The Sustainable Earth


  • University College
    Anderson, Room 1014

    Wyatt, Jamie J
    Associate Director, University College and Learning Communities

Mailing Address


Fall Semester Seminar, GenEd area 5 lab requirement

Humans now play a dominant role in all of earth's ecosystems, and our ascent has come at the expense of the health of the environment. There is a growing awareness that natural systems are buckling under the weight of human activity and that there is a critical need to chart a more sustainable future. Through lectures, laboratory exercises, and field trips, this course will introduce key concepts in environmental science as well as bring to bear social and political dimensions in analyzing environmental issues.

In this course, we will examine the issue of sustainability: what it means, how it is measured, and how it can be used to address environmental challenges we face today. In doing so, we will build upon the most current scientific understanding of how our natural world works. Key goals of this course are to:

  1. examine the structure and function of Earth's major ecosystems
  2. evaluate the role of humans activity in those ecosystems
  3. assess the challenges of reducing our environmental footprint.

From the Professor- Kiho Kim

How does your University College section of this course differ from a non-University College section?

Like any introductory science course, there is a lot of material to cover. However, the small class size allows the experiences and interests of the students guide how the material is covered. This makes the class more engaging and relevant, and allows for more thoughtful consideration of course material.

How do your Wednesday labs tie into the academic content of your course?

By definition, environmental science is an applied science that calls for action to improve the human condition. The Wednesday labs are designed to provide that connection—between the conceptual and the practical—by examining how change is effected through personal choices, advocacy and policy. The labs take full advantage of our DC location, which is unparalleled for exploring the nexus of science, environment, and sustainability.

Meet the Professor!

American University Professor Kim Kiho

Get to know Professor Kim's teaching style and learn more about his goals for this course

Learn more