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Connect Justice to Sustainability

Making the Connection: Topics that tie together scientific, sociological and ethical aspects of sustainability

Issues related to sustainability affect everyone, but the specific challenges faced do not affect everyone in the same way. Incorporating topics such as risk and resilience in the face of hazards and geoethics provides a unique lens on incorporating environmental justice and the sociological aspects of sustainability into the classroom. The pages linked below offer information and teaching resources, including teaching activities, course descriptions, and essays. These pages were written based on materials compiled from three InTeGrate workshops.

Tie in Environmental Justice

Environmental justice in the face of sustainability issues is a very complex issue that requires equal and fair treatment without discrimination toward race, gender, nationality, income, and other divisive factors. In relation to sustainability, this can come into play when teaching about issues such as energy and mineral resources and extraction, facing natural and man-made hazards, and ensuring availability of necessary resources such as clean water, food, and shelter, among other topics.

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Explore Risk and Resilience

Risks, whether natural or man-made, are everywhere. The degree of risk faced by different populaces and the effects of hazards can vary from the personal, to regional, to global levels. Incorporating these topics can increase awareness and preparedness for potential hazards, which, in turn, can aid in strategies for adaptation, mitigation, and increased resilience. Further, strong communication about the risks we face, including their likelihood of occurring, preparation planning, and rebuilding strategies, can further aid us in being resilient as we face these hazards in the future.

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Incorporate Geoethics

Justice requires consideration of ethics and values. In the context of sustainability, geoethics are a crucial, but oftentimes get overlooked in the mainstream curriculum. Geoethics makes a connection between science and its societal and ethical implications. This section explores how to tie geoethics into activities and content covered in the classroom for a more holistic approach to teaching about sustainability issues.

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Resources

Ellen P. Metzger & Randall R. Curren (2017) Sustainability: Why the Language and Ethics of Sustainability Matter in the Geoscience Classroom, Journal of Geoscience Education, 65:2, 93-100, DOI: 10.5408/16-201.1


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