UWG is striving hard to incorporate sustainability into its curriculum and encourage faculty and student research that explores sustainability related issues. Below is a rendition of programs, courses, and faculty research that has a sustainability focus.
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UWG offers many opportunities to seek a degree in a field that directly relates to environmental sustainability. Many degrees address issues that deal directly with the environment. Biology and chemistry, for instance, are classic components of environmental science. Several social science courses will address the human factors involved in environmental degradation and stewardship. The humanities, in turn, offer analyses into the many ways environmental issues are thought about and conveyed.
There are also a couple of degree options that have made the environment and sustainability a primary focus of their learning outcomes.
BS in Geography, Environmental Sustainability Concentration: Environmental Sustainability focuses on interactions between biophysical systems and social systems with the long-term survivability of each in mind. With a mix of social and natural sciences as its foundation, this degree prepares the graduate for a career in environmental conservation, consulting, policy, and advocacy.
BS in Geology, Environmental Concentration: The Environmental Geology concentration prepares students to work in conservation, management, and remediation of natural resources. This concentration includes a wider variety of courses than Professional Geology and requires more Biology and Chemistry. Students have the option of pursuing coursework in Sustainability, Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Policy.
Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program: In this 4-year bachelor and master’s cosm degree students learn traditional cosm practices through Southwire’s sustainability tenets of Building Worth, Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back and Doing Right. Instructors weave these ideals into lectures, assignments, projects, and experiences, both in the classroom and in real applications as students work alongside members of the Southwire team.
Accounting - Sustainability Component
- ACCT 6233, Seminar in Cost Accounting: This course has a component on "CSR and Environmental Accounting."
Accounting - Sustainability Focus
- ACCT 4265/5265, Accounting and Reporting Sustainability: An examination of the tripartite or triple bottom line reporting framework that highlights the economic, environmental, and social performance of an organization. Emphasis is placed on how sustainability creates shareholder value and on how sustainable performance helps investors, creditors, and other users distinguish between companies operating efficiently and those which are not.
Administrative Systems/Business Education- Sustainability Focus
- ABED 6100, Stategic Business Communication: The main project in the course requires students to complete a business plan based on a sustainable and/or eco-friendly product or service they conceptualize through a team-based approach. Additionally students complete a case study analysis on a sustainable company and strategically determine how to effectively communicate that company's sustainability initiatives to all their stakeholders (employees, vendors, community, investors, etc.) (i.e. sustainability communication strategies).
Anthropology - Sustainability Component
- ANTH 1100, Faces of Culture: In this applied anthropology course there is a component that deals with how archaeologists are contributing to sustainability.
- ANTH 4181, Cultural Resources Management: Cultural Resource Management (CRM) is defined as anthropological and archaeological research carried out to document and preserve significant places, properties, and objects of cultural heritage. CRM often intersects and complements environmental protection and preservation under NEPA and other federal legislation. In this course, our students use an anthropological perspective to incorporate environmental sustainability into comprehensive cultural resource management plans.
Anthropology - Sustainability Focus
- ANTH 3180, Environmental Anthropology: Focus of this course is on the relationship between cultural behavior and environmental phenomena. Local, regional, and global case studies will be used in examining the political and cultural ecology of resource use, adaptation, and degradation. Possible topics include environmental justice, deforestation, and conservation, industrial waste, and watershed management.
Astronomy - Sustainability Component
- ASTR 2313, Astronomy: A survey of sky awareness, historical developments of astronomy, the solar system, stars, nebulas, and galaxies. The course addresses the sustainability issue of sustaining life.
Biology - Sustainability Component
- BIOL 1010, Fundamentals of Biology: This course addresses the causes of climate change and possible solutions. Students also measure their carbon footprint and identify easy ways to reduce it. We also cover other environmental issues (acid rain, GMOs, etc.), health issues (cancer, nutrition, etc.) and conservation biology.
- BIOL 1107, Principals of Biology I: This course addresses many aspects of ecosystems (energy flow, nutrient recycling, predator-prey relationships, etc.). It also provides an introduction to current environmental issues such as freshwater shortages and global climate change, and their implications for ecosystems.
