Environmental/Sustainability Curriculum

Sustainability is interdisciplinary. If you are interested in coursework that focuses on environmental or sustainability topics, there are dozens of offerings from several different departments.

BIO100 Basic Biology (3 crs.)
Deals with the principles of biology. Topics include evolution and origins of life, cellular structure and physiology, growth and repair, reproduction and development, control, sources of food energy, inheritance, and human inter-relationship with the biological environment. Not open to biology majors. Three hours of lecture/week.

BIO142 Introduction to Ecology (3 crs.)
Explores basic ecological patterns and processes that affect populations, communities, and ecosystems. Laboratory/field sessions emphasize ecological principles and techniques. Recommended for students seeking certification in environmental education whose major is not biology. Two hours lecture and two hours lab/week.

BIO145 Environmental Biology (3 crs.)
Students are made aware of the many problems created by expanding human populations and technological growth and proliferation. Ecological alternatives are suggested. Topics include the shaping of humans by the environment, our relationships with the biotic and abiotic world, water and air pollution, climate change, pesticides, herbicides, contaminants, food additives, the urban environment, and consequences of the expanding human population. Three hours lecture/week. Credit earned in this course is not applicable to the credits required of the biology major.

BIO242 Ecology (3 crs.)
Examines the interactions between organisms and their environment and the relationship between ecological processes and patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms. Laboratory/field sessions emphasize ecological principles and techniques. Two hours lecture and three hours lab/week. Prerequisites: Principles of Biology I and sophomore standing or permission of instructor.

BIO442 Aquatic Ecology (3 crs.)
Introductory course in fresh water ecology. Field work consists of the study of selected aquatic environments and includes methods of collecting data, identification of aquatic organisms and the interpretation of factors which influence their distribution. A paper based upon field work is required. Prerequisites: Principles of Biology, Zoology, and Botany or graduate status.

BIO444 Conservation Biology (3 crs.)
Applies the principles of population ecology, population genetics, biogeography, animal behavior, and paleobiology to the maintenance of global diversity and natural systems. Research theory is applied to conservation policy and management decisions. Two periods lecture and two periods lab/discussion per week. Includes midweek and weekend field trips. Prerequisites: college course in ecology or wildlife biology, or either senior or graduate status in the biology department.

BIO541 Ecosystems (3 crs.)
Explores pattern and process in ecosystem, emphasizing elemental cycling and energy flow in and across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and interfaces with biotic communities. Will include methods and approaches in ecosystem ecology and review of primary literature. Prerequisite: Ecology.

BIO547 Wetland Ecology (3 crs.)
Wetlands and the resident wildlife are studied as a unit to better understand the fragility of this invaluable habitat. Classification, delineations, wetlands protection techniques, current status of wetlands, specifically coastal wetlands will be the focus.

BIO205 Marine Biology (3 crs.)
Introduction to the marine environment. Includes the physical characteristics of marine ecosystems and the adaptations of organisms that live there. Only at Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium (WIMSC) during summers. Two periods lecture and two periods lab/week. Prerequisites: Principles of Biology I.

BIO245 Marine Ecology (3 crs.)
Deals with interactions of plants and animals in the unstable coastal environment. The barrier islands of the U.S. East Coast are emphasized. Only at Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium (WIMSC) during summers. Prerequisites: Principles of Biology I.

MGT447 Business and Society (3 crs.)
A Business Core Requirement for all business undergrads. Sustainability is a core component of the business and society course in the business core. Examines role of business in a social system including interrelationships with government, the community, employees, and other major publics. A major focus is social responsibility of business. Consideration given to such areas as international business, business ethics, pollution, and impact of governmental regulations. Prerequisite: Senior status or departmental permission.

Business Ethics and Sustainability: Online MBA Core Course
This course is one of four electives (students must select two electives) in the online MBA. This MBA course centers around the exploration and discussion of business practices as they relate to environmental, ecological and social sustainability.

MBA548 IT Innovation and Management (online MBA elective)
MBA547 Management Information Systems and Applications (emerging leaders MBA elective)
Each class spends 1 week on topics related to IT and sustainability (offered by Dr. Viet Dao).

