UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
E, GEOL 497
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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,
(1892, p. 241-2)
[Margaret] Mead did not go to Samoa just to study Samoa.
Rather she wanted to understand the whole
~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
, 2007, p. 59)
One of the foremost challenges of the 21
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:
To provide an introduction to key basic principles, theories, and concepts that undergird the notion of
Juxtapose and critically investigate the intersections between natural scientific and social scientific
approaches to understanding and pursuing sustainable development;
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;
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.