Richmond Home

Sustainability Courses

University of Richmond is committed to integrating sustainability into the curriculum. This can be seen in the number of sustainability courses offered. Instructors, administrators, and an independent committee have identified sustainability courses in more than 20 departments across all five schools. You can sign up for one of dozens of sustainability courses this fall.

The courses listed below represent a range of sustainability content. Both sustainability courses, which focus explicitly on sustainability or solving a sustainability challenge, and courses that incorporate a sustainability unit, activity, or issue. Our identification of what characterized sustainability course was guided by the nationally recognized STARS 2.1 Academic Courses guidelines.

Departments that offer at least one course focused on or related to sustainability include the following: AccountingBiologyBusiness AdministrationChemistryClassical StudiesEnvironmental StudiesEconomicsGeography and the EnvironmentHealthcare StudiesHistoryLatin American, Latino & Iberian StudiesLeadership StudiesManagementMarketingPolitical SciencePsychologyReligious StudiesSociology & AnthropologyTheatreLanguages, Literatures & Cultures, and Philosophy, Politics, Economics & Law.

We update this list regularly, but may not capture recent course changes or additions. Likewise, the amount of sustainability content may not be consistent across sections or professors. Please reach out to individual faculty members for more information on each course. If you know of other sustainability courses to bring to our attention, please contact sustainability@richmond.edu. You can also learn more about these courses through the University’s course catalog.

ACCT 328 Independent Study-Sustainability Accounting

Sustainability Related

Met with student on a weekly basis to discuss sustainability accounting issues. Our collaborative teaching work resulted in a presentation, which we delivered at the 2014 AAA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

ANTH 303 Biopolitics in Medical Anthropology

Sustainability Related

Advanced anthropology course examining the intersections of culture, politics and medicine from a variety of theoretical and scholarly approaches. With a strong emphasis on contemporary states and governments, the readings focus on how biology and politics--or biopolitics--converge in a myriad of ways to shape human experience, past and present. Study of the biopolitics in countries such as Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, South Africa, France, the United States, and more. Topics include: the history and culture of modern western biomedicine; religious perspectives of the body; organ donation and transplantation; sex, gender and reproductive technologies; racialized bodies in medical science; global poverty and infectious disease; ethics and medical humanitarianism; and how big pharmaceutical companies shape our ideas of health and personhood.

ANTH 328 Anthropology of Human Rights

Sustainability Related

Examines the origins of human rights discourse and practice in the 20th century and the elaboration and dissemination of human rights concepts in the post-World War II period, including analysis of institutional grounding in United Nations and non-governmental organizations. Considers human rights from a cross-cultural, anthropological perspective.

BIOL 108 Environmental Biology

Sustainability Focused

Basic ecological principles and selected topics in environmental science, including worldwide impact of growing human population, patterns of energy consumption, and issues of water quality, water management, land use, and biological resources. Application of the scientific method will be incorporated in laboratory component. Will not serve as basis of further work in science nor meet entrance requirements for any health profession. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.

BIOL 109/ENVR 109 Introduction to Ecology

Sustainability Focused

Introduction to causes and consequences of ecological patterns at all scales: individuals, species, communities, and ecosystems. Terrestrial, aquatic, and marine systems are studied, as well as theories and the mathematical and graphical models used to understand them.

BIOL 111/ ENVR 111 Marine Biology of the Chesapeake Bay

Sustainability Focused

Introduction to the ecology and biological diversity of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.  Environmental issues facing the bay will be explored through direct data collection, observation, and hands-on activities.

BIOL 120 Modern Concepts in Biology with Lab

Sustainability Related

Scientific reasoning as applied in biology. Different sections may address different topics, but each one will study the nature of evidence and how knowledge is gained in biology through diligent observation or controlled experimentation. Assumes completion of high school chemistry and biology. Designed for students not majoring in the sciences. Does not satisfy biology requirements for graduate school or the health professions. Repeatable for credit if topics differ. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.

BIOL 190 Integrated Quantitative Science

Sustainability Focused

The Integrative and Quantitative Science course (listed as BIOL190, MATH190, CHEM191, and PHYS191on transcript) integrates key concepts from the first semester of biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and physics under the overarching theme of “Challenges of a Changing Planet”. The course includes a focus and training in interdisciplinary science approaches to problems, divided into 6 modules. Of the 3 modules I teach, one of them has a significant environmental component - Role of Microorganisms in Fate of Chemical Pollutants in the Environment.

BIOL 192 Science, Math and Research Training I with lab

Sustainability Related

Year-long course provides an, interdisciplinary, integrated introduction to biology and chemistry, with an accompanying integrated lab. Based on the material in the first course of the major in each of these disciplines, this course will focus on current scientific problems facing today's world such as HIV/AIDS or antibiotic resistance. The course is team taught by two faculty members, one from each discipline. Teaching will be integrated so that links between concepts are readily apparent and students are stimulated to think beyond traditional science methodology. The laboratory will be comprised of hands-on and investigation based experiences using both experimental and computer simulation approaches. The SMART course is designed for students considering a major in either biology or chemistry and also meets requirements for students who go on to study medicine or other health sciences fields. To be taken in consecutive semesters in the first year and with an accompanying year-long calculus course. Completion of the full year of SMART (CHEM 192) will substitute for CHEM141 and BIOL 199. 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours per week.

BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking: Astrobiology

Sustainability Related

Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe.  In this class, we will explore the origins of life on Earth and then look at how the scientific method has been used to generate hypotheses regarding the existence of life elsewhere in the universe.

BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking: Invasions in Biology

Sustainability Focused

Humans act as the greatest vehicle for species to move from one location to another.  Why do some organisms that are normally benign suddenly become noxious pests or do direct harm to humans when introduced into a new environment?  We will explore how scientists use approaches from diverse biological disciplines (i.e. genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology, physiology) to study invasions in biology both at the ecosystem and the microbiological levels.

BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking: Mesoamerican Ethnobotany

Sustainability Related

This course is about the plants that are useful to the peoples of Mesoamerica, considered across time from the first peopling of the Americas through multiple ancient civilizations of the region (chiefly Olmec, Maya and Aztec) to the present day.

BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II

Sustainability Focused

Second of two-part series on the fundamental principles of biology. Modules on extinction risk, biodiversity, and invasive species.

BIOL 207 Ecology

Sustainability Focused

Examines forces that shape the patterns of species interactions, abundance and distribution. Three lecture and three laboratory hours a week plus overnight field trips.

BIOL 332 Tropical Marine Biology

Sustainability Focused

Ecological aspects of coral reef health in a changing climate.

BIOL 336 Eco-Epidemiology with Lab

Sustainability Related

Explores various ways environmental heterogeneity influences disease risk in humans, with specific emphasis on diseases harbored by wildlife species and transmitted by arthropod vectors. Molecular, field-based, computational, and geospatial approaches to characterizing and studying infectious disease dynamics. Readings draw heavily from primary scientific literature. Development of research ideas and implementation of group investigations. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.

BIOL 381 Wildlife Disease

Sustainability Related


Discussion-based course exploring the development of ecological theories in scientific literature from the foundations of the discipline through contemporary research and cutting-edge approaches. Readings draw from contemporary and foundational scientific research articles; critical analysis and discussion of the methods, data, and ideas found in each paper. Culminates in the development of one or more synthetic projects such as a synthesis paper that approaches current and historical thinking on a foundational ecological theory, and or a team-developed educational lab module that could hypothetically be used to teach undergraduate ecology students. The specific topical content of this course will vary by semester.

BUAD 202 Statistics for Business and Economics

Sustainability Related

This course covers the traditional content and procedures in a first statistics course. Much of this is individually paced for students through publisher's software. The above approach creates time for data analysis, sometimes in group projects. Much of these data are environmentally related.

BUAD 329 Ethical, Legal, Moral and Social Responsibilities for Business

Sustainability Focused

The course addresses the role of business in society in regards to its responsibilities towards a wide range of stakeholders such as employees, customers, and the environment.

BUAD 392 Ethical, Social, and Legal Responsibilities of Business

Sustainability Focused

Ethical and legal issues in business world are discussed and analyzed from a philosophical, historical, legal, and behavioral approach. Current ethical and legal cases serve to highlight changing value choices and resulting consequences, as well as legal problems experienced by business people

BUAD 497 Strategic Management

Sustainability Related

Analysis of the external environment and internal resources of a firm leading to the development of strategies and plans for implementing them. The course also provides opportunities for students to integrate knowledge from each of the functional business disciplines through case studies and other learning tools.

CHEM 110/ ENVR 110 Pollutants in the Environment

Sustainability Focused

Sources, behavior, and effects of chemical pollutants in the air, water, and soil. Topics include global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, pesticides, and radioactive waste.

CHEM 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 3 with Laboratory

Sustainability Related

One of two courses taught spring semester as part of Integrated Quantitative Science program. Will integrate topics from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math and Computer Science and will include instructors from all five disciplines. Each semester of the course will be organized around a guiding principle that integrates several concepts. Along with co-requisite, will include ten hours for lecture and lab combination. Students may only receive credit for one of the following: CHEM 141, CHEM 191, or CHEM 192.

CHEM 316 Environmental Chemistry

Sustainability Related

Study of the fate, transport, and distribution of chemicals in the environment. The chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere will be covered, highlighting effects of inorganic and organic pollutants. Topics such as global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, photochemical smog, and groundwater contamination will be discussed in detail. Three lecture hours per week.

CHEM 433 Chemistry of Energy

Sustainability Related

Special course areas covered when sufficient interest exists. Considers subject matter not covered in other chemistry courses. See chemistry department home page (chemistry.richmond.edu) for special topics currently scheduled.

CLSC 220 Introduction to Archaeology

Sustainability Related

This class is an introduction to the theories and methods of archaeology. In a few of the class meetings, we consider human impacts on ancient environments and possible environmental causes of societal changes.

