Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 60.18
Liaison James Biesecker
Submission Date March 7, 2016
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Gettysburg College
AC-1: Academic Courses

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Complete 8.30 / 14.00 Brian Reese
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Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 650 0
Number of sustainability courses offered 39 0
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 27 0

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of years covered by the data:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):

Sustainability Courses
1. AFS-274 Globalization and its Discontents: The Caribbean Case Globalization is one of today’s buzzwords. It is at once everywhere and sometimes nowhere. It is a maddening nexus of seeming contradictions. Although the course utilizes the Caribbean as a case study for many of the issues pertaining to globalization processes, it also pays close attention to global forces that connect seemingly divergent locales. In essence, from week to week, the course shifts from the macro to the micro and back. This affords a more comprehensive sense of the complicatedness of both the homogenizing trajectory of globalization as well as the disjunctures it engenders. The course spans disciplines and topics such as history, political economy, sociology, international relations, culture, media, (im)migration, environment, race, class, and gender.

2. ANTH-223 Indigenous Peoples, the Environment, and the Global Economy Examination of the ways that indigenous peoples are integrated into the global economy and international environmental movements. Will focus on such topics as informal economies, transnational migration, off-shore factory production, eco-tourism, toxic dumping, interactions between Western environmentalists and indigenous peoples, and the effects of environmental degradation on non-Western societies. Will examine how global inequalities are solidified or destabilized by contemporary economic and environmental practices. Will also review the emerging activism of indigenous peoples. Prerequisites: Anthropology 103 or 106.

3. BIO-205 Ecology Principles of ecology, with emphasis on three levels of the biological hierarchy-organisms, populations, and communities-that are needed to understand the factors that determine the abundance and distribution of any species. Course includes a number of field trips. Three class hours and laboratory-field work. Credit cannot be received for both this course and Environmental Studies 211.

4. BIO-316 Conservation Biology A discipline comprising pure and applied science, which focuses on the preservation of biological diversity. Focus implicitly recognizes that preserving the genetic and ecological features of a species requires preservation of that species' niche. Topics include food web organization, spatial heterogeneity and disturbance, consequences of small population size and inbreeding, captive propagation, demographics of population growth, and species reintroduction and management. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 211 or BIO 111.

5. ECON-341 Environmental Economics 124 Investigation of the relationship between the economy and the environment, conditions for a mainstream theories and policies, including those based on externalities and social costs, property rights, cost-benefit analysis, and discounting, are studied in the light of conditions required for sustainability. Problems and prospects of both market controls and government regulation are considered. Special topics include renewable resources, valuation techniques, accounting for pollution and resource depletion in GDP statistics, and sustainable development. Prerequisite: Econ 245, ES 312 or BIO 205.

6. ECON-348 The Economics of Spatial Environmental Analysis Application of advanced economic analysis to environmental problems. New media, technology and data have rapidly enhanced the economist's abilities to study problems in the environment and offer policy recommendations. Topics include national and global resource use, resource valuation, environmental justice, and economic and environmental policy through the frameworks of integrated resource policy and spatial analysis. Economic problems posed by imperfect information, uncertainty, and secondary data sources are considered. Prerequisites: Econ 245 or ES 196.

7. ECON-344 Energy Economics & Public Policy This course explores the key aspects of energy supply and demand covering issues in electricity, natural gas and oil sectors of the economy. It discusses the role of markets, regulation and deregulation of the industry. The course addresses market design questions related to energy generation, transmission and distribution. It also provides an overview of economic institutions designed to control pollution emissions and examines other public policies affecting energy markets. Prerequisites:Econ 241 and 245.

8. ES-121 Environmental Issues Introduction to national and global environmental issues. Students learn the basic concepts of ecology, including population growth models, species interactions, and ecosystem and 168 biosphere processes. Building on this scientific base, students use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze economic, ethical, political, and social aspects of environmental issues. Topics include human population dynamics, air and water pollution, toxic wastes, food production, land use, and energy utilization.

9. ES-122 Natural Catastrophes and Geologic Hazards Investigation of natural disasters and the fundamental geologic principles that cause them. Topics include earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and tsunamis. The importance of geologic information to land-use planning is discussed. Preparation for these hazards and establishing prediction methods are also evaluated.

