The ecological domain in the sustainability science research and education

Marcin Pawel Jarzebski, Shogo Kudo



A single disciplinary approach fails to tackle problems threatening the sustainable development. Thus, the sustainability  science – focused on the problem, normative, and covering many disciplines – has been developed and recognized as critical in  creating solutions that could actually trigger a global change. As an example, environmental issues are no longer the problem to be  solved within the ecological domain but the primary and complex sources of the problem must be analysed from the social, economic  and technical perspectives as well, using methodological tools allowing for a variety of disciplines. This study provides a systematic  review of publications related to sustainability and ecology, and briefly explains the role of environmental knowledge in the sustainability  education. The study has shown that despite a common scepticism about combining qualitative and quantitative approaches the  employment of miscellaneous disciplines has become a common approach and ecology in the context of sustainability goes beyond  the ecological research. It appears from the reviewed curriculum of the sustainability science graduate programme at the University  of Tokyo that environmental knowledge is well established, but is generally driven by transdisciplinary courses. It was included in  the half of credits from compulsory courses, whereas elective courses are those which are open to other disciplines. 


Sustainability Science ; Ecological domain ; Transdisciplinary

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