Western offers both sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses. These courses are offered in many different colleges and departments, including Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Woodring College of Education, Environmental Studies, Accounting, Economics, Geology, Marketing, Political Science, Materials Science, and many others. Courses are listed per instructor assessment of sustainability content within each course.
Do you know of another course to add to the list? Email the course name to email@example.com.
*Please do not treat this as a final source of information, always double check the official Western listings*
Review of research on the organization of law enforcement. Topics include impact of legal and organizational controls on police behavior, police use of deadly force, minorities and policing, and community policing.
Review of research on the organization of law enforcement. Topics include impact of legal and organizational controls on police behavior, police us of deadly force, minorities and policing, and community policing.
The study of adult crime, defined as violation of legal norms. Focuses on problems of measurement and attempts to explain crime as a social phenomenon and a cultural product. Includes in-depth analysis of various forms and classes of crimes and their victims.
A survey of basic concepts, problems and issues in the sociological study of social organizations applied to the criminal justice system.
Explores how political, economic and social institutions affect the management and sustainability of shared environments, both local and global.
An introductory course designed to facilitate a basic understanding of the materials science fundamentals behind the development of today’s most important and innovative materials. Topics include: nanomaterials, smart materials, advanced composite materials, and semiconductors. Other important basics such as building materials from atoms, structures, synthesis, materials failures, and sustainability will also be covered.
This course will provide students with the skills for developing and marketing a sustainable product. It will cover key concepts and tools related to marketing mix decisions, such as product design-for-environment, pricing based on full cost accounting, greening of the supply chain, and life cycle impact assessment. Strategies for reducing the environmental impacts of products and services will be emphasized.
This course is an experiential capstone combining faculty and student teams from the College of Business and Economics and Huxley College of the Environment. Student groups prepare a Green Business Assessment for a community or campus organization and compile, distribute, and present a final report to the campus and the client organizations. Also offered as ENVS 466.
A study of the business decision-making process as these decisions interact with the social, technological, political/legal and economic environments. The causes and effects of the regulation of business are developed and explored.
This course will provide both a survey and applications of major U.S. and Washington state policies and practices supporting the greening of business. Also offered as ENVS 359.
Overview and analysis of the role and place lifestyle and wellness play in society (past, present and future). Issues in health, fitness, and lifestyle choices.
An exploration of the uses and meanings of energy in American history. Topics include development of and transitions between different energy regimes; relations between energy producers and communities; energy and American foreign policy; and social, cultural, and environmental changes linked to changing patterns of energy production and consumption.
Thematic approach to geology, with different themes exploring the relationship between scientific ways of knowing, and geology in particular, with society. Repeatable once as an elective with different topics. May be taken only once for GUR credit.
Exploration of the role of traditional ecological knowledge in maintaining and restoring healthy ecological relationships between communities and the environment. Taught every other year. S/U grading.
Study of how people use plants–as food, medicine, material goods, and symbolic and ceremonial elements of human culture. Includes a focus on plant identification, historical exploration of plant uses, and hands-on learning about wild edibles, plant domestication, herbal medicines, fibers and more. S/U grading.
Study of relationships between human systems and the environment with an emphasis on the principle of sustainability. Study of models of sustainable development and appropriate technology complement practical applications in the Outback Farm/Wetland/Outdoor Learning Center. Student participation in instruction. S/U grading.
Science and technology are systematic, self-critical, intellectual activities by which a culture seeks to understand and benefit from the physical phenomena of its world. This course addresses science in Western culture – its social and philosophical implications, its technological applications, its potential and its limitations. S/U grading.
Environmental Impact Assessment requires a range of professional qualifications and involves a wide spectrum of disciplines and methodologies. This interdisciplinary capstone course involves class preparation of an impact assessment of a local project, summarizing physical, biological and social aspects of a study area. Review of pertinent laws and EIS documents. Also offered as ESCI 436.
Theory and practice of leadership for inspiring and maintaining change toward more ecologically sustainable behaviors through informal and formal learning settings. Emphasis on experiential approaches; field work required. A spring block course.