10. ES-123 The Biodiversity Crisis Exploration of the causes and consequences of the current species extinction crisis. The focus is on why and how the loss of biodiversity is an important environmental threat. Topics will include the importance of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, the intrinsic and utilitarian values of biodiversity, the social and political issues associated with this issue. Topics will be explored through active engagement in service learning activities and through reading of diverse sources.

11. ES-125 Marine Megafauna Introduction to the ecology and conservation of large marine animals including marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, invertebrates, bony fishes, and sharks. Using marine megafauna examples and case studies, this lecture course integrates fundamental ecological concepts with interdisciplinary discussion of ocean ecosystems, animal physiology and behavior, methodological approaches and technologies, social value and cultural use, and national and international conservation and management.

12. ES-126 Climatology Study of the localized weather of a region. Influencing factors of climate are examined, including continental vs. oceanic/lake effects, temperature and precipitation, the role of cyclones and anticyclones, and topographic and organismic alterations. Also analyzed are specific climatological disturbances, such as thunderstorm formation, tornado development and occurrence, hurricane structure and movement, El Nino, and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and La Nina.

13. ES-127 Plants, People and the Environment Our lives depend on, are enhanced by, and at times even threatened by plants. From the oxygen we breathe to the carbon dioxide we release, our lives (biological, cultural and spiritual) are thoroughly integrated with plants. In this course "Plants, People and the Environment" we examine the biology of plants including the traditional botanical disciplines of anatomy, evolution, ecology, physiology as well as the cultural uses of plants from agriculture to religion. Further, we consider the developing applications of plants in human well-being like pollution remediation, food production and pharmaceuticals.

14. ES-130 The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Emphasis is placed on the history of the Bay, primary production dynamics, habitat types, and pelagic and bottom-dwelling organisms. Human impacts on the Bay and its watershed are discussed, including contemporary issues such as crab and oyster fisheries, aquaculture, nutrient inputs, toxic chemicals, exotic species invasions, and the management goals of the Chesapeake Bay Program

15. ES-161 Physical & Human Geography Studies of human activities in its locational context. Topics include basic place name geography, weather and climate, population trends and characteristics, health and human development, culture and language, technology and economic development, human ecology, and environmental problems.

16. ES-162 World Regional Geography An introduction to geography through the study of world regions. This course serves to broaden and diversify students’ worldviews on contemporary issues while providing powerful conceptual tools for clearer understanding. Geographic applications emphasize the importance of region, place, spatial scale, and diffusion. Course focuses on the interaction within and between regional cultures, environments, politics, and processes of globalization from a variety of scales. Topics include: human-induced environmental change, population and migration, culture change, international development, regional conflict, and global inequality.

17. ES-196 Environmental Science and Society Introduction to the methods and assumptions underlying environmental science as applied to current environmental problems and their intersection with modern society. Building from a foundation in the natural sciences, an interdisciplinary approach is used to investigate the social causes and consequences of air and water pollution, human population, food production, energy, natural resource use, toxic waste, endangered species, land conservation, and environmental health.
18. ES-211 Principles of Ecology Introduction to current ideas in theoretical and empirical ecology. A quantitative approach is used to examine population dynamics, competition, predator-prey interactions, life-history strategies, species diversity patterns, community structure, energy flow, biogeochemical cycling, and the biosphere. Course provides a foundation for further work in environmental studies. Three class hours and laboratory. Prerequisite: ES 196 or one year of college science.

19. ES-225 Environmental Humanities Introduction to environmental humanities. Using the interdisciplinary lenses of literary studies, history, philosophy, and communication studies, students consider how human beings imagine nature, how they communicate ideas about nature, and the ways in which these understandings affect the material environment. Discussions and assignments emphasize humanities research methods and explore topics such as wilderness, environmental justice, and consumerism, highlighting how language and media shape (and are shaped by) cultural perceptions of the environment. Prerequisite: ES 196 and sophomore status.