CLSC 321 Archaeology of the Middle East

Sustainability Related

This course surveys the archaeology of the Middle East, from the Paleolithic era to the Persian empire, and the significance and uses of archaeological heritage in modern identities and conflicts. At certain points of the course (parts of a few class meetings) we discuss how human actions may have caused environmental changes (such as deforestation) and how these changes affected the societies of the time.

ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics

Sustainability Related

Provides students with the analytical perspective to think critically about the market system and social objectives it may serve. Topics include supply and demand, market structure, production, market failure (e.g., pollution), and benefits and costs of government intervention.

ECON 211 Economic development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Sustainability Focused

Explores issues of economic growth, inequality, etc.

ECON 230/ ENVR 230 Environmental Economics

Sustainability Focused

Development and application of economic principles to understand and evaluate causes and solutions to environmental problems such as pollution and conservation. Topics include economics of biodiversity protection, global warming, natural resource damage assessment, measurement of environmental values, and alternative strategies for pollution control. Special attention given to optimal use of exhaustible and renewable natural resources.

ECON 330/ENVR 330 Environmental and Resource Economic Theory

Sustainability Focused

A rigorous treatment of environmental and resource issues, with particular emphasis on problem of designing appropriate institutions and regulations under uncertainty. Topics include emission fees and marketable permits; enforcement, risk regulation, the economics and regulation of the fishery; depletion of nonrenewable resources; and forest use.

ECON 331 Labor Economics

Sustainability Related

Economic analysis of labor markets including labor supply, investment in human capital, labor demand, and wage determination. Policy issues include labor unions, discrimination, and analysis of government programs affecting labor markets.

EDUC 345 Urban Education

Sustainability Related

Examination of the relationship between urban issues and education policies and practices. Includes a broad interdisciplinary look at the relationship between school and urban society and communities. Sociological and philosophical theories will be used to examine how culture, race, and class influence the structure and function of urban education systems. A critical self-reflection on schooling, socio-cultural identity, and philosophical beliefs about education.

ENGL 233 Contemporary Native American Literatures

Sustainability Related 

An introduction to the most recent fiction by Native American writers in the United States through a study of a variety of genres in the context of the United States' colonial history, indigenous nations' struggles for sovereignty, and the long legacy of Indian representation in American popular culture.

ENGL 236 Global Women Writers

Sustainability Related

Explores women's writing from around the world, from regions as diverse as South Asia, Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Through reading novels, short stories, poetry, and essays by and about women, examines how the concerns of women writers travel across national and political lines. What particular challenges do women writers face and how do such challenges influence their writing? How is the role of women represented in and across different literary and non-fiction texts? How does sexuality figure into women's writing and what does it say about the "naturalized" ways that women are imagined across cultures? What current global issues concern women writers, and how are they linked to gender and sexuality? Writers may include Tsitsi Dangarembga, Margaret Atwood, Edwidge Danticat, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nawal el Saadawi, Bapsi Sidhwa, Zora Neale Hurston, Arundhati Roy, Vandana Shiva, Wangari Maathai, and Audre Lorde.

ENVR 110 Pollutants in the Environment with Lab

Sustainability Related

Sources, behavior, and effects of chemical pollutants in the air, water, and soil. Topics include global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, pesticides, and radioactive waste. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week. Does not count toward the chemistry major or minor.

ENVR 201 Introduction to Environmental Studies

Sustainability Focused

Overview of contemporary environmental issues, including species extinction, resource depletion, and pollution. Students examine behavior leading to environmental degradation, the scientific, ethical, and economic aspects of the resulting problems, and study policies intended to provide solutions.

ENVR 269 Topics in Environmental Ethics

Sustainability Focused

Introduces students to the moral issues and ethical approaches that characterize interaction with our natural environment. Topics will vary but will typically include issues such as our moral obligation to nonhuman species and to future human generations, and ethical analysis of contemporary environmental issues such as climate change and species extinction.

ENVR 300 Special Topics

Sustainability Focused

Selected topics about the environment

ENVR 321 Land Use Law

Sustainability Focused

A study of comprehensive plans and the planning process of land. Topics will include land use control by zoning, including history, power and purposes of zoning, types of zoning and uses. Types of zoning relief, historic and agricultural preservation, private land use controls and eminent domain will also be discussed. Particular emphasis will be placed on Virginia law and procedure and field trips to local Planning Commission and Board of Zoning hearings may be included.

ENVR 322 Global Impacts of Climate Change

Sustainability Focused

Rapid climate change is causing an increase in the temperature of the atmosphere and oceans. This is a truly global problem that requires international research and collaboration to resolve. The USA is a major producer of the atmospheric "greenhouse" gases that make a significant contribution to this global "anthropogenic" warming. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the global environmental impact of anthropogenic climate change, and to challenge students to think about the possible impact of the way we live in the USA on poor, marginalized and at risk communities around the world. Same as Geology 322U.

