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Sustainability Curriculum, Spring 2020

A peek at some sustainability-related courses to sign up for in the Spring Semester!

ENV2040 - Introduction to Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources—including solar-thermal, photovoltaic, wind, wave, hydrogen, biomass, and geothermal energies—are discussed and compared with fossil fuels. The course outlines current practices as well as limitations—engineering, economic, social, and ecological—of extracting usable energy. Topics include practical solutions on both the large scale and the scale of the individual homeowner.


ENV3045 - Environmental Impact Assessment

A practical guide to the quantitative assessment of potential impacts to the environment from a proposed development project. Topics include basic federal and New York State SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) requirements; use and interpretation of maps; and assessments related to physical, biological, and socioeconomic components. Students work as teams (using the map room, library, and computer resources) to prepare a sample Environmental Impact Statement related to ongoing development near the campus.

SOC3365 - Social Movements, Action, Advocacy

Forms of social movement, action, and advocacy, which are critical to social transformation and social justice, are examined. Essential components, such as fundraising, training, publicity, and movement building, are included, along with coverage of effective forms of social activism and advocacy. The course integrates theory and research with practical applications.

SOC3255 - Environmental Sociology

Brings a sociological perspective to environmental issues, both past and present, by asking: Who is civilized? Who is savage? What is nature? By addressing questions of how human societies, animals, and land have shaped each other, students better understand the root causes and consequences of today’s environmental crisis. Topics include world hunger, water, and environmental equity for all.

ARH2430 - Art, Modernity and Environment

Begins by examining the relation between landscape and modernity in nineteenth-century painting and photography, ranging from Impressionism to travel and survey photography. We then track modern art’s changing relation to both the natural and built environment through land art, earth art, and the New Topographics movement of the 1960s and 1970s, concluding with contemporary art of the human-altered environment.

EDG1100 - Fundamentals of Service Learning

Offers an opportunity for students to define and explore many different aspects of service learning, including leadership, social justice and creating social change, organizational structure, building a community and community organizing, and how to get involved. Combines classroom discussion, guest lectures, and service experience to create a collaborative learning experience. Ideal for anyone interested in volunteering or pursuing a career in the nonprofit world.

EDG3250 - Fundamentals of Leadership

Designed to analyze leadership in contemporary society. Students examine how leadership can affect society, using leadership skills through a variety of frameworks. Through guided leadership self-assessments, exploration of values, and the application of leadership skills, students develop, produce, and present a full definition of leadership in the external environment.

LBS3013 - Food

Food preferences differ culture by culture. This interdisciplinary course explores practices and politics of food production, consumption, and regulation locally and globally. After taking a historic look at how food practices have changed, students examine microbial and chemical agents that may contaminate food supplies and learn practical considerations for preventing food scarcity and contamination on small and large scales.

LBS3021 - Energy and Society: Toward a Global Commons

How do energy systems and our energy choices affect anthropogenic climate change across the global north and south? This course examines the technological, sociopolitical, and cross-cultural dimensions of energy use, and their implications for the environment, human life and non-human life. Students explore alternative sources of energy, with particular emphasis on sustainable policy and governance at the local level.

LBS3022 - Housing Humanity

Housing is a basic necessity of life yet the most costly expenditure for most U.S. households. It configures the well-being of individuals and families in fundamental ways, affecting everything from daily quality of life to (in)equality of opportunity. Students examine the sociopolitical and cultural implications of housing for individuals, families and communities, with a view toward sustainable living.

LBS3023 - Waste Worldwide

Humans have produced waste since the days of genus Homo, with approximately 102 tons of refuse accumulated by the average U.S. individual today. What can we learn from the waste of past and contemporary societies using household archeology and garbology? Students explore life through the lens of waste, examining such topics as pollution, waste management, consumer capitalism, and environmental justice.