Principles of psychology applied to environmental problem-solving situations. Relationship between behavior and motivational, cognitive, social, moral-developmental, and cultural-psychological variables across the life span.
Students visit environmental learning sites and programs where they observe, critique and participate as instructors. Develop skill in designing effective and engaging lesson plans and delivering them to youth audiences. Includes field leadership, environmental interpretation, and instructional evaluation. A spring block course.
Describes and explores the tradition of writing about the outdoors in American literature. The writings of Thoreau, Burroughs, Muir, Leopold, Carson, Eisley, Borland, Beston and others are read and discussed.
The course provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in disaster reduction and emergency planning, with an emphasis on community-based approaches. Students will work in groups with a client (or clients) on a quarter-long project of practical significance. Students will be exposed to best practices through case studies across disaster reduction and emergency planning. Project management, client interactions, report writing, and communicating technical information to diverse audiences will be emphasized.
Synthesis and application of principles, practices and policies in sustainable development and the design of projects, processes, and products using a systems approach to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability. Students apply sustainable design techniques to local regional and international community problems.
Analysis and synthesis of significant socioeconomic biophysical and cultural resources used in planning; preparation of a land-use or other plan for a selected region
Introduction to campus sustainability planning as applied to the WWU campus community. Project-based learning and research involving stakeholders across campus. Selected research topics relative to Western’s master planning process pursuit of sustainability. A studio course emphasizing the application of sustainability principles in campus planning, development and operations. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 credits.
This course is an experiential capstone combining faculty and student teams from the College of Business and Economics and Huxley College of the Environment. Student groups prepare a Green Business Assessment for a community or campus organization and compile, distribute, and present a final report to the campus and the client organizations. Course also offered as MGMT 466.
Survey of political and jurisdictional considerations, treaty rights, and social and environmental conditions facing tribal communities in their pursuit of self-governance and sustainability. Historic federal Indian policy, court rulings and the consideration of off-reservation treaty rights in regional planning. Approaches to intergovernmental cooperation for sustainable natural resources management. Offered alternate years.
Land use planning is an attempt to reconcile the conflict between individual property rights and collective environmental goals. This course examines the American legal system’s role in framing and resolving this dilemma. It provides an understanding of the legal framework that creates our unique ‘bottom up’ land use regulatory system. It also examines the practical and philosophical implications of federal constitutional restrictions on local government land use authority, including ‘takings’ and housing discrimination cases.
Course considers several fact patterns involving disputes over natural resources and environmental issues. Students will study and, in some cases, research the facts and will be assigned roles to represent during dispute resolution sessions. Students have the opportunity to practice a range of dispute resolution techniques which may include negotiation, mediation, and other dispute resolution techniques.
Examines international environmental issues and national and international ways to address these issues, problems affecting the environmental ‘commons’ (such as oceans and the atmosphere), and issues relating to sustainable development, including aid and trade.
Explores issues, politics, and conflicts in the area of natural resource policy, including endangered species, water rights and allocation, forest policy, public lands, and/or wetlands. Offered alternate years.
Analysis and assessment of environmental policy politics, primarily in the United States. Students will examine the actors, institutions, and processes involved in environmental policymaking and develop a solid foundation for understanding how we address our most pressing environmental concerns. The course covers: (1) the major environmental policies and institutions; (2) multiple perspectives that describe and explain the intersections of environmental science and politics; and (3) specific environmental challenges.
This course provides description and analysis of the impact of European imperialism on the development of Pacific Northwest landscapes; the focus is on Native, British, American, and Canadian actions and territorial claims.
Investigation of the geography and issues associated with the growing importance of Pacific Rim nations; selected environmental, sustainability, economic, urban and cultural topics.
Investigation of the geography and issues associated with the growing importance of the United States’ border regions, especially our northern border with Canada; selected trans-border environmental, sustainability, economic, and urban topics.
Ecological concepts and principles applied to design and management of sustainable food production systems. Consideration given to food and farm politics and economics, as well as the experience of place and policies for relocalization. Includes case studies and laboratory/field experience in sustainable agriculture horticulture and strategies for resilience. Offered alternate years.
