Chatham University

Sustainability has grown from a niche field to an increasingly crucial lens through which all aspects of society are being considered.

That's why Chatham has developed four unique tracks within our Bachelor of Sustainability (BSUS) program. All students take 14 foundation courses in environmental, economic, social and policy issues common across the field of sustainability. This provides a solid foundation for choosing which track in the program you want to study.

TRACK 1: SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY

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.

TRACK 2: NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Provides students with a broad understanding of the inter-connectedness of ecological, economic, social and political systems. It 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.

TRACK 3: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT

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 to sustainable technology, approaches to decision analysis and corporate social responsibility.

TRACK 4: SUSTAINABLE POLICY & COMMUNICATIONS

Provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the way in which policy is created and implemented, along with the history, content, and consequences of key US and global environmental and sustainability policies. Students also develop their communication skills and explore the role traditional and social media play in policy creation.

Years 1 & 2

In addition to general education requirements, all BSUS students will take the following foundational courses (primarily in years 1 and 2):

COM106: Media and Society
ECN102: Microeconomics
SUS100: Sustainability Science
SUS102: Sustainability & Society
SUS201: Integrative Bio
SUS203: Global Environmental Health
SUS302: Sustainability and Social Justice
SUS350W: Research Methods
SUS352: Geographic Information Systems
SUS380: Economy in a Changing World
SUS406: Sustainability Policy
SUS419: Water-energy-resource Nexus
SUS490: Sustainable Capstone
FST420/L: Agro-ecology

FAQ

Q: Do I have to enter the program knowing which track I want to be in?

A: No. We expect that students will spend the first couple of years exploring their interests in sustainability, and then declare the track they wish to pursue.

Q: Will my diploma show my track?

A: Diplomas will show BA or BS in Sustainability, but tracks will be indicated on the transcript.

Years 3 & 4

Further coursework allows students to develop skills in their area of interest while they live and study at Eden Hall Campus.

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY

BUS 171: Infosystems and Ops
CHM 102: Chemistry in Context
IAR 231: Green & Sustainable Design
MTH 110: Elementary Stats or BUS 110: Business Statistics
SUS 210/L: Current Challenges
SUS 327: Introduction to Urban Sustainability
SUS 355: Sustainable Energy and Society
SUS 416: Sustainable Decision Analysis
SUS 460: Energy Policy


Sample course

Current Challenges & Opportunities in Sustainable Technology

This course will review the underlying science of sustainable technologies, discuss societal utilization, and how each technology can help address critical sustainability problems.

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

BUS 171: Infosystems and Ops
CHM 102: Chemistry in Context
MTH 110: Elementary Stats or BUS 110: Business Statistics
SUS 202: Dynamic Earth Systems
SUS 301: Science of Global Change
SUS 322: Natural Resource Policy and Law
SUS 404/L: Quantitative Ecology
SUS 418: Wildlife Management or SUS430: Forestry
SUS 455: Environmental Management and Conservation

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT

BUS 105: Foundations of Business
BUS 110: Business Statistics
BUS 243: Principles of Marketing
CMP 283: Database Management
POL 101: US Government and Public Policy
SUS 327: Introduction to Urban Sustainability or
SUS 335: Sustainable Energy and Society
SUS 416: Sustainable Decision Analysis
SUS 462/562: Environmental Economics
New in 2017: Corporate Social Responsibility


Sample course

Sustainable and Resilient Cities

This course analyzes cities as complex systems with subsystems such as living, food and water, energy, and transportation. We will explore systemic approaches for urban sustainability and climate resiliency, drawing on examples worldwide.

SUSTAINABLE POLICY & COMMUNICATIONS

BUS 105: Foundations of Business
BUS 110: Business Statistics
COM 260W: Practical Public Relations
COM 351: Advanced Media Writing
POL 101: US Government and Public Policy
POL 202: Understanding Public Policy
SUS 322: Natural Resource Policy and Law
SUS 462/562: Environmental Economics
SUS 460: Energy Policy


Sample course

Natural Resource Policy and Law

Students examine and analyze major policy initiatives and their implementation toward sustainable resource use and a healthy environment. Public policies determine the extent to which implementation strategies have succeeded, and to assess their adequacy and/or capacity to integrate economic and environmental decisions.

