemical hazards. Empowered with this background, we will explore case studies ranging from the eternal question of “paper or plastic” to critical questions at the heart of biotechnology and climate change.