- BIOL 1107L, Principals of Biology II: The laboratory component for BIOL 1107. Lecture and lab must be taken in the same term.
BIOL 1108, Principles of Biology II: This course addresses conservation biology as a unit. It also uses health and environmental issues throughout the course as interesting examples and applications.
BIOL 1108L, Principles of Biology II Lab: The laboratory component for BIOL 1108. Lecture and lab must be taken in the same term.
- BIOL 2107, Principles of Biology I for Biology Majors: This courses addresses many aspects of ecosystems (energy flow, nutrient recycling, predator-prey relationships, etc.). It also provides an introduction to current environmental issues such as freshwater shortages and global climate change, and their implications for ecosystems.
- BIOL 2107L, Principles of Biology II Lab: The laboratory component for BIOL 2107. Lecture and lab must be taken in the same term.
- BIOL 2108, Principles of Biology I for Biology Majors: This course addresses conservation biology as a unit. It also uses health and environmental issues throughout the course as interesting examples and applications.
- BIOL 2108L, Principles of Biology II Lab: The laboratory component for BIOL 2108. Lecture and lab must be taken in the same term.
- BIOL 4440/BIOL 5440, Aquatic Ecology: A study of biological, chemical, and physical components and interactions in freshwater systems. Field labs include a study of reservoirs and streams in west Georgia. A three- day field trip to the Georgia coast or the Okefenokee Swamp is required. Human impacts on ecology, i.e. sustainability/non-sustainability are woven into various sections.
- BIOL 4441/5441 Animal Behavior: Considers how human impacts on the environment influences animal behavior.
- BIOL4445 Marine Biology
- BIOL 4450/5450, Terrestrial Ecology: This course provides an in-depth study of the processes controlling the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. Basic concepts will be synthesized and applied comparing and contrasting the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems in the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountain Regions of the Southeastern United States.
- BIOL 4985, Special Topics: Many special topics courses in biology have a sustainability component.
- BIOL 6982, Behavioral Ecology: Directed reading course focused on the study of the evolutionary basis for animal behavior due to ecological pressures. Human impacts on ecology, i.e. sustainability/non-sustainability are woven into various sections.
- BIOL 6985, Graduate Special Topics: Many special topics courses in biology have a sustainability component.
Biology - Sustainability Focus
BIOL 1012, Ecology and Environmental Biology: This course is designed to familiarize non-major students with the basic structures and functions of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Based on this foundation, emphasis will be placed on ecological assessments of many current and pressing environmental issues that threaten the air, water and soil resources of earth.
BIOL 3135, Ecology: This course is designed to familiarize students with the factors controlling the structure and function of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Basic concepts will be synthesized and reinforced by investigating the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on the structure and function of these systems.
- BIOL 4424/5424, Wildlife Habitat Ecology: This course is designed to familiarize students with the ecology of wildlife habitats. Management practices that affect the structure, function, and sustainability of wildlife habitats will be evaluated for ecosystems in the southeastern United States. Human impacts on ecology, i.e. sustainability/non-sustainability are woven into various sections.
- BIOL 4985/6985, Conservation Biology: Students in this course learn how to protect Earth’s biodiversity from human-caused threats such as invasive species, habitat loss, climate change, and over exploitation.
Chemistry - Sustainability Component
- CHEM 4913L, Advanced Synthesis Lab: Students examine the recyclability of a catalyst of an olefin metathesis reaction using a room temperature ionic liquid as a solvent. Students will critically assess the "greenness" of this method compared to the conventional use of volatile organic solvents, which can cause health and environmental problems, and the expensive catalyst cannot be recycled.
- CHEM 4985, Special Topic - Materials Chemistry: Students build dye-sensitized nano-crystalline solar cells and test their efficiency under a variety of conditions. Solar cells are discussed in the context of alternate energy sources, i.e. sustainability.
Chemistry - Sustainability Focus
- CHEM 4920, Environmental Chemistry: This course is an introduction to the practice of modern environmental chemistry. Topics include pollutants in water, soil, and the atmosphere; equilibria in aqueous systems; experimental methods in environmental analyses; toxicological chemistry; current environmental problems. The laboratory will consist of EPA-approved methods of analyses.
