Sustainability Studies Program

Minor:

The Sustainability Studies Program (SSP) is a multidisciplinary effort to encourage students to explore complex societal sustainability issues that do not fit easily into one traditional academic discipline. The genesis of this program lies in the realization that a scientific and technical knowledge of environmental, ecological, and energy system challenges will not be sufficient to develop viable answers. Many disciplines at the University make contributions to these issues, ranging from ethical, spiritual, and artistic, to economic, political, and sociological approaches. Students will take interdisciplinary courses and will participate in interdisciplinary research.

Interested students should notify the program director.

 
Sustainability Studies Program Advisory Committee
Rebecca Potter (English), Program Director 
 
Beagle (Chemistry), Bednarek (History), Bohrer (Fitz Center), Brecha (Physics), Cuy Castellanos (Dietetics), Hallinan (Mechanical Engineering), Holcomb (Sociology), Jablonski (Marianist Environmental Education Center and Religious Studies), Jennings (Art and Design), King (Rivers Institute), McEwan (Biology), Pautz (Political Science), Schoenenberger (Hanley Sustainability Institute and Geology), Wu (Geology)
 

Minor in Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment (SEE)

Sustainability, Energy and the Environment 1
SEE 250Introduction to Sustainability, Energy & the Environment3
SEE Core6-9
Select one or two courses (3-6 hours) from:
Cities & Energy
Cities & Suburbs: The Influence of Place (Social Science)
Special Topics in Social Science
Constructions of Place
Special Topics in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment
Select no more than one course (0-3 hours) from: 2
Global Change & Earth Systems
Ecology
Sustainability & the Biosphere
Global Environmental Biology
Environmental Geology
Energy Resources
Energy & Environmental Physics
SEE Depth 6-9
(one course with experiential or research component) 3
Sustainability Research I (SEE Depth Courses)
Sustainability Research II
Experiential Study in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment
Conservation Biology
Plant Diversity & Ecology
Ecological Restoration
Environmental Plant Biology
Biology of Rivers & Lakes
Environmental Ecology
Biology of Infectious Disease
Water Resources Engineering
Environmental Pollution Control
Water & Wastewater Engineering
Hazardous Waste Treatment
Economics of the Environment
Economic Development & Growth
Urban & Regional Economics
Engineering Design & Appropriate Technology
Literature and the Environment
Glacial Geology
Surface & Groundwater Hydrology
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Remote Sensing
Community Nutrition
Food Justice
Environmental History
History of American City Planning
Energy Efficient Buildings
Sustainable Energy Systems
Design for Environment
Renewable Energy Systems
Energy Efficient Manufacturing
Sustainable Manufacturing & Product Design
Environmental Ethics
Philosophy & Ecology
Environmental Policy
Christian Theology and Environmental Ethics
Ecology & Religion
Social Work & Environmental Justice
Art and Social Practice
Total Hours18

Courses

SEE 250. Introduction to Sustainability, Energy & the Environment. 3 Hours

A multidisciplinary introduction to Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (SEE) and to the SEE minor. Emphasis on learning how to view complex issues from different disciplinary points of view, developing reading and critical thinking skills about current issues in sustainability, gaining an awareness of different ethical positions and how these influence the quest for solutions, and learning how scientific and sociopolitical processes work to investigate and address sustainability issues.

SEE 280. Sustainable Communities. 3 Hours

Introduction to fundamental concepts in Sustainability with a focus on the built environment, locality, and community. Includes investigation of how the relationship of social and environmental justice is intrinsic to the study of sustainable communities. Key concepts include social constructions of privilege and social inequality, as well as the characteristics of resilient and adaptive communities.

SEE 301. Global Change & Earth Systems. 3 Hours

Multidisciplinary introduction to the science of the earth system. Focus is on the interrelatedness of geological, biological, chemical and physical processes, and on methods used to understand both the past natural history and potential future scenarios for change in the earth system.

SEE 303. Constructions of Place. 3 Hours

Multidisciplinary, arts-based course that explores the complex connections between our sense of place and the physical and environmental conditions that influence landscapes and communities.

SEE 310. Sustainability Scenarios. 3 Hours

Introduction to the structure, development, communication, and limitations of scenarios used for visioning trajectories and outcomes for human and environmental systems. The course more deeply examines the structure of scenarios as frameworks and stories for engaging critically with a multiplicity of possible outcomes. In analyzing and developing scenarios that address environmental risks and sustainable practices, students learn what a scenario is, how a scenario is created, and in what ways a scenario can be applied, compared and evaluated. Prerequisite(s): SEE 250 or SEE 280.

