Chatham University

Sustainability (BA/BS) Curriculum

The Bachelor of Sustainability major provides an intellectual and experiential core in sustainability and the ability to specialize in one of three tracks of study.

Program Requirements

+BA/BS in Sustainability

Required Core Courses for all tracks BA/ BS 27 credits

SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS201 Integrative Biology

This course will introduce traditional biological concepts from molecules to organisms within an integrative and applied framework. Students will learn the interdisciplinary nature and common approaches of biology through applied topics relevant to sustainability such as human and ecological health, freshwater and marine fisheries, energy sources, and climate dynamics.

3
SUS201L Integrative Biology Lab

Laboratory exercises including data collection, small-scale experimentation, data modeling, and simulation will be experienced to complement the material covered in SUS 201. Two hours of laboratory will be held per week at the Eden Hall Campus aquatic science lab. Corequisite: SUS 201. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fees = S50.

1
SUS202 Dynamic Earth Systems

The earth is a dynamic, evolving system. This course provides an introduction to earth's formation, its materials composition and distribution, and the processes of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere that interact to shape surface and subsurface features and conditions. The complex adaptive systems framework will be applied.

3
SUS210 Sustainability and Technology

This course discusses opportunities and challenges for using technology for sustainability. We will discuss innovation for sustainability and societal adoption, and will explore ways to use renewable energy and other technologies for homes and workplaces, the internet of Things, closed loops and new materials, sustainable transportation, and smart water systems.

3
SUS327W Writing about Environmental Science

This course is designed for students with some basic scientific skills, who might become scientists professionally, but all of whom will be communicating about science, often to non-scientists. In this course, we will read, discuss, and practice a variety of methods of communicating about environmental science, from popular culture to news to government reports. Students will competently translate scientific results into written journalistic English and will be able to evaluate scientific results from the news in terms of its scientific accuracy and clarity. Cross-listed as ENV327W.

3
SUS350 Sustainability Career Prep 2
SUS352 GIS 3
SUS380 Economics in a Changing World

An interdisciplinary approach to economics including concepts from sociology, politics, behavioral and evolutionary economics. It explores the limits of conventional economics in explaining and predicting economic phenomena. It situates economics as a behavioral science and looks at economic sustainability at the local, to global scale, incorporating social and political issues.

3
SUS401 - Sustainability Policy and Decision Making (3)
SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1
SUS490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
INTSUS303 Internship - Sustainability

3
MTH110 Elementary Statistics

Topics include statistical measures and distributions, decision making under uncertainty, application of probability to statistical inference, linear correlation, introduction to nonparametric statistical methods, and application to problems drawn from the natural and social sciences. Three hours of class per week. Three hours of class per week.

3
OR
BUS110 Business Statistics

This course introduces essential research tools in business. Topics include descriptive statistics of central tendency and variability and hypotheses testing statistical analysis using correlation, analysis of variance, and regression. Problems use applications from business cases, marketing research, and economic policy.

3

+Natural Resource Management Track

17 credits
The natural resources management track provides students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of ecological, economic, social and political, systems. The track introduces students to a wide range of renewable natural resources, their use and management. It combines professional competency in management skills with a strong foundation in the biophysical, social and economic fields. For this track there are three required courses (including the labs) and two electives.

Track Requirements - 11 Credits

SUS322 Natural Resource Management Policy and Law

Contemporary natural resource management policy issues are addressed emphasizing deomestic policy solutions. Major initiatives and implementation toward sustainable resource use and healthy environments are discussed and analyzed to determine implementation strategy success levels, to assess adequacy within bioregional/ecosystem approaches, and to integrate economic and environmental decisions. Local site visit(s) expected.

3
SUS404 Quantitative Ecology

Drawing from case studies in landscape design and natural resource management, this course will apply quantitative methods to ecological data analysis. Students will work with the software program R to apply statistical inference and mathematical modeling using previously collected data sets on single species, species interactions, communities, and food webs.

3
SUS404L Quantitative Ecology Laboratory

Laboratory exercises from this course will complement material covered in SUS 404. Activities will primarily involve data collection and retrieval in ecosystems surrounding Eden Hall and in the Laurel Highlands. Additional fees: $50 laboratory fee.

1
CHM102 Chemistry in Context

One semester lecture course with selected topics in inorganic and organic chemistry. Emphasis is on relevance to biological and environmental issues. Topics include matter, energy, atomic and molecular structure, bonding, reaction chemistry, and radioactivity. Three hours of lecture per week. Not open to majors in biology or chemistry.

3
CHM102L Chemistry in Context Lab

One semester laboratory course to accompany CHM102 Chemistry in Context. Two hours of lab per week. Not open to majors in biology or chemistry.

