Do you have room in your schedule and want to add a class related to sustainability? Registration opened April 11th for the Fall 2022 semester so take a look at these soon before they fill up. You can find the full course description and other information on UR Student.
BIOL 104K Ecosystem Conservation and Human Society
This class covers a wide range of topics within the broader idea of ecosystem conservation, including ecosystem services and how we as a society value these services and how that affects economic and political policy. The course description states that these ecosystem services are “basic to sustainable societies and include clean water and air, waste decomposition, pollination, and farm land productivity.”
I took the class in Fall 2021 and half the semester was Professor Minckley lecturing on topics while the students created their own class lectures on a topic of their choice (related to the class themes) for the remainder of the semester.
CHE 150 Intro to Sustainable Energy
Interested in how sustainable energy actually works? This course will give students an introduction to “energy production, conversion, storage, and utilization.” The first half of the semester is focused on the basics of energy metrics, balances, and thermodynamics while the second half focuses on sustainable energy production and utilization. There is a recitation associated with the course.
EESC 320 Sustainable Systems
This class is intended for juniors or above with an interest in environmental fields. It covers the “definitions and metrics of sustainability and systems thinking” and allows students to “explore these topics in greater detail for certain sectors (buildings, food, energy, and urban systems) and for a system of each student’s choice.” This course can also be taken as an upper-level writing course.
PSCI 247 Green Markets: Environmental Opportunities and Pitfalls
Interested in economics but the introductory classes don’t sound very enticing? This class (with no prerequisites) focuses specifically on the potential for “green markets” and how social, political, and economic drivers can impact their development. The class will cover if sustainability and environmental issues can be used by companies to gain an advantage in the market, different regulations, supply chain management, and green production processes (among other topics). There is an upper-level writing option for this course.
INTR 205 Global Sustainable Development
The course description states “The central challenge for humanity in the 21st century is the triple endeavor of ending extreme poverty, improving social inclusion, and achieving sustainability for the planet. Any effort to address these three complex, interlinked challenges must be interdisciplinary.” This sounds like the perfect course for anyone interested in global policy, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Accords.
PSCI 246 Environmental Law and Policy
Interested in the environmental laws of the U.S.? This course covers the most impactful federal environmental laws and their historical context. Students will get the chance to read about important environmental law court cases and (if this still remains true from when I took it) hear from guest speakers throughout the semester who work as environmental lawyers or are involved in environmental organizations across the country.
EHUM 268 Decolonizing Food
Want to take your understanding of our food system to a new level? This course studies “the cultural, economic and ecological flows of the industrial food system–from its origins in the slave economies of sugar plantations in the colonial era to current-day monocultures of corn, soy, and palm oil spanning the globe.” Students will learn more about topics such as biotech, chemical inputs, fast and processed food, and GMOs along with critical theories surrounding modernization, decolonization, animal rights, and neoliberalism. It’s a fascinating class that I took over Zoom but be prepared to read and write!
EHUM 258 New Media and Emerging Practices: Art Environment Action
Looking for an art class with an environmental theme? EHUM 258 has you covered. One of the core questions of this course is “How can artists create texts, objects, and collaborative, participatory social actions that reinvigorate awareness of the ecologically and technologically interconnected world in which we live?”
Written by Sarah Woodams, Class of 2024
Image by Pixabay