- CHEM 4685, Green Chemistry: Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances and reduce energy requirement. The objective of the course is to gain fundamental knowledge and understanding of chemistry as a basis to develop a greener and more sustainable society.
Economics - Sustainability Focus
- ECON 3480, Environmental and Natural Resource: This course surveys the issues arising from the
interaction of economic and ecological systems, the suitability of the market mechanism to allocate natural and
environmental resources, and policy options when markets fail. Applications include energy, climate change,
pollution control, land use, fishery management, and water scarcity.
- ECON 3480, Environmental and Natural Resource: This course surveys the issues arising from the
ECORE - Sustainability Component
- ENVS 2202 (ECORE), Environmental Science: This course is an interdisciplinary course integrating principles from biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, and non-science disciplines as related to the interactions of humans and their environment. Issues of local, regional, and global concern will be used to help students explain scientific concepts and analyze practical solutions to complex environmental problems.
English - Sustainability Component
- ENGL 1102, English Composition II: This is a composition course, but this semester the documentary "Wasteland" has been selected as its shared text. This documentary focuses on sustainability issues such as recycling and social justice.
Geography - Sustainability Component
- GEOG 1013, World Geography: An introduction survey of world geography with attention given to demographic, political, cultural, economic, and environmental characteristics of regions of the world. Attention is given to the challenges of population growth, affluence, and limited resources.
- GEOG 1111, Physical Geography: This course is an introduction to topics related to the environment, including population growth, water quality, the history of agriculture, and forestry.
- GEOG 1112, Weather and Climate: An introduction to weather and climate including influences on the biosphere ecosystems and biomes. This course looks at local, regional, and global geographic relationships among atmospheric and biospheric systems, including an introduction to climate change.
- GEOG 1112L, Weather and Climate Lab: The laboratory component for GEOG 1112.
- GEOG 1113, Landform Geography: This course covers the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere and the human influence in those.
- GEOG 1113L, Landform Geography Lab: The laboratory component for GEOG 1113.
- GEOG 3643, Urban Geography: Includes a section on environmental challenges in cities and sustainable cities.
- GEOG 3644, Atlanta’s Geographies: Includes sections that address the sustainability challenges facing Atlanta.
- GEOG 3800, Biogeography: This course addresses disturbance ecology, invasive species, environmental stewardship, climate change, and field methods.
- GEOG 3900, Ecological climatology: Covers energy sources and their impact on the environment.
Geography - Sustainability Focus
- GEOG 2202, Environmental Science: In this course emphasis is placed on the study of ecosystems, human population growth, energy, pollution, and other environmental issues and key environmental policies.
- GEOG 3405, Geographies of Sustainability: A study of the inherent geographical challenges and possible solutions to a global economic system that is quickly depleting scarce resources while causing rapid environmental strain.
- GEOG 4400/5985, Energy and Sustainability: This course will focus on the links between energy use and environmental degradation. Physical processes and social dynamics will be considered in order to understand the complex issues of energy production, demand, and consumption. In this class students will practice expressing informed opinions about current environmental energy debates, examine the social aspects of energy issues, and consider alternative energy futures.
Geology - Sustainability Component
- GEOL 1121, Intro to Geosciences: Acquaints students with geological concepts, processes, and earth materials and their effects on mankind and the environment.
- GEOL 2503, Intro to Oceanography: The course addresses the issue of the ocean as a source of food, energy, mineral resources, as well as environmental issues affecting the sea.
- GEOL 2553, Geology of the National Parks: This class is taught online during the Summer semester. As part of this course, students are expected to develop a greater appreciation for our natural world, natural resources, human impacts on the environment, and the need for management and stewardship to preserve the parks for future generations.
- GEOL 4084, Hydrogeology: Examines the physical aspects of groundwater occurrence and movement, and provides an introduction to contaminant transport and chemical hydrogeology.
- GEOL 4093, Risk Assessment: A major focus will be on social science issue of planning, politics, economics and their control on management of high hazard areas, vulnerability assessments, and mitigation.
