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Sustainability in the Curriculum

Understanding the long-term impacts that our actions have on others, resources, the environment, and quality of life requires a strong foundation in the sciences, humanities, and the arts.

Sustainability in the context of the curriculum is defined as subject matter that promotes environmental literacy—the ability of students to understand the natural world, and to critically examine policies, statements, predictions, and results related to the impacts that humans have on the environment.

Some of the topics in courses that meet this definition include ecology and other environmental sciences, environmental ethics, economics, policy, and history, and the portrayal of nature in literature and the arts. Individual courses and programs of study that incorporate multiple disciplines are particularly valued.

Sustainability Goals for Curriculum

  • Establish sustainability in all of its facets as a core value in our academic program, particularly in courses required for graduation.
  • Incorporate into all curriculum development grants the following questions: Will sustainability be addressed in the curriculum development work in some manner? If yes, how?
  • Develop a mechanism to assess how well our courses teach or enhance environmental literacy.
  • Develop a mechanism to assess our students’ environmental literacy.

Sustainability-Focused Courses

  • Nature Photography
  • Environmental Art
  • Literature and the Environment
History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences:
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Environmental Policy
  • Climate Change: From Knowledge to Action
  • Environmental Research Project
  • Greening of America: Environmental Movement
  • Multidisciplinary Research Methods
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology
  • Global Scientific Issues
  • Advance Topics in Environmental Science

Sustainability-Related Courses

  • Architectural Design
History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences:
  • The American West
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Development Economics
  • Moral Reasoning
  • Challenges of the 21st Century in China
Mathematics and Computer Science:
  • Strategic Decision Making
  • Biology
  • Current Topics in Biology
  • Geology Sequence
  • Marine Science