ENVR 325 Global Sustainability

Sustainability Focused

Examines the twenty-five global issues that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development has identified as the most critical global social, economic, and environmental challenges that are driving global change. Development of approaches to address the challenges.

ENVR 362 Environmental Law and Policy

Sustainability Focused 

Examines legal aspects, both regulations and case law, of environmental policy. Central issues are whether legal responses (1) effectively address the needs of the parties most affected; (2) properly weigh such facts as economic efficiency, protection of nonhuman species, and the possibility of unintended consequences; and (3) are diluted by the political process.

ENVR 391 Environmental Senior Seminar

Sustainability Focused 

Close study of a current environmental problem. Student develops a project to address the problem using approaches and skills from the environmental studies core and elective courses.

FREN 306 French at Work

Sustainability Related

Task-based course designed to develop students' ability to interact in French situations specific to the workplace. Acquisition of business terminology and etiquette and exploration of cross-cultural differences, economic and political issues influencing business in the French-speaking world.  Unit on corporate information and websites includes discussion of how sustainability issues are discussed by corporations; unit on marketing focuses on controversies about sustainability, particularly the controversy involving palm oil and Nutella.

FYS 100 Buckwheat and Caviar: Concepts of 'Sustainability' in Russian Science and Literature

Sustainability Focused

An examination of how environmental ethos and practices arise differently across cultures, by looking at the history of Soviet/Russian answers to the question 'what are we trying to sustain, and why?'  A mixture of literary texts and science history: Vernadsky's concept of the 'noosphere,'  Vavilov's theory of biodiversity and the origins of the first seed bank, etc.

FYS 100 Changing Consumer Culture

Sustainability Related 

Consumers will play an important role in any career you might pursue; you may refer to them as clients, stakeholders, stockholders, patients, patrons. This course offers an introduction to consumer-related theory and practice in international marketing while presenting a socio-culturally inspired analysis of consumption. The course explores consumer culture concepts that confront today's business at all levels of market involvement. Both cases and a term-long project are used to explore the different dimensions of the problems and opportunities facing the firm as it deals with a changing consumer culture. In this course, you will analyze and create business cases, and persuasively write about consumption and culture. The course also addresses the impact of globalization on consumers from low and medium income countries, and their consumption as a consequence of and in tandem with consumption patterns and rituals in high-income countries. The course engages in a critical analysis of global consumerism based on readings from industry and from popular culture sources.

FYS 100 Civic Journalism and Social Justice

Sustainability Focused 

In this course, students will learn that journalists don't just report the news - they often have a responsibility to tell stories that inspire social change. This course explores the role and power of journalism in identifying social problems and uncovering ways to resolve them.

FYS 100 Global Issues & Public Policy

Sustainability Related 

Following the path of the Spring 2018 Semester-at-Sea program that goes from Hawaii to Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, India, South Africa and Morocco, this course examines how public problems are defined, how different policy solutions are crafted, and the ways in which we judge their effectiveness in the U.S. and around the world. As the art of political decision-making, public policy reflects the reality that: (1) penalties and incentives ("sticks and carrots") are what primarily drive much of modern life; (2) information is key to structuring effective penalties and incentives; and that (3) thinking analytically and empirically, knowing what to measure and how to measure it, is as important as thinking normatively. This course uses the countries we visit "in class" to illustrate the different ways that countries craft public policies, why they do so, and what the tradeoffs and consequences are.

FYS 100 Green Schools

Sustainability Focused

This campus sustainability seminar is divided into three parts. At the start of the semester we will analyze the foundations of environmental sustainability and each student will define their own notions of appropriate commitments in terms of the roles and missions of colleges and universities.  In the second part, students will develop sustainability profiles from schools across the US or abroad. In the final portion of the class, students will investigate an on-campus project involving green buildings or solar energy while having the support of a team of peers, student interns, and a faculty mentor.

FYS 100 Inequality and Wellbeing

Sustainability Related 

This First Year Seminar investigates inequality in the United States and the world, both historically and in the present. The course will focus on income inequality, but we will investigate inequality in lifespan and education as well. While most of the course will emphasize understanding the level and causes of inequality, we will spend some time acquainting ourselves with normative views on inequality, that is, what should be equalized and to what extent something should be equalized. The course will include discussions of possible responses to various forms of inequality.

FYS 100 Noble Beasts

Sustainability Related 

This course explores accounts from history, literature, and science about ways animals have improved our lives by protecting us, working for us, and serving us as sources of comfort, recreation, and entertainment. It also examines the problems and conflicts that can arise with reference to our responsibilities to animals (e.g. in terms of their rights, their welfare, and their health). Our study will be guided by questions such as the following: What do we know about animal nature and intelligence, and how do we know what we know? What do we get from our relationships with animals? What are the relative influences of training, instinct, and intelligence upon animal behavior? What are the implications of this knowledge for our relationships--both with animals and each other?