An introduction to environmental safety and a review of current thinking and practices including connections to sustainability. Focus on history, evolution, and need for environmental education, and on its goals and principles, content, settings, methods and processes approached through reading, discussion and project work.
Locational and network analysis and modeling of local, regional and national systems. Also, investigation of alternatives to traditional transportation modes.
Principles and practices in urban development and public planning in the United States. Concepts of planning as a community process and professional activity. Evolution of planning ideas in response to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions within the American political framework. Survey of the specialized fields in planning practice, emphasizing the emerging field of environmental planning.
Completion of Huxley ENVS Major Phase I or ESCI Major or CBE Major or permission of instructor.
This course will allow students to understand the history of energy policy within the U.S.; gain an understanding of the major actors in energy policy; and explore the implications for energy policy from local to global levels. A specific focus will be placed on energy issues as they pertain to the Pacific Northwest.
Geographic focus upon the development, functions and problems of the modern city with emphasis on American patters.
Survey of physical environment, sustainability, peoples, regions and resources of East Asia; problems and prospects.
This course explores relationships between people and the environment in the territory that has come to be known as Canada; emphasis is placed upon the history of such relationships. Topics include: physical geography, Aboriginal geographies, Native-Newcomer interactions, evolving and contested political boundaries, resource use and ecological crisis, and urban development.
Nature and nation are inextricably connected in American history, but American identification with nature has often led in surprising directions. This course reviews how various human activities have historically depended on and interacted with the natural world. It traces how these interactions have changed places, people, animals and institutions over the last five hundred years in what is now the United States. The focus will be on how culture, science, and politics have mixed in American environmental history. WP2.
An examination of environmental and resource policy in the United States. What is policy, how is it made and how does it change? The history of environmental policy is examined, and current environmental policy surveyed. Federal, state, regional and local jurisdictions and how they interact in the policy arena are examined. Primary forces affecting environmental policy are reviewed and analyzed. Several case studies are presented.
The course provides an in-depth look at human and environmental systems interaction. As such, students need familiarity with environmental concepts, either through ENVS 202 or through the Huxley major prerequisites. Some students with self-designed majors or Huxley minors may also be well prepared and can enter through instructor permission.
This course explores regional patterns of population and settlement across the globe and introduces students to concepts and techniques in the spatial analysis of economic, cultural, and political organizations.
A basic overview of environmental issues in the United States and globally. An emphasis will be placed on environmental and human sustainability in a social science context.
This course is an introductory course in sustainability literacy. This course reviews emerging issues in global sustainability studies and introduces students to writing and problem solving skills. Emphases are in multidisciplinary approaches that address complex social, environmental, and economic interrelationships in sustainable development.
This is a discussion-oriented class to accompany ENVS 110: An introduction to the art and science of food. The class will include discussion of the regional geography of agriculture and consumption patters, Slow Food as a social movement, and ideas for sensible food systems in a university setting.
Students will work with each other, faculty members, and professionals in the energy field to solve a real-world energy related problem. Students will analyze the problem and craft a solution using the knowledge and skills accumulated through prior coursework in the degree program. The course fosters interdisciplinary partnerships between Western students and faculty and professionals and organizations in the industry and government.
Explores the economics of renewable energy and conservation. The economic history of renewable energy and the existing institutional framework are examined. Considers economic motivations for the expansion of renewable energy and conservation. Existing and prospective policies are analyzed. Examines the challenges associated with integrating renewable sources into existing energy systems. Various quantitative techniques are reviewed and practiced. Also offered as ECON 484.
This class is designed to bring students into contact with the industries where energy is produced. In this field-based class we will visit conventional and alternative energy facilities and learn how energy is produced and delivered to consumers. We will pay particular attention to the basic physics, chemistry and biology of energy systems as well as their impacts on the environment. Also offered as ESCI 480.
This is the third of three courses for the interdisciplinary energy project. Students complete the implementation of an energy related project as defined in EE 471/ENRG 471 and EE 472/ENRG 472. Also offered as EE 473.