- GEOL 4985, Coastal Hazards Assessment: Selected topics offering focusing in on a hands on project assessing coastal hazards, particularly relevant with regard to global warming.
Geology - Sustainability Focus
- GEOL 3603, Environmental Geology: The learning objectives for course include: (a) To identify environmental problems and apply geologic principles to address them; (b) To explore relationships between human population growth, the Earth system, hazardous Earth processes, sustainability, and the optimization of resource management in order to maximize environmental benefits for society.
- GEOL 4083, Environmental Geochemistry: The geochemistry of the earth's lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere and the human modifications to these systems that cause environmental problems. Special topics include acid rain, greenhouse effect, toxic trace elements, landfills, energy usage, and radon.
Integrated Science - Sustainability Component
- ISCI 2002, Physical Science: Course covering energy conservation and the impact of wind farms and solar energy.
Management - Sustainability Component
- MGNT 4660, Strategic Management: An integrative approach to the study of the total enterprise from the executive management's point of view. There is a section in this course that focuses on corporate social responsibility.
- MGNT 6681, Strategic, Ethical, and Global Management: The triple bottom line is addressed - social, environmental (or ecological) and financial considerations in management.
Management - Sustainability Focus
- MGNT 3625, Social Corporate Responsibility: This course addresses the intersection of corporate management and social sustainability.
- MGNT 3630, Environmental Law: This course provides an introduction to the legal and regulatory aspects of environmental law, its history and sources, its reliance on scientific principles, and its relationship to business management and environmental sustainability.
Political Science - Sustainability Component
- POLS 3201, Public Policy: An analysis of diverse public policy issues, as well as the decision process leading to the formulation of government policy. One of the topics is Environmental Policy.
- POLS 3701, Intro to Urban and Regional Planning: Introduction to fundamental concepts, including physical planning, transportation, housing, land use, urban development, and preservation.
- POLS 3702, Land use Planning: Methods of state regulation of land uses and growth management techniquesa are considered from a sustainability perspective in mind.
Political Science - Sustainability Focus
- POLS 4209/5209, Environmental Policy: This course will emphasize the national and state policy making process, focusing on the dynamics of pluralist change, policy implementation and current environmental status.
Psychology - Sustainability Component
- PSYC 7810, Ecopsychology: This course offers an exploratory look at the emerging field of ecopsychology, of which sustainability is a component.
Psychology - Sustainability Focus
- PSYC 5085, Ecopsychology: A study of the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles.
Sociology - Sustainability Focus
- SOCI 5981, Society and the Environment: Directed readings focusing on the intersection of society and the environment.
UWG First Year Programs - Sustainability Component
- UWG 1101, New Students Program: a course offered to first-year students to ease the transition into college life and inform of the resources that are available at UWG. Contains a sustainability literacy module.
XIDS - Sustainability Component and Focus
- XIDS 2002, What Do We Know About ... : Many of the "What do we know about . . ." courses, which are geared to incoming freshmen, have a sustianability focus or component.
Janet Genz (Biology)
Human development of waterways for transport and generation of electricity in the early 20th century had monumental, and often detrimental, impacts on freshwater environments throughout North America. Research conducted in the Genz lab investigates the breeding and early-life development of a protected fish species, the Lake Sturgeon. Raising these fish in aquaculture facilities and subsequently releasing them to the streams and rivers where they were historically found can help restore these ecosystems to their native state. https://sites.google.com/a/westga.edu/genz
Andrew Edelman (Biology)
Dr. Edelman has broad research interests in the areas of animal conservation and ecology. Currently, his lab, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, is studying the response of the mammalian community (small mammals, carnivores, and bats) to fire-based restoration of southeastern longleaf pine forests. He and his graduate students are also conducting research on species of conservation concern such as the Indiana bat, eastern spotted skunk, and fox squirrel.
Robert Kilpatrick (Foreign Languages)
Dr. Kilpatrick’s current research focuses on the representation of tourism in postcolonial spaces, specifically through the lens of French-language graphic narratives. These narratives often depict the negative impact of tourism on the natural environment and/or idealize pristine pre-colonial spaces. I explore to what extent anti-touristic discourses and visual strategies are entwined with and dependent upon the very practices they denounce.