FYS 100 Not just food: US Policy and Social Justice

Sustainability Related 

Eating is not just about food, nor is it just about sating one?s hunger. Poet and essayist Wendell Berry once proclaimed, ?Eating is an agricultural act.? Chef Alice Waters took the assertion one step further and declared, ?Eating is a political act.? Eating, in short, binds us to the earth and to one another. It drives how we treat our world and our fellow humans, yet most of us think little about these connections as we sit down to our daily meals. Not anymore. This course explores those connections through an examination of the industrial and corporate food system and its critics in the organic and local food movements. Students read the works of food activists, journalists, and scholars. Students write a research paper on a food of their choice and, at its conclusion, face off in the "Food Fight" debate.

FYS 100 Refugees

Sustainability Related 

How does contemporary art, literary and visual, represent refugees? Who is a refugee? How is a refugee different from an immigrant/emigrant? What is at stake in defining oneself, and others, as refuges rather than immigrants? How does the experience of having to flee from/to/for something shape people as individuals, as mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters, as communities/nations, as citizens/electorates, as private and public selves, as humans? How are people and communities rooted in place shaped by the forced dislocation of others, whether they witness, welcome, or resist such dislocation and its effects? What local and global forces as well as long historical developments shape forced population movements and in what specific ways? In what specific and unique ways does art, as opposed to other forms of public discourse, allow us to approach these questions in novel and insightful ways. This course explores the various dimensions--private/public, individual/collective, psychological/political--of the refugee experience through a study of contemporary literature and film. We will consider recent and historical examples of forced movement of individuals and populations in novels and short stories, such as Mohsin Hamid?s EXIT WEST, Viet Thanh Nguyen?s REFUGEES, Colson Whitehead?s THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, Diane Glancy?s PUSHING THE BEAR, and films, such as SIN NOMBRE.

FYS 100 Representing Civil Rights in Richmond

Sustainability Related 

As the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond is a city particularly invested in memorializing civil rights (and their suppression). In this course, we will engage the current debates over Confederate statue removal (or contextualization) and visit museums and other sites of memory in order to address why and how civil rights are represented here and to consider what a just representation might look like.

FYS 100 Slavery in Contemporary Imagination

Sustainability Related 

This course will explore the history of U.S. slavery and its manifestations in popular culture today. We will not only learn about the historical context of slavery but we also will explore contemporary films, music, art, literature, and public history sites that grapple with slavery and its meanings in our society today. As part of our class activities, we will watch the Oscar winning film 12 Years a Slave, read the science fiction novel Underground Airlines, and visit the Richmond Slave Trail.

FYS 100 Storytelling, Identity, and Social Change

Sustainability Related 

Does everyone have a story? Do we tell ourselves stories?? Are they true? This course explores the role that stories play in forming our own identity, forming relationships with others, forming community, and forming the structures through which we understand our world.? We will learn about ?the history of storytelling through research, ?critical reading, critical writing, and telling stories aloud. ? We'll consider how??storytelling is evolving with the influence of the internet. Students will also grapple with these concepts by participating in peer mentoring through story-sharing with local incarcerated youth.

FYS 100 Why do we build? Why should we care?

Sustainability Related 

This course will explore the various roles building and design play in shaping how we live, work, play and interact with one another. We will read ancient, modern and contemporary texts and view/analyze documentaries devoted to the built environment. As students learn to read buildings, plans and even cities as primary texts they will appreciate the impact design can have on our experience of place. Questions we will address include: Can design fix a broken society? What is the role of the architect or planner in civilization? Is one kind of design better than another? Can design overcome government policies?

FYS 100 Working

Sustainability Related 

This seminar explores the world of work in modern America, using a variety of sources ranging from U.S. Supreme Court opinions to first-person narratives. We will consider workplace questions of rights, social justice, motivation, challenges, social behavior, and economic necessity. Topics include legal foundations of the employment relationship, how that relationship has been modified by the courts and Congress, the broad spectrum of employment situations in which people of all ages perform their work, the dynamics and perils of the work environment, and how the working world has been portrayed by outside observers and employees.

FYS 100 Wrongful Convictions in Modern America

Sustainability Related 

This course is an examination into the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions in America. It delves into how race and poverty impact our criminal justice system at a structural level. We spend time thinking and writing about how a democracy should conceive of punishment and crime control when faced with limited resources and when citizens have different abilities to access the resources needed to navigate the criminal justice system. We study high-profile cases of wrongful convictions and make efforts to understand forensic science, the role of the prosecutor, police practices, and other elements of the criminal justice system.

GEOG 210 Geographic Dimensions of Human Development

Sustainability Related 

Introduction to geographic approaches to study of cultural, societal, economic, political, and environmental change. Topics include: spatial analysis techniques and theories; population distributions and migration; cultural geographies; global economic development and its distribution; urbanization; political geography; and human-environment relations. (Same as Global Studies 210.)

GEOG 215/ ENVR 215 Geography of the James River Watershed

Sustainability Focused

Study of the local environments and protected areas within the James River watershed. Explores the natural and human connections that define the resource challenges and opportunities within this urban watershed.