SEE 325. Sustainable Development Goals. 3 Hours

Analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for approaching complex, international challenges of sustainable development, environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and human rights. Background to the goals, metrics for evaluating progress toward the goals, and interactions between various goals will be evaluated through readings and discussion. Prerequisite(s): SEE 250 or SEE 280.

SEE 390. Special Topics in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. 1-3 Hours

Examination of a specific problem or topic relating to sustainability, energy and the environment at the regional, national, or global scale including particular topics relating to global sustainability policy and sustainable development goals, human rights and climate change and access to modern energy systems. Students will analyze the topic from multiple perspectives possibly including artistic, technical, scientific, social, economic, ethical, and faith-based. Students will apply interdisciplinary knowledge to characterize systems, resources, and stakeholders relevant to the particular problem or topic and discuss solutions to establish more resilient and sustainable systems. Prerequisite(s): SEE 250.

SEE 398L. Experiential Learning Laboratory. 1-3 Hours

Students participate and contribute in experiential learning projects connected to the SEE ‘verticals’ (e.g., projects linked to UD external communities with long-term SEE commitment). In the experiences, students team with faculty mentors to address real needs in the targeted communities; analyzing and developing solutions from integrative perspectives; communicating results; identifying future projects for achieving desired impact or growing impact. Students are required to develop and maintain a portfolio to archive collective learning and results; document individual learning; and to document reflection about the impact of the experience on their vocation. Students must co-enroll in designated primary course to which the Experiential Learning Lab is attached. This course cannot be taken independently, and must be taken concurrently with the primary course. (For example, a student can take the Experiential Learning Lab for SEE 303 only during the semester she is enrolled in SEE 303). Co-requisite(s): SEE 303 or SEE 310 or SEE 325 or SEE 390 or SEE 401 or SEE 402.

SEE 401. Sustainability Research I. 3 Hours

Interdisciplinary exploration of the issues of sustainability. The scientific, moral, spiritual, social, political, historical, ethical and economic dimensions of sustainability will be explored. Exploration of the foundations of ethical theory and their application to environmental issues. Students will pursue a research project with the primary focus on sustainability on campus. Prerequisite(s): PHL 103 or ASI 112 or ASI 120; completion of General Education Natural Science or CAP Natural Science Requirements: junior or senior standing.

SEE 402. Sustainability Research II. 3 Hours

Interdisciplinary exploration of the issues of sustainability as they affect the Dayton community. Course will also explore political philosophy and the ethical foundations of public policy. Students will choose an in-depth community-based research project. CAPSTONE COURSE for the BS in Sustainability, Energy and Environment, or BA in Sustainability Studies. Prerequisite(s): PHL 103 or ASI 120; SEE 250; SEE 280 and Junior or Senior standing.

SEE 435. System Modeling for Sustainability. 3 Hours

Interdisciplinary approach and means to modeling as a tool for determining successful sustainability related systems. Students learn to translate qualitative scenario descriptions for environmental, socioeconomic and energy systems into quantitative output.The course focuses on defining needs and requirements for success, documenting requirements, then proceeding with systems design synthesis and system validation while considering environmental, socioeconomic, and resource impacts, as well as schedule. This subject emphasizes the links of systems fundamentals of decision theory, statistics, and optimization. It also introduces the most current, commercially successful computer-based systems modeling tools. Prerequisite(s): SEE 250 and MTH 138, or MTH 148 or MTH 168 and MTH 207 or MTH 367 or DSC 210 or PSY 216.

SEE 477. Sustainability, Energy & Environment Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

First of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approval of University Honors Program.

SEE 478. Sustainability, Energy & Environment Honors Thesis Project. 3 Hours

Second of two courses leading to the selection, design, investigation, and completion of an independent, original Honors Thesis project under the guidance of a faculty research advisor. Restricted to students in the University Honors Program with permission of the program director and department chairperson. Students pursuing an interdisciplinary thesis topic may register for three semester hours each in two separate disciplines in consultation with department chairpersons. Prerequisite(s): Approved 477; approval of University Honors Program.

SEE 490. Experiential Study in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. 1-3 Hours

Experiential study of a topic in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment. Students will study a topic of their choosing in consultation with instructor or faculty advisor. Topics will be problem-driven and focused on developing sustainable solutions at the local, national, or global scale. Prerequisite(s): SEE 250.