Augustana Extended Education (AEE)

Sustainability 101: Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is characterized by change, challenge, uncertainty, and conflict. In this course, we will examine the different ways that environmental sustainability is measured by organizations, along with how and why organizations strive for improvements. We will concentrate on local and regional case studies to ground our thinking, test potentially helpful tools, and focus our discussions. Finally, we will examine emerging factors that will affect any organization’s efforts to promote environmental sustainability.

Through this course, participants will develop a deeper understanding of environmental sustainability in the context of global influences and local patterns. The primary focus will be on examining how environmental sustainability affects and is affected by rural organizations and their related internal and external factors.

What you will learn

  1. What is environmental sustainability? How can it be achieved? Why is it important?
  2. How is environmental sustainability measured? How can these measures guide sustainability?
  3. How is environmental sustainability tied to economic well-being, effective governance, social stability, and cultural diversity? Why should organizations focus on environmental sustainability?
  4. What tools can organizations use to integrate environmental sustainability into their day-to-day operations?
  5. What does the future hold for environmental sustainability? How can we integrate it into long-term planning?


Glen HvenegaardGlen T. Hvenegaard, Ph.D

Glen is a Professor of Environmental Science and Geography at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. His research focuses on the conservation dynamics of ecotourism (e.g. wildlife festivals, birding, whale watching, protected area tourism), biogeography (e.g. birds in agricultural environments, green spaces, shorebirds, ecological indicators), environmental education (e.g. fieldwork, park interpretation, independent studies courses, expedition courses), and rural sustainability (e.g. planning). His research has been published in journals such as Ecological Indicators, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, and Landscape and urban Planning. He is co-editor of two forthcoming books: Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada and Tourism and Visitor Management in Protected Area: Guidelines for Sustainability. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (and its Tourism Specialist Group) and a fellow with LEAD International (Leadership for Environment and Development). Glen was raised in rural southern Alberta and is developing a sense of place with his family in the aspen parkland in central Alberta and in particular, the Buffalo Lake Moraine south of Camrose. Glen teaches courses in environmental management, parks, wildlife, physical geography, and environmental education. He teaches with passion, employing many student engagement techniques such as community service-learning, experiential learning, role playing, and case studies.

Sustainability 101 & the Certificate in Rural Sustainability

Sustainability 101 is a series of one-day short courses designed to support increased knowledge, capacity, and skills for sustainability in rural communities. Based upon a five-pillar model of sustainability (Governance, Economic, Social, Environmental, Cultural), these courses focus upon the nature, origins, relevance and application of the core, but complex, concepts that comprise sustainability and community development.

Our public policy-based approach to accessible programs speaks to broader issues, challenges, and dynamics affecting rural communities and is grounded in the need to do more than simply train administrators. In this series, we provide opportunities that not only increase community and organizational capacity, but address the broader challenges and dynamics of community sustainability, planning, rural/municipal governance and government, as well as the shifting emphasis upon partnerships, collaboration and competition as overarching principles for rural decision-making.

Complete all five Sustainability 101 courses (Governance for Sustainability, Economics & Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Cultural Sustainability, and Social Sustainability, in any order, to earn your ‘Certificate in Rural Sustainability’ from the University of Alberta - Augustana Campus.