Introduction to Environmental Science

Understanding our planet’s environment requires understanding how the whole Earth functions as an interconnected system. This course investigates the four components of the Earth system in detail: the atmosphere, the oceans, the solid Earth, and the biosphere to understand how these processes interact, and then how we, as humans, impact our planet.

The Power of Truthiness: Thinking and Writing Empirically in a Post-Fact World

In nearly every hour of every day, we are bombarded with arguments and statements meant to persuade us. Whether on television, social media, web sites, or directly from media figures and politicians, persuasive arguments based in “truth” are the coinage of the world we live in. This English 1101 course focuses on the ways in which the “truthiness” of arguments often trumps their verifiable, empirical reality.

Principles of Visual Design

Studio-based course that provides students with basic skills needed to create digital visual images and to analyze designs from historical and theoretical perspectives.

Environmental Finance

Environmental finance is concerned with finance and investment in the ecological environment and sustainable systems. It involves converting ecosystem services and products into financial instruments, which can be traded and sold, so as to establish a market price. This course will explore social, cultural and environmental dimensions of the financialization of environmental goods and services. The course will begin with an introduction to finance, introducing students to key terms, practices, and institutions.

Energy, Environment, and Society

The quest for a sustainable energy future involves balancing a series of oftentimes competing goals. On the one hand, continued population growth, combined with increased energy consumption by citizens in ever-richer developing countries, require energy production to keep pace with growth in demand. Access to cheap energy has fueled global economic development, and there is widespread concern that any increases in energy prices will undermine economic growth.

Electrochemical Energy Storage and Conversion

Energy sustainability determines the suitability of the communities and the whole global society. The course will teach students the concepts in electrochemical energy storage and conversion and the working mechanisms and applications of a number of popular energy storage devices such as rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. The application of such energy storage technologies can promote the use of clean energy sources and improve energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy Systems

The goal of the Renewable Energy Systems technical elective (ME 4823) is to understand and design renewable systems that can meet the energy and societal needs of the 21st century. The course will introduce students to a more holistic view of energy by integrating the Serve-Learn-Sustain theme addressing the nexus of food, energy and water systems.


Before Star Wars captivated audiences with the conflict between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire and long before Game of Thrones envisioned the clashes between the Lannisters, Baratheons, Starks, and countless others, Frank Herbert published Dune, an epic text which arguably paved the way for these later works. In this course, we will explore the science fictional universe of Dune, a novel so complex that it comes with multiple appendices, a map, and a dictionary. Although Dune deals with alien worlds and has a language of its own, its themes are familiar.

Chemical Principles II Laboratory

The laboratory portion of this course focuses on foundational principles and essential techniques of chemistry.  These conceptual and technical tools have great relevance to many issues of importance to society, including climate change, human health, economic security, and more. SLS-related experiments in CHEM 1212K will be related to five threads of sustainability in chemistry: Green Chemistry, Chemistry and Society, Everyday Chemical Analysis, Computational Chemistry, and Climate Change.


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