MIS142 Introduction to Business Computer Systems (undergraduate business core)

  • 1 group presentation and lecture on IT and sustainability (offered by Dr. Viet Dao)
  • 1 MBA independent study: “Profit at Less Cost, Not at All Cost” (Directed by Dr. Viet Dao)

Dr. Ian Langella incorporates material on sustainability in every course he teaches through high impact educational practices, e.g. independent research reports and experiential learning activities. Below are some specifics:

  • In SCM 200 Business Statistics, business students examine data on sustainability of the company that the CoB has designated the company of the year. The students submit a written report containing the analysis.
  • In SCM 330 Supply Chain and Operations, students must critically examine the sustainability of the CoB's company of the year. The students deliver a written report.
  • In SCM 315 Strategic Procurement, upper level supply chain students must pick a Fortune 500 company and probe their level of sustainability as well as the sustainability of the focus firm's suppliers and suppliers, and so on, which provides a glimpse into a “sustainable supply chain”.
  • In SCM 420 Global Logistics, experiential learning activities are used to show students the impact of operations on the environment, workers, and communities.

MKT306 Buyer Behavior
Dr. Choi spent four class meetings (two sessions for individual group meeting with her and two sessions of actual presentation) to talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR). Students are teamed up in a small group and present each topic in CSR (e.g., organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free, cause-related marketing, sustainable liability, and price premium of CSR products).

MKT340 Marketing and Events Planning (3 cr.)
This course will provide an introduction to marketing tourism and events planning. Students will investigate basic elements of good marketing in the tourism industry through reading, discussions, and hands-on experience. Students will study and practice the basics of events planning and tourism marketing, including utilization of green practices in municipalities' tourism entities, tourist destinations, and planned events. No prerequisites are required.

CHM103 A Cultural Approach (3 crs.)
Develops an understanding of the relationship between chemistry and our society and illustrates the way a scientist thinks about his science. Coverage will include discussion of elements, atoms, molecules, molecular properties, simple chemical reactions, nuclear energy, and man in his environment. May not be taken by students who are currently taking or who have successfully completed CHM121.

ECO355 Environmental Economics (3 crs.)
Focuses on environmental issues from both a microeconomic and macroeconomic point of view. Pollution control policies such as taxes, subsidies, marketable pollution permits, and government mandated pollution standards are analyzed from theoretical and applied perspectives.

EDU410 Environmental Education Practicum (3 crs.)
Opportunity to apply knowledge gained in previous courses and other experiences to a practical situation. Includes activities specifically designed to develop and evaluate skills needed to create a course of study for teaching environmental education in the elementary and secondary schools. An integral part is working with both elementary and secondary students in the application of both skills and knowledge. Prerequisite: Approval of coordinator of environmental education.

ESS108 Conservation of Natural Resources (3 crs.)
Introduction to environmental conservation. Basic elements of the physical environment are examined in consideration of the interaction between physical and human landscape systems. Emphasis on fundamental relationship of society to agricultural, hydrologic, biotic, mineral, and energy resources. Factors of environmental quality and land use by society also considered.

ESS111 Introduction to the Atmosphere (3 crs.)
Examines and analyzes the interrelated processes and elements of our atmospheric environment, including air-sea interactions, which produce our patterns of weather and climate. Attention given to interaction of the environmental elements and people with emphasis on areas of pollution, atmospheric modification, political and legal aspects, and economic implications of the atmospheric environment. Maps, space and aerial photographs, and instruments are used to enhance understanding and involvement in environmental problems. Lab/lecture.

ESS207 Atmospheric Studies (3 crs.)
Provides basic information about the atmosphere, which students will apply to the understanding of selected atmospheric environmental topics; for example: air pollution, greenhouse warming, ozone, etc. Intended for Geography-Earth Science majors.

ESS404 Applied Meteorology and Climatology (3 crs.)
Intensive study of interaction between various atmospheric parameters and the natural or human-modified surfaces of the earth centered on the applied nature of the atmosphere including discussion of urban, human, agricultural, architectural, and commercial aspects of society. Computer simulations and mapping are utilized to enhance understanding. Each student carries out a field study on a particular problem of atmospheric interest. Prerequisite: ESS111 or ESS355.

ESS442 Environmental Geology (3 crs.)
Deals with relationships between man and the geological habitat. Concerned with problems people have in using the earth and the reaction of the earth to that use in both a rural and urban setting. Stress placed on developing problem-solving skills in collecting, recording, and interpreting data through field investigations and simulation techniques. Prerequisite: ESS110.

GEO203 Climatology (3 crs.)
Deals with regional and applied climatology. Areas of emphasis are climatic controls, classification, U.S. precipitation regimes, world climate types, relationship of climate to other physical phenomena, and importance of climate in selected aspects of human activities.

GEO226 Hydrology (3 crs.)
Presents basic concepts of hydrology with emphasis on the relationship of water to natural and human systems. Major topics include the dynamics of surface water flow, hydrogeology, water pollution, and water resources analysis.

