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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment

Degree Programs

Minor in Sustainability

Sustainability is a concept that is becoming increasingly used as human societies recognize the finite nature of many natural resources and the lingering ill effects of overconsumption, pollution, and poorly planned land uses. Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and to do so while maintaining ecological processes, functions, biodiversity, and productivity into the future. An understanding of sustainability includes the scientific basis for sustainable resource use as well as the social and economic implications and/or costs of sustainable practices. Given the state of the global economy, the heavy reliance of both developed and developing nations on increasingly limited supplies of non?renewable energy sources, and the resultant social unrest that is building throughout many parts of the world, understanding the challenges facing society today requires an interdisciplinary perspective of the problems we face in moving toward a sustainable future.

Hours Required: Minimum 24 qtr hrs

A minimum of 24 hours from the following courses:

Required Courses

Gateway course

GEOG 2500: Sustainability and Human Society. This course serves as the first course in the minor, addressing the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social equity.

Breadth courses

Environmental sustainability-4 qtr hrs from courses listed below:

  • BIOL 2010: General Ecology
  • BIOL 2050: Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 3060: Tropical Ecology
  • BIOL 3070: Ecological Field Methods
  • CHEM 2240: Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 3412: Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
  • GEOG 2700: Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • GEOG 3320: Global Change-Human Dimensions
  • GEOG 3610: Climatology
  • GEOG 3700: Environment and Development
  • GEOG 3720: Mountain Environments and Sustainability
  • GEOG 3870: Water Resources and Sustainability
  • GEOL 3100: Environmental Geology
  • HIST 2720: Paved Paradise

Economic sustainability-4 qtr hrs from the courses listed below:

  • ECON 2140: Economics of Social Issues
  • GEOG 2410: Economic Geography
  • GEOG 3890: Ecological Economics
  • GEOG 3430: Land Use: Planning, Policy, and Urban Growth
  • GEOG 3420: Urban and Regional Planning
  • GEOG 3425: Urban Sustainability
  • GEOG 3450: Sustainability & Transportation

Social equity-4 qtr hrs from the courses listed below:

  • ANTH 3500: Culture & the City
  • ASEM 2494: Global Ecology of America
  • GEOG 3310: Culture, Nature, Economy
  • GEOG 3730: International Environmental Policy
  • GEOG 3740: Environmental Justice and the City
  • MGMT 3100: Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • PHIL 2785: Environmental Ethics
  • PLSC 2840: International Law & Human Rights
  • SOCI 2450: Environment and Society

Sustainability elective-4 qtr hrs from the following list of courses or from courses listed above. Course must be taken in an area outside the division of the student's major. Students may also choose from courses identified in the breadth requirement. Courses may not be double counted for any degree requirements.

  • ANTH 3010: World Food/World Hunger
  • ANTH 3485: Anthropology and Underdevelopment
  • ANTH 3880: Technology and Adaptation
  • ASEM 2465: Environmental Controversies
  • ASEM 2473: Climate Science & Policy
  • ASEM 2485: Sustainable Living
  • CHEM 3410: Atmospheric Chemistry or ENME 3860: Introduction to Air Pollution
  • EALC 2001: Local and Regional Environmental Issues
  • EALC 2002: The Impact of Development on the Environment
  • EALC 2003: Biodiversity: Regional and Global Issues
  • ENME 3860: Introduction to Air Pollution
  • ENVI 2801: Water Quality in the West
  • ENVI 3000: Environmental Law
  • GEOG 2401: The Human Population
  • GEOG 2420 Geography of Tourism
  • GEOG 3840: Water Resource Analysis
  • GEOG 3880: Cleantech and Sustainability
  • HIST 2710: From Sea to Shining Sea
  • INTS 2270: Sustainable Energy and Transportation
  • INTS 2520: Development, Rights, and Freedom
  • INTS 2701: Comparative Development
  • INTS 3705: Global Environment
  • PHIL 2180: Ethics
  • SJUS 2010: Social Justice

Capstone seminar

GEOG 2550: Current Issues in Sustainability-4 qtr hrs.