Issues & Themes

Issue: Sustainability

Sustainabilityincluding issues related to the environment, population, natural resources, economic development, social justice, energy, etc.

Student Learning Outcomes

All courses in the Sustainability Issue help students learn the following:

1. How the course relates to sustainability.

2. How complementary and competing perspectives covered in the course contribute to the ongoing discussion about sustainability.

3. Collaboration - two or more students working together and sharing the workload equitably as they progress toward shared learning objectives.

4. Problem Solving - the process of designing and evaluating strategies to answer open-ended questions or achieve desired goals.

5. Integration - the process of synthesizing and applying existing knowledge, past experiences, and other perspectives to new, complex situations.

ANT 340 - Culture and Environment

Compares different adaptive strategies of cultures from around the world and seeks understanding of ethical and social values different groups have related to the environment. Attention is focused on how humans relied on cultural mechanisms in the past to adapt and change their physical and natural environment. Prerequisites: Junior standing, WRT 150 and either US Diversity or Historical Perspectives. Fulfills Cultures - World Perspectives.

BIO 338  Environmental Ethics

Examines philosophical underpinnings of environmental ethics. Explores approaches for understanding sustainability issues, solving ongoing environmental problems, and developing a global environmental ethic. Biology majors may not use both BIO 328 and BIO 338 as elective credit within the major. Prerequisites: Junior standing, Writing 150 (C or better) in order to get SWS credit.

ECO 345  Environmental and Resource Economics*

Develops a systematic economic framework to analyze market and government allocations of natural and environmental resources. Topics include relationships between population growth, land development, and environmental quality; regulatory versus market-oriented environmental policies; supplies and prices of mineral and energy resources; and harvest and protection of forests and fisheries. Prerequisites: ECO 211 or ECO 200 and Junior standing.

EGR 306  Urban Sustainability

Social, environmental, and economic points of view are engaged to study how successful cities work. Study approached using assigned reading compared to direct observation and immersion into urban environments. Focuses on the interaction of built environment with social and natural environments. How engineering decisions about materials used in buildings impact structural integrity, energy use, and economics. Prerequisites: MTH 110 and Junior standing.

EGR 406  Renewable Energy Systems: Structure, Policy and Analysis

A survey of the technological as well as economic, societal, and public policy issues associated with renewable energy systems. Topics include generation using renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass as well as advanced energy storage systems and distribution. Energy research and analysis techniques are introduced. Part of the Sustainability Issue. Offered winter semester. Prerequisites: Junior standing and (STA 215 or STA 220 or STA 312). Credits: 3.

GEO 360 - Earth Resources in Transition: Conventional to Sustainable

Exploration of transition from conventional to sustainable earth resource issues, technologies, and science. Focuses on one, or a combination, of earth resources: water, energy, or earth materials (minerals and metals). Topics may include water resources, treatment and usage; oil and gas origins, exploration, recovery, and refining; mining and metals recovery.

Prerequisites: Junior standing.

HTM 368  Geotourism

A study of geotourism, tourism that sustains or enhances the geographic character of a place. Topics include: community development, land use and planning, conservation of resources, tourist satisfaction and marketing, with the purpose of sustaining or enhancing the environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of a places residents. Prerequisite: Junior Standing, HTM 202 (recommended).

LIB 322 - Wicked Problems of Sustainability

Sustainability, as a wicked problem, is an intractable, on-going and high-stakes issue. This course engages students in participatory research on the inextricably linked dimensions of sustainability, such as economics, environment and social equity. Students will work with community partners to address specific interdisciplinary problems of sustainability. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

NRM 451  Natural Resource Policy

Study of how natural resource policy is developed and implemented in the United States. Focuses on public policies toward renewable resources such as forests, biodiversity, land, recreation, and water. Includes foundations of the American legal system, choice of policy instruments, and basic methods of policy analysis. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

PLS/ENS 303  Introduction to U.S. Environmental Policy

This course examines the decision making processes to cope with modern environmental problems. The course focuses on both domestic and international environmental issues with special attention to interests, ideas, and institutions. Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

SOC 351  Urban Sociology

Explores urban theory (Chicago School, political economy, and cultural approaches); the evolution of cities; suburbanization, race relations, street life, sustainability (economic, social and environmental), redevelopment, urban politics, and international comparisons. Readings focus on theory, specific cities, and environmental concerns. Prerequisites: SOC 201 and Junior standing.

WGS 335  Women, Health and Environment

This course is an overview of contemporary womens health issues focusing on the interconnectedness between health and the environment. Topics include reproductive issues, pesticides, sustainable development, occupational hazards, health insurance, and breast cancer. Discussions and readings will focus on the impact of race, class, and sexuality on womens health. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

For more detailed information regarding Issues courses, refer to the General Education Issues List.

For information regarding Themes courses, please click here.