RESEARCH

Sustainability student Allie Frownfelter, BSUS '17 interviews Falk School of Sustainability & Environment students about their work and research on her blog. Her interviews and discussions show how BSUS courses guide students to their research interests and how they are making (or are on the verge of making) real-world impact.

SOME SAMPLE POSTS:
▶ How to Win the War on Water
▶ Community Gardens are the Future of Food Security
▶ Why STEM is Vital to Social Justice and Sustainability
▶ Why It's Rare to Find Classes that Teach More Hands On Learning

Utz Lab website

Professor Ryan Utz, PhD shares his research from work with Falk students. View their work on Utz Lab of Applied Ecology ▶

Student-led Research

Poster - Event-scale dissolved oxygen dynamics in urban and peri-urban streams

 

Event-scale dissolved oxygen dynamics in urban and peri-urban streams

Authors: Bethany Bookout, Dr. Ryan Utz

The researchers attempted to link fine-scale dynamics in dissolved oxygen (DO) levels to meteorological patterns and watershed characteristics in a network of six urban streams in the Pittsburgh metropolitan region using time series of DO coupled with meteorological data. Download poster PDF ▶

Suppression of Tree Recruitment in Deciduous Forests by an Invasive Shrub, Berberis thunbergii
Suppression of Tree Recruitment in Deciduous Forests by an Invasive Shrub, Berberis thunbergii

Authors: Cierra Snyder, Trey Turnblacer, Arthur Link, Sarah Daugherty, Dr. Ryan Utz

The researchers aim was to test the effect B. thunbergii (Japanese Barberry) had on tree sapling recruitment in forest environments, and if it is in turn detrimental to future forest ecosystems. Download poster PDF ▶

INTEGRATED DEGREE PROGRAMS

Students may also choose to further their education at Chatham through pursuing an Integrated Degree Program (IDP) with either our Master of Sustainability or the Master of Arts in Food Studies. Through the IDP, students earn both bachelor's and master's degrees in as few as five years, saving time and money. Learn more about IDPs ▶

Eden Hall Campus

All students are encouraged to play an active role in helping to manage and develop Eden Hall Campus. Jobs that directly link to classes are available–managing the woodlands, working with the data and energy systems that permeate the campus buildings, partnering with local businesses, or doing community outreach. The experience at Eden Hall isn't just taking classes and living in the dorms.

– PETER WALKER, PH.D., dean of the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment

Campus Focus Areas

Water

Water

Stormwater is managed by rain gardens that collect and direct water flow, gravel walkways that make it easier for rainwater to get to the soil below, and a rainwater harvesting system that uses it for crop irrigation. Eden Hall treats wastewater through a six-step process that mimics nature and handles up to 6,000 gallons daily.

Food and Sustainable Agriculture

Food & Sustainable Agriculture

Eden Hall Campus encompasses a certified organic farm, demonstration garden, and greenhouses (one heated year-round by solar-thermal panels). Faculty and students demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices, and produce food for the campus. Initiatives include nutrient recycling and soil building from compost; aquaponics; mushroom farming; and edible landscaping around buildings.

Energy and Climate

Energy & Climate

Over 400 solar panels not only generate enough energy to power 14 homes annually–they also provide heat for a residence hall and a greenhouse, and the campus is heated and cooled via 40+ geothermal wells. Eden Hall's weather station collects data on solar radiation, air temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and leaf wetness. Soil sensors collect data on items like volumetric water content and electrical conductivity.

Design and Planning

Design & Planning

Eden Hall models a variety of building standards, energy management techniques, and new ways of sustainable living. Each building is monitored to determine optimal energy consumption. Buildings meet LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Platinum certification, and some future buildings are planned to be built to Living Building Challenge standards.