Hannes Gerhardt (Geosciences)
Dr. Gerhardt has been involved in researching the geopolitics of the Arctic, including the competition to gain access to resources, such as oil and gas, in a region that is quickly changing due to global climate change. The juxtaposition between the increasing focus on sustainability, on the one hand, and economic growth via energy resources, on the other, is a key theme in this research. Dr. Gerhardt has also worked with students via consecutive SRAP grants to calculate the University of West Georgia carbon footprint as well as to chart cosm as usual and alterative future trajectories.
Minna Rollins (Marketing)
Dr. Rollins’ research interests include customer information usage, sales management, international marketing, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics. She has published her research in the journals as Industrial Marketing Management and the Journal of Business Research and in a number of international conference proceedings. Minna has served as co-quest editor for the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing’s special issue focusing on ethics and CSR in cosm networks.
Shea Rose (Geosciences)
Dr. Rose’s interests lie within the fields of climatology, energy and sustainability. Her work primarily focuses on the community to regional scale and includes the inadvertent modification of weather and climate due to human activities (urban heat island effects, atmospheric pollen, and pollutants) as well as impacts for health, sustainable planning and energy. In 2011, she completed a summer fellowship at the EPA examining the relationship between science and environmental policies. Currently, she is a part of the American Meteorological Society’s Climate Studies Diversity Cohort which is focused on increasing STEM participation among underserved students in the geosciences. Her highly interdisciplinary research has been published in journals such as Earth Interactions, Applied Optics, GIScience & Remote Sensing and Landscape and Urban Planning.
Lisa Gezon (Anthopology)
Dr. Gezon is interested in many facets of humans and their relationship to the material environment. Her first project focused on conservation and protected area management in northern Madagascar. Her most recent project analyzed commodity chains of the recreational drug khat in Madagascar, considering land cover change, rural and urban livelihoods, and the cultural politics of drug policies and perceptions. She is currently interested in theories and practices of ‘degrowth,’ or practices and policies of downscaling production and consumption while increasing quality of life through such engagements as wellness and community engagement.
Landewatte DeSilva (Physics)
Dr. DeSilva’s research can be broadly described as a series of efforts to explore the quantum mechanical nature of electronic and photonic functionality of nanosacle devices through (i) design of semiconductor (organic / inorganic) heterostructures with desired properties and (ii) embedding these designer materials in field-enhancing structures such as waveguide resonators and nano/micro-cavities. Current research projects included the study of dye-sensitized solar cells, polymer based optoelectronic devices, fabrication, investigation of inorganic nano-particles and devices and study of exciton dynamics in organic molecular thin films. His interdisciplinary research efforts have attracted a large group of talented undergraduate students across COSM majoring in physics, chemistry, pre-engineering, and mathematics in a variety of projects.
Susana Velez-Castillon (Management)
Dr. Velez-Castrillon’s research in the areas of corporate responsibility (CSR) and sustainability focuses on the impact of CSR on corporate reputation. She also has studied the effect of CSR practices in legitimizing corporate activities. Additionally, she is interested in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) and its effect on stock performance. Dr. Velez-Castrillon teaches an undergraduate-level course on CSR, and is currently working with students on a project about CSR labels.
Stanely M. Caress (Political Science)
Research includes studies of environmental health focusing on illnesses from exposures to toxic materials. Population studies coauthored with Anne Steinemann (University of Melbourne, formerly Georgia Tech) have been published in the following peer reviewed journals: Environmental Health Perspectives, American Journal of Public Health, Archives of Environmental Health, Journal of Environmental Health, Toxicology and Industrial Health. Additional articles on environmental policy have been published in Policy Studies Journal and Southern Review of Politics. Most recent work on the politics of multiple chemical sensitivity was published in Science and Politics, Steele, B. editor. Congressional Quarterly Press.
Christine M. Haynes (Accounting)
Dr. Haynes is interested in researching the indirect benefit of incorporating CSR activities into an organization.