This is the second of three courses for the interdisciplinary energy project. Students complete the research and develop design concepts based on the constraints defined in EE/ENRG 471. Also offered as EE 472.
This is the first of three courses for the interdisciplinary culminating project in the electrical engineering – energy option. Students define objectives, perform research, and prepare project proposals for ENRG 472 and ENRG 473. Also offered as EE 471.
The goal of this course is to explore policy making and policy implementation in the context of energy technologies. Using case studies we will reveal the multidimensionality and tensions implicit in policy debates. We will assemble a toolbox that enables us to innovate, assess, and promote policy options. Focus will be placed on policy solutions such as common pool resource management, community-based social marketing, civic dialogue, and analytic-deliberation. Also offered as ENVS 459.
This course explores the social and technological changes underway to transition from a fossil fuel based energy system to a low-carbon system. We study the technology involved with existing and evolving electricity, transportation, food, and building energy systems and then interrogate the social, economic, and political structures that substantiate the existing system or promote change to a low carbon future.
Electricity markets have become more complex in recent years because of new energy production and usage technologies, regulatory changes, and increased environmental concerns. This course will look at demand and supply aspects of electricity markets, including the impact of government economic and environmental regulation. Emphasis will be on the U.S. electricity market. Also offered as ECON 386.
The role of energy in the economy and key aspects of energy supply and demand. Topics include the interrelationships among energy use, economic growth, and the environment; conservation; solar and ‘unconventional’ energy sources; world oil markets; regulation of gas and electric utilities; and U.S. energy policy. Also offered as ECON 384.
How do our choices in energy production impact the global and local environment? What does the future hold in terms of human use of energy? This class emphasizes the physical principles behind energy and the effects of energy on the environment. We will explore the interdependence of world economies and environment as well as look at individual opinions and choices on energy related issues. Also offered as ESCI 380.
A study of smart grid and renewable energy technologies. Topics covered include basics of power system operation, smart grid objectives and main features, alternative energy technologies and interface to utility grid, storage systems technology, Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicle technology, demand response and demand side management and smart grid monitoring. Also offered as EE 378.
A study of power electronics devices and circuits applied to power conditioning. Topics covered include switching characteristics of power semiconductor devices, power converter topologies, control techniques in power converters and practical applications of power electronics converters in motor drives. Also offered as EE 374.
A study of electrical power concepts and electomechanical devices’ theory, operation and analysis. Topics covered include circuit analysis review, basic electromagnetic theory, three phase power systems, dc machines, synchronous generators, power transformers and induction machines. Also offered as EE 372.
Introduction to energy resources and processes within a unified physical framework. Overview of traditional and renewable resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biofuels. Energy processes covered include electricity generation and energy storage in batteries and fuel cells. Systems-level issues such as efficiency, transmission, and reliability are also analyzed.
Introduction to energy use in buildings and the concept of energy efficiency as a resource. Provides a quantitative but accessible approach to the analysis, design and evaluation of measures to improve energy efficiency and pursue net-zero and/or carbon neutral design. Topics covered include building heating and cooling loads, HVAC system efficiency, solar energy resources and sun angles, passive solar design and rooftop photovoltaic sizing, energy efficient and zero-carbon design for buildings, vehicles, appliances, hot water and HVAC.
This course will allow students to understand the history of energy policy within the US; gain an understanding of the major actors in energy policy; and explore the implications for energy policy from local to global levels. A specific focus will be placed on energy issues as they pertain to the Pacific Northwest. Also offered as ENVS 350.
Energy is an important sector in national and the world economies. This course will examine private and government-owned energy resource and service providers and will include a brief history of the energy business and differences in characteristics across a variety of energy markets: fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, and efficiency measures. The impact of government regulatory and tax and subsidy policies on industry and corporate structure and behavior will be examined.
Introduction to energy resources and processes within a unified physical framework. Overview of traditional and renewable resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biofuels. Energy processes covered include electricity generation and energy storage in batteries and fuel cells. System level issues such as efficiency, transmission, and reliability are also covered.
