SLS is privileged to collaborate with dedicated faculty across Georgia Tech. Working within various disciplines, these faculty are committed to teaching their students about sustainable communities. Below, you’ll find interviews with these faculty in which they discuss their approach to teaching sustainable communities. We encourage you to watch them all! You can use these in your classroom as a take-home or in-class assignment, perfect for sparking classroom discussion or individual reflection. 


As the First-Year Chemistry Lab Coordinator and College of Sciences SLS Liaison, Mike Evans hopes to emphasize sustainable practices in even the simplest of chemical reactions. Noting that large chemical industries often face a tradeoff between providing jobs to a community, and protecting environmental health, he believes we can solve the problem by approaching chemistry on smaller terms. By allowing a small group or individual to test the water quality in their local communities, we will create a more individualized and personal relation to sustainable communities.

 Learn more about Mike Evans

  Learn more about River Rendezvous

Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems. In her classes, Thomas focuses on how to think, not assume, what people want when working with industrial systems and its relation to communities. With this state of mind, Dr. Thomas hopes her students learn to apply sustainability to not only cost and economics, but also environmental and social variables as well. A main focus of her teaching is supply chains and how to make the system a more integrated, sustainable process that benefits everyone in the communities.

 Learn more about Valerie Thomas

Caroline Young is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Literature, Media and Communication. Dr. Young discuss how her involvement in SLS has helped her in the teaching of her English 1101 and English 1102 classes. To Dr. Young, individual and collective accountability are a key component of the creation of sustainable communities. By teaching this topic along with social justice, Dr. Young hopes to encourage the next generation of Tech graduates to be more cognitive of their actions with relation to their careers.

Kim Cobb is an ADVANCE Professor & Georgia Power Faculty Scholar in the school of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. To Dr. Cobb, the next generation requires tools to be agents of change in creating a more sustainable, eco-friendly world. As the creator of the “Carbon Reduction Challenge”, Dr. Cobb encourages her students to see how big a difference just one small step towards reducing carbon emissions can make. Whether it be riding a bike, creating a student group focused on sustainable initiative, or simply changing your diet, Dr. Cobb hopes to see each small step make a larger difference.

 Learn more about Kim Cobb

 Check out the Carbon Reduction Challenge

Subhrajit Guhathakurta discusses the most pressing sustainability challenges that cities face in this first conversation for the Engineering Smart Cities series. Guhathakurta is a professor and chair of the School of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech.

Hosted by John Taylor, the Frederick Law Olmsted Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, the series explores how achieving smart, sustainable and resilient cities can help people live better.

Jennifer Hirsch and Jay Sexton discuss the congruence between "smart" and "sustainable" perspectives as cities evolve through technology into next-generation smart, sustainable and resilient cities.

This is the second conversation in the Engineering Smart Cities series. 

Rohit Malhotra discusses the challenges and opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs who want to address key urban sustainability and resilience challenges by forming "smart" technology-enabled ventures. Malhotra is executive director of the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta.

This is the third conversation in the Engineering Smart Cities series.