20. ES-240 Energy: Production and Use 171 Conventional and alternative energy sources are examined with respect to supply, price, technology, and environmental impact. U.S. consumption patterns are studied and the potential of conservation is addressed. Topics include nuclear reactors, fossil fuel supply, photovoltaics, air pollution, greenhouse effect, and energy efficient architecture. Prerequisite: ES196 or one year of college science

21. ES-241 Environmental Journalism Exploration of environmental issues through the reading and writing of journalistic prose. Highlighting the historical roots of environmental journalism and contemporary practices, the course focuses on reporting and writing stories for the public in formats typical to newspapers, magazines, and online media such as blogs. Fundamentals to such writing include developing: 1) basic techniques for organizing stories that evoke interest and convey scientific and technical information accurately; 2) newsgathering techniques like researching credible sources and interviewing; 3) clean, crisp writing through attention to the iterative process of drafting, peer reviewing, and revising. Prerequisite: ES 196 or ES 225, and English writing class at level 110 or higher, or permission of the instructor.

22. ES-251 The Rocky Mountain West: Physical Geography Intensive two-week field-based examination of the physical and cultural geography of the Rocky Mountain West. Focusing on the San Juan Mountain Range in Southwest Colorado, students participate in home stays, service-learning activities, and other field-based projects to examine regional social-environmental relations from diverse multi-cultural, institutional, and politicaleconomic perspectives. In this way, students develop a critical place-based understanding of how recent "New West" socio-economic changes are impacting these relations, including new efforts to achieve ecologically sustainable and socially just solutions to land management problems

23. ES-252 The Rocky Mountain West: Cultural Geography Intensive two-week field-based examination of the physical and cultural geography of the Rocky Mountain West. Focusing on the San Juan Mountain Range in Southwest Colorado, students participate in home stays, service-learning activities, and other field-based projects to examine regional social-environmental relations from diverse multi-cultural, institutional, and politicaleconomic perspectives. In this way, students develop a critical place-based understanding of how recent "New West" socio-economic changes are impacting these relations, including new efforts to achieve ecologically sustainable and socially just solutions to land management problems

24. ES-302 Wildlife Ecology Wildlife Ecology. Study of ecological applications for managing terrestrial vertebrate populations and their habitats. Building on topics in Principles of Ecology (ES211), this lecture and laboratory develops an in-depth understanding of wildlife ecology, management techniques, ecological survey techniques, and data analysis. Emphasis is on application through the use of current field protocols and analytical techniques. The class draws on literature and examples from around the world. Prerequisite: ES 211 or BIO 111.

25. ES-306 Marine Ecology Analysis of the ecology of marine systems. The open ocean, estuaries, salt marshes, beaches, mud and sand flats, seagrass beds, rocky shores, coral reefs, and deep sea are examined. Problems of pollution, beach erosion, and the management of declining fisheries is also presented. Quantitative field work in a variety of coastal habitats is conducted on a required field trip to Duke University Marine Laboratory and the Outer Banks barrier island chain. Three class hours and laboratory-field work. Alternate years. Prerequisite: ES 211.

26. ES-312 Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems Application of geographic information systems and spatial analytic methods to selected environmental problems. Students will solidify their existing GIS skills, as well as learn new analytic strategies such as exploratory spatial data analysis, quantitative landscape analysis, and spatial interpolation. Lab exercises focus on environmental applications such as constructing habitat suitability models, quantifying habitat fragmentation, mapping wilderness, and identifying environmental health "hot spots". Each student will also complete a final project related to an environmental issue, where they will define project needs, develop a GIS database, conduct spatial analyses, and present results. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 230. Alternate Years.

27. ES-316 Conservation Biology A discipline comprising pure and applied science, which focuses on the preservation of biological diversity. Focus implicitly recognizes that preserving the genetic and ecological features of a species requires preservation of that species' niche. Topics include food web organization, spatial heterogeneity and disturbance, consequences of small population size and inbreeding, captive propagation, demographics of population growth, and species reintroduction and management. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 211 or BIO 111.

28. ES-317 Chesapeake Bay: Science, Policy and Environmental Issues Examines the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region in the context of society's exploitation of a natural system. We will trace the settlement of the region with an emphasis on how the Bay affected the society that developed along its shores and, in turn, how the Bay was affected by this human development. Readings from the scientific literature will be combined with those from history, sociology, and economics to form a coherent portrait of the interplay between society and the environment. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 211. Alternate Years

29. ES-318 Glaciers and Record of Climate Change Introduction to glacial geology and records of climate change over the last 2 million years. Course examines basic glaciology, glacial erosion and depositional processes. Analysis of landforms is used to make interpretations of climatic variability. Climate records from ice cores and sediment cores are evaluated. Natural and human induced climate change is discussed. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 223 or permission of instructor.