Community and Health

Community & Health

Eden Hall attracts academic, public, and artistic communities through year-round programming including workshops, dinners, performances, and festivals. Visitors hike eco-education trails, take yoga classes, explore sustainable agriculture sites, and observe natural water treatment systems in action. Also, our farm connects to the community through farm-to-school programs and partnerships with local farmers and nonprofits.

Eden Hall Campus Master Plan

Eden Hall Campus Master Plan

From the very beginning, the design of Eden Hall Campus was intended to be revolutionary. Each venue, classroom building, outdoor area, and residential space ensures full-campus sustainability and functions so that students don't just learn about sustainability, but live it every day. Review that full plan for Chatham's sustainable campus in the North Hills of Pittburgh. Download Master Plan ▶

A Brighter, Healthier Tomorrow

Eden Hall Campus | A Brighter, Healthier Tomorrow

There's a lot ongoing and planned for Eden Hall, and it all starts with our work in the sustainability field. Learn about Chatham's history of leadership in sustainability that has driven plans for our ultra-green Eden Hall Campus. Download Booklet ▶

YEARS 1 & 2: Shadyside Campus

For students' first and second years, they live (and take most of their classes) at Chatham's Shadyside Campus, while having some classes and experiences at Eden Hall Campus. Shadyside Campus is a nationally recognized arboretum, where students live in renovated historic mansions, minutes away from the center of Pittsburgh, home to 70,000 college students.

DID YOU KNOW...

Chatham was ranked 7th in the nation for best food grown and sourced locally by Sierra Magazine's 2015 "Cool Schools" report.

Contributing to that is another perk of an on-campus farm »

YEARS 3 & 4: Eden Hall Campus

For their third and fourth years, students (both residential and commuter*) are required to live and study at Eden Hall Campus. This is where students can truly live their passions: Natural resource management students will manage the woodlands. Sustainable technology students will work with the buildings and energy systems. Sustainable business, policy, and communications students will work on community outreach and other real projects with our partners in the community.

Campus shuttles connect Eden Hall and Shadyside campuses for courses and extracurriculars throughout the week.


Orchard Hall

Orchard Hall, Eden Hall Campus's residence building, is constructed to the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) standards.

*NOTE: This policy applies to students entering in the 2018 academic year. Exceptions may be made only by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Director of Residence Life and Student Activities and the Dean of Falk School, on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, all current undergraduate and graduate students in the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment who are receiving funding from the Falk Endowment will be required to live at Eden Hall Campus.

Graduates find employment in industry; public and private education; all levels of government; policy institutions; international organizations, and other non-governmental organizations. Here's a small selection of job titles associated with each of our tracks.

Sustainable Technology

  • Renewable energy analyst
  • Campus sustainability director
  • Corporate social responsibility/sustainability professional
  • Water engineer or scientist
  • Green building professional
  • Urban sustainability and energy specialist

Natural Resource Management

  • Environmental services consultant
  • Conservation scientist
  • Environmental policy analyst
  • Forester
  • Land use planner
  • Restoration specialist
  • Wildlife habitat specialist

Sustainable Business & Management

  • Chief sustainability executive
  • Corporate sustainability manager
  • General and operations manager
  • Industrial production manager
  • Campus sustainability officer
  • Fleet management
  • Research officer
  • Supply chain manager

Sustainable Policy & Communications

  • Communications officer
  • Environmental manager
  • Environmental policy strategist and regulatory compliance specialist
  • Advocacy director
  • Development and communications director
  • Urban sustainability specialist
  • Policy analyst

Office of Career Development

Chatham's Career Development staff is eager to help you develop and reach your goals from year one, day one. They'll:

  • Advise you in one-on-one appointments to maximize job search skills, develop dynamite resumes and cover letters, and ace job interviews
  • Help you find a mentor in your career field
  • Connect you with hundreds of employers through job fairs and ChathamCareerLink, our online job and internship posting database

More info: chatham.edu/careerdev