1

Track Electives (Choose Two) - 6 Credits

SUS203 Global Environmental Health

This course addresses the connection between health and environment. Topics include: environmental epidemiology, toxicology, policy, radiation and energy disease, and water, air, soil qualities. The work of scientists and public health specialists to discover, assess, and reduce risk to environment health problems are explored. Case studies provide context and background for environmental health issues past and present.

3
SUS301 Global Change Science

The climate system of Earth is rapidly changing due to complex and interacting phenomena. This course offers an in-depth investigation of the science behind climate change, including a survey of model forecasts. Emphasis will also include the current and projected consequences of climate change on natural resources.

3
SUS455 - Forestry and Conservation (3)
SUS461 Aquatic Entomology

Aquatic environments harbor a vast number of insect species that are widely used as biological indicators of environmental health. This course introduces the physiological, ecological, and biomonitoring attributes of aquatic insects and emphasizes taxonomic identification. Preparation for a formal identification certification test from the Society for Freshwater Science is optional.

3

+Sustainable Energy and Urban Systems

15 credits
The sustainable technology track provides students with a broad-based understanding of the interconnectedness of social, ecological and technological systems. The track introduces students to a wide range of renewable energy technologies and systems, and explores the relationship between technological, social and policy change, particularly in the context of the sustainable cities of the future. For this track there are three required courses (including the labs) and two electives.

Track Requirements - 9 credits

SUS335 Renewable Energy and Society

This course explores the relationship of energy production and consumption with sustainability. Non-renewable and renewable energy resources and their environmental and social impacts will be discussed. We will explore the Eden Hall energy systems and investigate in more detail how solar energy could be used on a larger scale.

3
SUS460 - Energy Policy (3)
IAR231 Green & Sustainable Design

Global issues of energy use, resource depletion, and indoor air quality have promoted design professionals to re-evaluate design and construction processes. This course provides students with the knowledge of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system to promote environmentally responsible design.

3

Track Electives (Choose Two) - 6 credits

SUS330 - Sustainable/Resilient Cities (3)
SUS435 Green and Social Innovation

Students will develop skills for managing innovation to positively impact the environment and society. Students work with actual ideas and/or entrepreneurs using Eden Hall to test products. The class focuses on helping students to develop product management skills which use innovation to solve major social and environmental problems.

3
SUS436 - Sustainable Energy Applications (3)
CMP120 Introduction to Programming

An introduction to the theory and practice of computer programming with an emphasis on problem solving. No previous programming experience is required.

3
CMP283 Database Management Systems

This course is a study of database management systems and their applications to a wide range of information processing needs. Students design and implement database management systems while being introduced to a conceptual model of a database environment comprised of five basic components: databases, database management systems, data dictionary/directory systems, database administration, and user-system interfaces.

3
BUS171 Information Systems and Operations

This course explores basic concepts of communication networks (e.g., the Internet), hardware, software, databases, and systems. Students apply information systems to decision making, communication, collaboration and coordination in the operations of contemporary organizations. Students gain skills in word processing, presentation software, data visualization, spreadsheets, and relational databases.

3

+Sustainable Business Track

15 credits
The sustainable business and management track helps students to understand how business can help solve sustainability problems. The track exposes students to analytical concepts and tools for decision making. At the same time students are encouraged to think broadly about the impacts of business decisions. The track includes traditional business classes, an introduction sustainable technology, approaches to decision analysis and corporate social responsibility. For this track there are three required courses (including the labs) and two electives.

Track Requirements - 9 credits

SUS435 Green and Social Innovation

Students will develop skills for managing innovation to positively impact the environment and society. Students work with actual ideas and/or entrepreneurs using Eden Hall to test products. The class focuses on helping students to develop product management skills which use innovation to solve major social and environmental problems.

3
SUS470 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

This course helps students to understand the roles and responsbilities of organizations beyond just making an economic profit. Students are exposed to approaches to managing CSR. CSR is explored as a way for organizations to create value, thus, CSR is seen as crucial for business success in the 21st century.

3
BUS105 Foundations of Business

The course combines the theory and practice of business and fosters analytical thinking. Students build a foundation for learning by gaining an understanding of business organizations, their structure and functions, the global setting in which they compete, environmental components and the challenges of an increasingly dynamic, complex work environment.

3

Track Electives (Choose Two) - 6 Credits

SUS330 - Sustainable/Resilient Cities (3)
SUS335 Renewable Energy and Society

This course explores the relationship of energy production and consumption with sustainability. Non-renewable and renewable energy resources and their environmental and social impacts will be discussed. We will explore the Eden Hall energy systems and investigate in more detail how solar energy could be used on a larger scale.

