HomeNewsSustainability and COVID-19: A new summer 2020 class

Sustainability and COVID-19: A new summer 2020 class

Learn about sustainability and COVID-19 this summer!

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around the world, emerging research suggests that sustainability is key to resilience. This understanding raises questions about the equity of our societies. Who has the flexibility to stay home, the access to personal protective equipment, or the resources to afford medical care? What steps can we take to create more sustainable, equitable, and prepared communities in the wake of COVID-19?

Dive into the exploration of preparedness for crises like COVID-19 with SUST 3480/5480: COVID-19 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Resilience, Connections, and Threats. This brand-new, three-credit online Summer 2020 course is co-taught by Mary Hannemann from Sustainability Education and Katy Chapman, Associate Professor and Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Learn how to use systems thinking as a tool to make connections and see possible leverage points for a more resilient future.

Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are interdisciplinary by nature, so students in the course will hear from experts across many fields including public health, veterinary medicine, engineering, and more. As the diversity of the class’ guest speakers suggests, students from all backgrounds, degree programs, and interests can benefit from, and contribute to, SUST 3480/5480. 

The relationship between sustainability and health has always been present, but is perhaps now more obvious than ever. After all, as Dr. Teddie Potter of the UMN School of Nursing wrote,

Everything is connected and in one way or another related to health. We can choose to live in ways that destroy or protect our health and the health of future generations. Which will it be?” 

Dr. Potter is one of the guest speakers joining SUST 3480/5480 this summer. 

Dominic Travis, Associate Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and another SUST 3480/5480 guest speaker, says that “sustainability equals health and vice versa.” 

He wrote, “COVID-19 is a case of this in the extreme, it connects the many strands of the spider web of ecosystem health including land use, natural resource utilization, food security, cultural values and norms, agriculture, medicine, as well as the policy, equity and economics of globalization. All of these are embedded in the SDGs.”

Students from all five University of Minnesota campuses are welcome and encouraged to enroll in SUST 3480/5480. For more information about registering for a course from a different campus (for non-Twin Cities students), please visit OneStop’s Multi-institution enrollment page. 

Learn more about SUST 3480/5480 here.  Contact the instructors by email at katys@crk.umn.edu or oldha012@umn.edu if you have questions or would like to partner with us on this class. 

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