Integrating Social and Natural Systems

February 2nd, 2017 7:30 PM
8 week class
The Marxist Education Project
Integrating Social and Natural Systems
Implications for Sustainability and Resilience in a Changing World
Rebecca Boger

Although people around the world are increasingly living in cities such as New York City, we still exist in and are dependent on the natural environment. Whether we live in rural or urban places, we are greatly influencing Earth system processes, such as how water cycles between places, how soils are intricately linked to the movement of water, exchange of gases, and growth of plants even on Manhattan rooftop gardens, and how the composition of the atmosphere affects incoming and outgoing energy, which then impacts global climate change. To move toward sustainable and resilient societies, we need to realize that social and natural systems are interconnected and that both need to be considered when implementing change. Without considering the connectedness of natural and social systems, we run the risk of harming the environment or people even when intentions may be good. Focusing on the urban context, this course will focus on key concepts in Earth system science (water, air, soil, and life) and systems thinking. Gaining a perspective of how we exist in the natural world even in built environments influences the framing of questions and then how these questions might be answered in order to understand ways we can become sustainable and resilient societies.

Rebecca Boger has a background in geospatial technologies, marine science, and science education. At Brooklyn College, CUNY, she teaches geospatial technologies and works with anthropologists and archaeologists in Barbuda on socio-ecological resilience research, community based mapping, and environmental modeling. In the NYC area, she works with NYC Parks and Gateway National Recreation on historical mapping and trends analysis of marshes and shoreline. She continues her education work with a greater emphasis on sustainability, resilience, and climate change topics where she is helping to build an urban sustainability program and online materials.

Sliding scale: $75 / $85 / $95
no one turned away for inability to pay

The Brooklyn Commons
388 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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