3
SUS436 - Sustainable Energy Applications (3)
BUS243 Principles of Marketing

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of marketing strategy and management. Basic marketing concepts such as strategic segmentation, targeting, positioning, product design, pricing, promotions and distribution are covered. Environmental sustainability is analyzed from the consumer perspective.

3
CMP283 Database Management Systems

This course is a study of database management systems and their applications to a wide range of information processing needs. Students design and implement database management systems while being introduced to a conceptual model of a database environment comprised of five basic components: databases, database management systems, data dictionary/directory systems, database administration, and user-system interfaces.

3

+BSUS - Minor in Sustainability

Students pursuing a minor in sustainability will explore society’s sustainability challenges and focus on data driven and entrepreneurial solutions.

The sustainability minor consists of 18 credit hours (6 courses). Students must take the following courses to fulfill the minor degree requirements:

Required

SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS202 Dynamic Earth Systems

The earth is a dynamic, evolving system. This course provides an introduction to earth's formation, its materials composition and distribution, and the processes of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere that interact to shape surface and subsurface features and conditions. The complex adaptive systems framework will be applied.

3
SUS380 Economics in a Changing World

An interdisciplinary approach to economics including concepts from sociology, politics, behavioral and evolutionary economics. It explores the limits of conventional economics in explaining and predicting economic phenomena. It situates economics as a behavioral science and looks at economic sustainability at the local, to global scale, incorporating social and political issues.

3

Elective

Choose 2 courses from among the following courses:
SUS330 Sustainable and Resilient Cities (3)
SUS401 Sustainability Policy and Decision Making (3)
FST420 Basic Agroecology

Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in class. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

3
FST420L Growing Sustainably Lab

Through working with Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as visiting neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable agriculture with theory encountered in classes. Topics will include basic principles of soil fertilitiy, biodiversity, greenhouse production, agriculture history, effects of both conventional and organic agriculture, and the politics surrounding the issues.

1
SUS462 - Sustainable Aquaculture (3)
SUS455 - Forestry (3)
SUS460 - Energy Policy (3)
SUS470 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

This course helps students to understand the roles and responsbilities of organizations beyond just making an economic profit. Students are exposed to approaches to managing CSR. CSR is explored as a way for organizations to create value, thus, CSR is seen as crucial for business success in the 21st century.

3

+BSUS - Interdisciplinary Major

Students pursuing an interdisciplinary major in sustainability, twinned with any other related major offering a similar interdisciplinary option, will explore society’s sustainability challenges and focus on data driven and entrepreneurial solutions, through a range of environmental, social, business and food system courses.

The interdisciplinary major consists of 24 credit hours (8 courses), exclusive of the integrated senior capstone. The capstone must integrate the subject matter of the two majors. A student perusing an interdisciplinary major must obtain the specific supported by a full-time faculty member who has agreed to advise the student and direct their program, particularly in the interrelations of the subjects to be studied. At least 50% of the credits toward the major must be completed at Chatham. A student must earn a G.P.A. of 2.0 or above within their major. Courses within the major with a recorded grade below C- must be repeated. Students must take the following courses to fulfill the integrated degree requirement for Sustainability: Up to two of these courses may be submitted with other SUS courses, provided the student gets the express permission of the Dean of the Falk School.

SUS100 Sustainability Science

Through the lens of the natural and cultural history of Eden Hall and its surroundings, students learn about cultural, social, economic, natural and other systems. The course will focus on land use over time, the economic and social drivers and impacts of those land uses, and the implications for environmental wellbeing.

3
SUS102 Sustainability and Society

Students examine core concepts of sustainability, and explore its origins, history, and achievements across the globe at multiple scales. Students gain a foundation for more in-depth study of sustainability. Students also focus on their personal conception of sustainability and engage in a sustainability group project linked to community partners.

3
SUS202 Dynamic Earth Systems

The earth is a dynamic, evolving system. This course provides an introduction to earth's formation, its materials composition and distribution, and the processes of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere that interact to shape surface and subsurface features and conditions. The complex adaptive systems framework will be applied.

3
SUS380 Economics in a Changing World

An interdisciplinary approach to economics including concepts from sociology, politics, behavioral and evolutionary economics. It explores the limits of conventional economics in explaining and predicting economic phenomena. It situates economics as a behavioral science and looks at economic sustainability at the local, to global scale, incorporating social and political issues.

3
SUS401 - Sustainability Policy and Decision Making (3)
SUS416 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

3
SUS330 - Sustainable and Resilient Cities (3)
SUS335 Renewable Energy and Society

This course explores the relationship of energy production and consumption with sustainability. Non-renewable and renewable energy resources and their environmental and social impacts will be discussed. We will explore the Eden Hall energy systems and investigate in more detail how solar energy could be used on a larger scale.

3