Issues - Sustainability

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


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Explain how complementary and competing perspectives contribute to the ongoing discussion about sustainability.

2. Collaboration: Effectively work on a team.

3. Problem solving: Design and evaluate an approach to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.

4. Integration: Apply knowledge from experiences and multiple disciplines to new, complex situation. 


Courses

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, Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing, and either U.S. Diversity or Historical Perspectives. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, oral communication, problem solving

BIO 319 — Global Agricultural Sustainability
The expansion and collapse of societies throughout history have tracked the rise and fall of their agricultural productivity. We will explore how biological principles dictate long-term agricultural productivity and how knowledge of such principles can impact decisions of consumers, farmers, and policymakers. Prerequisite: Junior standing and completion of the Life Science Foundations. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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 and Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing (C or better) in order to get SWS credit. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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: Junior standing and ECO 200 or ECO 211. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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: Junior standing and MTH 110 (may be taken concurrently). Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

EGR/NRM 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. Prerequisites: Junior standing and STA 215 or STA 220 or STA 312. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, problem solving

ENG 382 — Literature and the Environment
Focuses on literature that engages with the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Includes literary nonfiction, nature poetry, environmental fiction, and other forms of literature that illuminate both human and nonhuman nature. Attention is also given to the effects and consequences of human and nonhuman interaction. Prerequisites: Junior standing and Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

ENS 392 — Sustainable Agriculture: Ideas and Techniques
Students will study sustainable agricultural ideas and techniques through applied activities. Students will investigate models of sustainable food systems that link production to cultural, political, economic, and environmental systems. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration,  integration, problem solving

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, recover, and refining; mining and metals recover. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

GPY/PA 324 — Urbanization
Examines the process of urbanization, its impact on various cultures, and its long-term sustainability. Considers the rapid urbanization in the developing countries and the dynamic growth of global urban systems, emphasizing the evolution of cities over time, space, and vastly different social, political, and cultural environments. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, integration, problem solving

GPY/LAS 361 — People, Environment, and Development in the Amazon
This course explores natural resource use and human settlement over time in the Amazon Basin, from early tribal societies to the present. Topics include extractive economies, trade in animal and forest products, conservation and development initiatives, and the changing demands for resources in urban centers of Amazonia today. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

GPY 363 — World Forests and Their Use
A geography of the world’s forests and their use, from traditional to industrial practices over space and time. Topics include the local, national, and international exploitation of forests, forest societies, foods, fuel and
medicines, timber, protected areas, and the challenge of sustainable forest use in different regions and environments. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

GPY/PA 410 — Landscape Analysis and Green Infrastructure
This course examines applications of landscape ecology concepts in land-use, urban, and regional planning. Attention is given to system analysis, integration of physical, biological, and cultural elements in landscape systems. Applications of sustainable landscape design and resiliency planning through integration of green and blue infrastructure are examined through case studies. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

GPY/ENS 412 — Global Climate and Environmental Change
This course introduces students to natural and human causes of climate change and geographic patterns of climate change impacts, human vulnerabilities, and adaptation and mitigation strategies. Global climate modeling scenarios are examined in the context of international and national climate change policies, national security, climate preparedness, and resiliency planning. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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 place’s residents. Prerequisite: Junior standing, HTM 202 (recommended). Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

INT 322 — Wicked Problems of Sustainability
Sustainability, as a wicked problem, is an intractable, ongoing, 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. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

INT 330 — The Idea of Nature
How do our ideas about nature shape our relationships to the natural world? This course examines global influences on ideas of nature, as expressed in science, religion, philosophy, literature, and art, and the resulting effects on human relationships with the natural world, and on natural systems globally and locally. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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. Prerequisites: Junior standing and completion of Natural Sciences Foundation; or permission of instructor. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

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: Junior standing and SOC 201. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

WGS 335 — Women, Health, and Environment
This course is an overview of contemporary women’s 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 women’s health. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Skills: collaboration, integration, problem solving

 

*You must have completed 55 credits to enroll in 300- to 400-level Seidman College of Business courses. If you are a nonbusiness major with a 2.5 overall GPA, please email your name, G-number, course, and semester to go2gvbiz@gvsu.edu to request a permit to register. Secondary admissions criteria applies for business majors.



Page last modified January 25, 2022