SUS: Sustainability Studies

SUS 301: Environmental Ethics

Historically, ethical and moral notions have been concerned with the relations of humans to one another. How does the natural world fit into those traditional views about ethical and moral obligations? Do these views need revision? A selection from issues such as the following will be discussed: animal rights; the intrinsic value of nature; our obligations to nature; the "land ethic"; global environmental justice; "deep ecology", and ecofeminism. Readings will include both historical sources, and recent and contemporary authors.

Prerequisite: SBC 104 or PHI 104

3 credits

SUS 302: Integrative Assessment Models

Use, evaluation, and development of integrated assessment models. These model typically integrate environmental concerns with variables from other disciplines for the purpose of providing policy advice to decision-makers. Students will learn about the most frequently used integrated assessment models and what we can learn from them. The models studies will include the World3 model, which was the basis of the famous book "The Limits to Growth."

Prerequisite: SBC 201; U3/U4 status

3 credits

SUS 303: Demographic Change and Sustainability

This course will assess the unprecedented demographic changes and diversity of the 21st century, through an interdisciplinary approach. It will explore themes such as population ageing and decline, migration in population replacement, demographic change and sustainable public health, social welfare programs, environmental degradation, and differential vulnerabilities (e.g., gender, poverty, age, education, ethnicity and race, empowerment and rights).

Prerequisite: SBC 115

3 credits

SUS 305 ​- F: Collective Action and Advocacy

This course will address the ways in which people act collectively to address social problems or to change social policy. The course will be divided into two sections: a general introduction to the study of collective action, and a set of case studies in environmental activism.

Prerequisite: SBC 111, ENS 101 or GEO 101; POL 102 or SOC 105

3 credits

SUS 306: Business and Sustainability

This course examines the interface between business and sustainability. It considers opportunities for the development and growth of profit and not-for-profit businesses associated with the promotion of sustainability. It also covers how environmental concerns and related governmental regulations influence business operations and profitability. Students will apply career skills and concepts from environmental economics to understand how business functions (e.g., operations, public relations, sales, health and safety, and corporate social responsibility) are influenced by environmental concerns. The course will highlight current issues and cases, provide an overview of theory and practice, and generate research to test students' hypotheses, and generally explore opportunities and threats to business viability. Review of current affairs, case analyses, role plays, field trips, and guest speakers will be included along with required reading in seminal theory and research.

Prerequisite: SBC 206

3 credits

SUS 307: Environmental Economics and Management

This course presents advanced concepts in environmental economics and management through a series of detailed case studies. The cases include those concerning the US sulfur-dioxide permit trading system, the Kyoto Protocol, zoning, coastal fisheries, the use of ethanol in gasoline, tradable development rights in the Long Island Pine Barrens and the conservation of endangered species.

Prerequisite: SBC 206

3 credits

SUS 308: Economic Development

This course teaches students about economic development and its relationship to the environment. Students learn about both the theory of economic growth and the way development has proceeded in various regions of the world. Examples will come from the Asian tiger economies of East Asia and the development disasters in Sub-Saharan Africa. The relationships between the levels and rates of growth of output and various environmental indices will be explored.

Prerequisite: SBC 206

3 credits

SUS 341 ​- H: Environmental Treaties and Protocols

A multi-disciplinary study of the scientific basis, objective, development, implementation, and intended and unintended consequences of a single major Environmental Treatise or Protocol, such as the Kyoto Protocol. Official documents, secondary literature, as well as commentary on the Treatise or Protocol are studied.

Prerequisite: SBC 111, or ENS 101, or GEO 101; U3 or U4 standing

3 credits

SUS 342 ​- H: Energy and Mineral Resources

This class will explore the origin, distribution, and importance of energy and mineral resources to modern civilization, with an emphasis on fossil fuels and non-renewable mineral resources extracted from Earth. Geological processes responsible for the formation and distribution of energy and mineral resources, as well as current and future supply and demand are discussed. The environmental implications of the extraction and use of energy and mineral resources as well as techniques to minimize the impact on the environment will be discussed.

Prerequisite: One DEC E course

3 credits

SUS 350: Contemporary Topics in Sustainability

This course deals with the meaning and the application of the idea of sustainability. First, the mathematics of exponential and linear growth, and the concept of stability in complex systems will be developed. The idea of stable equilibrium and the long-term/short term distinction will also be discussed. Then, various subjects of sustainability--populations, species, habitats, ecosystems, resources, cultures, modes of production, economic systems, and political systems will be considered. Various purposes of sustainability for its own sake, for human welfare, for the welfare of nature will also be discussed. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: SBC 111; U3/U4 status

3 credits

SUS 487: Research in Sustainability Studies

Qualified advanced undergraduates may carry out individual research projects under the direct supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

1-6 credits, S/U grading