University of Oregon

Oregon Leadership in Sustainability

Core Course Descriptions

Effective Fall 2015, OLIS has stopped accepting new applicants for the OLIS Graduate Certificate Program.

Fall Term

OLIS Prologue Week
This week-long intensive introduction (scheduled one week prior to the start of Fall term) prepares students for the Oregon Leadership in Sustainability graduate certificate program through a combination of seminars and skills-building activities. Sessions with local sustainability practitioners introduce incoming students to the broad scope of challenges and opportunities in the field. Hands-on activities provide practice in leadership, self-awareness, critical thinking, persuasive communication, peer feedback and other teamwork skills. Team projects acquaint students with local sustainability challenges and organizations working to address them. Earns 1 credit toward OLIS 608 Fall Leadership Workshop.

Beginning in the 1970s and 80’s communities began to realize that financial frameworks and decision-making alone were not sufficient to overcome growing environmental and social problems such as natural resource depletion, loss of biodiversity, human health concerns and rising pollution levels especially in low-income and minority neighborhoods (among many others). New frameworks and indicators were needed to determine the key issues and how they could be improved over time. Businesses and local governments have taken on this challenge for a wide variety of reasons and now there are numerous sustainability frameworks in use across the globe. 
 
The OLIS program is concerned with the ways in which leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, communities and business institutions address some of the most important problems facing society today. This is the first course in a series of three focused on individual and group leadership development in light of adapting to complex problems. As a workshop, this course employs a variety of tools to strengthen personal awareness and skills in terms of leadership for sustainability: individual reflective exercises, group exercises, dialogue -- ultimately a game plan for developing leadership capacity as change agents for a drastically and potentially transformational societal shift. The purpose of the workshop is to provide students with a space for learning and reflection regarding their future leadership roles.
 
The course will emphasize applied interdisciplinary transportation solutions that future community leaders in the sustainability field will need to know to be successful. It will cover institutions of transportation and the impact of smart growth and climate change on best practices; transportation and land use planning; scenario planning; urban design and transportation; traffic impact analysis; transit planning and transit oriented development. Issues such as complete streets, bike-ped planning, the internal combustion engine and its alternatives, life cycle analysis with respect to carbon emissions, and demand management techniques such as congestion pricing and parking innovations are addressed. Transportation finance and asset management will be part of the course along with innovative policy efforts in Oregon and elsewhere. In collaboration with the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the University of Oregon, the course will include real-world term projects with community partners.  

Winter Term

The relationship of climate change and energy is one of the most important policy issues facing us today. Anthropogenic energy use and carbon emissions have been linked to the increase in temperature worldwide, which has adversely affected weather patterns. In response, local and state governments in the United States have taken a leadership role in developing strategies to mitigate and adapt to these changes. This course focuses on these issues.
 
This course introduces concepts of community resilience through an evaluation of natural, human and built system interactions. Specific areas of focus include vulnerability assessments, risk reduction, hazard mitigation planning and principles of community resilience. Emphasis will be placed on the nexus between land use, economic development and natural hazards through the incorporation of sustainability and resilience concepts.
 
This seminar is the first of two seminars intended to provide support and guidance to OLIS students in completion of the individual paper requirement. The winter quarter will focus on topic selection and conceptualization, the writing process, refining the researchable question, and completing the proposal. For all intents and purposes, the proposal will serve as the first draft of the report’s introduction, although it is likely and expected that your report will grow and change somewhat through the spring quarter. The spring quarter will provide support in the completion and documentation of your research. 
 
The OLIS program is concerned with the ways in which leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, communities and business institutions address some of the most important problems facing society today. This is the second course in a series of three focused on individual and group leadership development in light of adapting to complex problems. As a workshop, this course employs a variety of tools to strengthen personal awareness and skills in terms of leadership for sustainability: individual reflective exercises, group exercises, dialogue -- ultimately a game plan for developing leadership capacity as change agents for a drastically and potentially transformational societal shift. The purpose of the workshop is to provide students with a space for learning and reflection regarding their future leadership roles.

Spring Term

OLIS 613: Sustainable Real Estate Development (Practicum III)
The NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) Challenge course will focus on a real world site that offers opportunity for redevelopment. Students will form teams to develop alternative proposals that fit within the zoning for the site (or could with a variance), projected market demand and that exemplify the best in sustainable development concepts and ecological design. The course will be led by adjunct planning instructor Ric Stephens. NAIOP members serve as mentors to the students in the fields of law, real estate market analysis, architecture and landscape. Students present their projects to members of the development community. Visit the course website here.
 
 
 
This course is the second of two seminars intended to provide support and guidance to OLIS students in completion of the individual paper requirement. This quarter’s sessions will provide support in the completion and documentation of your research. The goal for the end of the quarter is for your document to be complete and ready to share with OLIS faculty, your peers, and potential employers or graduate programs. The course is pass/no pass, allowing you the freedom to explore methodologies and to produce a report that is up to your standards for efficacy of communication and rigor of research. You will have the opportunity to receive feedback on those elements throughout the quarter.
 
OLIS 608: Sustainability Leadership Workshop
The OLIS program is concerned with the ways in which leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, communities and business institutions address some of the most important problems facing society today. This is the third course in a series of three focused on individual and group leadership development in light of adapting to complex problems. As a workshop, this course employs a variety of tools to strengthen personal awareness and skills in terms of leadership for sustainability: individual reflective exercises, group exercises, dialogue -- ultimately a game plan for developing leadership capacity as change agents for a drastically and potentially transformational societal shift. The purpose of the workshop is to provide students with a space for learning and reflection regarding their future leadership roles.

 

 

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