GEOG 220/ ENVR 220 Ecotourism

Sustainability Focused

Ecotourism integrates environmental protection, education, empowerment, local livelihoods, and responsible travel. The study of ecotourism allows students to document and analyze complex interactions between society and nature.

GEOG 250/ENVR 250 Introduction to Earth Systems and Physical Geography

Sustainability Focused

Basic concepts of earth systems science and physical geography. Includes earth-sun relationships, weather and climate, environmental hydrology, landforms and geomorphology, climate change, and human-environment interactions.

GEOG 260/ENVR 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Sustainability Focused

Concepts of mapping and spatial analysis using the ArcGIS software package and ArcGIS Online. Includes map analysis, vector and raster data creation and presentation, cartography, and analysis of spatial relationships. In-depth look at concepts including scale, coordinate systems, projections, and metadata. Practice with data acquisition using mobile GPS technology. Demonstration of real-world applications of GIS technology.

GEOG 280 Protected Lands of the American West

Sustainability Focused

We will explore the balance between seemingly contradictory goals to leave protected lands unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations and to harness our nation’s natural resources for energy, minerals, and water.

GEOG 315/ENVR 315 Landscape Ecology

Sustainability Focused

Applied science that focuses on the development, consequences, and management of environmental patterns. These patterns include the spatial distributions of species and the environment resources upon which they depend. Attention is paid to the importance of scale in natural resource management. Landscape ecology also emphasizes the role of humans in the environment.

GEOG 320 Power, Space and Territory: Geographies of Political Change

Sustainability Focused

Analyses of and explorations into the spatial dimensions and geographic characteristics of global, regional, and local political change; and the political economy and ecology of globalization. Topics include: imperialism; world systems theory; nationalism; regionalism; electoral geography; race, class and gender; political economy of trade and foreign aid; and political ecology.

GEOG 325/LAIS 325 Latin American Geographies: Transnational and Local Connections

Sustainability Focused

Latin America is a culturally and ecologically diverse region with historical and contemporary connections to locations around the world, including Richmond, Virginia. Documenting the movement of people and flows of ideas, goods, and services, this course analyzes the political economy and ecology of transnational networks in areas such as immigration, security, transportation, communication, energy, and commerce while examining place-based consequences in local communities. In the last offering, one third of the class focused their semester long research project on sustainability.

GEOG 333 Geographies of Amazonia

Sustainability Related 

Explores the contradictions and connections of Amazonia. Considers the region's importance and relevance to the rest of the world through a study of the ecologies, histories, and geographies of Amazonia. Looks at the Amazon basin as much more than the world's greatest rainforest, richest reserve of biological and cultural diversity, and largest source of fresh water flow.

GEOG 345 Society, Economy & Nature

Sustainability Focused 

Applies geography's human-environment tradition to examine environmental, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of sustainability and sustainable development. Examinations into foundations and theories behind the concept of sustainable development, discussions and debates about its real-world applicability, and explorations into case studies addressing relationships and contradictions between human desires for material well-being, environmental protection, and maintenance of cultural and/or social traditions.

GEOG 350/ENVR 350 Environmental Gradients

Sustainability Focused

Investigation of the approaches, key concepts, and methods of studying environmental gradients. Explores quantitative methods for describing different aspects of climate, water, nutrient, and biotic systems and their interactions. A modeling approach is introduced and different types of conceptual, statistical, and simulation models are used to explore the different systems.

GEOG 360/ENVR 360 Environmental Remote Sensing

Sustainability Focused

Concepts of image acquisition, image interpretation, and satellite remote sensing. Includes electromagnetic spectrum concepts, acquisition of image data, visual characteristics of vegetation and landforms, image interpretation, classification and transformation, and integration of remotely sensed imagery into other spatial analysis systems.

GEOG 365/ENVR 365 Advanced Spatial Analysis

Sustainability Focused

Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) theory, application, and analysis. Topics include use of Model Builder, analysis of aerial imagery and LiDAR data, use of 3D Analyst and ArcScene, and use of Network Analyst and topologies. Emphasis on practical and real-world applications of GIS for biological, environmental, and social science issues, culminating in student projects.

GEOG 370 Economic Geography and Globalization

Sustainability Focused

This class addresses (1) the spatial dimensions and geographic characteristics of globalization and global economic change; (2) multinational firms and the private sector; (3) consumption; (4) global food flows; and (5) sustainable development. Spatial and geographical concepts (e.g., flow, connectivity, diffusion, scale, space, place, regions, etc.) will be central to our discussions. The emphasis in this class will be on effective speaking and writing, creativity, critical thinking, and the interpretation and usage of economic concepts (e.g., comparative advantage, value added, product differentiation, marketing, branding, supply chains, etc.) as well as geographical theory and perspectives.

GEOG 401 Senior Seminar

Sustainability Focused

Topics change from year to year, primarily involving environmental issues.

GEOL 320/ENVR 323 The Geology of Disaster

Sustainability Focused

Basic geological principles as applied to help predict the occurrence and impact of natural disasters. Application of basic scientific principles to earth science. Exploration of the impact of the earth's varied internal processes on environmental change and human evolution.

