Environmental Change, Demographic Trends, and Sustainable Development


Instructor: Dr. Susana Adamo

Fulfills requirement: Environmental Policy, Management, and Finance (EPMF)
Day: Wednesday
Dates: Jan. 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13 (Module 1, 4 longer sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:40 PM
Room location: TBD
Course number: ENVB 0452 N

Course Description

The recognition of the intrinsic complexity of coupled human-natural systems is implicit in the concept of sustainable development and in the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The idea of sustainable development embodies the paradigm of harmonizing socio-economic and environmental sustainability. The SDGs – as concrete targets to map progress toward this end –reflect both the diversity of and the interlinkages among the many dimensions and sectors involved. Understanding these matters requires pulling the components apart and disentangling a web of recursive links.

Demographic processes, their outcomes in terms of population size, distribution and characteristics, and their interaction with environmental processes (including environmental change) have a fundamental role in sustainable development and environmental sustainability, and they have broad policy implications. This course aims to contribute to the understanding of society-nature interactions, taking into account the implications of population-environment links in the context of climate change, consumption trends, economic development, sustainability threats, and cultural transformations.

About the Instructor

Dr. Susana B. Adamo is a research scientist at The Earth Institute Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and an adjunct assistant professor in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University. She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and co-coordinator of the Population and Environment Research Network (PERN). Her research interests spread across several fields: environmental migration and displacement in the context of climate change; social vulnerability and environmental change; dynamics of internal migration in developing countries; rural/urban demography; and all aspects of data integration related to demography and environment links, particularly with respect to global and regional georeferenced population databases. Dr. Adamo holds a BS in geography from the University of Buenos Aires, an MS in population studies from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-Mexico), and a PhD in demography/sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.