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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.

Major or minor in Sustainability: Shippensburg University's Sustainability degrees are based in the Geography & Earth Science Department through which students access a wide range of curricular choices. Details on the major and minor can be found here.  Students interested in Sustainability are also frequently involved in Department's Center for Land Use and Sustainability and/or the Burd Run Interdiciplinary Research Watershed as part of their classes or research.

Example Courses:

The department is continually updating our courses to keep them current and impactful for your future success. Official course descriptions are available in the university catalog here:
Undergraduate Earth Science |  Undergraduate Geography  
Graduate Earth Science | Graduate Geography   

However, check with your instructor for the most up to date course outline and content as updates may be made.

Example Earth Science (ESS) courses in the sustainability program (ESS)

ESS 108: Introduction to Environmental Sustainability
ESS 413: Rock and Mineral Resources
ESS 442: Environmental Geology
ESS 451: Coastal Environmental Ocieanography

Example Geography (GEO) courses in the sustainability program 

GEO 203: Climate, Energy, and Sustainability
GEO 230: Economic Geography
GEO 244: Land Use
GEO 310: Transportation Geography
GEO 322: Urban Geography
GEO 427: Environmental Sustainability
GEO 444: Environmenal Land Use Planning
GEO 446: Water Resources Management
GEO 490: Food Systems

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