This course provides an interdisciplinary analysis of the issues associated with applying the concepts, foundations, and metrics of global environmental sustainablity applied to global challenges within the fields of environmental sciences in agricultural, urban and rural contexts of the developing and developed world. The course first explores the historical development of "sustainability" as a concept and it will then look at how the concept of sustainability has influenced real-world practice in various sectors such as: health, agriculture, natural resource management, poverty reduction, and other relevant areas of study.
Susan Melzer is an instructor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the geological sciences from the University of Colorado and her doctorate in soil science from Colorado State University. Her background in sedimentary geology has laid the foundation of her current research interest, which is to study how physical, chemical, and biological processes in differing environments around the world influence soil genesis. The susceptibility of soils to alter in response to climatic and land-use conditions is of top priority as she investigates the impact of cultivation on the biogeochemistry of biogenic silica along native and cultivated grassland ecosystems.
Susan also works in close collaboration with the USDA-NRCS and the NPS to develop accessible data and educational material that will enable a link among educators, researchers, students, and park managers. As an educator, Susan is a firm believer in developing top-quality science courses for the live and virtual classroom. She currently teaches courses in the earth sciences (soils and geology) as well as in environmental sustainability.