Interdisciplinary Courses

Sustainability science education for young researchers is an indispensable link in mitigating the global environmental impact. NTU RCFE is committed to integrate expertise in different fields, including geosciences, agricultural chemistry, geography, bioenvironmental systems engineering, environmental engineering, and oceanography to provide professional and general education courses for undergraduates and graduates. The aim is to cultivate students’ capability to conduct interdisciplinary research.

International Development and the UN SDGs

An overseas internship team was formed to head towards Jordan. In the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, the team investigated how Taiwan and other nations provided local refugees with emergency humanitarian aid and alleviated poverty for the local poor. The team also visited official aid agencies of Japan and France. They further proposed new directions for the future cooperation between Taiwan and Jordan under non-diplomatic relations.

The students were led to visit the Trust for Village Self-Governance (TVSG) in Chennai, India. Using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the tool for evaluation, the team measured whether Kuthambakkam, which is known as a model of village autonomy and development, meets the long-term goal of SDGs as it pursuits the welfare of the villagers.

Climate Change: Issues and Solution

International Degree Program in Climate Change and Sustainable Development (IPCS) introduced the course “Bending the Curve” offered by the University of California. The course included 18 topics, including knowledge and local application of climate change and sustainable development. The students watched videos and collected data before each lesson and presented the results of group discussion in class to explore how to mitigate climate change under different aspects.

In-class practices:

(1) Role Play: For social science issues, students acted as different stakeholders like national representatives and organizations to negotiate an issue, for example, carbon reduction plan for each country, investing in developing countries. 

Simulation of international climate negotiations (left) and results (right).

(2) Strategy Discussion: For technology and local issues, students were invited to group according to their backgrounds and interests. In class, they discussed the strategy of each imaginary stakeholder and considered the steps and resources required to carry out the plan.

Seminar on Urban Social-Ecological Systems

There were 14 students from different countries and departments taking the course. The course adopted the innovative flipped classroom teaching method that included the concept of co-design, co-production, and co-delivery. Field surveys were integrated into the course as well. Each lesson was designed by the students. They led literature review and came up with questions for in-class discussion to facilitate dialogue between different disciplines and culture. They mastered the skills of analyzing urban regeneration policies independently and understood the history and development of social-ecological systems and related cases in urban governance. The students further reflected on the policies and solutions of cities facing global climate change.

Curriculum Schedule

2020-Fall GEOG4016 Environmental Resource Conservation and Management and Lab Sue-Ching Jou
2020-Spring GEO5135 Anthropocene: From Changing Globe to Developing Sustainability Kuo-Yen Wei
2020-Spring IPCS5025 International Development and the UN SDGs - Theory and Policy Shiun-Shen Chien
2020-Spring IPCS5026 International Development and the UN SDGs - Methods and Practices Shiun-Shen Chien
2019-Fall GEOG7121 Seminar on Urban Social-Ecological Systems Sue-Ching Jou
2019-Spring IPCS5019 Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions Jinyung Wu
2019-Spring IPCS5017 Air/Sky: Nature and Culture Shiun-Shen Chien
2018-Fall IPCS7001 Earth Environmental Problems and Resolutions Shiun-Shen Chien
2018-Fall IPCS7020 Science for policymakers: A discussion seminar on environmental sustainability Haojia Ren