GEOL 322/ENVR 322 The Global Impact of Climate Change

Sustainability Focused

Rapid climate change is causing an increase in the temperature of the atmosphere and oceans. This is a truly global problem that requires international research and collaboration to resolve. The USA is a major producer of the atmospheric "greenhouse" gases that make a significant contribution to this global "anthropogenic" warming. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the global environmental impact of anthropogenic climate change, and to challenge students to think about the possible impact of the way we live in the USA on poor, marginalized and at risk communities around the world.

HCS 100/ PLSC 363 Health Care / Global Health

Sustainability Focused

The course surveys the social and environmental determinants of health, as well as health care policy, finance and organization. May term course on environmental health in Acadia National Park, Maine.

HCS 201 Health and the Caring Professions

Sustainability Related 

Ethical and interpersonal aspects of healthcare within a larger sociopolitical context. Analytical and reflective skills in a scholarly approach to healthcare issues. Preparation for a broad range of careers and educational opportunities in healthcare.

LA 320U/ENVR 324 Environmental Law

Sustainability Focused

Survey of issues involved in the field through examination of major cases that have shaped the implementation of major federal environmental statutes since their passage beginning in the 1960s. Topics covered include the common law basis for environmental protection, constitutional and statutory authority to protect the environment, standing to bring environmental cases, the rules of judicial review, and substantive issues involving major environmental statutes and their implementing regulations. The cases are predominantly federal, but Virginia cases are used where appropriate.

LAIS 303 Spanish in the Media

Sustainability Related

Development of Spanish reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills via contact with Spanish language media, including current events (news) and entertainment,  One (2-week) module on global warming and sustainability.

LDST 102 Leadership and the Social Sciences

Sustainability Related

Course examines leadership processes from a social science perspective; the portions pertaining to sustainability examine influence constitutents and citizens to act in more pro-environmentally positive ways.

The amount of sustainability related content in this course varies by professor, please reach out to individual faculty for more details. 

LDST 250 Critical Thinking

Sustainability Related

Classes that address effective altruism, future generations, existential risk, cost benefit analysis all focus in part on climate change. Students read essays about duties to future generations, environmental externalities, philanthropic projects that focus on sustainability, and existential risks.

The amount of sustainability related content in this course varies by professor, please reach out to individual faculty for more details. 

LDST 450 Leadership Ethics

Sustainability Related

Application of moral theory to the values and assumptions of leadership, focusing especially on the ethical challenges of leaders past and present, group behavior, and leadership theory. Topics include self-interest, power, charisma, duty, obedience, and the greater good.

The amount of sustainability related content in this course varies by professor, please reach out to individual faculty for more details. 

MATH 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 2 with Laboratory

Sustainability Related 

One of two courses taught fall semester as part of Integrated Quantitative Science program. Each semester of the course will be organized around a guiding principle that integrates several concepts. Along with co-requisite, will include ten hours for lecture and lab combination.

MGMT 348 Environmental Management

Sustainability Focused

Aims to bring into contact and conflict various normative theories developed by philosophers, political scientists, and economists - that is, their different accounts of what makes acts right, outcomes good, or societies just - with significant attention paid to the implications these theories have for a specific public policy, in this case climate change.

MKT 325 International Marketing

Sustainability Related

The course covers strategies for international markets of different levels of economic development. Class addresses environmental challenges in the different target markets and various firm strategies to protect the environment.

PHIL 265 Bioethics

Sustainability Related 

A survey of prevalent topics in recent bioethics, the study of ethical discussions surrounding the sciences of biology and medicine. Works to improve ability to think critically and to argue from the standpoint of a certain moral theory in the ethical evaluation of problems concerning the human body, health care, doctor-patient relationship, life and death, food, and animals.

PHYS 191 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 4 with Laboratory

Sustainability Related 

One of two courses taught spring semester as part of Integrated Quantitative Science program. Each semester of the course will be organized around a guiding principle that integrates several concepts. Along with co-requisite, will include ten hours for lecture and lab combination.

Students have been study climate change and have a lab in which they build a small solar cell

PLSC 260 Intro to Public Policy

Sustainability Focused

Introduction to how the policy-making process works in the U.S.  I focus on four case studies: the deficit, education policy, health care reform, and climate change/energy policy.

PLSC 323 Money, Politics & Prisons

Sustainability Related 

The connections between the economy, politics, and the prison system in the United States are important for understanding concepts of justice in a democracy. Explores links between privatization of prisons, political incentives, and theories of justice.

PLSC 325 Racial Politics

Sustainability Focused

Comparative examination of the history, problems and political role of minority groups in the U.S., with a concentration on the African-American political experience. Relationship of racism and environmental justice.

PLSC 361 The Politics of Social Welfare

Sustainability Related 

Study of the development and effectiveness of programs in the United States that seek to promote economic equality and alleviate need. A focus on programs for both the poor and the middle class.

