Systems Thinking

Environmental Ethics

This is a practical course in environmental decision making in response to complex, open-ended problem situations.  Students work together in groups to acquire and practice basic tools of systems thinking and ethical inquiry, then bring those tools to bear on problem situations of their own choosing.

Ecology

Ecology (2335) is a traditional course where students work on applied problems, including those associated with climate change, invasive species, overexploitation etc. The focus is on the ecological concepts, looking at either sustainability or community, with reference to the other, through units, labs, assignments, and activities. 

Environmental Engineering Senior Design

Capstone Design-Environmental Section is an interdisciplinary environmental design experience. The course is offered in parallel with the civil engineering section of the course; CEE students may form teams with mixed CE and EnvE composition; and teams from each program may perform projects in either section. Students form teams of 3 – 5 people, and these teams function as “companies” that provide engineering services under guidance of a sponsor on design project that the team selects.

Energy and Environmental Analysis

ISyE 4803 Energy and Environmental Analysis addresses energy and environmental assessment from a systems perspective. Designed for students who have already taken ISyE 3025 (Engineering Economics) and Physics 2211 and 2212 (introductory physics) the course provides an introduction to energy analysis and environmental lifecycle assessment, with application to energy efficiency, renewable energy, resource availability and environmental impacts. The course is open to students from all majors, but ISyE majors have first option.

Smart Cities Kit

The Smart Cities Kit is a set of hands-on materials that supports collaborative scenario building activities. These activities can foster a greater understanding of smart-cities as socio-technical systems. Through these activities, students should develop an appreciation for how smart cities technologies fit or don’t fit into the fabric of everyday life in the city. The kit requires no background knowledge in design or participatory methods. It can be customized for specific technologies or scenarios, and it can be used across the curriculum. The Smart City tool is available for check-out from the Serve-Learn-Sustain office.

Each kit imagines a team of 5-10 students, but it is possible to make a single kit stretch over twenty students. Email us for more details, and to inquire about check-out. 

Student Learning Outcome 1 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 1: Students will be able to identify relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems. The goal of this SLO is for students to develop a baseline schema to identify both existing and novel examples of relationships among key sustainability components (ecological, social, and economic systems).

Student Learning Outcome 2 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 2: Students will be able to demonstrate skills needed to work effectively in different types of communities. The goal of this SLO is for students to develop skills (e.g., communication, observation, interview, critical thinking, etc.) that are necessary to work with community collaborators in order to promote community action.

London Olympic Park Stadium

Multi-Criteria Decision Matrix Exercise

In preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) faced an unprecedented design challenge: create an 80,000 capacity stadium with the flexibility to be converted to a 25,000 capacity venue after the Games, and do this while achieving the ODA’s sustainability objectives. In the case study below, you’ll discover how they achieved the brief through innovative design and engineering. Furthermore, you’ll use this tool to learn more about how you, too, can make difficult design choices without compromising sustainability. To that end, this tool introduces you to the Multi-Criteria Decision Matrix, or, Values-based Decision Making.

The Georgia Tech Sustainability Timeline: A Guided Conversation

The Georgia Tech Sustainability Timeline offers a detailed portrait of the university's commitment to sustainability, from humble beginnings to its introduction of major initiatives like Serve-Learn-Sustain. This tool pairs the Timeline with a Guided Discussion strategy known as ORID (Observe, Reflect, Interpret, Decide). Using ORID, you will generate productive conversations about the University's past, present, and future as a leader of sustainability.

You can use the ORID framework to guide almost any conversation, in the classroom or the workplace. Read more about it here.

This tool was contributed by Bethany Jacobs and Delaney Rickles.

SLS Case Study: The Flint Water Crisis

The Flint Water Crisis is one of the most significant instances of environmental injustice in the 21st century.  In this case study, read about the impact of the crisis on the natural world, as well as the residents of Flint, Michigan, and learn about how we can use technology to create a safe, sustainable water system. Serve-Learn-Sustain interprets sustainable communities as integrated systems, wherein nature, technology and society all inform each other. As you read this case study, consider these terms as discrete factors, but also as connected.

This tool was contributed by Bethany Jacobs. 

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