Modern society is completely dependent on vast amounts of cheap energy, but the costs are high. Will we have enough usable energy for a planet of nine billion people? How do our choices in energy production impact the global and local environment? We will address these and other questions surrounding human energy use and try to understand the science, technology, and policy of energy use in the 21st century.
Advanced study of causes and consequences of declines in biodiversity due to human activities. Review of conflicts arising from multiple-use management of natural resources. Survey and evaluation of conservation efforts directed at single species and at ecosystems. Discussion of primary conservation literature. Optional field trips.
Examination of causes and consequences of declines in biodiversity due to human activities. Review of conflicts arising from multiple-use management of natural resources. Survey and evaluation of conservation efforts directed at single species and at ecosystems. Optional field trips.
A field-oriented introduction to the geology, climate and ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on the biology and the ecology of important organisms.
Discussion and analysis of selected issues in the economics of the environment and natural resources.
Principles of efficient resource allocation over time, distributional equity and cost/benefit analysis. Examines minerals and other exhaustible resources; forests, fisheries and other renewable resources; and public goods such as water and wilderness.
Examines an extended set of applications in environmental economics, with a focus on deepening the student’s understanding of the field. Applications involve current controversies in environmental policy and management, as well as methodological issues. Topics include climate change, solid waste management and recycling, water quality, and other issues of current interest.
The role of energy in the economy and key aspects of energy supply and demand. Topics include the interrelationships among energy use, economic growth, and the environment; conservation; solar and ‘unconventional’ energy sources; world oil markets; regulation of gas and electric utilities; and U.S. energy policy.
Explores the economic basis of environmental issues and policies. An examination of property rights, externalities and the common-property basis of environmental problems. Alternative policies are analyzed, involving such issues as air and water pollution, solid-waste disposal, hazardous substances, wilderness preservation and the protection of endangered species.
Utilizes economic principles to understand the interactions among population growth, food demand, agricultural development, and natural resource utilization, degradation, and conservation.
An introduction to the U.S. economy and its role in the world economy. Analysis of current economic controversies at home and abroad. Issues may include overall economic performance, problems of hunger and poverty, and the issues of economic insecurity, inequality, and sustainability. The course will examine the emergence of globalization and regionalism, and their implications for the workers and the environment.
This capstone course examines diverse ethical theories and perspectives pertaining to communication in contexts ranging from the local to the global. Students will have opportunities to reflect on and clarify their own ethical commitments, and to understand these in relation to ethical theories and perspectives in the field of communication studies.
Examination of advanced theories in mass communication and media literacy. Examines social, political, and economic forces that shape media; influences of media on society; and issues of media policy, media advocacy, and media reform.
Introduction to nonprofit information campaigns, social issues marketing and other forms of advocacy through contemporary mass media. Students will learn basic theory and then engage in applied exercises as well as service learning assignments.
Examination of the evolution, physiology, ecology and conservation of marine mammals through critical thinking and discussion of the primary literature. Offered in alternate years. Writing-proficiency course.
Investigation of the factors controlling whole ecosystem processes such as productivity, decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Application of these concepts to current issues in global change, including the carbon cycle and global warming, land use change, nitrogen-loading, and biodiversity and ecosystem function. Lectures and textbook reading are integrated with discussion of papers from the primary literature.
Introduction to ecological research, culminating in student-designed research projects. Written and oral presentation of projects.
Organism-environmental relationships in marine, fresh water and terrestrial habitats. Functions and development of ecosystems.
Introduction to evolutionary and ecological processes involved in the generation of our planet’s biodiversity, including review of patterns and processes that influence the origin, evolution, distribution, and abundance of living things. Includes lab.
Focus on the 4 causes of salmon decline (Habitat, Hydropower, Harvest, and Hatcheries) to investigate the interactions between ecology and economics through lectures, reading and independent projects. Also offered as ECON 140.
An in-depth analysis of accounting for the natural environment. Readings, discussion and case analyses cover current issues, such as financial reporting and disclosure, management decision making and evaluation techniques, taxation and the profession’s role in environmental issues.