Linxiao Liu (Accounting)
Dr. Liu researches the accounting dimensions of corporate social responsibility.
Sharon Seay (Accounting)
Dr. Seay's research includes a focus on the meaning of sustainability in accounting and rent/leasing. Also how a sustainability framework into business processes and products creates value for all of a company's stakeholders.
Yvette Garner (Biology)
Introduced species often alter the dynamics of ecosystems and it is important to understand their ecological roles in more detail. In the southeastern United States several marine mussel species have been introduced over the past three decades which pose a threat to native benthic marine organisms that share the same resources. My research seeks to gain more insights into the abundance and distribution of exotic mussels to understand more about their biological and physical tolerances in their introduced range.
Joe Hendricks (Biology)
Research focuses on the sustainable use of fire in the management of southeastern pine forests. Specifically, my work investigates the loss and replacement of nitrogen in fire-maintained pine forests.
David Morgan (Biology)
Dr. Morgan researches plant community ecology, studying the moss floras of unique environments such as granite outcrops and cedar glades, both of which are home to many species of rare plants. The common theme in all this research is the characterization and protection of unique habitats as places supporting unique plant communities and rare plants.
Sahrmistha, Basu-Dutt (Chemistry)
Dr. Basu-Dutt looks into the use of noble metal nanoparticles in solar cells. The nanomaterials have unique optical properties due to the localized surface plasmon resonance that can be exploited to increase the efficacy light gathering in solar cells.
Lisa Connell (Foreign Languages)
Dr. Connell studies postcolonial eco-criticism as a theoretical framework for Francophone literature.
Justin Daugherty (Foreign Languages)
Dr. Daugherty's creative writing work in creative nonfiction is sustainability-focused. Justin is working on a book of essays about water and ice, currently. Past fiction also focused on climate change, anthropocentrism, and engages new research on related topics.
David Bush (Geosciences)
Dr. Bush researches the impact of storms on the shoreline of Georgia and Puerto Rico and the unsustainable planning that puts humans and the environment at risk when building too close to the shoreline.
Molly McCullers (History)
Dr. McCullers researches the history and politics of water control in the Kalahari and Namib deserts. Sustainability and and environmental fragility are key factors in the region's history.
Agnieszka Chwialkowska (Marketing)
Research interests lie at the intersection of sustainability, social media, consumer behavior, and international marketing. She investigates how social media communication drives positive changes in consumer behavior including green lifestyle adoption. She examines how religion and culture affect adoption of green consumer behavior.
Robert Sanders (Political Science)
Dr. Sanders conducts research in the field of environmental policy, publishing articles such as "How Environmentally Friendly Candidates Fared in the Congressional Elections of 2002: A Time of Green Anxiety, " published in International Social Science Review.
Emory's Piedmont Project
The Center for Sustainability offers professional development funds for faculty interested in completing Emory's Piedmont Project workshop. The project, held in late spring, brings together faculty from across disciplines to support new courses or course modules that strengthen curricular engagement with issues of sustainability, environmental awareness, and urgent societal challenges.
The Piedmont Project has become a national model of curriculum development, providing an interactive workshop and a community for intellectual dialogue around the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainability in both local and global arenas. Applications are due in December.
Please contact Hannes Gerhardt (email@example.com) if you would like to apply. More info can be found here: http://piedmont.emory.edu/
Student Research Award
The Center for Sustainability is proud to offer the Student Sustainability Research Award. Two $350 awards are available.This yearly competitive award is offered to students who 1) have engaged in a sustainability themed research project within the current fiscal year 2) who will have presented their findings to an audience beyond the classroom before the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).
Sustainability is here understood in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.To apply the student needs to submit an application that includes the following:
- Name, status, major of student
- A brief description of the research project, including the question addressed, results, and how it relates to sustainability (max one page)
- A description of the event where the research has been or will be presented
- A faculty reference who is most closely associated with the project and presentation
The applications are due by March 15th and will be reviewed by the Sustainability Council. They may be submitted as a word or pdf attachment in an email to Hannes Gerharsdt (hgerhard@westga), with the heading “Award Application”.