Sustainability Minor

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Sustainability is often defined as "meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The minor in sustainability at Iowa State University is available to any ISU student who wants to further learn about sustainability issues affecting humans today and in the future.

The interdisciplinary minor in sustainability exposes students to ideas and issues related to a sustainable, balanced and ethical future for the planet and its inhabitants. The minor is at the interplay between environmental, social and economic factors in improving the quality of human life within the capacity of supporting ecosystems.

The minor will help students understand the dynamics of biological population growth and decline in the natural world, predator-prey models, over-exploitation of natural resources, energy balances, and much more. Students also will learn how human behavior affects the natural world and the ability of earth to sustain life.

In addition, students in the minor will understand how the decisions they make as consumers, workers, resource owners, citizens and policymakers affect human welfare in this and future generations. Students also will be able to articulate why some environmental, social and economic profiles are sustainable and others are not.

The minor will provide students knowledge sufficient to apply sustainable practices in their personal and professional lives.

The colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Design, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences sponsor the minor in sustainability.

Requirements for the minor in sustainability

The minor in sustainability may be earned by completing a total of 15 credits including two required courses and nine elective credits from an approved list. Of the nine elective credits, at least six credits must be at the 300 level or higher.

Required courses:

T SC 220Globalization and Sustainability3
ANTHR 230Globalization and the Human Condition3

Emphasis Electives:

A B E 380Principles of Biological Systems Engineering3
A B E 388Sustainable Engineering and International Development3
A B E 480Engineering Analysis of Biological Systems3
AGRON 120Introduction to Renewable Resources3
AGRON 342World Food Issues: Past and Present3
AGRON 404Global Change3
AGRON 450Issues in Sustainable Agriculture3
ANTHR 336Global Development3
ARCH 346Building Science and Technology II3
ARCH 346LBuilding Science and Technology II Lab2
ARCH 347Building Science and Technology III3
ARCH 347LBuilding Science and Technology III Lab2
ARCH 348Building Science and Technology IV3
ARCH 348LBuilding Science and Technology IV Lab2
ARCH 351Whole Building Energy Performance Modeling3
ARCH 445Building Science and Technology V2
ARCH 575Contemporary Urban Design Theory3
ARCH 597Seminar on the Built Environment III: Theory3
ARTIS 360Sustainable Design and Fabrication of Furniture3
ARTIS 362Artists, Designers and Sustainable Development3
BIOL 204Biodiversity2
BIOL 355Plants and People3
BIOL 471Introductory Conservation Biology3
BIOL 472Community Ecology3
BIOL 484Ecosystem Ecology3
C R P 201The North American Metropolis3
C R P 291World Cities and Globalization3
C R P 293Environmental Planning3
C R P 320Urban Geography3
C R P 417Urban Revitalization3
C R P 429Planning in Developing Countries3
C R P 445Transportation Policy and Planning3
C R P 484Sustainable Communities3
C R P 491Environmental Law and Planning3
ECON 380Energy, Environmental and Resource Economics3
ECON 385Economic Development3
ECON 480Intermediate Environmental and Resource Economics3
ENGL 355Literature and the Environment3
ENSCI 381Environmental Systems I: Introduction to Environmental Systems3-4
ENSCI 201Introduction to Environmental Issues2
ENSCI 382Environmental Systems II: Analysis of Environmental Systems3
ENV S 270Foundations in Natural Resource Policy and History3
ENV S 324Energy and the Environment3
ENV S 334Environmental Ethics3
FS HN 242The US Food System3
GEOL 160Water Resources of the World3
GEOL 101Environmental Geology: Earth in Crisis3
GEOL 108Introduction to Oceanography3
GLOBE 201Global Resource Systems3
GLOBE 303Agricultural, Food and Natural Global Resource Systems3
GLOBE 304Socio-Economic Global Resource Systems3
GLOBE 402Responses to Global Resource System Challenges3
GLOBE 446International Issues and Challenges in Sustainable Development3
HORT 424Sustainable and Environmental Horticulture Systems3
JL MC 347Science Communication3
JL MC 474Communication Technology and Social Change3
L A 270Foundations in Natural Resource Policy and History3
L A 302Ecological Design at the Regional Scale6
L A 417Urban and Peri-urban Watershed Assessment3
M E 433Alternative Energy3
M E 479Sustainability Science for Engineering Design3
M E 484Technology, Globalization and Culture3
M E 486Appropriate Technology Design3
MAT E 394Topics in Sustainable Engineering in Italy3
NREM 120Introduction to Renewable Resources3
NREM 452Ecosystem Management3
NREM 471Agroforestry Systems; Local and Global Perspectives3
RUS 375Russia Today3
SOC 345Population and Society3
SOC 348Global Poverty, Resources and Sustainable Development3
SOC 382Environmental Sociology3
SOC 411Social Change in Developing Countries3
SUS E 501Sustainable Design Studio I5
SUS E 511Sustainable Design Colloquium I3
SUS E 521Foundation of Sustainable Design3
SUS E 531Human Dimensions of Sustainability3
SUS E 540Methods for Sustainable Design3
SUS E 550Making Resilient Environments3
T SC 343Philosophy of Technology3
TSM 324Soil and Water Conservation Management3
TSM 325Biorenewable Systems3