Sustainability Education Station

By Sarah Baulac, Academic Initiatives Working Group Intern

Part of my work as the AIWG intern is to update the sustainability course listings on the IUOS website. This list is a compilation of courses across campus related to or focused on sustainability. It serves as a tool to help students gain a quality sustainability education.

There are two types of courses on the list: courses related to sustainability and courses focused on sustainability. The IUOS website defines these terms as follows:

  1. Sustainability focused: courses’ concentration is the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examines an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. Sustainability is a consistent thread throughout each course component and most assignments are designed to help students develop a better understanding of sustainability and sustainable development.
  2. Sustainability related: courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.

Classes on this list come from entities such as the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Geological Sciences, and even the Department of Apparel and Merchandising and Interior Design. The wide range of departments offering courses in sustainability illustrates how sustainability can be interwoven into many different aspects of life and study.

An interesting example of the far-reaching prongs of sustainability is the Religion, Ethics, and Environment class (REL-D 350). Discussion in the class will range from the instrumental and intrinsic value of nature to obligations to future populations. This class, offered in Fall 2013, will be taught by Lisa Sideris. Sideris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. Her background includes religion and nature, environmental ethics, and many more related topics. The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm in Ballantine Hall Room 345.

It’s not too late to incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle, including your education. In my opinion, living sustainably is more than making daily choices like biking to work or using a refillable water bottle. It’s about  being educated about and understanding the implications of these choices and the connectivity of everything around us.

More classes like Religion, Ethics, and the Environment can be found here.

If you know of any classes that should be considered for the sustainability course list, please contact



3 thoughts on “Sustainability Education Station

  1. I think that it is amazing that the concept of sustainability has been able to cross boundaries and become integrated into courses dealing with religion and fashion merchandizing. I also believe in what you stated at the end that living sustainably is being educated on the interconnectedness and complexity of the world around us, and how one small thing we do affects more than meets the eye.

  2. Have you been surprised by any of the classes that are reaching out to teach sustainability (such as the merchandising–which class is this)? It is promising and delightful that there are so many diverse topics–I hope that even those curricula that teach only a section regarding sustainability promote just how far-reaching the topic is (and should be!). It ties neatly in to just how many diverse internships are available through IUOS.

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