GEO301 Introduction to Biogeography (3 crs.)
Basic concepts and factors which are important in understanding the processes and influences involved in studying the distribution of terrestrial organisms over the earth will be presented. Some topics of importance include biodiversity; past and present patterns of the distribution of terrestrial organisms; the abiotic, biotic and human influences on those patterns; and a variety of factors related to the various time scales at which organisms can be studied.

Geo 405 Environmental Conservation and Management in Pennsylvania (3 crs)
This course examines the management of environmental and natural resource issues. Legislation, policies, programs, and strategies that are developed at the local, state, and federal levels of government are discussed as they apply to these issues. There will be an emphasis on current environmental and natural resource issues in Pennsylvania. Topics that will be considered during the course will include the environment as a public policy issue, waste management and cleanup programs, energy, air and water pollution, and the use of public lands. Through lectures, discussion, readings, writing assignments, and case study analysis, the student will be introduced to a range of environmental and natural resource issues.

GEO444 Environmental Land-Use Planning (3 crs.)
Studies the spatial pattern of land-use development in rural and urban areas and interaction between urbanization and environment. Examines the physical and cultural requirements of environmental land-use planning including the study of the land-use classification, planning and zoning procedures, economic activity and the city as an ecosystem. City planning techniques, land-use mapping and field study of local region are utilized.

GEO446 Water Resources Management (3 crs.)
Roles of water resources management policies and institutions are examined within central theme of unified river basin management. Stresses interrelationships among watershed planning; relevant legislation; agency authority and coordination; and the geography of watershed management. North American case studies used to illustrate multiple use issues, including aquatic ecology, wetlands, floodplain management, recreation, water supply, hydropower, industry, and commercial shipping.

GEO522 Geoenvironmental Hydrology (3 crs.)
Focuses on components of the hydrologic cycle including humidity, precipitation, interception, infiltration, soil moisture, evaporation, ground water, and stream flow. Particular emphasis is placed on using models to analyze these hydrological components and address practical hydrological issues such as storm water management, erosion, water quality, and stream and wetland restoration. Local water resources and watersheds are used as the basis for projects and field reports. Many projects will focus on human alterations to the hydrological system.

Geo 533 Science of Land Use Change (3 crs.)
Land use and land cover change can have dramatic social and ecological consequences. This seminar course will focus on understanding and recognizing drivers of land use and land cover change and on recognizing linkages between land use and land cover change and other ecosystem processes, such as hydrologic processes and habitat fragmentation. The course will also focus on methods for analyzing land use and land cover changes, landscape patterns, and will incorporate geographic information systems and modeling. Prerequisites: Introductory course in geographic information systems.

GEO536 Problems of the Atmospheric Environment (3 crs.)
Examines and analyzes various weather and climate topics, both natural and human-influenced. Topics include brief review of atmospheric basics, air pollution, ozone, ENSO, climate change, climate modeling, and greenhouse warming. Potential solutions to problems explored. Presented in seminar format and includes journal paper discussion and evaluation, writing opinion papers on controversial atmospheric issues, group projects, class presentations, and a term paper. Interrelationships among the various atmospheric problems are emphasized.

PSY350 Psychology of Sustainability
This course will highlight examples of how psychology makes contributions to the sustainability field through a variety of perspectives (behavioral, cognitive, social). We will read and discuss primary source articles that discuss intersections between psychology and sustainability. In addition, students will gain hands-on experience with sustainability initiatives through a Research/Service project. Prerequisite: PSY101

SOC241 Contemporary Social Problems (3 crs.)
Explores the structural roots of major social problems from a sociological perspective. Examples of problems addressed include racism, sexism, poverty, crime, and threats to the environment.

SOC363 Population Problems (3 crs.)
Introduces basic demographic methods and theories to study the social causes and consequences of population size, composition, and distribution. Special attention given to impact of population change on resources, the environment, public policy, and personal lifestyles now and in the future. Prerequisite: SOC101.

TCH346 Science in the Elementary School (3 crs.)
Introduces prospective teachers to the organization of science in the elementary schools, strategies and methods of science teaching, evaluation methods, acquisition and use of materials, and planning lessons. Students will have first-hand experience with new curricula, textbooks, and environmental issues. Emphasis on selection and use of activities to promote learning of science concepts, processes and attitudes. Classroom participation on an assigned basis.

TCH347 Social Studies in the Elementary School (3 crs.)
Surveys contemporary and traditional teaching methods and strategies as they relate to the various social sciences. Stresses the incorporation and evaluation of a rich variety of instructional materials that can be utilized in unit teaching. Includes ways of individualizing a social studies program as well as small group instruction. Explores current topics including cultural diversity, values, career education, environmental education, and consumer education. Classroom participation on an assigned basis