PLSC 362/ENVR 362 Environmental Law and Policy

Sustainability Focused

Examines legal aspects, both regulations and case law, of environmental policy. Central issues are whether legal responses (1) effectively address the needs of the parties most affected; (2) properly weigh such facts as economic efficiency, protection of nonhuman species, and the possibility of unintended consequences; and (3) are diluted by the political process.

PPEL 261 Law and Social Order

Sustainability Related

Law and Social Order is the second course in the Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL) sequence for the interdisciplinary PPEL program.  The specific focus changes from year to year.  In 2011 it was Law, Liberty, and Republicanism; in 2012 it was Property, Markets, and Justice.  Because the course frequently deals with collective-action problems, I often draw on concepts and examples from environmental theory, such as the tragedy of the commons and the problems associated with discounting for time.

PPEL 262 Seminar in Law & Social Order

Sustainability Related 

Aims to bring into contact and conflict various normative theories developed by philosophers, political scientists, economists, and legal theorists - that is, their different accounts of what makes acts right, outcomes good, or societies just - with significant attention paid to the implications these theories have for some area of law, such as international or tort law, or some legal institution, such as legislatures or courts.

PPEL 261 Seminar in Theory and Public Policy

Sustainability Related

Business ethics and political philosophy course. Addresses climate change, moral mathematics, collective action problems, and the ethics of belief formation.

PSYC 299 Integrated Topics: Wired Psych

Sustainability Related

The course examines the psychological implications of modern technology.

PSYC 317 Applied Social Psychology

Sustainability Related

Applied social psychology is defined as theory, research, and practice directed toward understanding social problems and improving social conditions.

RELG 269 Ethics, Religion, and the Environment

Sustainability Focused

This course focuses on ethical concerns related to human interactions with the non-human world. It acquaints students with a broad range of ethical theories and a variety of forms of environmental ethics. The topics include pollution control, environmental racism, the treatment of non-human animals, and sustainable agriculture.

RELG 369 Ethics, Religion & War

Sustainability Related 

Selected issues of social concern as addressed by various religious traditions in contemporary context. Such topics as sexuality, war, abortion, euthanasia, and environmentalism. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

RELG 374 Religion and the American Environment

Sustainability Focused

This advanced seminar explores representations of the natural world in American religious history from the era of contact through the nineteenth century. The topics covered will include Native American environmental practices, Puritanism and the concept of “wilderness,” the place of nature in early American travel narratives and novels, the Hudson River School of landscape painters, and American Transcendentalism.

RHCS 350 Rhetoric in a Globalized World

Sustainability Related 

Exploration of the rhetoric of U.S. internationalism in the 20th century and its impact on the discourse of globalization in the 21st century through close analysis of speeches, public documents, maps, photos, posters, radio, and films. A broad historical/critical perspective is offered on important public arguments pertaining to the global expansion of American power, while also engaging with significant archival and other primary materials from both American and international perspectives. Special attention to the relationship between historical and contemporary rhetorics of intervention, foreign aid, and exceptionalism.

RHCS 353 Rhetoric & Law

Sustainability Related 

Inquiry into the law from rhetorical perspectives, using the history and theory of rhetoric and its long-standing association with law and justice. Examination of interpretive processes on which legal arguments and ideologies are based. Exploration of the language of legal argument, court decisions, and of the role of rhetoric and the law in shaping of public life and social justice.

SOC 209 Social Problems

Sustainability Related 

Sociological examination of major social problems. Emphasis is on the structural causes, manifestations, patterns, consequences, and policy dimensions of social problems.

Sociology 279 The System

Sustainability Related 

Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.

SOC 316 Race and Ethnicity in America

Sustainability Related 

Native peoples; immigration and settlement of U.S.; racial and ethnic groups; prejudice and discrimination; race relations in a racially and culturally diverse society

SOC 330 Science, Technology & Society

Sustainability Focused

Students study technology in our society the ways in which humans shape and are shaped by technology. Student groups presented on various types of waste related to a technology, for example cell phone waste; medical waste.

SOC 335 Feast and Famine: Inequalities in the Agrifood System

Sustainability Focused

This class analyzes the socio-economic, political, and cultural construction of our food systems and the ways in which the institutions and individuals involved with these systems have experienced dramatic changes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The course concludes by focusing on social movements aiming to create a more sustainable and just food system.

SOC 340 Sociology of Health and Illness

Sustainability Related 

Advanced course serving as an introduction to the sociological study of health and illness. Draws upon a critical sociological perspective to understand how society shapes health and health disparities. Investigates social factors that harm our health and well being, particularly those that produce disparities along major social strata (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation).

SOC 379 Environmental Sociology

Sustainability Related 

Various topics in the field of sociology. Course may be repeated for credit if topics are different.

THTR 202 Stage Lighting Design

Sustainability Related

Teach design process and analysis of lighting design for performance, primarily theater and dance.  Includes material on decreasing waste and energy use in lighting design.

Stay Connected

faecbook   twitter   instagram        

Sign up for our email list to receive the latest information about sustainability-related events or announcements