Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Berhampur

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 309: Introductions to the Science of Sustainability (4)

Learning Objectives:

This course will introduce ideas of sustainability at the global scale across earth systems and the drivers of sustainability. The course will introduce methods necessary for designing and implementing changes in various manufacturing processes to increase sustainability.

Course Contents:

Unit-1: Background, status and trends of Human populations, economic growth, environment, water and food security, mineral and material resources, energy; Climate - status, trends, and the climate of the near future, proxy and climate data evidence; Consumption patterns; Ecological footprints.

Unit-2: Definitions and drivers for sustainability; Sustainability indicators - Social and demographic equity; Economics – Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI); Ecological/Environmental – Ecological footprint; Tragedy of the commons, Neo-malthusians, J-curves, S-curves and the IPAT equation; Major transitions and role of disturbances in the evolution of life and of Earth systems; Sustainability grand challenges.

Unit-3: Natural Ecosystems and Industrial Systems: Introduction to the concept of industrial ecology, historical development of industrial ecology, linking industrial activity with Earth resources; Biological and industrial organism/systems, similarities and differences, concept of metabolism - biological and industrial organisms, industry-Earth interactions, utility of the ecological approach, and discussion of practical symbiotic cases from a sustainability perspective.

Suggested Readings :

  1. Dahlem Workshop Reports, 2004, Earth System Analysis for Sustainability.
  2. Graedel, T. E., and Allenby, B. R., 2003, Industrial Ecology, Pearson Education.
  3. Ashby, M. F., 2009, Materials and the Environment: Eco-informed Material Choice, Elsevier.


EES 321: Natural Hazards and their Mitigation-1 (4)

Prerequisites:All EES 300 level courses

Learning Objectives:

As a result of lithospheric plate interactions, the energy is released in the form of earthquakes of different magnitudes and volcanism which constitute significant natural hazards. Further there are other natural hazards which result from disturbances in the climate system such as tropical cyclones and tsunamis. Students will be provided an opportunity to gain insights into the natural mechanisms causing these hazards besides, being exposed to other aspects such as droughts, flooding and landslides in the Himalaya and peninsular India.

Course Contents:

Unit-1: Introduction: Understanding hazards, disaster, risk, vulnerability; Overlap of human population and natural hazards; Mitigation and management; Institutional frameworks for disaster mitigation in India.

Unit-2: Earthquakes: Causes of earthquakes; Geodesy; Seismotectonics and Stable Continental Region (SCR) seismicity; Quantification of earthquakes; Seismometer design; Early warning systems; Earthquake preparedness; Strong motion seismometers and building codes; Centralized hazard mitigation; Case studies (Gurkha, Bhuj, Latur, Jabalpur).

Unit-3: Volcanoes: Tectonic environments and types of eruptions; Products of volcanic eruptions; Volcano monitoring (seismicity, gases, and crustal deformation); How do contrasting eruptive styles effect societies differently; Monitoring the spread of volcanic ash; Mitigating volcanic hazards; Case studies (Iceland, Barren Island).

Unit-4: Tsunamis: Physical characteristics of tsunamis and tsunami-related terminology; Historic - oral and written records of tsunamis and earthquakes; Causes and prediction; Tsunami warning system (INCOIS) – Ocean bottom sensors; Tsunami modeling; Paleotsunamis; Case studies.

Previous Back to Course List Next