30. ES-319 Environmental Film Study of environmental films and their role in shaping environmental imaginations and actions in contemporary life. Applies fundamentals of film analysis to critical stylistic, textual and contextual (historical and political-economic) investigations of both fictional and documentary environmental films. Topics include Hollywood films about wildlife, wilderness, land use, technology and pollution, and documentaries on wildlife conservation, wilderness-adventure, and socio-nature themes. Prerequisite: ES 225 and any 200 level Environmental Studies course or permission of the instructor.

31. ES-323 Geologic Disasters and Global Change Investigation of geologic disasters and their relationship to global change. Course focuses on 174 natural disasters that affect the surface of the Earth, including landslides, floods, El Nino, coastal erosion, sea level rise, droughts and desertification. The interaction between natural surface processes and human modification of landscapes are discussed. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 223 or permission of instructor. Alternate Years

32. ES-334 Global Environment and Development Examination of the cultural, political, and economic processes driving uneven environmental change and socioeconomic development from an interdisciplinary political ecology perspective. Course focuses on sustainable development issues in the developing world, but includes discussion of the industrialized countries to a lesser extent. Topics covered include: population, poverty, and the environment; cultural adaptation to environmental change; conservationdevelopment dilemmas; environmental justice; role of non-governmental organizations; international environmental policy. Prerequisite: ES 196 and ES 225. Alternate Years

33. ES-335 Gender and Environment Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender, environment, and development. A theoretically grounded, historical approach is taken to study of relevant debates in ecofeminism, feminist political ecology, queer ecologies, masculinity studies, and gender/development. Topics will be explored through classic and contemporary case studies and may vary depending on student interest. Sample topics: Gender issues in natural resources management; Gender and environmental activism; Gender-based strategies for sustainable development; Gender mainstreaming policy initiatives; Gender, disasters, and climate change.

34. ES-400 Seminar Advanced study of an important national or global environmental issue. Interdisciplinary approach is used to analyze the problem from a variety of viewpoints in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students are responsible for a major term paper involving independent research. Topics differ each semester. Prerequisite: Senior standing as a minor or major in environmental studies or permission of instructor; and ES 196, 211, 223, 225, and 230.
35. IDS-152 Youth and New Media in the Middle East Explores the manifold ways in which Arab youth chart the course of social and political change in the Middle East through the use of new media and modern technologies. Discussions focus on the challenges Arab youth face in their 21st-century, globalized environments, and on their engagement with their regimes and societies, particularly in the context of the Arab Spring. Arab youth’s artistic and political expressions of voice and agency are approached as a barometer for the transformations in the region.

36. LAS-337 Borderlands of the Americas Explores geographical regions from the Great Lakes to the South American pampas beyond the effective control of Spanish, Portuguese, British, or French empires or early nation states. Often transitional environmental zones, ecological and human variables shaped these spaces of ethnic, cultural, and economic exchange, where competing spheres of indigenous and European influence overlapped. The histories of these places have often been memorialized and mythologized in the development of national identities.

37. PHIL-107 Environmental Ethics Exploration of ethical issues that arise regarding what responsibilities human beings have to the natural world. Specific issues such as population, land use, wilderness preservation, biodiversity, and our treatment of animals are examined in light of larger philosophical questions regarding nature and human purpose, obligations to future generations, the aesthetic and religious value of nature, and the possibility of an environmental ethic.

38. POL-333 Environmental Policy Analysis of the policies that guide the use, control and management of natural resources. Students examine the laws, bureaucracies, economics, politics and ideologies underlying policy 369 making processes in order to understand how and why certain policies emerge as well as their social and ecological effects. The primary focus is on the United States, but the growing international dimension of environmental policies and the ambiguous role of the US in these efforts is also considered. Prerequisite: ES 196 or POL 101. Cross-listed: Political Science 333 and ES 333

39. FYS 132 Religious Perspectives on the Environment

The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

A Recycling Intern went through the College's course listings and pulled out every course that pertained to sustainability and then proceeded to sort them. Prior knowledge of courses was also used and this information was looked over and confirmed.

How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):

Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships No
Practicums No
Independent study No
Special topics No
Thesis/dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts No

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.