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In this module, you will learn how systems literacy is tailored specifically to the understanding and remedy of environmental problems, and the ways in which it differs from traditional disciplinary approaches to academic learning.

Learning objectives

After reading this module, students should be able to

  • define systems literacy, how it is tailored specifically to the understanding and remedy of environmental problems, and the ways in which it differs from traditional disciplinary approaches to academic learning
  • define bio-complexity as a scientific principle, and its importance as a concept and method for students in the environmental humanities and social sciences
  • identify a potential research project that would embrace applications of one or more of the following sustainability key terms: resilience and vulnerability, product loops and lifecycles, and carbon neutrality

Introduction

Transition to a sustainable resource economy is a dauntingly large and complex project, and will increasingly drive research and policy agendas across academia, government, and industry through the twenty-first century. To theorize sustainability, in an academic setting, is not to diminish or marginalize it. On the contrary, the stakes for sustainability education could not be higher. The relative success or failure of sustainability education in the coming decades, and its influence on government and industry practices worldwide, will be felt in the daily lives of billions of people both living and not yet born.

The core of sustainability studies, in the academic sense, is systems literacy    —a simple definition, but with complex implications. Multiple indicators tell us that the global resource boom is now reaching a breaking point. The simple ethos of economic growth—“more is better”—is not sustainable in a world of complex food, water and energy systems suffering decline. The grand challenge of sustainability is to integrate our decision-making and consumption patterns—along with the need for economic viability— within a sustainable worldview. This will not happen by dumb luck. It will require, first and foremost, proper education. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, universal literacy—reading and writing—was the catch-cry of education reformers. In the twenty-first century, a new global literacy campaign is needed, this time systems literacy, to promote a basic understanding of the complex interdependency of human and natural systems.

Here I will lay out the historical basis for this definition of sustainability in terms of systems literacy, and offer specific examples of how to approach issues of sustainability from a systems-based viewpoint. Systems literacy, as a fundamental goal of higher education, represents the natural evolution of interdisciplinarity    , which encourages students to explore connections between traditionally isolated disciplines and has been a reformist educational priority for several decades in the United States. Systems literacy is an evolved form of cross-disciplinary practice, calling for intellectual competence (not necessarily command) in a variety of fields in order to better address specific real-world environmental problems.

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Practice Key Terms 9

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Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
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