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Course Listing

Sustainability Courses  |  AASHE Sustainability Definitions

Featured Sustainability Courses

A selected list of courses available Fall, 2020 are given below.  The list is not comprehensive. 

PBIO 1000 

Plants and the Global Environment 

Tu, Th 3:05 - 4:25pm 

Athens Campus Instructor: Thompson; Online Instructor:  Isgrigg

3 credits.

For nonscience majors. Examines the importance of plants in providing global resources for humans and the impact of human activity on the sustainability of these resources. The course places a particular focus on the importance of climate and energy policy as they relate to our uses of plants and the impact that changing climate would be expected to have on plants. 

NUTR 1100 

Introduction to Food Systems

Arranged 

Online Instructor:  Brannan 

3  credits.

Components of the food system and all processes that maintain our food supply, including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food/food packages. Interaction of the food system with social, political, economic and natural environments. Sustainability of the food system. Impact of the food system on nutritional well-being.

GEOG 2400 

Environmental Geography 

M,W,F  10:45 - 11:40am (Athens); Th  5:30-6:50pm (Chillicothe)

Athens Campus Instructor:  Buckley; Chillicothe Campus Instructor:  Haynes

3  credits.  

Geographic survey of environmental changes caused by human activities. Focus on resource availability and use, pollution of air, water, and biosphere, energy problems, interactions of humans with plant and animal communities, climate change, and sustainability planning 

SOC 3090 

Sociology of Appalachia 

M, W 3:05 PM to 4:25 PM (Eastern Campus); Tu 5:30-8:20 PM (various RHE Campuses, various dates)

Blended in person and online

Instructor: Durst

3 credits.  

Appalachia, a region examined by sociologists for more than 100 years, continues to be a subject of study for academics seeking to demystify the region and foster positive change for its people and the land. The politics of the region, the persistence of poverty, and the development and sustainability of the economy, environment, and society are main themes in Appalachian studies that the course explores from a sociological perspective. Additional topics relevant to the sociology of Appalachia may include but are not limited to social movements and social media, transitional economies, and the dynamics of Appalachian culture and identity. 

SOC 3090C 

Sociology of Appalachia (Community Engaged "C" course)

M, W 3:05 PM to 4:25 PM 

Athens Campus Instructor: Terman

3 credits.  

Appalachia, a region examined by sociologists for more than 100 years, continues to be a subject of study for academics seeking to demystify the region and foster positive change for its people and the land. The politics of the region, the persistence of poverty, and the development and sustainability of the economy, environment, and society are main themes in Appalachian studies that the course explores from a sociological perspective. Additional topics relevant to the sociology of Appalachia may include but are not limited to social movements and social media, transitional economies, and the dynamics of Appalachian culture and identity. 

GEOG 3500/5500

Environmental and Sustainability Planning

Tu, Th 1:30-2:50pm

Athens Campus Instructor:  Lynch

3 credits. 

Fundamentals of land use planning are explored. Examines traditional and innovative approaches to land use planning and its influence on the physical forms of our cities and environment, community development, human health, growth management, and sustainability. Reviews land-use planning tools and techniques utilized at the local, regional, and state level of government including plan-making processes, zoning, subdivision regulations, environmental management, smart growth, urban design, and land-use suitability.

POLS 48400/5840

The Politics of Sustainability

Tu, Th 3:05-4:25pm

Athens Campus Instructor:  Manring

3 credits. 

Political questions are interwoven throughout the discourse and practice of sustainability. Is there a difference between sustainability and sustainable development? Is environmental sustainability the paramount goal, or should natural capital be sacrificed to pursue economic prosperity and social equity? Analyzes the inherent ambiguities of the three dimensions of sustainability--environmental, economic and social sustainability--and the political challenges associated with achieving sustainability at the local, national and global scales.

ES 6830 

Concepts in Environmental Sustainability 

Tu, 3:05-6:00pm 

Athens Campus Instructor:  Dabelko

3 credits.   

Examines global and regional environmental issues and considers the scientific basis for policy options. Concepts and discussion of environmental sustainability. 

Sustainability Course Listings

Ohio University offers a multitude of courses and degrees on sustainability. To find classes that may be available throughout your college experience, check out these links:

AASHE Sustainability Definitions

Please read below or download this document to read the definitions of "sustainability-inclusive" courses, "sustainability-focused" courses or learning outcomes and "sustainabilityresearch" according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). 

Definition of Sustainability challenge from AASHE STARS

AASHE defines sustainability in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations. Major sustainability challenges include (but are not limited to) climate change, global poverty and inequality, natural resource depletion, and environmental degradation. Today most uses of and references to sustainability emphasize the concept’s simultaneous economic, environmental, and social dimensions. For example, businesses talk about the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profits (or, alternately, human capital, natural capital, and financial capital).

Definition of Sustainability Academic Courses from AASHE STARS:

A course may be sustainability-focused or sustainability-inclusive; no course should be identified as both.

To count as sustainability-focused, the course title or description must indicate a primary and explicit focus on sustainability. The course title or description does not have to use the term “sustainability” to count as sustainability- focused if the primary and explicit focus of the course is on the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems or a major sustainability challenge.

To count as sustainability-inclusive, the course description or rationale provided in the course inventory must indicate that the course incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts throughout the course.

Definition of Sustainability Learning Outcomes from AASHE STARS:

Consistent with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (​UNESCO), student learning outcomes are defined as:

Statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand, and be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning as well as the specific intellectual and practical skills gained and demonstrated by the successful completion of a unit, course, or programme. Learning outcomes, together with assessment criteria, specify the minimum requirements for the award of credit, while grading is based on attainment above or below the minimum requirements for the award of credit. Learning outcomes are distinct from the aims of learning in that they are concerned with the achievements of the learner rather than with the overall intentions of the teacher.

Thus, sustainability learning outcomes are statements that outline the specific sustainability knowledge and skills that a student is expected to have gained and demonstrated by the successful completion of a unit, course, or program. Mission, vision, and values statements do not qualify.

Sustainability-focused learning outcomes are student learning outcomes that explicitly address the concept of sustainability. A learning outcome does not necessarily have to include the term “sustainability” to count as sustainability-focused as long as there is an explicit focus on the interdependence of ecological systems and social/economic systems. Specific examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Students will be able to define sustainability and identify major sustainability challenges.
  • Students will have an understanding of the carrying capacity of ecosystems as related to providing for human needs.
  • Students will be able to apply concepts of sustainable development to address sustainability challenges in a global context.
  • Students will identify, act on, and evaluate their professional and personal actions with the knowledge and appreciation of interconnections among economic, environmental, and social perspectives.

Sustainability-supportive learning outcomes are student learning outcomes that​ ​​include specific intellectual and practical skills (and/or attitudes and values) that are critical for addressing sustainability challenges, but do not explicitly address the concept of sustainability (e.g., systems and holistic thinking, change agent skills, interdisciplinary capacities, social and ethical responsibility). Specific examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of systems.
  • Students will have an understanding of their social responsibility as future professionals and citizens.
  • Students will be able to accommodate individual differences in their decisions and actions and be able to negotiate across these differences.
  • Students will be able to analyze power, structures of inequality, and social systems that govern individual and communal life.
  • Students will be able to recognize the global implications of their actions.

 

Definition of Sustainability Research from AASHE STARS

Sustainability research is research and scholarship that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability, furthers our understanding of the interdependence of ecological and social/economic systems, or has a primary and explicit focus on a major sustainability challenge.