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1 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN UP 494 ­ E, GEOL 497 ­ E Sustainable Island Development Fall 2010, 18 October to 8 December Time: MW 4:00‐5:20 pm Offices: 111C Temple Buell Hall (Feser) Room: Burrill Hall Room 124 3406 Institute for Genomic Biology (Fouke) Office hours: Wednesdays after class and by appointment Email:, As compared with continents…[islands] have a restricted area and definite boundaries, and in most cases their biological and geographical boundaries coincide…their relations with other lands are often direct and simple and even when they are more complex are far easier to comprehend than those of continents. ~Alfred Russell Wallace, Island Life (1892, p. 241-2) [Margaret] Mead did not go to Samoa just to study Samoa. Rather she wanted to understand the whole human race. ~Mary Pipher, (in Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization , Perennial Classics Edition, 2001, p. xviii). One idea that is apparent when looking at a globe or a world map is that the emerged lands of our blue planet constitute a sort of world archipelago. ~Christian Depraetere and Arthur Dahl (in A World of Islands , 2007, p. 59) C OURSE D ESCRIPTION One of the foremost challenges of the 21 st Century is the need to protect and preserve the natural environment while simultaneously enhancing economic well‐being and managing the built environment. Adequate monitoring and accurate prediction of feedback responses between human activity and the environment is vital to successfully achieving a sustainable society. This highly integrative course, which sits at the intersection of the environmental and social sciences, explores conceptual approaches, theoretical frameworks, and tangible interventions useful for achieving more sustainable urban and economic development. The focus is on the specific challenges facing islands, where issues of development and sustainability are especially pressing, transparent, and legible. The course seeks to: 1. To provide an introduction to key basic principles, theories, and concepts that undergird the notion of sustainable development; 2. Juxtapose and critically investigate the intersections between natural scientific and social scientific approaches to understanding and pursuing sustainable development; 3. To understand islands—their sustainability issues, prospects, and solutions—on their own terms, while also using islands as lens to understand sustainability for other environmental and economic contexts; 4. To rethink traditional American cultural (and often romantic) notions and understandings of islands, island society, and island peoples, and to challenge the common view that island sustainable development demands the altruism of non‐island societies and states. P
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