Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.57
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date April 11, 2023

STARS v2.2

Cal Poly Humboldt
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 11.91 / 14.00 Katie Koscielak
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Mgmt
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses offered by the institution that are sustainability course offerings:
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 1,773 439
Number of sustainability-focused courses offered 118 26
Number of sustainability-inclusive courses offered 176 33

Percentage of courses that are sustainability course offerings:

Total number of academic departments that offer courses:

Number of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

Percentage of academic departments with sustainability course offerings:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability course offerings and descriptions:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

A brief description of the methodology used to complete the course inventory :

In 2020, the Sustainability Office did a review of how courses had been previously designated as sustainability related or focused and then compared results to contemporary course catalog descriptions, with the goal of trying to understand whether intersections between social, environmental, and economic systems were being taught and therefore whether changes to designations were needed. Courses teaching through the lens of all three intersecting dimensions were given a 'sustainability focused' designation, noted in the course catalog with a black leaf icon. Courses teaching through the lens of two intersecting dimensions were given a 'sustainability related' designation, noted in the course catalog with a white leaf icon. Findings were then relayed back to Department Chairs, who were asked to refute or affirm the changes to designation. Recommendations for changes from the Sustainability Office were the final authority for any department that did not respond to inquiries.

In addition, as the campus continues to grow into a Cal Poly campus, many new courses have been added to the catalog. In August 2021, the Curriculum Coordinator began asking for review of new course proposals from the Sustainability Office and later from the Sustainability Faculty Fellow (once they'd been appointed), who searched proposal documents for intersections between social, environmental, and economic dimensions consistent with prior methodology. Courses found to be teaching these intersections via their description, assignments, or syllabi were given a sustainability focused or related designation accordingly.

Results from this process are given here in the figures and attached spreadsheet.

How were courses with multiple offerings or sections counted for the figures reported above?:
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:

Website URL where information about the sustainability course offerings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

During external review of the course inventory compiled for our campus by CSU Channel Islands, three courses were found to need additional explanation for how they are related or focused on sustainability. These courses are:
ENGR 215 Introduction to Design
GEOG 322M California Depth Experience
JMC 325 Osprey Magazine Production

Further explanation of the interrelationships with sustainability are as follows:
>>ENGR 215 Introduction to Design: The description for this course is "Engineering design process, including critical analysis of problems, teamwork, Internet, word processing, spreadsheets, computer-aided drawing. Engineering design applications." Because this course is nested in our environmental engineering program, emphasis throughout the course and program are on applied environmental issues, and/or bridging alignment between needs of society with environmental considerations. Furthermore, with this being a foundational, required undergraduate course for the major, it retains overarching programmatic goals in a robust way, which are described on the website for the major (https://www.humboldt.edu/programs/environmental-resources-engineering) as: "As an ERE student, you will learn to apply fundamental science and engineering principles to solve complex environmental resource management problems. Four resource areas are addressed in our curriculum: water, air, land, and energy. Specific topics include water treatment, water resources planning, groundwater hydrology, renewable energy development, energy efficiency analysis, electricity system design, soil remediation, ecological restoration, solid waste management, environmental fluid mechanics, river hydraulics, constructed wetlands design, and wastewater treatment and reuse. An interdisciplinary approach prepares students to understand and solve problems and to consider the trade-offs among social, economic, and ethical objectives." In summary, the course challenges students to approach all design projects from a sustainability lens of intersecting social, environmental, and economic considerations.

>>GEOG 322M California Depth Experience: This course serves as a hallmark example of courses offered by the Geography department, which, as described on the website for the major, seeks to impart robust exploration of the interrelationships between the physical world and the social systems of people that inhabit them. Exploration of sustainability through intersecting social, environmental and economic systems is evident in the description for the course: "Spatial interpretation of economic, political, social, and physical forces at work to forge California. Behavioral aspects of processes leading to change." Therefore, through the nature of the discipline, the course is expected to navigate complex intersections between jobs, natural resource extraction, governance, inequity, landscape, and culture through a history of place in California, all of which make this course a perfect example of sustainability teaching in action.

>>JMC 325 Osprey Magazine Production: This class is the space in which students author and edit the campus Osprey Magazine. Osprey is a feature magazine that has won top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the California College Media Association. Students work as editors, writers, designers and photographers, creating all content and publishing one issue each semester. Given the culture and brand of the campus, along with the types of interests that students hold, the magazine consistently tells stories focused on sustainability in every issue. For example, in the Osprey Fall 2022 edition (https://issuu.com/ospreymagazine/docs/osprey_fall_2022), several pages are dedicated to a section entitled "Climate Conversations" which explores social commentary on environment and climate. Another is called "Otters in the Water" which explores intersections between policy, social action, industry, and otters, among other important social and environmental stories. In the Spring 2022 issue, (https://issuu.com/ospreymagazine/docs/onlineversion_0505_pg40fixed_volunteer_contents_al), there is a lengthy article called "Policing in Humboldt County" which explores intersections between place, society, and law enforcement jobs, and others called "Bringing Down the Dams" and "Salmon on the Klamath River" that explore the complicated intersections between fish, policy, Indigenous culture, and cannabis industry. All demonstrate robust discussion from a sustainability lens and this type of exploration is consistent and expected across each issue.

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.