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Undergraduate Program

Minor and Clusters

Minor

The Sustainability minor is intentionally interdisciplinary and includes core classes from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The minor allows for three additional electives chosen from the sciences or social sciences (at least one science elective is required). The goal of the minor is to provide a curriculum that encourages students to learn to communicate and to solve problems of societal relevance that straddle disciplinary boundaries in sustainability and global change.

Beginning in Fall 2016, and moving forward, the Sustainability minor satisfies either the Social Science (SS) or Natural Science (NS) requirement of the Rochester Curriculum if at least three courses are taken from the respective division. 

Program Management and Advising

Students who want to declare a minor in sustainability or who want to discuss questions about a minor in sustainability should contact the program advisor, Professor Karen Berger (Earth and Environmental Sciences) at karen.berger@rochester.edu

The Steering Committee for the sustainability minor was comprised of faculty from Anthropology, Chemical Engineering, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Philosophy, and Political Science Departments.

Requirements

Some classes require prerequisites (noted below). AP equivalents or instructor approval is also acceptable.

CORE (3 courses):

Required:

  • EES 103: Introduction to Environmental Science (N)

Choose two from the following list.  If more than two are taken, they may be counted as electives.

  • PHL 230: Environmental Justice (H) OR HIS 371: History of Nature (S)
  • ECO 238: Environmental Economics (S) [note: this course has two ECO pre-requisites]
  • PSC 247: Green Markets (S) OR PSC 246:  Environmental Law and Policy (S)
  • ANT 224: Anthropology of Development (S)

ELECTIVES (3 courses): Choose three from the following list.   At least one elective must be in science or engineering (N).  Other sustainability-related courses, such as those taken abroad or offered on an occasional basis, may be eligible for inclusion in the minor. Contact Professor Berger for approval.

Humanities

  • EHU 240: Environmental Apocalypse and the Anthropocene
  • EHU 245: Literature and the Modern Environmental Imagination (formerly CAS 245)
  • EHU 250: Food Justice, Urban Farming, Social Practice (formerly CAS 250)
  • EHU 267: EcoMedia: Environmental Media from Film to Smartphones (formerly CAS 267)
  • EHU 268: Food, Media, Literature (formerly CAS 268)

Social Sciences

  • PSC 121/EES 121: Sustainable Food Systems [not known when this course will next be offered]
  • PSC 239: International Environmental Law
  • PSC 243: Environmental Politics

Natural Sciences 

  • BIO 104K: Ecosystem Conservation and Human Society OR BIO 263: Ecology
  • CHE 150: Green Energy
  • CHE 260: Solar Cells
  • CHE 264: Biofuels
  • CHM 286: Energy: Science, Technology and Society
  • EES 105: Introduction to Climate Change
  • EES 212: Climate Change from and Oceanography Perspective
  • EES 213: Hydrology and Water Resources
  • EES 119/219: Energy and Society
  • EES 265: Paleoclimate
  • EES 320: Sustainable Systems 

Clusters

There are three sustainability clusters, one in the humanities, one in the social sciences, and one in the natural sciences and engineering academic division. 

Science and Sustainability (N1SUS001)

This cluster introduces students to the natural world and the impact humans have on it. It also discusses the basic ideas of energy availability and use, and introduces students to the social/philosophical background of sustainability.

Society and Sustainability (S1SUS001) 

This cluster introduces students to current thinking about sustainability policies and their consequences. Courses look at the intellectual/philosophical background of sustainability and important policies and their consequences for society. This cluster is intended especially for students in the natural sciences and engineering.

Sustainability and the Humanities (H1SUS001) 

This cluster introduces students to ways of understanding environmental values, histories, and relationships from a humanities perspective. By engaging environmental issues with an emphasis on interpretation, imagination, and culture, students will learn to think critically about the conceptual frameworks that shape how ecological problems and solutions are articulated.